Founded in 2008 as a non-denominational Christian school serving pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, Lodi Christian School has always sought to provide a sound academic education integrated with a Biblical worldview. Located 30 miles south of Sacremento, California, the school was blessed to have the cooperation of both Calvary Baptist Church and Faith Community Church providing locations from which the school operated. Lodi’s focus on spiritual growth in an environment of high academic standards led to a 50% enrollment growth, which made the need for larger facilities a must.


Soon after the Board made the decision to explore relocation options, Temple Baptist Church contacted the school with a co-location offer. The partnership would provide the church with a means to fulfill its goals for providing families with the opportunity for Christian education while providing the school with an opportunity for amazing, state-of-the-art, new facilities in a highly convenient location ~ immediately adjacent to a Christian High School ~ and at a fraction of what it would otherwise cost to build from the ground up at a “green-field” site.

The Plan

Temple Baptist Church and Lodi Christian School partnered together to design a 32,000 square foot addition to the church’s campus providing classrooms equipped with modern technology, a multi-purpose gym with a full basketball court, bleachers, a kitchen with a concession area, and ample office space.

Additionally, the relocation would also provide the school with two softball fields, a new soccer field, new playground and equipment, and increased campus security, including security cameras.

Pre-Campaign Planning

In order to make the partnership work, Lodi Christian School would need to raise the money required to cover the costs of the expanded square footage and other modifications to the church’s campus. In addition, the Board determined that additional funds were needed for academic enhancements, such as technology and supplies, and to provide additional benefits for faculty. Though the total costs were less than what would have been needed without the co-location opportunity that the church provided, the amount to be raised still represented a significant hurdle for the LCS constituency. Therefore, prior to finalizing the agreement with the church, the Board of Directors hired Dickerson, Bakker & Associates to undertake an independent and confidential feasibility study among the school’s constituency.

The study involved nearly 100 families touching on such subjects as how the school is perceived spiritually and academically; understanding of future program and financial needs; the prospect of relocating to the new facility; understanding the funding needed and whether or not such funding would be provided.

The study resulted in a recommendation that a capital campaign to secure the funding was possible – but in order to achieve the goal, a well thought out and personalized plan had to be created and implemented.

With the assurance provided by the feasibility study, the Board voted to proceed with the partnership agreement and to formally launch a capital campaign to raise the needed funds.

The Campaign

In order to make sure people clearly understood both the need and the vision, a case for support, printed materials, and video were produced early on in the campaign.

The next step was to recruit and train volunteers who would represent the school and be willing to solicit major donors – for without this critical step being done well, the campaign would fail.

Dickerson, Bakker & Associates then directed a mini-campaign among the Lodi Board of Directions. After securing 100% participation and a significant commitment total, the campaign moved on to involve the faculty and staff. These early steps demonstrated that the leadership of Lodi was committed to the campaign.

Following this, volunteers then began meeting with potential lead donors -some for solicitation meetings and others, who were in need of knowing more about LCS, for cultivation meetings. After sharing information about the school and campaign with these potential donors, secondary meetings for solicitation took place.

As the feasibility study had predicted, there were no “huge gifts”. However, several generous lead gifts inspired others to give generously as well. The combination of the lead gifts and participation by many making smaller commitments plus a handful of special gifts was sufficient to reach the goal.

Soon, the concrete foundation was laid and the steel framework started going up. The facility was on track to be ready for the next school year, as planned.


  • Achieved school's financial objectives related to $6 million construction costs
  • Campaign completed on time to finish construction and move into new facilities on time for new school year
  • Provided for relocation to an all-new, centrally located campus with modern classrooms, full gymnasium, kitchen & concessions, playground, and athletic fields.
  • Resulting expansion allows for increased enrollment, expanded programs, better learning environments, enhanced technologies, and a safer, more inviting school community.


Given the enormous amount of money we had to raise, we needed somebody who actually had done something like this before... Dickerson-Bakker was fabulous in giving us the road map we needed to help us succeed.

If any of my colleagues are looking for a recommendation related to a consulting firm to hire to help with their campaign, I can wholeheartedly recommend Dickerson, Bakker & Associates!

Ron Hittle, Principal ~ Lodi Christian School

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