How our fundraising consultants helped Loreto to successfully raise money to build a major facility
Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak needed to construct a major facility (The Mandeville Centre) that would address a number of key educational issues for Loreto girls and also solve some serious problems for staff offices and resource management at the same time.
Ideally Loreto needed to raise in excess of $1million as part of the funding mix to deliver the project. Previous fundraising campaigns at Loreto had achieved good results but with the passage of time and the possibility that some minor issues with previous campaigns might re-emerge, confidence in achieving the result required was not as high as the College leadership desired. The Principal, senior staff and Council were keen to be involved and move forward but had important questions such as:
- Would donors like the project?
- Was it possible to raise gifts of a sufficient number and level that would ‘green light’ the construction?
- What would be the best way to deliver a public campaign message to the wider Loreto community at the right time that would both achieve results and leave the Loreto community with an even better ‘culture of philanthropy’?
Loreto engaged the services of AskRIGHT fundraising consultants to review the situation and conduct a Feasibility Study of the campaign.
Even though we had a good fundraising program in place, we needed fundraising experts to guide us in this important step up to a campaign to get the best results. We engaged AskRIGHT fundraising consultants to conduct an objective Feasibility Study and report back to us about the best way forward for the campaign.
Judy Reid, Director of Development
The Feasibility Study involved:
- discussion about the best people to interview and the best questions to ask them;
- interviews with selected supporters and others to learn as much as possible about what they were inclined to give (and why);
- identification of appropriate campaign committee members;
- determination of the best way to communicate the need for the new facilities;
- identification of the best way to present the benefits to Loreto students and staff; and,
- the most productive ways to present giving opportunities at various levels at the right time.
AskRIGHT recommended a special briefing event activity to engage various prospects and donors in a way that would improve their understanding of the how the new facility would benefit the girls at Loreto for generations to come.
Staff at Loreto also used the Feasibility Study outcomes to develop an excellent package of communications and promotional materials to support the different strategic phases of the fundraising campaign.
In addition, AskRIGHT was also engaged beyond the Feasibility Study to help steer and train the campaign committee through their important work (planning, development of briefing events, gift solicitation etc.) and advise the school on other aspects of the capital campaign roll-out as they emerged.
The Feasibility Study delivered very useful feedback from the interview responses.
This feedback was utilised in various ways to:
- inform the campaign strategy;
- develop an implementation plan; and,
- ensure that the engagement of major prospects was efficient and effective.
The special briefing activity was successful in bringing:
- substantial improvement of engagement outcomes in terms of the financial support pledged or donated
- stronger advocacy for the project
- a deeper appreciation of how philanthropy had an important role to play in providing the very best for Loreto girls in the 21st Century
The leadership by the Principal, the Campaign Chair, the School Council and the quality of the materials produced by Loreto Development Office were all very significant factors in the success of the campaign.
The Campaign Committee played an equally vital role, proving to be a very enthusiastic, hands on group of individuals who made their own gifts and remained very active in speaking with prospects and donors throughout the entire campaign.
Perhaps best of all, the Loreto community is now left with an enduring legacy from the experience of a very successful campaign and a large group of supporters who were very pleased to play their part.
The fundraising consultants from AskRIGHT helped us to build a successful fundraising campaign and we raised over double the original target. Participation rates from the community were also very high, we are very satisfied with the final outcomes.
Judy Reid, Director of Development