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Feasibility Observations & Recommendations

A Message from Your Board of Trustees

May 1, 2022

Dear Friends on the Journey,

 

We are excited to share the results of our recent Financial Feasibility Study. This study looked at our community’s financial support for the current building renovation project.   Our thanks to the 120 congregants that participated in an interview or the online survey.  After review and considerable discussion, the Board of Trustees passed the following motion on April 25th: Motion to approve a facilities transformation plan including a capital campaign to support it.

 

We found significant support with 79% of respondents very supportive of the current vision for the building and 76% in favor of moving forward with a capital campaign to fund it.  Please review the “Observations and Recommendations” from Horizons Stewardship, our capital campaign partner.   We have work to do.  Watch for a community meeting in early June to share what we’ve learned and answer your questions. 

 

Our next step is recruiting a Capital Campaign Team.  Please contact the office if you’d like to serve with that team.  And say “yes” if you receive an invitation to serve.  There are many opportunities to support a joyful and prosperous capital campaign this fall.

 

Your Board of Trustees: : Michael Showalter, Judith Kilian, Nancy Merritt, Rev. Pat Williamson, Teresa Belden, Rita Webster, Darlyne Erickson

Observations

  • 79% of respondents are very supportive of the vision for the building, 16% somewhat supportive, and only 5% not at all supportive. These numbers represent significant support and are vital to our success.
  • 76% favor moving forward with a capital campaign to fund the vison, 19% unsure, and only 5% were not in favor of a capital campaign.  Again, these numbers represent significant support.
  • When asked about making a gift to the campaign, 66% said yes, 26% were unsure, and 8% said no.  The slight increase in the “no” percentage is typical, and again, the overall numbers are positive indicators for success.
  • In our combined nearly 60 years of experience, we see the above numbers grow even more positive as we move through a campaign with a focus on positive abundance and prayerful generosity.
  • Rev. Pat has great influence, impact, and is greatly respected and loved.  A minister’s leadership is critical to the success of any capital campaign.  His leadership is essential to the success of your campaign.
  • Unity Minneapolis is a very healthy and vibrant congregation.  This is vital to a successful capital campaign.
  • Nancy has been an amazing leader in this study.  Her interaction and efficiency have been extraordinary.   She has led the staff and volunteers with exemplary guidance.  Her leadership is another very positive building block for a successful campaign.
  • The demographic (age range) reveals a large group in the 50-64 age grouping.  This group typically has maximum earning power and assets.  Asset giving will be necessary to reach higher levels of financial impact.
  • The giving potential of Unity Minneapolis is greater than the giving range being offered later in this report. In spite of the general positivity and abundance theology of Unity, many people are worried about the current economic conditions, war, and the lingering impact of Covid.  To maximize generosity, the campaign leadership should continue communicating the need for the renovations and how such will facilitate growth and help current ministry be more efficient and effective.   Due to Covid and streaming, a few have forgotten the challenges of the current facility.
  • Unity Churches tend to outperform the norms of a capital campaign study.  In our opinion, Unity Minneapolis has the capacity to be amongst those churches.
  • A great majority is ready to move forward with the capital campaign and renovations.
  • A significant number of churches often plan for 2 capital campaigns to pay for building renovations and additions. Unity Renaissance in Chesapeake, Virginia is one such center and today they occupy the dream.
  • A few preferred not to share any financial commitment desiring more conversation with Rev. Pat. It is noted they are not opposed to the project yet desired more interaction and information.  A well-run campaign will likely bring these persons to generously support the project.
  • Unity Minneapolis has a great opportunity for Legacy Giving (Estate).  The love for the church is obvious which is another building block offering confidence for a successful campaign.

 

 

Recommendations:

  1. Unity Minneapolis should move forward with a capital campaign with a leadership team being identified and enlisted in May 2022. The timeline would have pledges being received by November 2022.
  2. Horizons thinks the current capital campaign giving range (based on this study) would be $1.25 – $1.75 million for your current $2.5 – 3 million project. As noted, greater capacity exists, especially with a campaign grounded in gratitude, prayer, and abundance.
  3. The board should be transparent and openly discuss the possible need for financing at various milestone amounts. A statement should be provided demonstrating how greater giving will result in a smaller mortgage.
  4. For Unity Minneapolis to raise the entire amount of the project cost, the top 10 donors would collectively give half of the total amount.

 

Thank you for the privilege of working with you.  It is time, the people are ready.  We have every reason to believe a new day dawns for the energy and renovated facilities for Unity Minneapolis.

 

Respectfully,

 

Scott McKenzie, Senior Vice President and Partner

Tom Melzoni, Senior Vice President

Do you have a question or comment about our renovation or the upcoming capital campaign? We want to hear from you.

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