Board to Hire Capital Campaign Consultant

From your Board of Trustees
Michael Dalzell, Secretary, UUCWC Board of Trustees

Dream big.

At this summer’s Board of Trustees retreat, we asked ourselves: What should UUCWC be about as a faith community? And how should our goals for this year reflect that? One of the goals we enthusiastically agreed to pursue was to move forward with planning for a capital campaign.

This month, we reached the first milestone in the planning process — settling on a consultant who, when the paperwork is complete, will provide expertise and guide us through the initial stages of a capital campaign.

At its Nov. 9 meeting, the board voted to contract with Andrew Hamlin, director of development at the Hun School and a capital campaign consultant. We took an intentional path in getting to this point. After the board investigated consultant candidates from the Unitarian Universalist Association, Rev. Kim spoke with her counterpart at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton (UUCP), which Mr. Hamlin recently guided through a successful capital campaign. Rev. Kim, Trustees Andrew Conrad and Frank Holstein, and Finance Committee Chair Joe Schenk had a preliminary conversation with Mr. Hamlin and, suitably impressed, invited him to talk with the board at its Oct. 12 meeting.

We liked him too, but more importantly, we liked his experience, his record of success, and his approach. After further discussion among ourselves and with Mr. Hamlin, we voted on Nov. 9 to ask the Finance Committee for a $20,000 line item in the current year’s budget to cover Mr. Hamlin’s compensation and expenses related to launching a capital campaign.

Mr. Hamlin’s primary role would be to conduct a feasibility study, which would involve (a) interviewing a cross section of approximately 25 potential donors and (b) producing a recommendation to the board for a fundraising goal. Mr Hamlin’s interviews would also solicit reaction to, and help us define, a “case statement” — a vision document outlining what a capital campaign would bring to our congregation. In doing this for UUCP, Mr. Hamlin ultimately recommended a goal of $2.3 million — a goal UUCP reached.

Getting from here to there

What is a case statement, and where does it come from?

Before a feasibility study can be conducted, an initial committee of up to 10 people from within the congregation will be charged with developing a wish list. This group is beginning to be selected, and when fully formed, will seek input from the congregation. Every member of our community will have opportunities to participate in the development of a vision of improvements to our building and grounds that reflect what we want our spiritual home to be to us and to those who step through our doors for the first time.

The resulting wish list goes through a formal vetting by the board. For items selected as priorities, a case is made for each in terms of how it fulfills UUCWC’s mission to create community, celebrate life, or change the world. Mr. Hamlin takes this case statement and, through his interviews, assesses our ability to achieve our vision.

Once a fundraising goal is set, the campaign itself will kick off. Mr. Hamlin will be available to us on an as-needed basis. By this point, however, the congregation will become heavily involved, with dozens of members involved in various aspects of a campaign to make improvements they themselves have identified as important for UUCWC’s future.

It will take many months, perhaps as long as a year, to reach this point. Along the way, the process will involve many steps. We will keep you informed at every step of the way.

Between now and then, dream big.

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