Archdiocese of Indianapolis
Capital/Endowment Campaign Approval Policy and Procedures
Policy Area: Stewardship and Development
Subject: Capital/Endowment Campaign Approval Policy
Approved by: Catholic Community Foundation Board of Trustees Date: April 30, 2003
To position parishes, schools and agencies for successful campaigns and effectiveness in
To ensure a high degree of collaboration between the central archdiocesan administration and
parishes, schools and agencies.
To develop and strengthen campaign management skills at the local and archdiocesan levels.
The Archdiocese of Indianapolis:
Is the legal entity of responsibility.
Provides a central professional staff, the Office of Stewardship and Development, to direct
archdiocesan-wide stewardship efforts and to enhance local stewardship endeavors.
Desires consistent, definable, repeatable and continually improving processes.
Supports, encourages and enables parishes, schools and agencies to expand resources through
Parishes, schools, and agencies preparing to undertake capital and/or endowment campaigns will follow
common planning and implementation procedures when the campaign financial goal is:
30 percent or more of the most recent three-year average of parish Sunday and Holy Day
collections for a single campaign or for a series of projects within an upcoming three- to-
For campaigns or projects with goals below this threshold, parishes, schools or agencies will submit to
their Office of Stewardship and Development field staff representative an executive summary of the
rationale, case for support, and proposed timing of the initiative prior to its implementation.
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Parish will denote any parish, school or agency of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Board will refer to
the board of directors, advisory council, or parish council of the parish. Pastor will be used to denote the
chief administrator of the parish. Sunday and Holy Day collections will denote the actual annual
operating income of a parish, school or agency (less extraordinary income such as unexpected bequests).
OSD will refer to the Office of Stewardship and Development. Stewardship action plan refers to the
year-round action plan for stewardship and development education, institutional accountability and
recommitment for the advancement of parish and archdiocesan ministries.
4.1 Major Campaign Procedures
The following guidelines and procedures apply to all capital and/or endowment fund development
projects even if such projects do not involve a traditional campaign methodology (e.g., steering
committee, non-solicitation phases and solicitation phases).
4.1.1 Develop a Preliminary Campaign Case for Support
Capital and endowment campaigns are intended to address the long-range parish strategic ministry
priorities. The case for support is a communication tool that presents the rationale, features and benefits
of the campaign in a clear, concise and compelling fashion.
The preliminary case can be drafted with assistance from the OSD field staff representative and/or
4.1.2 Establish Campaign Goals (Financial and Participation)
Broad-based participation rooted in the stewardship principles of a) sacrificial giving and
b) not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice will lead to a successful campaign.
Set a participation goal that is realistic, challenging and measurable.
Parishes are encouraged to set goals for respective constituencies (parish families, former
parishioners, school alumni, staff, non-parish school families, grandparents of school
An agreement among parish leaders that the financial goal is challenging, yet realistic, is
important to the success of the campaign. A feasibility study (planning study) is a
resource and a process for affirming or modifying the preliminary financial goal.
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A feasibility study includes interviews with parish leaders and friends to understand and
measure their satisfaction with and confidence in the parish leadership, vision, strategic
direction, proposed campaign case, goal and timetable. The benefit to this process is that
it positions the parish for a successful campaign or protects it from a harmful experience.
A feasibility study is required if the preliminary financial goal exceeds 125 percent of the
most recent fiscal year Sunday and Holy Day collections.
Note: When the goal is less than the above amount, the archdiocesan administration
may encourage or require the parish to complete a feasibility study before starting a
4.1.3 Sustainability Selection
To enhance short-term and long-term parish and archdiocesan financial stability, the campaign goal and
case for support will include either or both of the following:
1. At least three years of projected new funding to maintain and operate the new or
renovated facility (including utilities, supplies, insurance and personnel costs). This
amount will be projected by the architect, construction manager or the equivalent.
These funds will be held in a parish ADLF account restricted for the purpose of
2. Endowment funds of at least 10 percent of the estimated project cost. These funds
will be held in a Catholic Community Foundation, Inc., endowment designated for
the particular parish.
Parishes may elect to include both of the above sustainability strategies in the
campaign plan, case and financial goal.
4.1.4 Support the Christ Our Hope: Compassion in Community appeal, formerly the Called to
Serve: Parish Stewardship and United Catholic Appeal
Trusting in the abundance of God’s blessings and the generosity of Catholic parishioners, parishes will
be asked to actively support archdiocesan ministries of the local Church through the Christ Our Hope:
Compassion in Community appeal, formerly the United Catholic Appeal, during a parish-based
campaign. Parishes may incorporate the archdiocesan community portion of the annual appeal into a
parish-based campaign or implement the Christ Our Hope: Compassion in Community appeal separately
from a capital campaign by contributing either of the following annual appeal dollar amounts during the
duration of a parish campaign:
1. Most recent two-year average of parish percentage of the archdiocesan community
portion of financial goal pledged (formerly called the United Catholic Appeal parish
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2. Current annual appeal parish pledge goals (for each successive Christ Our Hope:
Compassion in Community appeal).
Schools and agencies may be asked to develop campaign timelines that do not interfere with the annual
Christ Our Hope: Compassion in Community parish and archdiocesan community appeal effort.
4.1.5 Confirm Financial Readiness
Timing is extremely important to the success of a campaign. A campaign should occur when the parish
is in stable financial condition, which usually includes the absence of operating debt and the ability to
maintain or expand annual ministry funding during the life of the campaign.
