Covington Catholic High School, Park Hills, KY

Covington Catholic is a Blue Ribbon award winning, all-male high school in the Diocese of Covington. Recognized at state and national levels for academic and athletic excellence, the 604-member student body continues the legacy of Brotherhood; Faith; Excellence; Innovation; Service; Spirit and Teamwork that has defined the school for more than 90 years. It had become apparent to school leadership that the time was right to take steps to improve both academic and athletic facilities.  Sue Finke, Director of Institutional Advancement remembers, “There was interest in adding tennis courts.  We had also purchased a building for which we needed to define the best use and there were other projects as well.  We hired The Covenant Group to help us with outlining a campaign plan and structure to take us through a $4 – $6 million campaign.”

Sue mentions that, “For those of us who don’t do this everyday, The Covenant Group instilled confidence in us. They helped us get through the fear and apprehension by providing us and our volunteers with training and motivation.” A key component to the success of any campaign is the strength of its steering committee.  Covington Catholic recruited a solid team of 53 committee members and 6 co-chairs to lead the campaign.

She credits The Covenant Group’s training as a crucial factor in the campaign’s success. “They trained our volunteers on how to make calls and the right ways to develop and keep donor relationships. In addition to the peer-to-peer solicitation training, Finke also states that keeping the campaign on task was vital.  “They were able to apply the right amount of pressure.  If a task was not completed on time, they took an encouraging approach rather than one where they seemed upset or disappointed.  She adds, “We realized they were not just taking us through a process, but they were really vested in it. They were our biggest cheerleaders and made it feel like a team effort.  We were not left alone to try to figure it out ourselves.”

From the beginning, The Covenant Group laid out clear expectations regarding their role in the solicitation process. Finke explained, “We initially expected that the firm we hired would do more of the calls for us, but that was not the case. They taught us how to do it ourselves and that was for the better. We have built lasting relationships with donors and we will continue to steward these relationships long after the campaign is over. This is a new approach to fundraising for us.”

The basic needs goal was set at $4.5 million. Just 18 months into the five-year campaign that goal has long been surpassed. “We are just short of $7.5 million and we are not finished yet”, said Finke excitedly.  When asked if she would recommend The Covenant Group to other organizations seeking counsel she laughed. “It’s funny…the last consultants we worked with we fired…we asked lots of questions but never got the answers.  That was not the case with The Covenant Group. They were informative, direct and involved. We would absolutely recommend and use them again!”