Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Major-Gift Initiative Could Fund Archives’ Move

The estimated $30-million cost of relocating the Archives of The Episcopal Church could be paid for by “three to four” major donors, according to the Rev. Susan McCone, director of the Mission Funding Initiative. Ms. McCone made a presentation to members of the national Executive Council, which is meeting in Portland, Maine, April 20-22.

The meeting—the last meeting for Executive Council during the 2007-2009 triennium—began with a plenary that included a presentation by the Archives Strategy Committee. The committee is seeking approval to proceed with a plan to spend $9.5 million plus closing costs to buy a vacant block in downtown Austin, Texas. The archives are currently located on the campus of the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, but a variety of factors necessitate relocation, which Executive Council already has approved.

Treasurer Kurt Barnes said funding should not be a problem. He noted that gross annual income on the lot, which is currently used for parking, is $570,000. That amount “will more than cover the carrying costs of this acquisition” until enough money is raised to construct the new building, he said.

The cost of relocation could be funded as part of The Episcopal Church’s first-ever attempt to cultivate large gifts. The project has a goal of $250 million. Ms. McCone told council that the Mission Funding Initiative committee has identified 500 Episcopalians “with a verified giving capacity” of at least $1 million each. About 125 of those potential donors are capable of giving $500 million. Ms. McCone encouraged members of Executive Council to see the project through to completion.


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