The Campaign for the ELCA is the first campaign of its kind for the ELCA. It’s our opportunity to make a real and lasting impact on a scale and scope that is unprecedented for our church. The nearly $200 million goal represents a 64 percent overall increase in designated funding for ELCA ministries over five years. The campaign is designed to:
Gifts to the following ministries count toward the $198 million goal of the campaign:
Donors may also choose to make an undesignated gift to be used where needed most among the campaign priorities above.
Yes! Your gifts will benefit the campaign priorities of your choice, even if the funding goals associated with your designation have been met. The needs extend beyond the income goals.
The fundraising goals for the campaign priorities begin with commitments we have already made together. Many of our programs –such as ELCA World Hunger and the ELCA Fund for Leaders– already have the directive to raise a certain level of designated funds for ministry each year. The campaign increases the overall funding goals for each of these ministries, based upon need, strategic priority and capacity (available staff support, historic giving trends, the size of the donor base, major gift prospects, etc.). Ministries with little-to-no fundraising history, such as renewing congregations and global ministries, generally have smaller goals. Two priorities and their associated financial goals, Disability Ministries and Youth and Young Adults, were added and approved by voting members of the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
Lutheran Disaster Response is not included in the campaign because we cannot set a five-year fundraising goal that anticipates disasters and emergency situations. However, we will continue to respond and extend opportunities for our members to give support when a disaster occurs in order to help people rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
All planned gifts – both realized and newly committed during the campaign – will be celebrated and counted toward the $198 million campaign goal. Planned gifts are crucial to sustaining these ministries long beyond the campaign and we have witnessed this impact many times throughout the campaign already. In addition, we have heard from many ELCA members that they would like the opportunity to participate in the campaign with a planned gift, as well.
The campaign launched Feb. 1, 2014 and will conclude June 30, 2019. While we have met with many ELCA members who wanted to learn more about our shared ministries and participate in the campaign, there are still many who haven’t had the opportunity. By extending the period an additional five months (from the original conclusion date of Jan. 31, 2019) we hope to allow everyone who would like to participate to do so in time for the Churchwide Assembly.
The campaign emerged over several years of thinking, planning and discernment with a cross-section of ELCA members and leaders across the church, especially following the 2011 Churchwide Assembly’s recommendation to explore opportunities to grow current support for our shared ministries. An earlier proposal and plan for an anniversary campaign was deferred in 2008 due to the economic recession.
Our 25th anniversary in 2013 provided a momentous opportunity for us to reflect upon our first quarter-century together as the ELCA. While we celebrate what we have accomplished together, we also realize that now is our time to do more. The needs of the world are great and the campaign is our chance to respond with a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.
All expressions of the church and each of us as individual members have a role to play in making this campaign a success. You can help:
The hashtag for both Facebook and Twitter is #ELCACampaign.
Bishop Eaton is leading our church in this historic effort with our members and global partners, providing inspiration and guidance for the work of the campaign.
Disability Ministries, along with Youth and Young Adult Ministries, was added and approved by voting members of the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. There is a great amount of excitement around this new work and ELCA members are eager to lend support. Mission Advancement is working closely with the Domestic Mission unit to develop a sustainable and impactful program that gifts for this area of the campaign will support.
Mission support is a percentage of your congregation’s weekly offering that is shared with the synod and the churchwide organization. These gifts are used where the priority is greatest and also make it possible for your synod and the ELCA’s churchwide organization to keep ongoing commitments to local and worldwide ministry partners. Some Mission Support funds may return to your congregation or synod in the form of grants, services, programs and resources.
Mission Support is one way we act as a church together; we count on one another for the mutual work that Mission Support makes possible. However, many ELCA members are called to give in other ways as well, and this is what the campaign offers. The campaign is a way for members to make designated gifts to those ministries they are most passionate about, above and beyond weekly offerings through the congregation. These gifts provide direct support to the ELCA churchwide ministries that mean the most to each member. Campaign gifts are directed to the ministry priority of that individual’s choice, and are tracked and spent separately from the Mission Support budget.
Through this campaign we will not only fund the specific ministry priorities but also build a strong base of current and planned gifts, endowment and a broader base of donors who value and are committed to the work of the ELCA and a vibrant culture of stewardship. This will allow us to achieve a higher level of giving that the ELCA in all its expressions will be able to sustain far into the future.