Raising funds for your new facility may not be an expedition to conquer Mt. Everest, but if you are caught on your mountain unprepared, you might end up in a crevasse, nevertheless!The sobering fact is that 75% of all capital campaigns in North America fail to reach their stated goal. Typically, a Building Committee hires an architect who designs a great building, complete with colorful renderings and a 7 or 8 - figure price tag. The campaign goal is announced to the school supporters and some money — far less than the goal — is raised. After 18 months, the campaign is abandoned, funds may (or may not) be returned, and — worst of all — the facility, is never built. Architects have a name for these projects: “never-never projects.” The Bible says, “Count the cost.” In context, the funds take precedence over the project (Luke 14:28). The consequences of a failed campaign are many: disheartened donors, angry volunteers who are forever “done with fund raising,” top executives who are blamed (and terminated!) and an organization that puts a lock on capital fundraising for years or even decades. Properly designed and constructed, a Capital Campaign can begin a new era of building (and giving) on your campus that continues for many years. The key is a Capital Campaign Feasibility and Support Study. No campaign for land acquisition, building, renovation, or major large-ticket expenditures — or even preliminary funds for these items — should be conducted without such a study.For a description of the Capital Campaign, see the sidebar.
The GraceWorks’ Capital Campaign Feasibility and Support Study
A Capital Campaign Feasibility and Support Study (S-Study) is a comprehensive report conducted by an experienced capital fundraising consultant that quantifies the amount of money that can be raised from constituents for a given capital project within the campaign period.GraceWorks calls these reports “Support Studies” (S-Study) rather than “Feasibility Studies” because we don’t think it’s right to tell you that it’s not feasible to do what God is calling you to do. On the other hand, maybe what God is calling you to do is somewhat (or even a lot) different than what your architect or building committee presently envisions. Your S-Study will tell you what campaign goal your current donors will realistically support.Three Essential QuestionsYour S-Study will seek answers to three vital questions:1.Is your Christian school healthy academically, enrollment-wise, financially, and administratively?2.Is the school ready organizationally to go forward with a campaign? 3.Are there readily identifiable financial supporters who are willing to be major donors to the school’s proposed campaign? GraceWorks answers these questions with objective, quantifiable, normed data and from qualitative interviews conducted on the school campus. FeaturesSchool-health Survey — As the first part of the S-Study, your school completes the Parent Satisfaction and Referral Survey (PSRS), a 100-page report that: •Identifies volunteers willing to help on the campaign•Provides authentic testimonials for use in the campaign•Lists what your parents think are your school’s most urgent needs•Summarizes ways to improve your parent satisfaction scoresThe PSRS give you the data and direction to fundamentally improve your school, and in so doing, sets the stage for future successful fund development efforts.Top Donors identified — using a copyrighted method developed for Christian schools, your consultant identifies your top donors and prospective donors to determine not only their ability to give, but their likelihood of so doing. The 40-page report developed from interviews with your top 40-45 prospective donors gives a solid financial infrastructure to your campaign.Pre-campaign: the Funds are Identified — up to half of the campaign’s funds are identified before the campaign is launched! This jumpstarts a campaign and encourages larger and more rapid donor participation.Personal Visits and Training — your consultant accompanies you on personal visits to your donors and conducts strategic whole-team planning sessions, on-site, as needed. This patented process brings record numbers of donors to the campaign. Future Endowments Identified — this patented process builds future endowments for your school through estate planning opportunities discovered during the S-Study. Continued support — our campaign process uses a proven method to ensure that donors who contribute to the capital campaign also contribute to the ongoing operations (Annual Fund) while the campaign is underway.Key Leaders and Committee Members Identified and Trained — the S-Study establishes key committees for the campaign along with prospective committee members (via the Parent Satisfaction and Referral Survey and personal interview process). Hundreds of volunteer hours are also identified to bolster every aspect of the school’s operation. No Guessing — with the S-Study, you will know how many, how much, when, and to what extent your campaign will be successful. The “cost” will have been counted! Along with your consultant, you can set a campaign start date knowing its outcome! The GraceWorks DifferenceGraceWorks’ consultants develop funds Biblically. No one gives out of duty or compulsion because we believe capital funds are properly considered offerings to your school. (We believe the tithe belongs to the local church). To raise funds Biblically and spiritually, you must have a faith-sized goal. There are two realities in your faith-sized goal. The earthly reality is that someone is going to write you a check. The spiritual reality is that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. We embrace both realities. The difference between the two realities is your faith-sized goal.The choice, then, is to conduct a capital campaign without a Support Study and fall into the crevasse of a “never-never project.” Or, you can conduct a Support Study, “count the cost,” and build your project according to the faith (and means) that abides in your constituents. Perhaps the study will identify that the entire project can be funded. We raise the money and celebrate! Perhaps the study will identify that the campaign can raise money for Phase 1. We raise money for Phase 1 and celebrate! We then begin Phase 2! GraceWorks’ Support Study does not just identify donors. It fundamentally improves your school though deep diagnostics while it clearly and scientifically identifies the school’s capital campaign faith-sized goal. It assures a win-win for the school, the donors, and the students whose lives the new facilities will change.To schedule a free, 45-minute, no-obligation consultation , simply call:1 (877)-9-FOR-R-KIDS (1-877-936-7754).