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The Pre-Campaign Assessment Study

The Pre-Campaign Assessment Study: An important initial step MDMS can provide is a Pre-Campaign Assessment Study. MDMS knows from experience, when church leaders give their people a voice and, equally as important, listen to those voices regarding the church's plans for the future, leaders quickly learn how effective or, in some instances, just how ineffective they've been in leading the church to enthusiastically embrace those plans. In those instances where leaders have been effective in their leadership, the Pre-Campaign Assessment Study confirms this and gives added confidence to church leaders that the plans have been understood and embraced by the congregation. In those instances, however, where more listening is needed, leaders have been spared embarrassment and campaigns have been rescued from failure.


MDMS's Pre-Campaign Assessment Study is the "sit down to calculate" phase as dictated by the Master Planner Himself. This process has spared many congregations almost certain failure whenever a proposed project has been implemented too quickly.


MDMS's Pre-Campaign Assessment Study is conducted in five steps and generally takes 8 to 12 weeks to complete. The study will help leaders know:

  • The level of congregational awareness of the proposed project
  • The church's readiness to move forward with the project as designed
  • The church's ability to raise the necessary funds to begin or complete the project
  • How members feel about the project, as well as how they feel about the effectiveness of the church and its ministry
  • Whether there are any concerns or issues which need to be addressed before the campaign is launched
  • Who those persons are whose interest in the project is great and whose personal resources are such that they might make a major gift to the cause
  • What the capital fundraising potential might be within the time-frame of the campaign itself (typically three years, but sometimes five years in duration)
  • And, finally, the Pre-Campaign Assessment Study will help church leaders generate greater interest in and momentum for a successful implementation of a capital campaign. 

Pre-Campaign Assessment Study Steps:

Step 1 ~ Planning for the Pre-Campaign Assessment: In this first step, the MDMS consultant meets with senior staff and lay leaders to:

  • Review the proposed project
  • Test staff perception of the parish's readiness to move forward
  • Write the vision statement
  • Design a member survey instrument, which will be delivered to the parish via the postal service or the web or both
  • Determine congregational leaders and potential donors to be interviewed


Step 2 ~ A Detailed Stewardship Analysis: A thorough inventory of the financial life of the parish is conducted. MDMS will:

  • Analyze the last three years of annual giving
  • Review the parish's budget development process
  • Determine giving levels within the congregation
  • Analyze attendance levels during the last few years of ministry
  • Review the parish's process of programming and staffing
  • Review any other basic data deemed important by the MDMS to the process


Step 3 ~ Leadership Interviews: In the third step, the MDMS consultant will personally interview 30 to 35 individuals/couples from among the membership, testing for awareness of the proposed project and their willingness to support it verbally and financially.


Step 4 ~ Member Surveys: The fourth step is devoted to the distribution and collection of confidential questionnaires from member households. The consultant will guide the parish in:

  • Developing the customized survey to reflect the proposed vision of the parish to ensure that the statistical integrity of the survey is maintained
  • Properly assembling and distributing of member surveys or provide links to firms specializing in assisting in the actual production of those types of materials
  • Coordination of the mailing, together with techniques and specific processes for offering the survey online.


Step 5 ~ Presentation of the Pre-Campaign Assessment Study Report: After all interviews have been conducted and all surveys from the congregation analyzed, the MDMS consultant will return to the parish with a detailed, written report (a dozen or more hard copies, a one-page synopsis report, and the full report in a secured Adobe PDF format to enable the parish to upload the report to the parish's website). This report will include:

  • Statistical data sorted by responses, along with weighted averaging
  • The record of all comments made via the interviews and mailed questionnaires (names, of course, will be removed)
  • An Observation Section (narrative in nature) detailing those things MDMS's learned and/or observed throughout the process
  • A Recommendation Section (narrative in nature) detailing MDMS's recommended "Next Steps" as the church or parish moves toward the implementation of the campaign

Pre-Campaign Assessment Study Costs

MDMS's consulting fee for the Pre-Campaign Assessment Study is inclusive of all company expenses. The parish would be responsible for the costs associated with printing and mailing member survey packets, including return postage, as well as any hospitality expenses incurred during the Leadership Interviews -- expenses that are never more than minimal at best. This fee is usually paid in 2 or 3 equal installments over the course of the assessment study.