Since it has been several months since the consultant left us at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Rochester, NY, this seems to be a good time to write to update you on the changes that have occurred as a result of his presence among us. The Capital Campaign itself was widely viewed as an enormous success, securing $ 1.95 M in pledges on annual giving of ~ 400K. We visited over half the families in the parish, allowing us to re-connect with many who, unbeknownst to us, were struggling spiritually and financially.
The Capital Campaign committee was so inspired by the movement of the Holy Spirit that we have formed a new group, the Study Group on Parish Engagement, led by the 3 Campaign Co-Chairs. The purpose is to see how we can keep the momentum and spirit of the Campaign alive. We have met several times and are very excited about our plans. The guiding principle of this group is to maintain the goals, spirit and messaging that the consultant brought us from JD Klote. We have agreed that whenever we face a decision, we simply need to ask “What would the consultant do?” and that will invariably lead us down the right path.
This is all testament to the process that you have developed over the years and to your consultant’s unique combination of spiritual passion and professionalism. There were many at the outset who doubted that our parish could possibly raise the amount that we were aiming for, particularly some ‘hard-headed’ business types. When I pointed out that your company would not be in business very long if this were an empty claim, it was quite fun to watch them try to maintain their skepticism. But the consultant really carried the day. I have met very few other people who are so relentlessly positive and encouraging. Even when he needed to challenge us when we lagged in the process, he did so with a gentle, fatherly good humor that drew the best out of everyone. And he never let us see him sweat (which I’m sure happened at times), helping us keep any upwelling of anxiety at bay. All of this is simply a reflection of his deep Christian faith and the love that it inspires in him for the work that he does and the people that he helps. He truly did become part of our church family, and we miss him.
Several weeks ago, one of the campaign co-chairs and I presented our experience with leaders from many parishes within the diocese. There was a great deal of interest expressed in learning how your company could assist these parishes at different levels. So we hope to see more of Klote in the future. And while I am sure that all of the Klote professionals are fantastic in their own right, I hope you send the same consultant, not only because he does such a great job, but because all of St. Thomas’ would love to be able to greet him like the old friend we feel him to be.
Co-Chair - Capital Campaign Steering Committee
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
Rochester, New York