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1. What is a Capital Campaign?

A Capital Campaign is a major event in the life of the faith community and often times has some historical significance as a result. A campaign generates sacrificial giving well beyond what is ordinarily shared in the weekly offertory and may be the biggest faith community event in the memory of most parishioners. By definition a Capital Campaign is an intensive effort to raise a significant sum of money for nonrecurring capital needs over a specified period of time. In the Diocese of Columbus, capital needs are considered to be financial needs of $100,000 or more.

2. How can we determine if a Capital Campaign is the best route for our
    parish community?

The only reason to undertake a campaign is because the parish has discerned it to be God’s will. As with any activity in the parish community, fund raising effort should not just be about new buildings, repairing roofs or fund raising. This effort should also be an opportunity to fortify the parish community as well as deepen the faith commitment and sense of Catholic Stewardship among the parish community. Here are a few questions you should ask before embarking on a Capital Campaign:

• Can the needed dollar amount be raised through a lesser effort?
• How do the projects and priorities being considered, support and advance the
  mission of the parish?
• Do the considered projects and priorities match the interests and priorities of
  the majority of the parish and key donors?
• Is the suggested financial goal seen as reasonable and attainable?
• Who will lead and/or direct the major/capital campaign?

3. How long does it take to plan for a Capital Campaign?

The planning process for a campaign can vary greatly depending on the preparedness of the parish community. Prior to initiating a capital campaign the Case Statement of Support must be well defined and communicated. This means that the needed projects must be clearly defined with projected estimated cost and detailed specification given. The campaign goal must be established and the financing plan must be developed and communicated. This can take anywhere from six months to a year or more to complete. Once the Case Statement of Support is finalized, it will generally take about ten to fifteen (10 to 15) weeks, from the “Campaign Kick-off” through the follow-up phase which will wrap up the pledging portion of a campaign. The Redemption Phase of a campaign will generally be over three to five (3 to 5) years.

4. Who should make up the Campaign Planning Committee?

Campaign structures will vary based on the culture of the parish community and the projects being planned. There should be a representative number of people with varying skills and knowledge of different aspects of the parish consulted. Groups of people are usually in the form of committees with a mix of lay people and parish staff in consultation with the Pastor. It is important that committees be limited to a manageable size (5-7) with subcommittees formed as needed to perform task execution. Core committee representatives should be in place for the duration of a project whereas the subcommittees may be formed for a specific purpose for a limited time.

5. How do we initiate a Capital Campaign?

Embarking upon a successful capital campaign requires prayer, a clear vision, and the support and involvement of the majority of the parish community. Capital Campaigns can be initiated only after receiving written permission from Bishop Campbell and in most cases, must be preceded by a Feasibility Study. Other diocesan personnel from the Finance Office, Facilities Office , Office for Divine Worship (if applicable) and Office of Development and Planning are available to support and consult with the pastor and parish committees through all stages of their Capital fundraising and planning. Organizing and conducting Capital Campaigns and Feasibility Studies is a service that the Office of Development and Planning offers to parishes, schools and service organizations of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus. Please contact Rick Jeric, Executive Director of the Office of Development and Planning at 614-241-2550 or toll free at 1-877-241-2550 or email to schedule a meeting.

6. What is a Case Statement of Support?

The Case Statement of Support or often called The Case Statement is the one definitive reference piece, used throughout a Capital Campaign to justify and explain the purpose, plan, challenges and urgency of the needs being addressed. Writing the Case is the number one priority in the planning phase of a campaign and all campaign materials and activity is based on this document. Three critical elements of a Case Statement of Support are communicating the importance, relevance and urgency of the capital needs being presented.

Building the Case Statement of Support can be a faith defining moment in the life of the parish. The questions “Who are we?”, “What are we about?”, and “What is our purpose?” should be raised and answered. The potential needs being addressed will need to be understood in the context of how it advances the mission of the parish. This gives significance to the campaign theme which will echo in the minds of the parish community long after the campaign is over and will become central to developing all the materials needed throughout the campaign.

