A Capital Campaign is one of the most significant events in the life of any organization. In parish life it represents a culmination between stewardship and the development of those resources entrusted to God's people through His grace.
While ongoing stewardship efforts are an important expression of faith, there are times when extraordinary resources must be brought to bear in order to further the goals of the ministry of the church. Whether it is time to repair the roof, pay off debt, secure an endowment or build an entire new church or school, a capital campaign can provide the money needed to turn hope into reality.
Care must be taken, however, that the campaign is well-organized, its goals pragmatic, and its timing precise. It is important to realize that the effects of a major fundraising effort have more to do with building connections between people and the Church than they do with raising dollars.
The Stewardship and Development office offers to help parishes who are planning capital campaigns by doing short presentations to get the campaign started and providing sample development materials. This website also provides a list of Preferred Vendors and a Code of Conduct for Consults for the Diocese of Gaylord.
Diocese of Gaylord Preferred Vendors
The Diocese of Gaylord makes no endorsement of any firms or individual in any field, and encourages due diligence prior to signing a contract with any consultant or contractor. The following list indicates firms and practitioners who have met the criteria set forth by the Diocese of Gaylord Consultant's Code of Conduct, and who have signed copies of the Code of Conduct, which are on file in the Office of Stewardship and Development.
For information on how to hire a fundraising consultant call the Stewardship Office at 989.732.5147.
The Breton Group
Mark Morrow, President
2504 Ardmore Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
The Steier Group
James Steier, Jr., CEO
Matt Vuorela, President
10844 Old Mill Road
Omaha, NE 68154
Code of Conduct for Fundraising Consultants
It is hereby proclaimed and understood that all fundraising counsel serving institutions of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord (hereinafter "Diocese") have as thir principal client the Bishop of Gaylord, and are ultimately responsible for acting in the best interest of the Diocese.
Fundraising firms who contract with parishes, schools and institutions of the Diocese, in addition to adhering to applicable requirements of state, federal and Canon law, shall conduct business according to the standards set forth by the American Association of Fundraising Counsel, the International Catholic Stewardship Council, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and shall show proof of membership in good standing in one or more of these associations.
All fundraising firms shall adhere strictly to the basic elements of professional conduct, specifically: not to knowingly do harm, to represent accurately their education, training and experience, and to follow this Code of Conduct in matters concerning funds development in the Diocese, its parishes, schools and institutions.
- Fundraising counsel shall operate in the best interests of the Bishop of Gaylord, the Universal Church, the Diocese, its parishes, schools and institutions, and shall give no counsel to one member of the body that might adversely affect the interests of another.
- Prior to meeting with a prospective client organization in this Diocese, a fundraising firm shall have a preliminary screening meeting with the Office of Stewardship and Development. Firms doing business in the Diocese shall keep up-to-date materials on file at the Office of Stewardship and Development and notify the Diocese of all contracts undertaken with its parishes, schools and institutions for the purpose of funds development.
- Initial meetings with parish councils shall not be subject to charge for services, and no expense reimbursement shall be provided for campaign-related proposals.
- Fundraising counsel must accept responsibility for the consequences of their activities and make every effort to ensure that their decisions, recommendations, and actions function to serve the needs of the client.
- No payments or special consideration shall be made or offered to an officer, director, trustee, employee or advisor of the Diocese or any of its members as compensation for influencing the selection of fundraising counsel.
- Fees should be mutually agreed upon in writing and submitted for approval to parish leadership and the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development.
- Consultants shall uphold and advance integrity, honor and dignity in the fundraising profession by serving parishes honestly and not knowingly engaging in any conflict of interest without full prior disclosure.
- Consultants shall charge a flat, fixed fee based on the level and extent of professional services provided: fees are not to be based on the amount of charitable income raised or fundraising goals.
- Contracts providing for contingent fee, commissions, or fee based on percentage of funds raises are strictly prohibited under the laws of the State of Michigan, the professional Code of Ethics of the AAFC and this document. Such contracts are harmful to the relationship between the donor and the Church, and are viewed as predatory practices by this Diocese. Any firm proposing such contracts shall be restricted from engaging in further business in this Diocese.
- Any campaign with a goal that is higher than the Ordinary Income of the client parish or institutions for the fiscal year prior to the launch of the proposed campaign shall be subject to an objective feasibility study. Firms which conduct such studies are to make recommendations based on the facts and data uncovered in the study, and are to recommend that a client go forward with the campaign only when the best interest of the Church and the client is served. Upon completion of said study, a copy should be submitted to the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development for review.
- Consultant firms and their employees should not profit directly from materials provided by third parties, nor engage in resale of materials at a profit, without full disclosure to the client.
- Consultants must not engage in methods that are misleading to parishioners or the public, make exaggerated claims or offer any guarantees that goals will be obtained.
- Consulting firms shall not acquire or maintain custody of funds and/or gifts directed to the client parish, school or institution; nor shall the firm collect or maintain data files generated in the course of campaign activities.
- Consultants must be vigilant in the awareness of how their conduct may influence and impact the behavior of others in parish relationships, and apply confidentiality and anonymity in professional relationships with regard to parish and donor relationships. They should not demand, manipulate organizational relationships or apply coercion to obtain donations, and shall employ the highest standards of Christian Stewardship in all their activities.
Any firm found to be in violation of any provision of this Code of Conduct may be barred from practicing in the Diocese of Gaylord. Violations of this Code may constitute grounds for termination of contract, suspension of payment, or legal action for recovery of damages.