New Dollars/New Partners

New Dollars/ New Partners for your Sacred Place is an innovative training program offered by Partners, available to congregations with older or historic buildings. This training combines the best of the resources, techniques, and knowledge developed by Partners since 1989, and is the only one of its kind. Partners has developed a strong expertise on fundraising for older religious properties since its founding in 1989. For example, Partners’ Complete Guide to Capital Campaigns for Historic Churches and Synagogues, is considered the definitive book on the subject. Partners’ staff will be joined during the year-long training program, of four day long workshops, by specialized fundraising consultants with in-depth experience in capital campaigns for religious properties, as well as faculty from the Asset Based Community Development Institute.

Congregations that typically participate in and benefit from the training have a sacred place older than 50 years, have capital needs beyond the current financial capability of the congregation, and also possess a desire to deepen their community connections and use their buildings more effectively. Each training course includes four leaders (senior clergy and lay leaders with responsibility for property, outreach, and finance/fundraising) from 8 to 12 congregations that want to find new ways to fund and support their older or historic buildings.

The four modules of the training are as follows:


Module 1: Making the Case for Sacred Places

  • Participants learn to use Partners’ Public Value Tool to calculate the dollar value of the programs and ministries they provide
  • Participants brainstorm and receive feedback on the initial ideas for their congregation’s case statement—a concise and compelling summary of their congregation’s heritage, public value, and impact on the community
  • Participants are trained to recruit more volunteers from within the congregation to support new outreach and fundraising efforts

Module 2: New Community Partnerships

  • Participants are introduced to Asset-Based Community Development from faculty of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. They learn the basics of asset mapping for their congregations—how to conduct a community assessment that uncovers the gifts and talents of their parishioners.
  • Participants learn how to translate asset maps into road maps for maximizing volunteer impact, improving and expanding their programs, and forging collaborations with individuals and businesses in their community.

Module 3: A Capital Campaign Primer

  • Participants learn how to determine their readiness for a capital campaign
  • Participants learn the fundamentals and structure of membership campaign
  • Participants learn to gauge their congregation’s capacity for implementing a campaign, and the potential need to hire a fundraising professional.

Module 4: Tapping Community Funding Resources

  • Participants learn how to conduct an external capital campaign, leveraging their impact on the community to seek funding from beyond their pews.
  • Participants learn how to conduct prospect research on potential funders and how to write strong, persuasive grant applications and other funding materials.
  • Participants learn to build partnerships with peer congregations and to leverage their collective impact to increase the likelihood of outside support.

Additionally, your congregation will receive copies of three manuals published by Partners:

  • Complete Guide to Capital Campaigns for Historic Churches and Synagogues: the only resource on the market geared towards the needs of historic sacred places
  • Your Sacred Places is a Community Asset: A Tool Kit to Attract New Resources and Partners a guide to help congregations make a case for their support
  • The Guide to Serving Families in Sacred Places a resource to help congregations take full advantage of their assets to best serve children and families.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of New Dollars/New Partners for Your Sacred Place was conducted in 2005 by the TCC Group. 76% of the congregations participating in 2004 New Dollars/New Partners training responded to a written questionnaire and/or telephone interview. With this information, TCC was able to conclude that New Dollars/New Partners is making statistically significant progress in meeting nearly every important goal. Congregations reported significant progress on New Dollars/New Partners‘ short-term outcomes achievable within a year. Leaders reported improved knowledge on how to make best use of sacred spaces, improved levels of vision within their congregations, and also a higher level of congregational motivation to plan how their space will be utilized: “The very idea that the church could be used for others services to the community hadn’t occurred to people. But now they are beginning to think about it.”

For more about New Dollars/New Partners, contact Alison Cornish at (215) 567-3234, or via email at acornish@sacredplaces.org.