Medical / Healthcare

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Brazil, IN

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Parish has been serving the people of Brazil and West Central Indiana for more than 150 years.  However, in more than a century of ministry, the church had never undergone major renovation.  “We faced a crucial juncture”, recalls Pastor Father John Hollowell.  “Either we would repair the structure or tear it down.  We could not wait, something had to be done.”

To help guide them through their first ever campaign, church leaders received a list of firms recommended and approved by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. After interviewing the three firms on that list a unanimous decision was made to engage The Covenant Group.  “They just seemed like the best fit for us,” Father Hollowell stated. Immediately the feasibility study process began.

The son of the President of a Catholic High School, Father Hollowell understood the importance of the feasibility study.  “Watching my father conduct capital campaigns and having experienced them myself, I know how crucial it is to include the feasibility study as part of the overall campaign”. He added, “The study was beneficial in helping to educate the parish about our plans…having an external source to help answer questions, communicate the vision and conduct the interviews really built consensus and momentum.  People saw our efforts to involve them, educate them and maintain transparency.  This helped them feel good about making a pledge.” At the completion of the study, parish leaders decided to move forward with a $650,000 campaign.

“Professional, prompt, individualized” are words Father Hollowell uses to describe The Covenant Group.  “They really tailored the campaign to specifically fit our church.”  He continued, “Many times people who met Dr. Moisan and Joe Cecil throughout the process commented on how easy they were to talk to; how relatable and genuine.”

To date, the campaign has raised $1.1 million.  “It truly is a miracle”, says Father Hollowell.  Annunciation has only 200 families and is located in an area that has experienced its share of economic turmoil.  “People were committed from the beginning, but at that point even raising $650,000 seemed like a stretch to many parishioners.  To nearly double that amount is incredible!”

Father Hollowell is pleased to report that the campaign has “totally rejuvenated our parish”. He added, “When you hit a goal like that, it builds such a sense of community.  It makes you realize there are a lot of other people who share the same vision.” Other positive benefits have included increased offertory giving as well as an upturn in special donations and volunteerism.

“Recently, we started a Society of St. Vincent De Paul outreach. The campaign helped our parishioners see how blessed we are. The momentum built by the campaign is spilling outside the walls of our church and benefiting others in the process.” When asked if he would recommend The Covenant Group to other churches seeking counsel, Father Hollowell simply concluded with “One hundred percent”.

Baptist Hospital Foundation, Louisville, KY

For decades, The Baptist Hospital System (BHS) has been recognized as a leader in healthcare excellence. That success has been facilitated in part by the work of the Baptist Hospital Foundation (BHF). Charitable funds raised through the Foundation help BHS maintain its high margin of excellence, and hospital officials knew that the Foundation would play an even larger role in the future. That’s why the hospital leadership decided to engage The Covenant Group. They wanted to conduct a development audit and philanthropic culture assessment to determine the most effective ways to structure and position the Foundation to maximize growth.

Sue Tamme, President of the Louisville Market for Baptist Healthcare Systems recalls, “We needed to assess our current situation and get a broader understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. The Covenant Group gave us an ‘outsiders perspective’ on how we were operating internally. They brought depth, understanding and experience which were very helpful.” Tamme also noted that The Covenant Group developed a comprehensive plan with fresh ideas and they identified new internal programs that they helped the Foundation implement even before the study was completed. One of the prominent areas of need the study uncovered was staffing. The Covenant Group noted that the Foundation simply could not achieve the intended growth without the leadership of an experienced Chief Development Officer. Again BHS and BHF called upon The Covenant Group to provide Executive Search services and help them find the right candidate to fill this role.

Sue Tamme explained, “We felt like The Covenant Group had the experience, the background and the professional knowledge to understand what kind of candidate we were looking for and where to find that person. Their interview process was in depth and gave us a clearer understanding of the candidates’ true capabilities. They were able to uncover their experience, skills and track record of success and present us with a group of screened, qualified candidates that best fit the position.” Tamme further notes that the benefit of using The Covenant Group as compared to doing the search internally was focus. “With an internal search the people involved are trying to juggle many priorities. The Covenant Group was able to focus solely on finding the right candidate for us.”

The Covenant Group’s work with the Foundation has already proven to be fruitful as the Foundation recently secured the largest gift in its history. Clearly, BHF is well on its way to new levels of growth and achievement. Tamme noted that they now have a comprehensive and strategic fundraising plan in place as well as a new Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at the helm. She believes that they are prepared to “hit the ground running.” Tamme credits The Covenant Group’s Executive Search process as being very targeted and focused with very dependable results.

She concluded by saying that she would recommend The Covenant Group to other firms seeking fundraising counsel or Executive Search services. “Their knowledge of the local community, professionalism and experience are among The Covenant Group’s greatest strengths”.

Louisville Deaf Oral School, Louisville, KY

The Louisville Deaf Oral School was at a crossroads. After 50 years of operating as a leading educational facility for deaf and hard of hearing children, they had begun the process of determining what they were going to be for the next 50 years. The Covenant Group stepped in to help them realize a new vision.

Louisville Deaf Oral School had decided it was time to expand their mission. They embarked on a capital campaign to raise funds for the new Edith & Henry Heuser Hearing Institute. This unique institute would continue to provide child education to the deaf and hard of hearing, but would also house an on site medical clinic, an assistive device center, a hearing research facility, and numerous other facilities for the deaf community.

“Originally, we hired another firm to help us with a feasibility study,” commented Mona McCubbin, Louisville Deaf Oral School’s Director. “They said we might be able to raise between $1.5 and $2.0 million for an educational institute. We decided to call on The Covenant Group to help us plan and execute our campaign.”

“One of the biggest things that Dr. Moisan brought to our project was a steadfast belief in our vision and a lot of enthusiasm. Dr. Moisan’s enthusiasm was contagious! He helped us in numerous ways, from consulting and helping us to determine which strategic actions we should take to conducting training for our board members. The Covenant Group performed additional feasibility reviews, found key donors in the community and set us off in a new direction.”

“As a result, after less than one year we have raised over $4.5 million, and we believe that we will finish the campaign later this year with nearly $6.0 million in donations. If we had not contacted The Covenant Group, we would have short-changed our cause.”

Thanks to The Covenant Group’s input and direction, Louisville Deaf Oral School will occupy their new building debt-free and set a national standard for a facility of this type.