At the December 5th Council meeting, George Stanois of the Goldie Company, who was hired to conduct a fundraising feasibility study presented the study’s findings. The firm conducted personal interviews with the 40 respondents to the 65 requests for interviews, allowing participants to discuss their perceptions of the project, the funding objectives and the factors that they believed would affect the success of the fundraising efforts.
The premise of the study centred on the development of a Community Centre with a project cost of approximately $15 million and a fundraising campaign target of $1 million towards that expenditure. Seventy three percent of those interviewed indicated that they would give to a Community Centre campaign of this nature. The consultants noted that degree of support the campaign actually receives will depend on how the request is positioned and who is actually asking for the donation. To increase the probability of success, they suggest that campaign volunteers establish a one-on-one relationship with key individuals so they can personally elaborate on the urgency of the campaign, the details of the case and the community benefits of a new Community Centre.
In Stanois’ experience, capital campaigns traditionally raise the majority of its goal from corporate and individual major donor prospects, which will not be the case in this instance. He suggested that in this campaign he expects a significant portion of the campaign funds will flow from user groups and community based events, but will still require significant support from a number of corporate/individual major donors to achieve its target.
Believing that the most important contributor to a successful fundraising campaign is its leadership, Stanois explained that the fundraising committee must include committed, high-profile volunteers with the ability to donate themselves and to secure significant gifts from others who must be able to articulate the key benefits of the project. The Community Centre will provide a catalyst for more economic development, by helping to attract and retain new families and businesses to the community.
During the study, a number of credible candidates from the Cavan Monaghan community were recommended as participants on a Campaign Committee. One interviewee even volunteered to Chair the Campaign, and another 25 interviewees expressed interest in acting as a Campaign volunteer.
The study included a table comparing the indicated support of six other campaign studies they had conducted, where support ranged from a low of 38% to a high of 95%. In the four projects where the studies indicated support of 68% or higher, the campaigns proceeded and were successful. Cavan Monaghan’s support level of 73% sits in the middle of the four successful projects, leading the consultant to believe that a Cavan Monaghan fundraising campaign would also reach its target.
A campaign of this magnitude will require professional support which the Goldie group could provide but this issue has not yet been discussed. KG