7. How do we determine our financial goal for a capital campaign?

While determining the financial goal of your campaign will begin with the cost estimate of the needs outlined in the Case Statement of Support, ultimately the goal should be based upon the ability of the parish community to raise the money. A general rule of thumb is that a reasonable campaign goal should fall between 2 to 4 times the annual giving of the parish, depending on the type of projects being planned. New construction of churches and fellowship halls generally rally greater gifts than capital maintenance projects like roof repairs or parking lot enhancements.

When determining a reasonable and achievable financial goal for your Capital Campaign, a Feasibility Study should be considered essential. The study will test the practicality of the proposed campaign goal and identify whether the parishioners feel the amount of the goal is realistic and achievable for the parish community. This can offer the pastor and parish leadership, an understanding of how to formulate the campaign goal.

8. What is a Feasibility Study?

A Feasibility Study is a critical step when planning and determining the readiness of the parish to move forward with a major fundraising effort. The results of the study are reported in a detailed presentation of the collected data from the parish community through personal one-on-one interviews and mailed in surveys. The report includes an analysis of the findings as they relate to the preliminary case statement and fund raising plan and outlines recommendations regarding next steps and actions necessary to achieve success in a campaign. The Diocese of Columbus requires a Feasibility Study prior to initiating a parish capital fundraising effort of $100,000 or more and will require the permission of Bishop Frederick Campbell prior to conducting the study.

9. How long does it take to conduct a Feasibility Study?

Once a parish has been granted permission from the Office of the Bishop, the Office of Development and Planning will assist the parish, school, or organization to determine the best schedule for the six to eight (6-8) week study process. A clear and concise preliminary Case Statement of Support, will need to be developed prior to conducting a Feasibility Study. Timetables and/or calendars can be adjusted to accommodate the parish, school, or organizations needs.

10. How much does it cost to conduct Capital Campaign and/or a
      Feasibility Study?

There are generally two costs for a Capital Campaign, consulting fees (and related travel, etc. costs) and the operating costs (marketing, printing, mailing, etc.) As a general rule, it is thought to be reasonable for the overall campaign costs to be equal to or less than 15% of the campaign goal.

The Office of Development and Planning is pleased to offer its services to help parishes and schools successfully conduct major fundraising campaigns and studies at an extremely reasonable cost. Contact the Office of Development and Planning at 614-241-2550 or toll free at 1877-241-2550 or email Rick Jeric, Executive Director at for the most current “Explanation of Fees” for organizing and conducting Capital Campaigns and Feasibility Studies to parishes, schools and service organizations of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus.

11. What is the role of the Office of Development and Planning in the
      Capital Campaign Process?

The role of the Office and Development and Planning is to support and guide the pastor and parish and/or school leadership through every phase of the capital fund raising effort and/or feasibility study process while remaining faithful to the best practices and guidance offered by the USCCB's Bishop's Pastoral Letter, “Stewardship: A Disciple's Response.”

12. We want more information on Capital Campaigns and/or Feasibility Studies,
      who can we call?

Organizing and conducting capital campaigns and feasibility studies is a service offered through the Office of Development and Planning to parishes, schools and service organizations of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus.

Contact: Rick Jeric, Executive Director
The Office of Development and Planning
197 E. Gay Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
tele: 614-241-2550 or toll free at 1-877-241-2550

You may also visit the Capital Campaigns (including Feasibility Studies) web pages on the diocesan website at

13. Can we use an outside consultant to conduct our Capital Campaign
      and/or feasibility study?

Yes, a parish has the option of choosing to hire an outside consultant to conduct the campaign and/or study. The parish priest will still need permission from the Bishop Frederick Campbell to move forward with either effort.

14. I think my parish needs to have a capital campaign. What do I do now?

Follow this link to the “Where do I start?” page of the Office of Development and Planning, that has been created to help parish and/or school priest and leadership to begin to prepare for a capital fundraising effort.


Capital Campaign Overview
Feasibility Study Overview
Case Statement of Support 

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