Cosgriff History & Philosophy
Robert Cosgriff of Tipton, IA started Cosgriff Company in 1959 after working for a national capital campaign firm, but the first campaigns did not actually commence until 1960. The company was founded on the principle that the firm should be small enough to monitor each project by the company president and other campaign support staff so that the team approach would provide better service. But, the firm had to be big enough to provide any and all needed support and expertise, so we have remained ‘medium sized’ in spite of offers to sell or grow too large. Eventually, the main corporate office was relocated to Omaha and serves all 50 states and overseas countries. Although medium in stature, the firm’s projects included all of Creighton University’s campaigns until they developed an in-house development team, many Diocesan appeals, university campaigns, libraries, national projects for fraternities & sororities, state bar associations, and professional sporting organizations, in addition to its core business of Catholic parish and school work.
Mr. Cosgriff had hired and begun transitioning the firm to Michael Fitzpatrick when he unexpectedly passed away in 1995. Mike was selected for his business acumen and promise to keep the same level of dedication and commitment to Bob Cosgriff’s motto,”Our one and only goal is to ensure you make yours”, using full resident service to continue the tradition of success. Mr. Fitzpatrick planned for the future and in turn selected Robb Spence to carry on the firm's commitments on which the company was founded. For the past decade Robb Spence, as the Executive Vice President, conducted campaigns, studies, and company business. Mr. Fitzpatrick’s sudden and unexpected passing triggered a change in ownership and Robb is now the President and CEO. All employees remained to continue the mission of Cosgriff Company. Many employees have been with the firm for over 10 years and others for more than 20 years, reflecting their loyalty, dedication to their faith, strong values, and work ethic.
As Cosgriff Company celebrates its 50th anniversary, they are building on the basics, providing the best quality people dedicated to serving the Church, along with incorporating new technologies and adaptive methods to do one thing - grow the faith through capital campaigns to achieve each client’s physical or fiscal goals. As technology and innovative business practices expand, so does Cosgriff with its new website. This website not only provides background on the firm, but shares testimonials, allows users to see new projects as they come to fruition, and helps you to understand the company better.
Flint, Texas - St. Mary Magdalene Parish Debt Reduction Campaign goes 20% over goal
Mr. Jerry Schoppe of the Cosgriff Company’s Texas office recently concluded another successful campaign, raising 20% over goal in cash and pledges and finishing early. Because of the Cosgriff Company’s reputation for superior analytic tools and outstanding feasibility studies, the parish commissioned them to perform a study and research the potential success of a debt reduction campaign. Cosgriff’s own analysis concluded that the parish could raise $2,000,000. There was a lot of speculation about a 454 family church raising this amount for a debt reduction campaign, especially in the face of an unsound economy. The Pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Parish and the creative spirit behind the “City of God” parish campus, Father Tim Kelly, observed that it was “the best feasibility study I have ever seen”.
With “our shirt sleeves rolled up and great focus between the campaign committee and campaign director, we were able to surpass our goal by the time I completed my work on the campaign” said Jerry Schoppe. Pledges continue to come into the parish office pushing the over goal figure beyond $2,387,000. A spirited campaign with dedicated directors continue to make success stories like this a frequent occurence.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Holy Spirit Parish Debt Reduction Campaign goes 30% over goal
Cosgriff Company was called back to complete a fourth (4th) campaign for this parish and school. The Holy Spirit community rallied under the direction of Mr. John Keeley to raise over $2,600,000 in cash and pledges for a debt retirement campaign. Pastor of Holy Spirit Church, Father Morgan said, “What impressed us from the get-go was Cosgriff’s personal interest in our parish, your openness to our concerns, your desire to work with our requests, then, your ability to design a tailor-made campaign specifically addressing the needs and issues at hand. With this in mind, we always felt that we were working with “people” who truly cared about the welfare of our parish, rather than just a fundraising company.”
As is usually the case in full resident service, when the Campaign Director lives and worships in the community for the duration of the campaign, he is regarded as one of the parish family. Cosgriff campaign directors put the success of their client’s projects above all else by committing to live on-site for months-at-a-time, so that they are aware of every nuance, attend every meeting, and direct the campaign more diligently.
Evidence of this comes from Father Morgan who says, “John’s assistance was outstanding, and his knowledge and leadership certainly played a large role in the success of our campaign. Our chairs and volunteers enjoyed his candor and companionship.” Moreover, it is that dedication and hard work that led to this campaign exceeding its original goal by 30%.