From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
ABCUSA: Capital Campaign Feasibility Study Presented
"SCHRAMM, Richard" <Richard.Schramm@abc-usa.org>
Wed, 25 Jun 2003 13:38:22 -0400
American Baptist News Service (Richmond, Va. 6/24/03)--The report of a
capital campaign feasibility study--that has concluded a major
denominational effort at this time "is not the most prudent response" to
funding needs--was presented to the American Baptist Churches USA General
Board, meeting here in semiannual sessions.
At its June 2002 meeting the General Board approved a feasibility study for
a capital campaign, and subsequently the Capital Campaign Steering Committee
selected Skystone Ryan, Inc. of Cincinnati to conduct that study. That
organization was asked to assess the overall feasibility of conducting such
a denomination-wide effort or to recommend other fundraising initiatives
that may better serve the denomination.
The final report of the study previously has been presented to the General
Executive Council, the World Mission Support Council and the Executive
Committee of the General Board. The review of input from a variety of
sources across the denomination caused Skystone Ryan to conclude that while
a campaign in the range of $45-60 million might be possible, "this course of
action is not the most prudent response." Skystone Ryan recommended instead
a "New Covenant Initiative [that] focuses first on helping local churches to
strengthen their own financial positions, second on supporting ABCUSA at the
regional level, recognizing that many of the proposed funding initiatives
are to be carried out at that level, and finally, supporting the
denomination at the Mission Support Center level."
Robert Crandall, campaign readiness director and former associate general
secretary for World Mission Support of American Baptist Churches USA,
presented an overview of the Directional Feasibility Study Report prepared
by Skystone Ryan. He said that the report's recommendations were intended
"to build relationships and a new financial support system" for the
The report, while noting responses to its inquiries indicated a high level
of denominational loyalty and support for leadership, based its conclusions
on a variety of factors affecting denominational life. Among those were: the
need for a more clearly defined "sense of vision and purpose," the need for
a strategic fundraising plan and a restructuring of World Mission Support to
focus on increased giving, and a greater emphasis on identifying major
prospective donors. Input from respondents also identified the need for any
capital campaign to focus on strengthening local church and regional
General Secretary the Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley reported that in response to
the feasibility study specific endeavors were being initiated. An
appreciative inquiry process, to begin later this year, would gather input
from across the denomination seeking "the voice of God among the people of
God." A task force appointed by Medley would help to identify a vision that
defines "the flavor of who we are and what God calls us to be," and a donor
council would help to provide the "missing piece" in mission support work.
Richard W. Schramm
Deputy General Secretary for Communication
American Baptist Churches USA
P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851
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