Gettysburg Foundation | National Park Trust| Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
Build Major Support Through Long-Term Cultivation and Geographic Specialization
The Gettysburg Foundation is a designated 501(c)(3) educational non-profit operating in partnership with the National Park Service to restore, preserve and enhance America’s most visited Civil War battlefield. Odell, Simms & Lynch, Inc. (OSL) joined the Gettysburg Foundation in the early stages of this campaign over five years ago. Now nearing the closing stages of the $125 million campaign, OSL continues seeking gift commitments from high-net worth individuals that have long been in the pipeline. With proper prospect identification and long-term cultivation, OSL and the Gettysburg Foundation have found that high-net worth prospects can have a major impact on its campaign to build a new Museum, Visitor Center and Education Complex by summer 2008.
Through targeted research and strategic relationship management, OSL worked with the Gettysburg Foundation to identify a core set of high-net worth donor prospects in targeted geographic areas. OSL engaged identified prospects in a long-term cultivation strategy using tactics such as special events; one-on-one meetings; and personalized trips including guided tours of the landmark site, behind-the-scenes tours of the museum and a private showing of the museum’s artifacts and archival items. Specifically, by identifying particular communities where multiple prospects supported the project, OSL aimed to achieve one major gift to: 1) provide significant support to the overall project and 2) build momentum for the campaign in the targeted geographic area to leverage additional gifts from other donors in the area.
OSL raised a $1 million challenge grant as a result of several years of cultivating an individual prospect and collaborating with the Gettysburg Foundation and the individual to identify and package a tailored program of interest. The $1 million gift will allow the Gettysburg Foundation to purchase a piece of historic property for which a number of other interested parties are bidding. Further, the gift will catalyze other high-net worth individual prospects in that area to also support the project, better positioning the Gettysburg Foundation to meet and surpass the campaign fundraising goals.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
Achieve Early Success in Raising National Awareness and Securing Seven-Figure Gifts
In 2006, the Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. hired Odell Simms & Associates (OSL) to help raise the remaining $30 million of its $100 million building campaign. Established in 1998 by a joint Congressional Resolution, the Memorial Foundation's sole purpose is to design, construct and fund the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, the first National Memorial honoring an African American leader and a non-President on the National Mall. A dedication ceremony is planned for 2009.
OSL's extensive research on corporate, foundation and individual prospects' giving histories; awareness of related giving trends and priorities; familiarity with key contacts at targeted organizations; proven track record of setting meetings with decision makers; and expertise in assisting clients with making successful asks have all contributed to strong client relations and resulted in realized fundraising goals. Based on targeted research and with the benefit of the firm's extensive network, OSL approached a prominent leader in the D.C. political and corporate arenas who facilitated valuable one-on-one meetings with key prospects. OSL cultivated these new leads to build momentum and awareness for the National Memorial campaign.
Cultivation of one local individual, a key leader within a prominent New York based corporation, led to a commitment of $1 million from that company within six months. This gift opened the door for OSL to pursue additional leadership gifts across multiple industries in support of the National Memorial. Through a proactive and strategic approach to fundraising, OSL secured multiple seven-figure commitments for the National Memorial within 18 months from a wide range of major corporate supports, foundations and leading philanthropists throughout the country. OSL continues to build an active pipeline, to meet with key decision makers and to foster recognition in support of the National Memorial.
National Park Trust
Plan and Execute a Bi-Partisan Capitol Hill Event to Further Enhance Major Donor Support
National Park Trust (NPT) is a non-profit land conservancy dedicated to preserving and protecting America’s national system of parks, wildlife and historic monuments. An integral part of NPT’s overall fundraising strategy is an annual event honoring a Congressional member who has demonstrated a significant commitment to the environment and the national park experience. In 2006 NPT retained Odell, Simms & Lynch, Inc. (OSL) to assist with organizing the reception and transforming it into an effective tool for raising NPT’s profile and generating significant funding.
To ensure the success of NPT’s annual Congressional event, OSL counseled the organization to change the structure of the program from a suburban luncheon to a Capitol Hill cocktail reception. By advising NPT to create sponsorship levels and benefits and better capitalize on the event honoree’s donor base, OSL refocused the fundraising case statement for the event as one that benefited a worthwhile non-profit organization and presented an additional opportunity to show support for an environmentally conscious national legislator. Furthermore, OSL worked with NPT to develop an event honorary committee comprised of prominent business and industry leaders committed to the success of the reception.
Leveraging relationships within the government affairs community, labor unions, other honoree PAC supporters and outdoor enthusiasts, OSL secured bi-partisan support for NPT's annual event and ongoing programs. OSL also worked with NPT to build one-time event sponsors into annual event sponsors and eventually into long-term donors to the organization's national projects and core mission. As a result, OSL's assistance resulted not only in the execution of a successful event, but also enabled NPT to refine its overall fundraising strategy, improving efficiency and continuity to achieve lasting success.