Highland Presbyterian Church Louisville, KY


Labor Day of 2015 was memorable for Cynthia Campbell Pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church.  “It was during this time we discovered a crack in the main truss of the roof of our sanctuary,” she recalled. In fact, the damage was so severe that the congregation had to relocate worship services to a different building on campus until the roof could be repaired. “We were faced with the question of how to pay for it?”

In response to the urgent need a taskforce was formed to evaluate launching a capital campaign. Part of their due diligence included researching and interviewing consulting firms.  “The Covenant Group stood out because they were local and had a good grasp of Louisville’s philanthropic landscape.  They also had an impressive track record of campaign success and were highly regarded by several of our members.”

In addition to the roof project, the committee compiled a list of other projects that needed to be addressed. “When we combined all of the projects together they totaled $4.7 million. Although the feasibility study revealed that achieving this goal could be a stretch, church leaders were adamant that we needed to tell the congregation all that needed to be done and what it would cost.”  Campbell states that there was considerable apprehension among congregants about undertaking another campaign so soon after a campaign begun in early 2006 (which ran into the recession). “People were discouraged by the results of that effort and the fall-out lasted a long time.” 

This campaign was different from the start though. “The most helpful thing The Covenant Group did was provide us with a very organized, clear process.  It was so well laid out” Campbell complimented. “We just had to follow the instructions and by doing so we were successful.” Comparing her past experience with institutional campaigns Campbell remarked, “the process worked as well as any I have ever seen.  Providing the campaign manuals helped us not waste time trying to decide the next steps …we knew exactly what to do and when to do it.” 

She describes The Covenant Group as “professional, engaging and flexible. They let us modify the model as needed to better fit our church.”  Campbell continued, “Success depends on the organization’s fit with the consultant. Can the consulting firm adapt to match the ethos of the congregation? The Covenant Group was a great match for us.” The campaign was completed on a very compressed timeframe, January to May of 2016, which also included doing a feasibility study up front. In June, church members received the exciting news that the $4.7 million goal had been surpassed.

Campbell reports that in addition to the financial results, other benefits have come from the campaign’s success.  “We have seen member involvement increase, there is a renewed energy and positive feeling of success among members and we will be back in the sanctuary by September of this year.” And as for the campaign leadership once hesitant about the campaign, “they refer to the entire process as ‘painless’ and ‘actually kind of fun’”.  Campbell concluded by saying, “I have hired and fired a lot of consultants during my career.  However, given the process and the results, I would absolutely recommend The Covenant Group to others seeking campaign counsel.”