Below is the Planning Study Summary that we recently received from Cornerstone Fundraising. Please review the report and contact the Rectory Office (781-235-0045) if you have any questions.
Planning Study Summary
Personal Interviews conducted: 23
Focus Groups: 4 focus groups- 47 participants
On-line survey: 125 participants
Case Statement: Sections of the original part of the church, most notably the tower, are in need of significant repair and reconstruction. The heating and cooling systems need updating and the parking lot needs repaving and improved lighting. Estimated cost: $1,100,000
St John- St Paul Collaborative
There is some misunderstanding regarding the parish collaborative. While some understand that the collaborative is primarily about “staffing” others fear there is a possibility of merging with a neighboring parish. It would be helpful for the parish to once again address the issue- through a bulletin article, homily, or by the Planning Committee.
Prioritize Fundraising Projects
Several parishioners suggested that the maintenance projects should be prioritized according fundraising goals achieved.
Fr. Powers, St. John’s Parish gets highly favorable ratings
Participants gave highly favorable ratings to the parish for its welcoming and vibrant community. They are especially grateful for the spiritual leadership of Fr. Powers, Sr. Evelyn and Fr. Hehir. They believe Fr. Powers has the ability to lead the parish through a successful fundraising effort.
Nearly all participants said they would give to capital campaign
Nearly all (91%) of those interviewed and participating in focus groups, with few exceptions, said they would contribute to a capital campaign. They clearly understand the need to address the maintenance issues. They also stressed the need for wide participation in the campaign, regardless of economic status; the need for equal sacrifice, not equal gifts.
The parish budget and maintenance
Several active parishioners noted the need to address on-gong maintenance issues by allocating more funds in the annual budget. While there are some parish reserves, they would like to see additional funds being dedicated to future maintenance.
Sample of Survey Questions
Question 2: Do you consider yourself an active parishioner?
Yes: 71% No: 9% Somewhat: 20%
Question 3: How would you rate St. John the Evangelist Parish, taking into consideration the parish staff, the worship, the
religious education program and the parish organizations and ministries?
Very good: 87% Good: 12% Fair: 1% Poor: N/A
Question 4: What is your reaction to the Case Statement?
Favorable: 71% Unfavorable: 2% Mixed: 27%
Question 5: In addition to the list of projects noted, are there other areas of need not addressed that you see as a priority? Common response: Church sound system; Safety issue regarding Ledyard Street entrance
Question 7: With regard to your own involvement would you… give to a Campaign?
Yes: 91% No <1% Maybe 9%
The results of the Planning Study indicate that St. John the Evangelist Parish is in an excellent position to conduct a Capital Campaign to address the needs identified by the Parish Building Committee.
Taking into account the annual income of the parish, the strong support for the case, general concerns raised regarding the economy, the initial number of parishioners willing to commit to a campaign (91%), and the early indication of pledges, we believe St. John the Evangelist Parish should set the campaign goal at $1,250,000.
Respectfully submitted by: Cornerstone Fundraising. LLC
223 Low Street Newburyport, MA www.CornerstoneFundraising.com