Client Stories

St. Mary of the Knobs Catholic Church, Floyds Knobs, IN

St. Mary of the Knobs (SMK) parish had outgrown its church facility. Built in 1906 for 160 families, by 2005 the facility was serving more than 1,000 families. It was clear to the parish leaders that they needed a new church building. Pat Byrne, one of four campaign co-chairs explained, “With the growth of our school and church ministries and our future needs we knew the current facilities could not accommodate us. We had to act.”

Initially parish leaders had considered another consulting firm to help with the campaign. However, after one informational meeting with The Covenant Group they made their decision. Father John Geis, Pastor at SMK reflected, “The Covenant Group inspired us from the beginning. We saw it the first night we met with them. They were excited about our campaign.” Father John explained further, “We didn’t want a firm to come in, train our volunteers and then leave. The Covenant Group was there working alongside us throughout the whole process.”

Byrne credits the pre-campaign planning process of The Covenant Group as a key to the campaign’s success. “The feasibility study and the focus groups were invaluable,” said Pat. “They helped us listen to our members, determine the needs and priorities and communicate openly.” The feasibility study revealed that $5 – $6.5 million (at the high end) could be raised, but the parish needed both a worship center and a multi-purpose facility with a total estimated cost of $8.3 million. The Covenant Group suggested putting the full project in front of the parish, even though it was a significant stretch knowing that the projects could always be phased. Campaign Co-Chair Gary Libs added, “The Covenant Group process gave us the tools to communicate and showed us how to get people on board.”

Thus far, contributions total more than $10.9 million, with additional pledges continuing to come in. Pat Byrne recalled, “No one anticipated we could raise this amount. Even the Archdiocese is surprised. The funds raised represent about 15 times our annual giving. But it’s not just the financial results.” All of the Co-Chairs commented on the positive impact the campaign has had on the parish. Bill Sprigler noted that the church is more unified. “People are not in a hurry to leave church. They stand around talking more than they did before the campaign.” Father John adds that he has seen families return to the church that had stopped attending and he feels “a renewed and energized spirit among the staff.” Libs called the campaign, “the most exciting thing to happen in our parish in the last 100 years.”

Father John and each of the Co-chairs enthusiastically affirmed that they would unequivocally recommend The Covenant Group to other churches seeking campaign counsel. Gary Libs concluded, “The Covenant Group is superior in their profession.”

Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, KY

Sojourn Community Church has a mission and vision for the future, and they are passionate about them.  Their congregation had been growing rapidly, and six years after the church opened its doors, they were in desperate need of a new building.  With services overflowing, children’s facilities that were less than acceptable, and parking that was a challenge at best; it became obvious that they needed better facilities.  When an old elementary school came up for sale, Sojourn decided that this was the place for them.  However, they needed to raise an estimated $1.5 million to purchase the building and complete the necessary renovations. That’s when Sojourn’s pastor Daniel Montgomery called the Covenant Group.

After several initial meetings, The Covenant Group went to work and put the processes, teams and systems into place.  Pastor Montgomery elaborated, “The Covenant Group had a lot of our people in our congregation doing small tasks and that builds ownership.  They took our vision and put it into a concrete plan.  The Covenant Group helped us understand the importance of making our vision clear and they laid out the next steps we had to take to make the vision a reality.  They introduced a process that allowed everyone to hear and understand the vision, and then they showed people how they could help.”   The pastor explained further, “this process was alien to the way we did things, but the Covenant Group gave us a solid theological foundation that supported what they did, as well as some key documents, prayer support, and the requisite training for our people to be successful, all of which were invaluable.”

As pastor Montgomery explained, “With The Covenant Group behind us every step of the way, Sojourn was able to exceed our goal of $1.5 million”.  The refurbished building includes a newly renovated 5000+ square foot auditorium, an art gallery, a spacious music venue, state-of-the-art children’s facilities that include a gymnasium and a playroom for toddlers, and much more.
When asked how he felt about the Covenant Group and their contribution to Sojourn’s project, Pastor Montgomery said, “I would absolutely recommend The Covenant Group. Churches looking for theologically and Biblically driven consultants, people who operate with integrity and bring a process that includes the entire church body while empowering its leaders to achieve that vision, should hire The Covenant Group.”

YMCA Safe Place Services, Louisville, KY

When the YMCA Safe Place Services came to Dr. Len Moisan and The Covenant Group for a Financial Development Assessment, they knew the goals that they wanted to achieve.  “We wanted to find out what our weaknesses and strengths were related to our financial development.  We were entering into a new area.  We also never had a development director before, and we wanted to hire the person that would be best for our agency’s needs.  The Covenant Group helped with our search.  We let Len lay out the game plan, and we hired based on the needs that he helped us identify,” Director Dennis Enix said.

