Partners builds the capability of congregational leadership for building care, shared use, and capital fundraising through training programs, fundraising assistance, and organizational and facility assessments. In the process, Partners becomes a trusted resource and guide as congregations examine and weigh opportunities.
Partners for Sacred Places has developed a unique set of tools and resources that are reflective of our view of sacred places as vital community assets. Our consulting services can bring these tools, expertise, and resources to your congregation and your community. Click on any of the links below to find out more.
Every congregation is the center of a unique network of parishioners, neighbors, and friends. Partners for Sacred Places is uniquely positioned to help faith and lay leaders leverage these networks for success with customized, comprehensive, community-oriented capital campaigns and feasibility studies.
The foundation of a successful campaign, the feasibility study is an opportunity for the congregation to gauge the receptiveness of parishioners and the community to its campaign, to identify and recruit volunteers, campaign leadership and major donors, and to identify realistic fundraising goals and timelines.
Development of Fundraising Case Statements
Partners helps congregations develop a broad case for community support that emphasizes their economic and social impact, cultural importance, and vision for the future.
Partners provides comprehensive consulting services that address both the internal and external components of a campaign. Beginning with prospect research and continuing campaign evaluation, Partners provides congregations the advice and support they need to ensure their campaign’s success, including:
Since its founding, Partners for Sacred Places has worked with congregations to embrace the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) model. ABCD is a challenge to the traditional approach to rebuilding communities. It provides a new framework for thinking about neighborhoods and new strategies for mobilizing congregations in a positive way.
While traditional community development tends to focus on neighborhood deficiencies, Asset-Based Community Development focuses on the gifts and talents of individuals and the capacity of neighbors and neighborhoods to be producers of change – to change communities from within. ABCD allows congregations to cultivate connections within the community, mobilize the capacities of local individuals, associations, and institutions and empower community residents to become leaders.
Partners works with congregations to: identify new stakeholders and develop strategies for connecting the congregation's assets with the gifts and talents of their members and neighbors; identify key local assets - physical, individual, associational, institutional; and seek to connect these assets in new ways.
Discovery studies provide vitally important information to the congregation’s leadership about the perception of the church in the community. Though often overlooked, discovery processes serve as a vital foundation for creating a successful road map to the future. A discovery study typically includes interviews with 15-20 prospective key players in the community and congregation. Each confidential interview is conducted one-on-one with the consultant and last between 45 and 60 minutes.
The current state of the congregation and its presence in the life of the community is analyzed, providing valuable feedback about how the community feels about the congregation and its building(s) and answers to the following questions:
In 2010, Partners for Sacred Places and the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice concluded a pilot study of the economic impact of houses of worship. We found that 12 Philadelphia congregations contribute $52 million in annual economic value to the city of Philadelphia, for an average of $4.3 million per congregation. By assessing over 50 different factors, we have pioneered a new quantitative approach to understanding how congregations impact local economies. Congregations must now be understood as critical economic catalysts, suggesting an important shift in community investment policy and practice. Our Economic Valuation Study services offer congregations individualized research, comprehensive interview reports, and numerical data gleaned from analyzing the large array of factors that contribute to your local economic impact, provided in a professionally designed document for your future use.
Because of Partners’ strong relationship with the faith community and our expertise in community development and the arts, Partners has extensive experience and connections to networks of arts groups and social service organizations interested in sharing space. In facilitating shared-space agreements, our services include:
Partners has strong expertise on how to reuse inactive religious properties, with extensive experience in developing and leading charrettes and seminars on how to redevelop such spaces. In situations of complete adaptive re-use, our services include: