FAQ’s

1) What is the purpose of this Campaign? 

The Campaign for Congregational Development will help our congregations grow stronger and be more vital.  Successful implementation of the Campaign’s priorities will enable the Diocese to:

  • strengthen established congregations
  • plant three new congregations
  • offer more transformational outreach ministries
  • train clergy and lay leaders to be stronger and more effective leaders
  • establish ministries to draw more youth and young adults into the Episcopal Church
  • develop new ministries and improve facilities at Honey Creek.

To learn more about the details of the priorities, click on the Campaign Priorities tab. Information and a short video is available on each.

2)  Why is the Diocese having a Campaign? 
Our current resources are insufficient to build the capacity of the congregations and clergy of the Diocese. We have the proven ability to grow our churches, plant new congregations, start outreach ministries, and so on. The Campaign will raise our capacity and provide the financial resources required to get these initiatives underway.  The Campaign will be a game changer for the Diocese. Imagine the Diocese of Georgia five years from now with Campaign funds working across the Diocese, building up existing congregations, starting new ones, funding new outreach and supporting youth work and peer coaching. The energy and enthusiasm unlocked by the Campaign initiatives will raise expectations and energy in all of our churches.

3) Who determined what the Campaign Priorities would be? 
Leaders all over the Diocese did. In 2010, the Diocesan Council contracted a consultant to do a feasibility study. For over a year, the consultant travelled throughout the Diocese holding listening sessions with over 400 people in nine locations. Participants indicated what they saw as the most pressing needs for the future and that shaped the list of Campaign Priorities.

4) How will we know that the Campaign is succeeding / has succeeded?
With a focus on congregational development, the Campaign’s success will be visible throughout the Diocese as the money is raised. We will witness the establishment of young adult intentional communities and new parishes.  Church leaders will benefit from peer coaching relationships bringing new energy and purpose to their churches.  Outreach to young adults and youths will draw them into the Episcopal Church.  And, gradually, all of this positive activity will attract new members helping our congregations grow.

5) What is the fundraising goal of the Campaign?
We anticipate raising $3 million in this effort. $1.7 million has been raised to date.

6) When did the Diocese last have a major gifts fundraising campaign?
Twenty years ago the Diocese had a capital campaign called “Vision in Mission and Ministry.” It raised $1.1 million primarily to: 1) double the number of lodge rooms at Honey Creek and add a lobby and office space, and 2) add to the existing Mission Development Fund to aid congregations with building projects and to buy land for future churches.

7) My parish is thriving. What is in this Campaign for me?
A healthier Diocese is good for every congregation. Beyond this, some initiatives will help all congregations even those that do not receive a direct grant. These include ongoing clergy training and development, hiring youth ministers to work across the Diocese, and improvements to the ministries and facilities at our Camp and Conference Center.

8) What makes the Campaign for Congregational Development different from most other campaigns?
Several things make this Campaign different from most others:

a. First and foremost, this campaign is about serving Jesus and building up the Body of Christ by building healthy, growing congregations and strengthening our clergy and lay leaders.
b. In many campaigns, funds are not spent until the majority is raised. The gifts made to the Campaign of Congregational Development will be deployed as they are raised.
c. Campaign funds will be spent on projects in one of the priority areas. Congregations are responsible for developing proposals for these projects and Diocesan Council will decide which are funded.
d. Many capital campaigns fund new buildings or improve existing ones. Only the Honey Creek component of this campaign addresses “bricks and mortar.”

9) When will projects begin to receive funding from the Campaign? 
Once a plan is well developed and receives approval from the convocational Mission Development Team, the request will be submitted to Diocesan Council. It is anticipated that the first grant requests will be submitted for approval at the Diocesan Council meeting in November 2012. (Go to: http://campaign.georgiaepiscopal.org/?page_id=145 to read about the application process and for a Pre-Application form.)

10) How should our parish go about requesting a grant from the Campaign?
Requesting a grant is intended to be a “bottom-up” process: all congregations and convocations are encouraged to dream about how the mission objectives (see Campaign Priorities) can be manifested locally.  Once a congregation or convocation has a well-developed idea, it will provide the details of the proposal on the Pre-Application Form and submit the form and the proposal to its convocational Mission Development Team. (For more information about the teams, go to http://campaign.georgiaepiscopal.org/?page_id=145.)

11) Are funds raised in the Campaign going to be put into an endowment fund? 
Only funds raised for the position of Canon for Youth & Young Adult Ministries will be placed in a permanently endowed fund. All other funds raised will be spent over the life of the Campaign.

12) Who decides how the funds raised in the Campaign are deployed?
The Diocesan Council decides how Campaign funds are deployed.  Once a grant request is formalized on the Pre-Application Form, a Mission Development Team comprised of the Convocational Dean and other leaders reviews it.  If it passes review, the proposal is sent to Diocesan Council for their decision.  Typically, each Convocation will offer to Diocesan Council no more than one proposal each year from each of the four major priority areas of the Campaign. (For more information, a listing of the Convocational Deans, and the Pre-Application Form, go to: http://campaign.georgiaepiscopal.org/?page_id=145.)

13) How many grant requests can a congregation propose?
Keeping in mind that they must have the capacity to implement the project, congregations may submit up to one proposal to their Convocational Mission Development Team per year in each category.  But remember, typically, each Convocation will pass on to the Diocese no more than one proposal per year in each of the four major priority areas of the Campaign. (For more information, go to: http://campaign.georgiaepiscopal.org/?page_id=145.)

