In the summer of 2010, The Sheridan Group completed a Campaign Readiness Assessment for St. Stephen’s, recommending that prior to a campaign feasibility study, the Church should conduct comprehensive strategic planning. After St. Stephen completed this process, we re-engaged with St. Stephen’s in the spring of 2011, conducting a 20-interview Feasibility Study on behalf of a $2 million scope of physical plant renovation and improvement initiatives.
Our study recommended initiating a leadership gifts phase with a target of $640,000, with simultaneous cultivation of former (many ‘lost’) parishioners and interested external community funding sources, given St. Stephens significant role as a hub of community activity.
The Sheridan Group assisted St. Stephen’s in the recruitment and training of a 15-member Campaign Cabinet which went to work beginning in September, 2011. Based on a tremendously effective Leadership Gifts Phase, St. Stephen’s was able to announce an overall goal of $750,000 for its Widening the Circle Campaign, which it exceeded ahead of schedule in November, 2012.
Simultaneously, we worked with St. Stephen’s on series of publications highlighting St. Stephen’s historical and continuing role in the areas of social justice and civil rights, featuring testimonials and reflections from former clergy and lay leaders over the past five decades. This additional effort, plus targeted foundation outreach, area community organization benefit events, and additional parishioner commitments, helped the Campaign exceed the $1 million mark by its conclusion in the fall, of 2013, representing a final campaign total of more than 50% above The Sheridan Group’s initial projection.
Importantly, St. Stephen’s realized a 15-percent increase in its 2012 Stewardship Drive and has maintained Stewardship growth each year since that time.