FAQs

1. Why are St. James Basilica and St. John’s Academy launching a capital campaign?

St. John’s Academy faces many challenges with our current facilities. Our school’s building is outdated and does not accommodate modern technology and teaching methods. An updated and expanded facility will serve the needs of our students, faculty, and entire parish. The purpose of the campaign is to maintain and improve the school for future generations. With a revitalized school we will continue to fulfill our mission to provide an excellent, faith-filled education to the children of our community.

2. How were the building priorities and plans determined?

A long-term strategic planning committee, comprised of teachers, alumni, parents, and community leaders, formed in 2016 to examine the capital needs of the school. The committee explored different options for how to update the school and provide the additional space necessary for the growing needs of the school. Based on the cost of new construction, which was estimated at $14 million, the committee determined that renovating the existing structure and building an addition was the best option.

3. What is the financial goal and timeline for the campaign?

The working goal of the campaign is based on the estimated cost of the project, which is approximately $7.5 million. The quiet phase of the campaign began in late 2017, and the pledge period for gifts will last five years, from 2018 to 2021. The public launch and goal will ultimately be determined by the first 10 to 15 leadership gifts to the campaign.

4. Why do we ask for pledges?

The campaign emphasizes pledging because it allows donors to consider larger commitments that they might not be able to consider through a one-time gift. Past experience shows that donors who pledge are able to consider gifts four to five times larger than those who make one-time gifts. This is important for a campaign of this magnitude. We ask donors to complete a donor agreement form so that each gift is accurately recorded and recognized by St. John’s Academy. These pledges are not legally binding, but made in good faith, indicating that a donor has agreed to a gift over a schedule and method of their choosing. If you have questions about the kinds of gifts and payments that the Campaign for St. John’s Academy will accept, please contact Jim Engels at (701) 252-0119. 

5. Are gifts to the campaign tax deductible?

Yes, gifts to the campaign are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. The application of such laws varies with individual financial circumstances. Donors with specific questions regarding tax deductibility should contact their attorney or tax preparer.

6. Why does my request letter ask for a specific gift amount? How was it determined?

To reach the required need of $7.5 million, each household will receive a specific gift request. Each family’s financial situation and relationship to the school are unique. We ask that you prayerfully consider our request and make a pledge that is both proportionate and sacrificial. We are asking everyone in the community to stretch their giving to this campaign because it will have a tremendous impact on future generations. We must provide for them as those in the past provided for us.

7. Who will be asked to participate in the campaign?

Everyone! We will be approaching St. James Basilica parishioners and supporters, St. John’s Academy families, friends, and alumni, and Jamestown community members to support this important initiative for our beloved school.

8. My kids do not go to St. John’s Academy; why should I support the campaign?

St. John’s Academy is an important asset to our parish. Not only does the school help to build our students and their families in faith, it also strengthens our entire faith community. The school hosts Faith Formation and Adult Education programs for all members of our parish. Additionally, the school cultivates the next generation of lay leaders and devoted parishioners, which will sustain the Basilica for generations to come.

9. I am not Catholic, why should I support the campaign?

St. John’s Academy offers an excellent academic and faith-filled education. As an alternative to public education, we serve everyone in the community. Over 30% of our student body is non-Catholic but are also learning to use Christ as a model in their lives. These students and their families grow in their faith as members of our community and enrich our school. The school is also an important asset for Jamestown, attracting families and businesses seeking a premier private, Christian education for their children.

10. I already support the parish and/or school through annual giving. Why should I support the capital campaign?

 Annual contributions to the parish and/or school are used for our operating expenses, and we depend on these contributions to maintain our school and church. Campaign gifts should go above and beyond your annual contributions. To address the urgent needs of our facilities, we are asking our closest friends and supporters for sacrificial commitments that exceed the annual budgetary needs of the Academy.

11. How can I learn more about the plans for the school or schedule a tour?

Contact the Peggy Etzold at (701) 252-0119.