14) What if our congregation wants to ask for more than one grant from one of the Campaign priority areas?
It is up to each congregation to determine which one grant request will make the most difference for the church and to put that one application forward to the Campaign. The Campaign will seek to fund those proposals that have the greatest potential impact and will distribute the grants accordingly. The exception will be if donors specify a given parish or Convocation in their giving; in all cases, we will honor the wishes of those giving the funds.

15) What characteristics make for a good project/grant request?
The Campaign is designed to build the capacity in a congregation or ministry. Successful grant applications will clearly fit with the strategies outlined in the Campaign and demonstrate how the new level achieved with the grant will be sustainable after the grant ends. For example, if a congregation starts a signature ministry using Campaign seed money, it must consider how the ministry will continue once the grant has been spent. Showing how the grant request builds on proven abilities or takes dramatic new directions will strengthen each proposal. A congregation applying for a grant to take advantage of a special opportunity for growth will improve the proposal by showing how the congregation has already started the process without the grant.

16) What is the time frame of the Campaign in terms of raising the funds and distributing the grants?
We will spend the funds raised through the Campaign during the life of the Campaign.  Thus, gifts will be put to use toward the priorities as soon as the parishes have completed the grant request and obtained approval.  The Campaign is planned to end on February 28, 2017. After that, the Diocese will move to an Annual Campaign to assist with projects beyond the diocesan tithe.

17) Will the Campaign compete for dollars that are typically given to the parishes in the offering plates?
No. We anticipate that those who have the means to do so will make gifts to the Campaign in addition to their tithe to their parish.

18) Who do I contact if I want to make a gift to the Campaign?
Start by calling the Diocesan office on 912.236.4279.  The office staff can answer questions about the process or schedule a meeting with the Bishop or a member of his staff.

19) How long do I have to pay off a gift/pledge to the Campaign?
Typically, pledges are payable over a period of up to three years.  The Diocesan staff will assist donors with developing a gift plan that meets their needs and satisfies their intent.

20) If I make a gift to the Campaign, what are my options in terms of directing the gift?
You may either direct your gift to one of the Campaign priorities or you can make an unrestricted gift in which case the Bishop and Diocesan Council will decide how to allocate your gift to the stated Campaign priorities.

21) What if I want to make a gift to an area of the Diocese that does not fall under one of the Campaign priorities?
It is best if gifts made to the Campaign are directed for use toward one of the stated Campaign priorities. However, the Diocese always welcomes the opportunity to discuss potential gifts for purposes outside of the Campaign priorities that are consistent with the Church’s mission.

22) What type of gifts can I make to the Campaign? 
The Diocese can accept gifts of liquid assets (e.g., cash, common or preferred stock, or transferrable bonds). Gifts of property other than liquid assets in a form other than an outright gift may be accepted but are subject to the approval of the Gifts Acceptance Committee.

23) May I make a gift anonymously?
Yes, you would just need to make it clear within the language of your Gift Agreement or in the letter that accompanies your gift that you desire to remain anonymous.

24) I want to make a gift to the Campaign. Can I see a model of the gift agreement prior to discussions with the Diocese?
Yes. To request a copy of the model gift agreement, please contact the Diocesan office at 912-236-4279.

25) How will Campaign funds be invested and who oversees the investment?
It is anticipated that gifts made to the Campaign will be deployed in the form of grants soon after they are received. Thus, relatively small amounts of Campaign funds will be invested at any one time. However, funds that are invested will be placed in a professionally managed short-term asset management fund.

26) If I make a gift to the Campaign, is it also considered a gift to the Legacy Society? No. Campaign gifts are made to help the Diocese and its parishes grow and strengthen today.  Gifts made to the Campaign will be spent on Campaign initiatives during the life of the Campaign.  When a member of the Diocese establishes a planned gift that takes effect upon the settlement of her/his estate, he or she is making a Legacy Gift. Legacy gifts may be for a parish, the Diocese, or an Episcopal organization within the Diocese, but are typically not received until the death of the donor- perhaps many years after the end of the Campaign.  Gifts made to The Legacy Society will help sustain the momentum of the Campaign, but Legacy gifts are not considered gifts to the Campaign.

27) Our parish currently has an ongoing capital campaign.  Is the Campaign for Congregational Development competing with that?
No. In our experience people will give first to their congregation. It is anticipated that only those with the ability to do more after having first given to their local church will participate in providing funding for the Campaign for Congregational Development.

28) How will news about the Campaign be communicated?
From the Field, the weekly email newsletter of the Diocese, will report on the Campaign news as it happens. In addition, a current listing of approved grants and the respective projects will be available on this Campaign website, and made public through Diocesan communications channels.

29) Will I get a receipt for my Campaign gift for the purpose of reporting to the IRS?
Yes, you will get an acknowledgement letter on Diocesan letterhead stating the amount and purpose of the gift. That acknowledgement will serve as your receipt for tax filing purposes.

30) I cannot make a big gift but I think the Campaign is important and I want to be involved.  How can I do that?
Keep up with the Campaign.  The Diocesan website provides regular updates and ongoing information about the Campaign.  Get involved in your congregation to create and develop proposals.  When proposals are approved, get involved as a member of the implementation team.  Find ways to help your parish grow.  Do your best to increase the level of your stewardship giving to help your parish increase its vitality.