In less than two months we received pledges amounting to 75% of our Capital Campaign Goal. When we announced at our Kick-off event that we were well over the halfway point, parishioners gasped and applauded thunderously. We are well within reaching a total amount of pledges representing five times our annual giving. The success of this campaign was certainly a result of the so-called “Klote Model.” Each and every parishioner was contacted for a personal visit by members of our Capital Campaign Committee. In a relaxed environment after prayer, reviewing the brochure that was prepared with the guidance of our outstanding JDK&A consultant, parishioners were urged to pledge prayerfully an amount that would truly represent a sacrificial gift. Jim Klote himself accompanied me on one such visit that resulted in an extravagantly generous contribution. What proved of great help was to comment at the beginning of our discussions with potential pledgers that this was a commitment over five years. That helped enormously.
Also contributing to the success of the campaign was our on-site consultant. A true gentlemen with a very helpful non-anxious presence, he “held our feet to the fire” informing us where we were and where we needed to be. He pointed out in polite but firm ways was what we were doing well and where we needed improvement. He is clearly a man of great faith and lives out his Christian ministry in word and deed. His presence is missed by many, including myself.
Episcopalians are notoriously reserved (about many things) but especially about discussing money. That culture has changed at Saint John’s Church–Georgetown Parish. I have every reason to be confident that we will reap future rewards in our annual Stewardship Pledge Drive as a result of how far we have come in being frank about financial needs of the congregation and being able to have frank discussions about “dollars and cents.” This provided an important “teaching moment” for all of us about what role money plays in our spiritual lives, in our commitment to Jesus Christ, and to the message sent powerfully throughout all of Scripture about how we are meant to use our God-given resources and gifts, especially where the Bible recounts that ultimate sacrificial gift offered on the cross.
The Capital Campaign has boosted morale at the parish. There is great excitement not only about the projects which we will undertake, but people have become closer to the church as a whole and to each other, many people commenting on how the visits helped form new friendships.
I would without any reservations recommend James D. Klote and Associates to any parish who wants to demonstrate a serious committed effort in raising funds to enhance its Christian mission. Without question, I believe we would not have accomplished our goal or kept to a reasonable timeline without the diligence of our consultant. If we undertake such a venture in the future, I know James D. Klote and Associates would be the team I would want to have work with us.
I thank Jim Klote and our consultant personally and I thank God for bringing them to our church home. They have altered in a very positive way the spiritual fabric of our lives and our work in service to God and God’s people. May God continue to bless other communities that are served by James D. Klote & Associates.
St. John's Episcopal Church