Funding the Future: A Feasibility Study
How do we build on the Visioning and Beacon work of the past five years and ensure that St. Mary’s stays connected as a community in strength, spirituality, and outreach?
How do we build off the foundation laid by parishioners from our first 100 years and ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of this parish?
Our parish continues to work on a Feasibility Study to discern whether a capital campaign is the proper next step to ensure St. Mary’s sustainability. Our prayerful progress towards a Capital Campaign Feasibility Study has been documented in multiple issues of our Messenger Newsletter. [Read the January 2019 Parish Update from St. Mary’s Senior Warden Kate Muth. | Review the February 2019 Dialogue Session PowerPoint.]
- Our consultant submitted a report on the findings from this study to the Vestry in April. The Vestry announced at the May 5, 2019 Parish Annual Meeting that it approved a decision to move forward with a Capital Campaign.
- The Funding the Future capital campaign will most likely begin this fall, in conjunction with our Annual Giving campaign. The commitment period for completing Capital Campaign pledges would probably be three years.
The James Company Executive Summary on St. Mary’s Funding the Future Feasibility Study.
- Over the course of 6 weeks, the congregation was informed and invited to participate in the Feasibility Study process by weekly bulletin and e-news announcements, articles in The Messenger newsletter, worship announcements, dialogue sessions and a congregation-wide mailing of an information brochure and survey.
- There was a strong congregational response to the process: 150 people completed the survey. 173 people attending the four Dialogue Sessions. 34 individuals participated in 22 interviews. We estimate that at least 25% of your active, worshiping congregation participated in the process in some way, which is an excellent response and more than sufficient to test the readiness and willingness of the congregation to engage in a Capital Campaign.
- The surveys showed that 73.6% of the congregation supports moving forward with a Capital Campaign at this time, while 20.3% are uncertain. Most of the uncertainty stems from either 1) lack of clarity about the goals, specific projects and costs and/or 2) personal financial situations.
- 5% of those who responded to the survey and 86.4% of those interviewed said they would financially support a Capital Campaign. 57.1% of those interviewed (11 households) said they would consider a leadership gift of $10,000 to $250,000.
- Based on what we heard from the congregation the Capital Campaign should, off the top, include a Tithe to Outreach. Other Capital Campaign projects in priority order should be:
- Caring for Church Facilities
- Paying off the Rectory debt in order to free up additional funds in the budget
- Exploring the redevelopment of some of the 26th Street properties
- Growing the Foundation
- Where needs and goals were clearly articulated, particularly around facility maintenance, there was strong support from the congregation for providing capital funds. In those areas where there was less clarity (“going green,” the Foundation, how the outreach tithe will be used, and the possibilities for redevelopment of the 26th Street properties), there were more questions and a desire for more specifics.
- We believe that there is strong congregational support for a Capital Campaign this fall at St. Mary’s, concurrent with your Annual Stewardship Campaign, and we think it is feasible to raise between $3 and $4 million dollars in a three-year campaign.
- We recommend that the church leadership complete the Capital Audit and also engage the services of an architect to see what is possible for the redevelopment of 1 – 2 properties at 26th Street and Glebe Rd prior to beginning the Capital Campaign.
If you have any questions, please contact any member of our Funding the Future Feasibility Core Team.