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Steier Success Stories Archives - Steier Group

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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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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Planning study feedback proved vital to St. Pius’ successful campaign

By Steier Tips

Planning studies are intended to set the stage for a successful capital campaign. The 2019 study at St. Pius Catholic Church in Urbandale, Iowa, accomplished just that. The parish took into consideration its parishioners’ feedback, adjusted its campaign goals and ultimately raised over $5 million through the Living Our Mission – Building Our Future Capital Campaign. After beginning a master planning process in 2013, parish leaders developed plans to construct a 28,000-square-foot parish center at a cost of $7.3 million. St. Pius engaged the Steier Group to conduct a planning study to gauge support for the project and prepare for…

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Supporting parishioners during pandemic helped St. Anne in long run

By Steier Tips

Despite significant challenges, including the pandemic, the St. Anne Catholic Community in Houston, Texas, came together to raise more than $19.5 million to fund a complete transformation of its nearly century-old parish campus. “When we decided to move forward with our campaign, we never imagined we would be facing two hurricanes, a global pandemic, an economic shutdown and a change in parish leadership,” said Fr. David Zapalac, CSB, pastor of St. Anne. In late 2019, St. Anne engaged the Steier Group to direct the final wave of their Generations of Faith Capital Campaign. At that point, the campaign had been…

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How JPII Newman Center overcame COVID, debt crisis to run a successful campaign

By Steier Tips

A few months into her new role as director of advancement with the St. John Paul II Newman Center, Susan Gnann knew she would soon begin preparing for a fundraising campaign. “I looked at the debt service line item and saw a deficit of $742,000 on a $1.6 million budget,” Gnann said. “I saw that nearly half of our budget was debt. I knew I couldn’t talk to a donor about mission when their money wasn’t going to support our mission or a retreat. I knew we had to run a campaign.” Faced with a $14.6 million construction debt, Gnann…

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Holy Trinity Parish found fundraising success during pandemic

By Steier Tips

The easy out when COVID-19 hit would have been for Holy Trinity Parish to delay its capital campaign until the pandemic had passed. With that approach, the Catholic community in Eldorado Hills, California, would still be waiting to relaunch its campaign. Instead, the parish continued with its effort to reduce historic debt with a temporary redirect to shore up its offertory during the initial wave of the pandemic, said Jeremy Youngers, parish life director. “Our parish responded in amazing ways,” he said. “Our approach was intentional in every step. It came down to our pastor communicating the message.” Holy Trinity, months earlier,…

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Building faith through stewardship

By Steier Wire

Every day, 100 workers descend on the campus of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church for construction of a larger, permanent church and a new school gym for the growing parish in Wichita, Kansas. The Rev. Dan Spexarth, pastor, said parishioners drive through the parking lot at “1 mile per hour” just so they can get a closer look at the projects taking shape. “It’s very exciting,’’ Spexarth said. The parish’s Out of Love for God campaign is funding the projects. The dynamic parish in northwest Wichita partnered with the Steier Group on that successful effort in 2018, raising more…

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Inspiring capital campaign success in new communities

By Steier Wire

For the firm’s first 17 years, the Steier Group thrived while conducting campaign planning studies and capital campaigns for faith-based organizations. Over the last five years, our firm has built on that success by expanding our services to include executive counsel, development audits, planned giving counsel and parish audits. But the most exciting change is finding new partners in new places. Working in new locations or with a new type of organization provides the Steier Group a chance to grow as a firm. Currently, the Steier Group is working with its first international client – the Diocese of Hamilton in…

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For the Diocese of Wichita, stewardship is a way of life

By Steier Wire

For the Diocese of Wichita, stewardship is not a goal; it’s a way of life. This diocese strives to be a community that gives generously, sacrificially and proportionally while sharing responsibility for the mission of the Church. There’s a reason they are known nationally for dedication to stewardship. When the diocese hired the Steier Group, deepening the practice of stewardship was as high a priority as raising funds to renovate the cathedral, invest in seminarian education and grow Catholic education endowments. The successful campaign raised $26 million on an $11 million goal. Most important to Mike Wescott, Wichita’s Director of…

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Capital campaign follow-up leads to even greater success

By Steier Tips

So, your campaign ends with great success. Your effort raised millions, meaning you can address your organization’s pressing needs. You mark the achievement with a donor/volunteer appreciation party, say goodbye to your fundraising counsel, close the door on the capital campaign and wait for the pledge payments to arrive. Scenarios like this play out in the nonprofit community all the time thanks to generous benefactors and dedicated volunteers. But while the sacrifice of donors and the efforts of the campaign team eventually translate into completed projects or funded programs, the fundraising should not end with the conclusion of the active…

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