A church known as the “Church for the Heart of the City” ran into a problem in the early 1990’s: the 105-year-old Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral was running out of space.
Founded in 1874, the downtown Kansas City, Mo., church – which has a legacy of service to the Kansas City community – was originally located in the “old” Grace Church at Tenth and Central. Later the church embarked on a plan to build a larger church and parish house at 415 W. 13th Street. Trinity Church voted in 1912 to merge with Grace Church to become Grace and Holy Trinity. In 1935, Grace and Holy Trinity was officially declared a Cathedral by Bishop Robert Nelson Spencer.
Through the years, the church added space and renovated existing buildings to continue the Cathedral’s ministry. Haden Hall was constructed in 1954 to provide space for education and community service and in 1960 renovations were completed to the old parish house.
The church suffered a substantial setback in 1986 when the north wall of the Cathedral broke and crashed down. Services were held in Haden Hall for 20 months. At that time, the church had the opportunity to sell its valuable land and move to the suburbs. Instead, the vestry, the clergy, the wardens and the congregation were determined to remain the “Church for the Heart of the City.”
The First Steps
In the early 1990’s, the church was once again faced with a decision: how to raise funds to add additional space to expand its outreach efforts. Plans were set in motion for a Founders’ Hall. Only a vision in 1992, it has becoming a reality at the Cathedral campus at 13th and Broadway in Kansas City, Mo.
The $4.8 million building, dedicated in April 1999, opened up 15,000 square feet of space for social, education and community service needs.
“The goal of Founders’ Hall is to be a facility of ministry not only for our congregation, but also for our city, our dioceses, the larger church and for the poor,” said The Very Reverend Dennis J.J. Schmidt, Dean of the Cathedral.
Technically the project did not begin with a $2 million donation from the W.T. Kemper Trust. Upon the death of W.T. Kemper some years back, he bequest an annual gift of $200,000 to the church. The initial $2 million dollars was from money the vestry determined they were setting aside from this annual bequest – it wasn’t actually a $2 million donation.
In 1992, the Dean of the Cathedral recognized that growth in new families and ministries required expanded facilities. He appointed a Planning and Building Committee to explore and implement the project. Of primary concern was the Cathedral’s continued ministry of outreach and service, additional educational facilities and added meeting space.
In order to preserve the beauty of the Cathedral campus, Taylor MacDougall Burns Architects and Gould Evans Goodman Associates, P.C., were selected to design the new building to blend with existing buildings.
A master plan, submitted in June 1993, analyzed facility needs and determined an additional 15,000 square feet of space was needed. A building plan was developed that would double the size of the Kansas City Community Kitchen, an outreach service that feeds about 300 homeless and poor people daily. The expanded kitchen is located on the ground level for accessibility. A multipurpose room was also added for meeting space and a work training project.
The plan also included an upper, or courtyard level, which contains three meeting rooms, a 3,140-square-foot social hall and kitchen. The area is suitable for receptions, music, theatrical productions and public events. An outside courtyard for recitals, seminars, banquets and presentations was also included. The courtyard, with surrounding garden, was designed to seat up to 200 guests.
The project also involved the renovation of Haden Hall, the 44-year-old building located on the Cathedral campus. The $45,000 project renovated the church school, creating separate classrooms and a central meeting area.
Kinetic,* a full service philanthropic management fundraising firm, was hired to assist with the $2.8 million capital campaign. Kinetic assisted the 12-member committee led by Mary Shaw Branton, Richard Fanolio and Albert Mauro, Sr.
Kinetic was instrumental in helping set a campaign goal, establish a campaign strategy and identify potential donors, said Dean Schmidt.
“He also did an initial market test by interviewing people regarding the project and their interest,” he said. “He helped prepare literature, plan strategies and assisted with the overall campaign.”
Kinetic’s leadership, combined with strong support of the church congregation and community, were two key factors that eventually led to fundraising success, he added.
“We definitely would not have been this successful without Kinetic,” he said. “He helped us prioritize and set goals. Our consultant screened potential donors and gave us sound advice. He attended our monthly campaign committee meetings and advised us on what steps to take next. We’re very pleased with the pace and result of the campaign.”
Donations and Memorial Gifts
Because the campaign focused on church members’ donations, the campaign committee identified a variety of ways members could support the building project.
Gifts could be made in cash, pledge (over three years), marketable securities, closely-held securities, tangible personal property, real estate, corporate matching gifts, gifts in kind and charitable lead trusts.
Individual gifts were solicited in six categories: Founders’ Gifts, $500,000 and above; Benefactor’s Gifts, $250,000 to $499,999; Sponsors’ Gifts, $100,000 to $249,000; Sustainers’ Gifts, $25,000 to $99,999; Cornerstone Gifts $5,000 to $24,999; and Supporting Gifts, up to $4,999.
All gifts to the campaign could be designated as gifts “in memory” or “in thanksgiving” of loved ones. Additionally, donors, Founders’, Benefactors’ and Sponsors’ names will be inscribed on the courtyard colonnade or in the garden and opportunities were made for named gifts, such as windows, colonnade, rooms and gardens.
All campaign donors were also notified that they would be recognized in the Angelus, the Cathedral’s annual report for 1997, as well as in the official campaign report and the Cathedral Memorial Book.
The campaign committee reached its goal and work was completed on the project just six months later than the original target date of October 1998. Dean Schmidt said the result is that the parish will not only continue its legacy of community outreach, but will expand its services to reach even more members of the community.
“The parish must grow and this parish must continue to serve and serve more largely than it is now,” he said. “By expanding, we are making sure that we shall reach beyond the present and are insuring our future at the heart of Kansas City and the heartland of America.”
*This campaign took place prior to Hartsook becoming Kinetic in 2022.