To help ensure successful timing of a campaign, parishes will demonstrate these elements of readiness
during the two fiscal years prior to receiving authorization to conduct a campaign:
1. An actual operating surplus, exclusive of parish financial reserves and/or unexpected
income (i.e., bequest income in the absence of a parish stewardship planned giving
program) applied to the operating budget
2. Attainment of 75 percent, or more, of the parish Christ Our Hope: Compassion in
Community appeal pledge goal.
Note: Parishes that do not meet this criterion may agree to implement the Christ Our
Hope: Compassion in Community appeal during each year of a campaign and contribute
an amount equaling 75 percent of the archdiocesan community’s pledge goal. If Christ
Our Hope archdiocesan community pledges do not equal 75 percent of the goal, the
parish will contribute the balance, through either the capital campaign or another
allowable funding source.
For purposes of accountability and trust with donors, this scenario would require careful
planning and communication from parish leadership to prospective campaign donors.
4.1.6 Request Campaign Authorization
Once the case and goals, Christ Our Hope archdiocesan community commitment, sustainability
selection, and financial readiness are confirmed, the pastor will submit to the Executive Director for
Stewardship and Development, a formal request for campaign authorization, including the following
Five-year parish strategic plan for ministries, leadership and facilities (*).
Campaign case for support and goals (financial and participation).
Executive Summary of the campaign feasibility study results, Christ Our Hope archdiocesan
community commitment, sustainability selection and parish financial readiness (**).
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* To enhance long-range parish and archdiocesan effectiveness, parishes are asked to send
the five-year parish strategic plan to the OSD within 12 months of the date that campaign
approval is granted if the document is not sent with the official campaign authorization
** Parishes may be allowed to perform a feasibility study after receiving campaign
authorization from the Archbishop of Indianapolis. In such cases, please consult your
OSD field staff representative prior to requesting permission to conduct the campaign.
The Executive Director for Stewardship and Development will send the parish written request and
supporting documents to pertinent archdiocesan agency directors for review. Usually, these agencies
would include the Chancery, Office of Accounting Services, Office of Management Services, Secretariat
for Catholic Education and Faith Formation, and the Secretariat for Catholic Charities and Family
The Archbishop of Indianapolis then reviews the data/analysis of parish and archdiocesan
representatives and subsequently notifies the pastor of the campaign approval decision.
Major Phases Estimated Completion Time
I. Parish Strategic Planning 12 months
II. Pre-Campaign Planning 8-10 months
Parish develops preliminary campaign case for support and goals (financial and participation).
Parish notifies Executive Director for Stewardship and Development of parish interest in
conducting a campaign.
Executive Director for Stewardship and Development acknowledges preliminary parish
Parish leadership participates in pre-campaign orientation session conducted by OSD field staff
Parish and OSD field staff representative determine the following:
Timing of campaign feasibility study and support the OSD will provide. Please refer
to sections 4.1.2 and 4.1.6.
Campaign sustainability selection
Christ Our Hope: Compassion in Community appeal commitment
Parish financial readiness.
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Parish formally requests campaign approval as outlined in section 4.1.6.
Executive Director for Stewardship and Development acknowledges official parish campaign
Archbishop of Indianapolis notifies pastor of the campaign approval decision.
III. Campaign Administration 3-5 years
IV. Implement, Monitor and Update the Annual
Stewardship and Development Plan Ongoing
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Action Step Checklist: Please use this document as a “living” planning and evaluation resource during the pre-campaign and
campaign phases. Your Office of Stewardship and Development field staff representative will help you assign responsibilities and
Parish Strategic Planning
Completion Target Start Completion
Responsibility Time Date Date Notes
Develop five-year parish strategic Pastor Contact the Office of Management
plan for ministries, leadership and Services regarding the Archdiocesan
facilities. Building Commission Guidelines
Develop preliminary campaign case Parish leadership
for support (rationale, features,
benefits) and goals (participation and
Send written notification to Executive Pastor
Director for Stewardship and
Development of parish interest in
conducting a campaign.
Acknowledge preliminary parish Executive
proposal. Director for
Participate in pre-campaign OSD/Parish
orientation session. leadership
Screen and select feasibility study Parish
OSD reviews consulting contract OSD
proposal and agrees to responsibilities.
of parish leadership/counsel/OSD.
Completion Target Completion
Responsibility Time Start Date Date Notes
Sign consulting contract. Send copy to Pastor
OSD field staff representative.
Conduct campaign feasibility study. Parish leadership
Determine Christ Our Hope annual OSD/Pastor
appeal commitment during campaign
Confirm parish financial readiness. OSD/Parish
Select campaign sustainability option. Parish leadership
Send request for authorization with Pastor
supporting documents to the
Executive Director for Stewardship
Acknowledge official parish campaign Executive
proposal. Director for
Communicate parish campaign plans OSD
and pre-campaign selections to
pertinent archdiocesan agency
directors and Archbishop of
Inform pastor of campaign approval Archbishop of
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Completion Target Start Completion
Responsibility Time Date Date Notes
Determine whether a third-party or OSD/Parish
OSD will be retained as counsel. leadership
Screen and select campaign counsel. Parish
Review consulting contract proposal OSD/Parish
and agree to responsibilities for leadership
Sign consulting contract. Send copy Pastor
to OSD field staff representative.
Implement campaign and send semi- Parish leadership
annual status reports to OSD field
If not yet complete, provide five-year Pastor
parish strategic plan to OSD within
12 months of receiving campaign
Continue to work in concert with Parish leadership
OSD field staff representative to
implement the parish
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