William Blackmon

William Blackmon

I was skeptical when told that we had hired a consultant to lead a capital campaign, that they believed that they could help us raise $2,000K and that they would charge us about $150K! I had chaired our Stewardship commission for the past ten years and had been involved in many campaigns in which we tried different approaches ranging from mailings to home visits to phone calls and while we were able to increase gifts each year our revenue declined because we continued to lose families who pledged. As our revenues declined it became harder and harder to make needed capital improvements. My hope was that we’d be able to start making these improvements as we were able to add more families; others believed that it would be easier to attract more families if we were able to make capital improvements.

Church leaders decided to hire JD Klote to help us run a Capital Campaign with the objective of raising $2,000,000. As I said I was skeptical because in the past we were only able to raise about $400K per year in annual pledges, during our last Capital campaign we were only able to raise about $550K and I didn’t see much difference between the approaches we had used in the past and the one that your firm suggested. As the consultant rolled out this campaign I was struck by their engagement and ability to recruit other members and our rector to this effort. The consultant told the members of the Steering Committee that he’d be available to us 24/7 and this claim was validated by a number of members who received replies to late night e-mails they had sent to him (i.e. 3am). Additionally one could find him at church services and functions on a regular basis and I’m sure that this helped others become motivated to help.

The consultant is a good communicator. I’m sure that one of the challenges your firm faces when conducting these projects is teaching volunteers how to present a message that resonates with parishioners. Not only was your consultant able to teach us how to give presentations but he also helped us craft the message we wanted to convey to our community. He gave us the tools we needed to conduct a successful campaign and even though it’s just beginning I’m confident that we’ll be able to reach our goal of $2,000K.

-William Blackmon
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
Rochester, New York
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