Enix continued, “Len’s assessment of our Development Program told us a lot of things we already knew, but it also told us things and gave us recommendations we hadn’t thought about.  It legitimized what we knew were our strengths and weaknesses, and gave us a plan on how we could better our financial development program to get it up to par.  When the new financial development director was hired it was very helpful for her to review and begin to implement the recommendations that The Covenant Group had made.”

Enix is satisfied in knowing that The Covenant Group helped the Safe Place Services meet the goals they had set out to achieve.  “We have met our expectations.  Now taking The Covenant Group plan forward, I have no doubt that we will be successful.”  Board member Todd Lowe added that The Covenant Group exceeded his expectations. “We had a general sense of what recommendations Len would give us, but we were not aware of the depth he would go into with these recommendations.  I think we felt like we got back more than just a general outline.”

So pleased were they with the work of The Covenant Group that YMCA Safe Place Services has already recommended them to other organizations.  Enix said, “When we hired The Covenant Group, we knew that they would be great partners to us.  YMCA Greater Louisville is now also planning a capital campaign and we have recommended The Covenant Group to help with the work.”

Enix concluded:  “Honestly, I think that the Covenant Group is the best in the community.  And, with our board knowing that we had hired the best, it helped them take what was being said as truth.  It motivated them to take the plan by the horns and go with it.”

Westwood-Cheviot Church of Christ, Cincinnati, OH

Westwood-Cheviot Church of Christ needed a change.  The new pastor, Pete Holmes, decided that the church was in a rut.  They needed positive change, or the church would continue to flounder.  In Mr. Holmes’ words, “We are in the process of becoming what you would call a ‘turn-around church.’”

The Covenant Group surveyed the church membership and conducted interviews with the church Elders.  This process, coupled with a leadership retreat, enabled Westwood-Cheviot to identify critical issues and begin to establish a vision that would drive planning and operations toward a fruitful future.

Mr. Holmes stated, “Dr. Moisan has taught us a process that not only builds strategic plans to address the critical issues, but at the same time develops consensus among the membership for positive change.”

The evaluation tools The Covenant Group has equipped us with have helped our leaders identify and clarify critical issues with regard to the overall health of our church – that alone has been worth the price of admission.”

Dr. Joe Ellis, seminary professor, renowned church growth expert and elder at Westwood-Cheviot, stated the following:  “The Covenant Group provided competent leadership and the tools to bring us clear insight into where we are and where we should be going.  Their skills have led us to a vision and launched us on the path to achieving that vision in a way that we could not have accomplished on our own.”

Wayside Christian Mission, Louisville, KY

When Louisville’s Wayside Christian Mission embarked on their capital campaign in 2001, President Tim Moseley realized they were dealing with less than ideal circumstances.  “We started our campaign after September 11, which we knew would be extremely challenging from an economic standpoint.  Fortunately, because Len Moisan and The Covenant Group created a solid plan and were willing to make such a long-term commitment to us, we were able to overcome that,” Moseley said.

The team at Wayside decided to seek professional counsel for their campaign after careful consideration.  “It was actually a bold decision for us to get counsel,” Moseley explained.  “We considered the possibility of doing things internally, but we soon realized that because of our current responsibilities as well as the time constraints we were facing, it was wiser to have professional guidance from an outside source.”

As far as Tim Moseley was concerned, The Covenant Group was the obvious choice.  “We did a survey of several companies and interviewed different folks.  With The Covenant Group, a key factor in our selection was their connection with the Christian Community.  The fact that Len Moisan is heavily involved in his church … his involvement in the Billy Graham crusade … we felt that he would know our business better than most.  In addition, The Covenant Group has a great track record, as all of their campaigns have either met or exceeded their goals.”

The Covenant Group’s connections in Louisville and their accessibility proved to be extremely helpful during Wayside’s campaign.  “Their local knowledge was key,” Moseley said.  “As we reviewed our prospect list for donors, Len knew almost every foundation well.  With their help, we were able to quickly pinpoint the appropriate amount and best strategy for soliciting each prospect.  Both Len and Bill are also familiar with volunteers in the community and they were able to add some key people to our steering committee.”

Moseley was also impressed with how well The Covenant Group prepared volunteers involved in Wayside’s campaign.  “They developed a training program specific to our campaign,” Moseley said.  “They came on several occasions to provide group and individual training with committee members.  I thought it was excellent!  And they were able to answer questions that we had during the campaign promptly and professionally.”

Moseley is quite pleased with the outcome of the campaign thus far, and he attributes much of their success to The Covenant Group.  “We’ve raised $3.7 million to date … we’re excited about our progress.  The Covenant Group has done more than I ever expected,” Moseley said.  “Len has pushed us to be more proactive and has motivated our volunteers to do what it takes to make the campaign a success.  He and the other associates are always available and accessible….  I can reach them by phone and email.  They are wonderful to work with.  Even though The Covenant Group has other clients, they were always there for us.  Our campaign seemed to be their sole responsibility.  I would absolutely, without a doubt, use their services again, and have already recommended them on two separate occasions to other agencies.”

