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Success Story

St. Benedict’s Preparatory School

Extraordinary Newark, New Jersey school embarks on a comprehensive campaign fueled by the power of community to ensure that local youth have equal opportunity to a quality education.

The Situation

In Newark, New Jersey, half the population lives in poverty. And only 12% have a college degree. Yet 98% of St. Benedict Preparatory School’s students – 84% of whom receive financial aid – are admitted to college. At a school that does things differently and lives their ethos “never do for students what they can do for themselves,” the outcomes they obtain are extraordinary. Yet the need remains great. In order to provide critical education that helps students transcend statistics and fulfill their potential, St. Benedict’s Prep announced, at their 150th anniversary gala in 2018, a $100 million comprehensive campaign.


The Solution

Graham-Pelton collaborated with St. Benedict’s on multiple fronts for a 10-year, 3-phase campaign plan. We conducted periodic big-picture strategy sessions to ensure cohesive, results-driven fundraising. We provided prospect pool analysis and continued pipeline development. And we created a case for support that effectively communicated the scope, objectives, and monetary goals of the campaign.  

Keeping the expertise of the advancement staff in mind, we created key strategies to guide the campaign toward a successful conclusion. This included redefining staff roles and responsibilities, the board of trustees among them. The work also involved developing subphases within the public phase of the campaign, to cover major gifts, donor events, and mini campaigns. We also supported the advancement staff with ongoing coaching services.   


The Success

“Forever Benedict’s: The Campaign for St. Benedict’s Preparatory School” has raised more than three-quarters of its goal. Graham-Pelton continues to provide strategic counsel for all campaign-related matters, including prospect management and counsel, prospect pool development, volunteer leadership organizing, and development staff coaching. And despite a slew of cancelled events and donor relations pivots due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Benedict’s again achieved an extraordinary outcome: a record-setting giving day – one that outperformed all previous by a wide margin. 

You can raise more money. We can show you how.