Study leads to initial steps toward a strategic philanthropy program

In 2023, Covenant Village conducted a study to consider establishing a sustaining philanthropy program to enhance life-enriching services, resources, amenities, and care at Covenant Village, both now and in the future.

The study reviewed past and current giving practices, gathered feedback from valued stakeholders, and evaluated Covenant Village’s capacity to develop a formal philanthropy strategy. Furthermore, the study asked for opinions on a preliminary case for support and interest in potential giving opportunities, in conjunction with its strategic work on the Master Plan for the community.

Covenant Village received a comprehensive report outlining findings, opinions, insights, and recommendations. The report included a summary of responses from 20 confidential, in-person interviews from a variety of sources, including Board members, residents, family members of current and former residents, past donors, individuals on the Future Resident Wait List, and organizational leaders.

Feedback gathered from the confidential interviews indicated positive inclination toward creating a formal philanthropic presence at Covenant Village. The report suggested that by implementing strategic communication and education, the introduction of a philanthropy program would be highly appreciated and would assist in advancing Covenant Village’s mission and offer meaningful opportunities for engagement and support.

As a result, Covenant Village will take initial steps toward identifying and building fundraising opportunities.

Beginning October 1, 2023, Covenant Village will engage the services and support of Debbie Windley through her company, Windmark Consulting, to provide fundraising consultation. On a contractual basis, Debbie will help develop or expand the following:

  • Development of a formal Resident Benevolent Assistance Fund
  • A plan of operations for ongoing development work
  • Communications, education, and engagement with the Covenant Village Case for Support and building a culture of philanthropy
  • Establish a formal Planned Giving program

“The future at Covenant Village is alive with possibilities. I am delighted that Debbie will be working with us in this important endeavor. Her expertise, experience, and personal engagement with our Covenant Village family will be integral to successfully reaching our philanthropic goals,” said Melton.

In addition to Debbie’s experience as a high school principal and college instructor, she has served as Development Director at Gaston Christian School, The Schiele Museum, and CaroMont Health, as well as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Belmont Abbey College. Debbie has also provided development expertise to support fundraising efforts at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Gaston Aquatics, Least of These Carolinas, Healthy Smiles, On Eagles Wings’ Ministries, Belmont Abbey College, and Gaston Christian School.

“I am honored and humbled to be able to partner with the leadership team at Covenant Village and its residents to create a culture of philanthropic generosity that will provide individuals and families with the unique opportunity to leave a legacy of support that will benefit current residents, as well future generations,” said Windley.

“As we look forward to advancing our mission together, I am grateful for the insight and generosity of all who will participate in growing a spirit of giving that will contribute to making Covenant Village the place where life is filled with promise,” added Melton.


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