Ursuline Campus Schools, Louisville, KY

Ursuline Campus Schools is a unified system of five schools situated on 48 scenic acres in Louisville, Kentucky.  Charlie Francesconi, President, used The Covenant Group’s expertise to “add professionalism and structure to our development office.”

Operating within the framework of five separate schools, the Ursuline Campus Schools’ development office had not been formally structured to provide maximum success.  Mr. Francesconi stated, “We wanted Dr. Moisan’s help in rethinking our entire development function – from how we went about setting development goals to establishing proper roles for our development and administrative staff.”

Mr. Francesconi continued, “Len showed us how to organize our annual fundraising calendar – how to identify what should happen during each part of the year.  He helped us increase board involvement in both the fundraising events and the annual campaign.  One of the biggest changes we made was to abort several small fundraisers and pool our resources to more effectively execute several larger scale efforts.  Dr. Moisan was instrumental in laying out the annual fundraising process and helping us communicate the importance of formalizing that process to our board members and constituents.”

The Covenant Group realizes that change can be unsettling.  That is why when we make recommendations we supplement them with real-world advice on how to communicate these changes to your stakeholders and how to implement them in your organization.

“Using our existing staff, Dr. Moisan helped us more than double our annual giving over the course of just two years.  If I could do it again, the only thing I would change about my experience with The Covenant Group is I would do it sooner!”


Doubled annual giving in less than two years

Executed fewer, more successful fundraising campaigns

UPS Training Services, Louisville, KY

United Parcel Service (UPS) was facing a major undertaking.  “We were in the process of creating a new airline,” said Chris Boone, then Director of Training at UPS.  UPS had hired managers from several other airlines, many of which had closed.  They were incorporating these new employees into the organization’s very traditional culture.  “It was a ‘new vs. old’ philosophy.  Our culture was challenged when we brought in so many new people at one time”, Boone commented.  “Relationships, at first, between the two groups were strained.  People were resistant to change,” he further explained.

During this same time, a new training program was being developed and introduced which enlisted teachers who were external to the UPS organization.  One of the primary outside professionals involved with this new program was Dr. Len Moisan, who also taught the capstone class called Mastering Leadership.  “Len’s sessions were vital in helping our organization through the transition process,” said Boone.  “As a result of the training, our culture began to change.”  Long-time UPS managers began to realize that they could glean valuable airline experience from the newcomers, and the incoming managers found they could learn valuable management practices from UPS’ long-standing traditions.  As a result, when it came time for the FAA to evaluate UPS to determine if the formation of the new airline would be approved, the feedback was astounding. Boone reported, “The FAA gave us full clearance and a first-ever, no negative findings!”

“We credit the organization’s cultural transformation to the training program.  Len played a key role in that process.  Over a 5-6 year period he trained between 2500-3000 of these managers”, Boone recounted.  “What makes Len so effective is that he knows his topic inside and out.  He does his homework.  Leadership is his passion.”  Boone went on to say, “Len is also a great storyteller.  People connect well with stories and he always includes relevant and memorable accounts.”  Boone gave an example of a recent encounter he had with a UPS manager who had gone through Mastering Leadership ten years earlier.  “This manager not only remembered Len’s training class, he remembered and commented on a specific story that had been shared during that class,” Boone marveled.

“Len built credibility with our people by taking the time to learn our company’s language”, Boone added.  He also stated that he would not hesitate to recommend Len as a speaker or consultant to other organizations.  “Len is very creative in his approach and the way he adapts his material to the audience.  In all of the classes that he conducted, I don’t remember him receiving any ratings that were less than exceptional.”

Tekno Incorporated, Cave City, KY

Tekno, Incorporated is a turnkey manufacturing solutions provider to the Fortune 100.  Trevor Clopton, Chief Operating Officer, summed up his situation.  “We made the Inc. 500 list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies three years in a row in the mid 1990’s, and that growth resulted in a few issues we needed to face.  Things that kill profitability can arise in a company growing that fast, and we realized we needed to make a few changes.”

Clopton continued.  “We hired The Covenant Group to help us analyze our situation, make recommendations on how to improve and create a plan to hold us accountable for making necessary changes.  In some ways, we’ve known what needed to be done, but haven’t made the moves.  The Covenant Group brought the discipline and strategic planning experience we needed to begin.”

“Ultimately, the success of our new strategic plan will be measured in terms of increased growth and profitability; but, much of what we need to improve is intangible,” Clopton revealed.  “Regaining our flexibility, returning the culture to a sense of ‘team’ and having a small company environment – these are things we want to regain at Tekno, and Dr. Moisan has given us the plan and the motivation to go after these goals.”

