Morning Star Campaign Services was created in 2000 to provide a capital campaign consulting service uniquely designed for Moravian churches and agencies. Being able to offer objectivity and experience has proved beneficial, not only for our constituencies, but also for the Foundation. Building relationships within congregations and agencies has allowed us to cross-promote our other services, GiftLegacy (planned giving) and the Moravian Common Fund (investment management). It also allows us to build member profiles and more positively assist Moravians with discerning their charitable goals and matching them with current ministry needs.
Morning Star is a labor-intensive service. Hundreds of hours are spent working on a capital fund drive in a fee-for-service arrangement. We believe, and experience confirms, that when there is a contract and compensation, everyone takes their jobs and expectations more seriously. And, our fees are less than for-profit firms charge and do add to our income. Morning Star can provide prudent and honest advice, free from having to depend on generating fees from campaigns that would most likely be unsuccessful.
We have been able to guide Moravian churches and agencies and advise them when projects were too expensive or not supported by their members. Since we aren’t making a profit, we are able to honestly report the lack of financial resources or congregational “will” to go forward with a proposed project. In some situations we have encouraged building committees to rethink their priorities and scale down or postpone capital expenditures that are not fully subscribed. Saving a group from financial difficulties is as important to us as helping a church or agency live out its dream.
Seventeen churches and agencies have raised over $7,000,000 for new sanctuaries, renovation projects, new roofs, increased accessibility, a summer camp kitchen, and a new pipe organ. Also rewarding is the fact that Morning Star has two repeat customers.
In spring of 2004, stewardship was added as a service of Morning Star after a church in Winston-Salem, NC, asked us to explore how the congregation could examine their current stewardship efforts and consider making some changes. A stewardship education and emphasis program has proved very helpful and served five churches. We are currently enhancing the program, now called "Grace, Generosity and Gratitude", as we focus on how congregations can help members see God's grace at work in their lives, as well as His abundant gifts, and grow their own generosity in return as part of their gratitude.
Additionally, Morning Star has performed two development audits with recommendations as well as development planning and board development training. Pledge and gift administration, another labor-intensive service, is becoming a very important area for us. Again, the by-product of our accurate record keeping and administrative expertise is the opportunity to build relationships and know Moravian givers. As this service is becoming better known, many churches and agencies are seeking our help.
To learn more about Morning Star or to talk about how we can serve your congregation or agency, call Chi-Chi Messick, MMFA Vice President, at 888.722.7923.