Dancing to the Tune of $7 Million
Over two years, NDI-NM created programs through which potential donors could become acquainted with its work and with the children who benefit from it.
How it worked
Key elements of the campaign included:
- “Take a Friend to Class,” where board members invited friends to watch practice sessions.
- A more involved version of “Take a Friend to Class,” where board members brought small groups of friends to the practices, then met at receptions afterwards to talk about the program.
Robert Hartsook, chairman and CEO of Hartsook Companies Inc., the consulting agency that worked with NDI-NM on the campaign, explains that the “Take A Friend to Class” projects encouraged people to talk about NDI-NM and its fundraising campaign, generating enthusiasm and creating a healthy buzz in the community, as well as expanding the network of potential contributors.
- “Hard Hat Tours,” where donor prospects put on hard hats for tours of the construction site that included in-depth information about the NDI-NM curriculum.
- A dance-a-thon that brought in less revenue but increased visibility for the campaign.
Each of the cultivation events included students who spoke about how NDI had affected their lives.
The campaign brought in $7.35 million dollars, which was used, in part, to build NDI-NM’s 31,000-square-foot facility. Obviously, the visual — a moving, stomping, tapping, singing, giggling visual — was the way to go.
“This whole organization is so involved and centered on the kids that I don’t believe it would ever consider a different approach,” Hartsook Vice President Madelyn Pons says. “This organization keeps its eye on its mission.
“NDI has an involved board and artistic director who knows the importance and value of having good, solid relationships in the community with people with the capacity to lend financial support,” she adds.
As for what NDI-NM learned in regard to fundraising, Oppenheimer says it’s OK to shoot for the stars, right from the start: