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Customized capital campaign best practices - Steier Group

Prayer, communication helped Epiphany of the Lord succeed during the pandemic

By Steier Tips

Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Community in Katy, Texas, kicked off its capital campaign in October 2019. The campaign combined the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s archdiocesan campaign with its own needs. The community faced debt from the construction of a new school plus parish improvements and supporting the expanding school. Four months into the campaign, the world came to an abrupt stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fr. Tom Lam made two critical moves during what amounted to be an 18-month campaign pause. He encouraged parishioners to sign up for periodic messages through the parish email system. Signups exceeded the parish…

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What has the Steier Group learned in our 25 years of running capital campaigns?

By Steier Tips

Twenty-five years ago, I took a leap of faith in starting the Steier Group. I’d spent time as a journalist, working as an alum in the institutional advancement office of my Catholic high school and then running capital campaigns for a small Omaha-based family fundraising firm. After five years there, I knew it was time to make the next step in my career. In the back of my mind, going out on my own seemed like a promising opportunity but also a big risk with a two-year-old son and newborn at home. Then my best friend, who I grew up…

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Campaign connection brought St. Francis of Assisi community closer together

By Steier Tips

St. Francis of Assisi in Wichita, Kansas, is the founding parish of the Diocese of Wichita’s nationally renowned stewardship model. In the 1970’s, Msgr. Thomas McGread served as pastor at St. Francis of Assisi where he developed the stewardship model currently used by the Diocese of Wichita. As a result of Msgr. McGread’s groundbreaking work, families in the Diocese of Wichita today do not pay tuition for Catholic education and there is no diocesan annual appeal. Families, pastors, diocesan leadership and all the faithful are dedicated to tithing at such a level where tuition and annual appeals are not necessary….

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Embracing stewardship helped Diocese of Hamilton in successful campaign

By Steier Tips

How can we ask for money at a time like this? That has been a common question from nonprofits since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020. For the Diocese of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada, the question arose as it was halfway through its $35 million One Heart, One Soul Campaign. After a brief pause, the diocese restarted its campaign in fall 2020, despite strict limits on Mass attendance and other COVID-related restrictions. The diocese has no regrets. “When you look at this through the lens of stewardship, through the lens of faith, it became clear that the option…

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Despite challenges of pandemic, parishioners propelled dioceses to campaign success

By Steier Wire

Strong parishes, strong diocese. This mantra, from the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, Bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton, during its capital campaign, sums up the benefit of a diocesan-wide capital campaign. When the Catholic faithful of a diocese comes together to support one another and the Church as a whole, a rising tide truly lifts all boats. Never was this truer than during the pandemic. In addition to the usual challenges of a diocesan campaign, dioceses faced navigating the rough waters of lockdowns, virtual Mass, social distancing and economic hardship. By following capital campaign best practices and adjusting to pandemic…

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Meet Christopher Beaudet, President of Diocesan Services

By Steier Wire

In March 2021, after more than six years of experience managing campaigns for a variety of Catholic high schools, parishes and dioceses, the Steier Group promoted Christopher Beaudet to President of Diocesan Services. Chiefly responsible for engaging diocesan leaders across the United States and Canada, Christopher gains familiarity with the unique pastoral context of each diocese, assists in identifying and defining their funding needs, and then orchestrates the Steier Group’s design and implementation of planning studies and capital campaigns to address them. He serves in a leadership capacity for all Steier Group diocesan campaigns. Before joining the Steier Group, Christopher…

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Newman Center at Northern Arizona University persevered through pandemic challenges

By Steier Tips

When the pandemic shutdown much of the U.S. last year, campaign leadership with the Newman Center at Northern Arizona University (NAU) did not waver. They never hesitated in their goal to continue raising the funding needed to address their capital needs. “I thought ‘God is with us. We can do this,’” said Angela Vargas, the chief operations officer for the ministry center. She served as a leader for the Together, Let Us Go Forth Capital Campaign. While most Americans viewed the restrictions and a slowed economy through unnerving eyes, Vargas remained confident. Aware that leadership with other campaigns across the…

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What are the responsibilities of a capital campaign manager?

By Steier Tips

As you consider hiring a professional fundraising and development firm to help with your campaign, you might pause to think: “What will a manager do for me?” Or “How can a manager lead us on the path to success?” Capital campaign managers play a crucial role in any fundraising effort. They set the lead in planning, executing and monitoring projects. Campaign direction and progress revolves around the manager completing their tasks while assisting others with their work. Here are the key duties you should expect your manager to accept during a campaign. Communicating with donors and leadership: External and internal…

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Track these important capital campaign metrics to find success

By Steier Tips

For many, only one metric points to capital campaign success – total funds raised. And that is clearly an important metric. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of capital campaign success. True success comes from maximizing your fundraising efforts and inspiring support from your entire community. Here are three important capital campaign metrics to track to ensure a successful capital campaign: Number of personal visits At the Steier Group, our fundraising approach has always focused on personal visits. That’s because our experience has shown personal visits to be the most fruitful fundraising tool. The personal touch of talking about…

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Capital campaign fundraising costs explained

By Steier Tips

Warning! This Steier Tips article is laced with clichés and overused statements – but they all are purposely included to make the point that partnering with a professional stewardship, fundraising and development firm to run your capital campaign is a wise investment. Don’t go it alone (cliché No. 1) Launching a capital campaign is important, serious business. Some nonprofits are equipped to run their own – if they have a team of professionals on staff who have the experience and time to manage it. Keep in mind, running a campaign is a full-time job – which is why we assign…

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