St. Dunstan’s is working with the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) as we explore the possibility of a capital campaign. Here is an overview of the whole process, adapted from ECF’s website.
PHASE 1: DISCERNMENT
Raising funds begins with listening to what God is calling your ministry to accomplish. The parish will consider together what urgent and compelling needs might be funded:
• New construction, restoration, or expansion of facilities
• Programming or outreach needs
• Endowment creation or enhancement, or debt retirement
We will know that the Discernment phase is complete when:
• The list of projects is finalized and all project costs are known
• All constituencies are aware of the projects and costs
• The parish is generally supportive of the projects and campaign
PHASE II: FEASIBILITY STUDY
Through personal interviews, along with an electronic and direct mail survey, all members of the parish are invited to share their thoughts about the proposed plans. During the Feasibility Study, every member is engaged, the vision reinforced, and the path forward becomes clearer for all.
A professionally conducted Feasibility Study measures support for a campaign and provides information to help leadership make decisions, including:
•Whether a campaign has the support to proceed successfully
•A realistic and attainable goal for fundraising
•The level of support for each project
The results of the Feasibility Study will allow campaign leadership to finalize the vision for the project we’d like to undertake together, with a realistic sense of how much we are likely to be able to raise and of the congregation’s highest priorities.
PHASE III: FUNDRAISING
Our ECF consultant, who has gotten to know the people and culture of our congregation through the first two phases, will work closely with the parish during the fundraising phase to recruit, train, and coach the team that will be seeking pledges of support from the congregation.
This phase will include finalizing our plan and materials describing the project; training those who will be leading the campaign; seeking out donors who may wish to make advance gifts; planning events to kick off and conclude the campaign; tracking pledges and progress towards our goal; and communicating all of this to the parish.
ABOUT THE TIMELINE – A Note from Rev. Miranda
In this document, we have included a tentative timeline for all three phases simply to give people some sense of the arc of the process. However, we want to be clear that each phase of this process is separate. Right now, St. Dunstan’s is only committed to the first phase. We may discern that this is not the right moment for a capital campaign. If so, we are under no obligation to continue to the second phase. Your Capital Campaign leadership and Vestry will decide whether to move ahead from each phase to the next, based on what we hear and sense from the parish.
It’s also important to know that we will take as long as we need. Many churches approach a capital campaign with one clear, defined project or goal: to pay off a crippling mortgage, or to fix the bell tower before it falls off the building. Thanks be to God, that is NOT our situation. We have a few central challenges that we’d like to address, but there may be a range of ways to tackle those issues. And we have many other ideas for improvements, small and large, that we might undertake. That means that it may take some time for us to weigh all the possibilities and come to broad agreement on what set of projects are right for us right now. Your Steering Committee and Discernment Teams will prayerfully strive to keep us moving forward while also ensuring that we take time for everyone to be heard – including the Holy Spirit, moving within and among us and directing our shared work.
The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) is a lay-led, indepedent organization which has served the Episcopal Church since 1949. ECF partners with congregations, dioceses, and other Episcopal faith communities, empowering them to engage in strategic visioning and planning, develop effective lay and clergy leadership teams, and raise financial resources for ministry. Learn more at episcopalfoundation.org .
A PRAYER FOR DISCERNMENT
Please keep this process in your prayers. Here is a prayer you might use.
May it please you, gracious God, to give us abundant grace to know your holy will, and to fulfill it. Amen.