Mr. Clopton also placed a high value on the management evaluation tools utilized by The Covenant Group.  “The 360o Feedback Evaluations were key to us getting a handle on how good we were doing as a management team, and what we could do to improve.”

Clopton concluded:  “We are just about to implement the strategic plan.  We have gone much further in the strategic planning process because The Covenant Group gave us the structure and then instilled the confidence that we could get through it and achieve our goals, and we place a high value on their work.”

St. Francis Xavier, Louisville, KY

Established in 1846, St. Francis Xavier Church has enjoyed a rich history that is marked by consistent growth.  Clearly the Parish has always been known as a community of faith dedicated to upholding Gospel principles and serving the needs of parishioners. However, in recent years, that reputation has grown and as a result the Parish has experienced explosive growth.  With average weekly attendance increasing by 75% between 1995 and 2005, it had become obvious to everyone that it was time to build a new church and make room for their growing congregation.   In fact, in anticipation of this need, parish leaders had already put some money aside for the new building.  However, they still needed to raise an additional $1.5 to $2 million.  After obtaining 1.76 acres of land adjacent to their current property, they decided to call the Covenant Group to help them with their campaign.

Father Scott Wimsett talked about how The Covenant Group worked with the Parish, “The Covenant Group’s approach was very much in line with where we were.  They had a personal interest in our success, and helped us pay attention to the details.  Joe was very involved and attended all of our meetings, which was great.”  Father Scott explained further that The Covenant Group brought the experience and know how that the Parish lacked, “The Covenant Group helped build confidence in our people.  We didn’t really know how to solicit funds…we just didn’t ask for money.  However, Joe helped train our people (myself included) on the best ways to approach solicitations.  This really was the key to our success in soliciting pledges.”

With The Covenant Group’s help, St. Francis was able to raise about $1.9 million, and the parish now plans to break ground in the spring of 2008.  Father Scott commented, “Other firms kept telling us that the most we would be able to raise would be $1.2 million.  They were telling us that we would not be able to achieve our goal of $1.5 – $2 million.  However, The Covenant Group believed that we could do more than $1.2 and that our goal was very feasible if we approached it in the right way.  They were right.”

Their new state-of-the-art facility will have many new accommodations including a 1000 seat sanctuary that can be expanded to 1300; a covered drop-off with entrances that are all handicap accessible; a gathering area; a permanent baptistry; music space apart from the sanctuary; a significantly larger sacristy area and larger and more accessible handicap seating.

Father Scott concluded by saying, “The results of the campaign have been very uplifting for our church community.  People have a new sense of accomplishment.  I would absolutely recommend The Covenant Group to other organizations seeking campaign counsel.  In fact, I already have.”

Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY

Southeast Christian Church has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings in 1962.  The new campus has a 9,100-seat sanctuary and 770,000 square feet under roof.  With a staff of 340 employees, Southeast serves over 15,000 members and guests each weekend at 3 separate worship services.  For a number of years they have hosted leadership conferences attended by some 3,500 pastoral and lay leaders from around the country.

According to Mike Smith, Southeast’s Human Resources Director, a ministry this size has many challenges.  “We have a large and sophisticated organization.  However, in our almost 40-year history, we had never really taken the time to do a comprehensive strategic plan until last year – and given the complexity of the ministry issues we were dealing with, we needed a strong partner to help us through the strategic planning process, so we enlisted the help of The Covenant Group.”

Mr. Smith continued, “Leadership at Southeast perceived the vast opportunities presented by our growth; but, we were also aware of the scriptural mandate to be good stewards of our resources.  We believe that we are called to perform every ministry task with excellence, and we just couldn’t do that if we spread our efforts too thin.  Going through The Covenant Group’s strategic planning process was essential in helping us assign priorities and focus our resources to the most productive ends.”

Brett DeYoung, Administrator at Southeast, added that the planning process required diligence, but yielded fruitful results.  “Len helped us identify a large number of tactical initiatives.  Having that many objectives can be overwhelming, so we were best served by having each ministry area pick their ‘Top 5’ immediate strategic initiatives.  Identifying these issues was made possible by The Covenant Group’s research driven process.  The congregational survey data was immeasurably beneficial.”

Mike Smith agreed that the process produced lasting positive changes.  “I believe there’s a much higher degree of trust and cooperation among the staff.  We are behaving less as independent operators, and more as a cohesive team.  We’ve realized positive development in areas such as staff accountability, work processes, budgeting and our ability to prioritize our objectives effectively.  The Covenant Group gave us a solid and thoughtful product, one that was definitely worth the money.”


Consensus on mission, vision, goals, strategies and core values

Comprehensive, 80-page report detailing each ministry’s key initiatives

Residual benefit of increased trust, cooperation and productivity