Beckman Catholic High School was struggling with declining enrollment, competition from public schools, aging facilities, and a need to expand its geographic reach.
They realized they needed a capital campaign to bolster their endowment, strengthen the school’s brand, and address its declining physical infrastructure. However, many people there were haunted by the memory of a capital campaign attempt a decade earlier, which had been a difficult struggle.
But when they began talks with ACB, we were able to work with Beckman to identify what went awry in their previous attempt and how ACB could help ensure a better result.
The Application of Solutions
Before embarking on a capital campaign, ACB launched a feasibility study – a thorough and comprehensive exploration of potential resources and likely outcomes to determine whether a capital campaign was a viable undertaking. Through structured interviews with potential donors and community leaders, ACB tested:
- The merits of Beckman’s case for support
- Trust in the organization
- Interest in volunteerism
- Prospects’ willingness to support the campaign, and
- The total amount of major gifts that could be reasonably projected
Careful analysis of the study results indicated that the campaign could be successful. At that point ACB dispatched a team of experienced fundraising experts to work hand-in-glove with Beckman’s volunteers, board members, and other stakeholders. ACB organized task forces and committees, and helped participants take ownership of the campaign.
One challenge of mentoring volunteers is that, while many people may want to help, they often come to the project with their own ideas, experiences, and time constraints.
However, ACB knows that enthusiasm is contagious and our professionals are skilled at working with all stakeholders to keep diverse activities flowing in the same direction – the direction of success.
Beckman’s capital campaign has achieved success beyond their most optimistic projections. To date, they are approaching $8 million – far above their $6.5 million goal. The school’s president speaks, in no uncertain terms, of the millions that would have been left on the table if not for ACB’s counsel.