Julie Lumpkin

Julie Lumpkin

Although we are well into our capital campaign here at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, I am writing you to express appreciation for the firm ground which was laid for the campaign through the Focus Group Assessment process here at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church.


After arriving here June 9, St. Martin’s campaign consultant, met quickly with church leaders and staff to begin to learn our church background and our main funding needs.  I know that Alice McCrory, our church Treasurer, dedicated much up-front time with the consultant, which served as a basis for early campaign concepts and content for the presentations.


The thirteen focus group sessions that the consultant organized provided important feedback and built trust within the congregation as intended. This has proved to be an invaluable tool in presenting the rationale for the campaign to our members, receiving their questions and ideas, and refining our priority list for the campaign.  As a Pattern Chair and visitor, I and the other visitors have been able to point with confidence to the participation of the congregation and the final priority list presented in our campaign booklet.  One visitor I’ve worked with mentions the 60 pages of comments that were reported in the focus group assessment to emphasize the amount of feedback received and compiled.


As one who has used focus groups in my profession, I value the effectiveness of focus groups as a qualitative research tool to identify themes and specific concerns within the group surveyed. The next steps of inputting the comments, assembling, and organizing them in a final report represents a significant effort, which the consultant accomplished well on time.


I wish to thank your company for adopting this process as a fundamental starting point for a capital campaign. I believe it has worked well for St. Martin’s, providing a positive and sturdy launch into unfamiliar territory, i.e. a $5-million capital campaign.


As we dive full swing into the Victory Phase, we remain hopeful for the results of our efforts, which of course we’ll continue past the completion of the consultant’s time with us and the formal campaign in October.  We believe we will have made significant headway into our overall fundraising goal, which will help us address our top priorities.  For that, we will be very pleased.


I personally wish to convey my thanks to the consultant for his perseverance and all the guidance he has provided to our members to make this campaign the success we expect it to be.

-Julie Lumpkin
St Martin's-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
Columbia, South Carolina
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