Capital Campaign Advice From the Field
In addition, board members host cultivation events at a variety of locations throughout the Metropolitan Chicago area. The events bring current donors together with people interested in LHYS’ cause, and the result is a very personal experience with the organization.
“It’s different than anything that we had done before,” Youngquist says, “and we’re really taking the time to make personal connections with our donors -- going to see them and getting them to come out and see our facility, meet some of our kids, see the programming first hand and really making that personal connection with them, which is good practice in fundraising. But being in a capital campaign has really heightened the need for that for us and for our volunteers.
“It just gives us a chance to tell our story and get to know people a little bit better and then to again tell them about our vision for this facility that really will enhance our mission, which is to serve kids who are vulnerable, abused, neglected and just need a chance to have a better life,” she adds.
LHYS also received a very large grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation -- a result, Youngquist says, of a newly developed grant-solicitation strategy.
“We used a number of our volunteers, and we really went at the foundation from a number of angles. We had board members talking with people that they knew who were board members at the foundation, we went through the official grant process and it really was a model for how we would like to be able to secure large organizational gifts,” Youngquist says.
“Really the planning and the thought that went into this campaign to make sure that it not only represented our mission but enhances our ability to make sure that we are able to fulfill our mission was tremendous. I mean, that’s really what this is all about,” she adds.