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The Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, Maine

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, Maine contacted us for help raising money to rebuild their church after a fire took the old structure right down to the ground in June 2011.

How were we involved?

We served as consultants for both the feasibility study and capital campaign. Peter was the primary consultant on this project. Working closely with Church’s very capable leadership, we created a structure that included a campaign committee and niche-focused subcommittees, helped encourage and develop new leaders, trained the solicitors who were asking for money, and assisted in development of the case statement and communication materials. We also reformulated the annual giving campaign to meet the needs of the Church as the capital campaign got underway. We stayed involved throughout the six months of the campaign and are still cheering them on as they continue building what will be a beautiful, new church.

What do we find most memorable about this project?

The church had remarkable leadership – both previously identified leaders and new leaders – who really took ownership of the project and their dreams for the Church. They were willing to explore the meaning and value of money in their own lives and their church life. As a result of their willingness to look inside, they built a campaign on the outside that everybody wanted to participate in, and then went out fearlessly to ask for money, reaching out to constituencies in and outside the church.

Campaign leaders built a very powerful, compelling case statement that showed how each one of the seven UU principles would get lived out in the new building. They also created a wonderful, emotionally moving campaign video (filmed and edited by an 8th grader in the congregation!) that told the Church’s story through interviews, songs and pictures.

What was the outcome?

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick has far surpassed their initial goal of $850,000, raising approx. $ 1,030,000 from 115 pledge units (fundraising lingo for households) as well as from nonmembers and surrounding community. The new building is well underway, with a move-in date of spring 2014. The new church incorporates solar heating, is fully handicapped-accessible, includes new religious education space (formerly housed in a separate building), and contains multifaceted worship space that can be used for many purposes, from worship to conferences.

See the testimonials section of our website for input from Brunswick Church leaders about their experience.