Sacred Places Fall 2011 - Page 20

FUNDING BRIEF Lessons Learned from Friends of Trinity by Cheryl Chapman Cheryl D. Chapman, Ph.D., served as Executive Director of Friends of Trinity Cathedral, Miami, from February 2010 through June 2011. She recently received a grant from the Diocese of Southeast Florida to help several parishes increase their revenue sources. Here she shares the story of how Friends of Trinity was formed, as well as key issues to consider for others going through the proces. Cheryl can be reached at The Very Reverend Douglas McCaleb had just accepted a call as dean of Miami’s historic Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, located near Biscayne Bay, FL, on the edge of the city’s up-and-coming downtown Performing Arts District, when Hurricane Wilma hit in late October 2005. When he officially arrived in January 2006, he quickly realized the Cathedral’s entire roofing system needed to be replaced. Moreover, the magnificent 1925 Romanesque Revival structure, which seats just over 800, was due for its 40-year re-certification as a public building, a process that required bringing the 80-year old Cathedral’s structural and electrical systems up to code. Dean McCaleb knew he faced a major restoration and preservation effort. The Cathedral’s foundation, marble sanctuary, and high altar had already settled significantly, and the handcrafted Italian mosaics, magnificent stained glass windows, and interior and exterior facades all required major repair and restorative work. In addition, the historic 1924 Aeolian-Skinner organ, installed when the Cathedral was built, needed substantial refurbishing were it to ever again be played by world-renowned organists as it had in its early days. The estimated total cost of Cathedral renovations was $5 to $7 million, far exceeding the downtown congregation’s capacity. Not long after, one of the at-large Diocesan Chapter members met with Dean McCaleb and said simply, “You need a friends group.” Friends of Trinity Cathedral (Friends) was launched in November 2007 at the annual diocesan convention, and by Dec. 31 donors had contributed more than $50,000. In 2010, Friends raised just over $500,000 in gifts and grants. With the approval of the Cathedral chapter, Friends of Trinity Cathedral was organized under the Cathedral’s federal tax ID number. The Dean appointed a task force that recommended a 13-member board structure for Friends, comprised of Cathedral members, diocesan representatives, and community leaders who would bring a diverse set of skills and backgrounds to the organization. The Dean would serve as an ex officio member of the Friends board. A member of the Cathedral chapter serves as a board member and provides the chapter with monthly updates. An executive director was hired who reported to the board chair [