Capital Campaign Case Study ~ White Rock Christian Academy
Once the Board began exploring options, it became obvious that expanding the current facility was not a viable option. The Board and Head of School decided to take a bold step of faith and adopted a master plan that involved complete redevelopment of WCRA’s facilities. An entirely re-imagined campus plan was envisioned to provide for increased enrollment, modernized classrooms, updated technology, expanded programs, additional parking, enhanced safety, better access, and a more visually appealing campus.
The total construction cost of Phase 1 was estimated to be $13.8 million. Successful completion of Phase 1 was understood to be most critical, as it would place the school on a path to long term program stability and financial security.
Prior to making a formal decision to press forward with the plan, WRCA engaged Dickerson, Bakker & Associates to conduct a feasibility study. The purpose of the study was to determine what the WRCA constituency thought about the plan, and to determine if there would be sufficient financial support to carry it through to completion. DB&A conducted a series of personal interviews, focus group meetings, and surveys across multiple segments of stakeholders. The results of the study showed that there was broad support for the plan, and that a capital campaign would be feasible. But the giving projections coming out of the study were less than hoped, leaving a gap in the overall financial plan.
Dickerson, Bakker & Associates recommended a series of pre-campaign cultivation meetings to open discussions with a handful of families who had the highest giving capacity, but who were still “on the fence” about their giving intent. After some training by DB&A, Board members met one-on-one with these families to articulate the need and present the vision; explaining why they were committed to the project, and allowing for questions. Ultimately they were also seeking to help these families understand how instrumental their partnership was to achieving the goals of the project. People were not asked for commitments at these meetings, but were asked to pray and seek God’s leading.
At the conclusion of these meetings, positive feedback from these families made it apparent that the campaign goal could be increased, and the plan was back on track. The Board’s formal recommendation to proceed was approved without dissent.
- Achieved financial objectives for $13.8 million phase 1 of campus redevelopment plan
- First phase goal of campaign exceeded and extended by one million dollars
- Construction underway; occupancy expected by start of 2018-2019 school year
- Resulting expansion allows for increased enrollment, expanded programs, better learning environments, enhanced technologies, and a safer, more inviting school community.
"I don't think there was any hope we would have had the success we did in our capital campaign without the help we received from Dickerson, Bakker & Associates. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that without them on board with our campaign, it wouldn't have even been close to the success that it turned out to be.
We wouldn't hesitate to use Dickerson-Bakker again, no question at all. We've got them on speed dial!"
Capital Campaign Chair
White Rock Christian Academy