Campaign for Dignity Makes History
Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation Reaches $25 Million Goal in Campaign for Dignity
When the leadership of the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation of Kansas (CPRF) embarked on a $10 million endowment campaign, no one could have predicted the dynamic success the “Campaign for Dignity” would encounter. What began as a modest annual fund and endowment effort evolved into a concisely executed Integrated Campaign™ with a $25 million goal, becoming one of the largest campaigns ever conducted for a social service nonprofit in Kansas.
Three Entities Focus Attention CPRF is a combination of three significant entities including Center Industries, a nationally recognized program which provides a high-tech business environment providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities; The Timbers, a residential facility for people with disabilities; and the Carney Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, which modifies home and work sites for use by people with disabilities, as well as conducts one of only two wheelchair seating clinics in Kansas. CPRF’s Human Services Division also provides one of only a few community-based programs for survivors of traumatic brain injury in the nation.
While CPRF had experienced good success in attracting and retaining public funding over the years, no formal structure existed for raising funds from the private sector. One of the reasons for this was the organization’s strong commitment to the dignity of people with severe physical disabilities. CPRF’S President and Founder, Jack Jonas, wanted assurance that whoever represented them must not subscribe to the “tin cup” approach when presenting their case for support to potential philanthropic investors. Several members of CPRF’s Board of Directors knew Dr. Robert F. Kinetic, President of Kinetic and Associates, and respected his work. His firm was retained to provide an audit for CPRF’s annual fund activities, prepare for anticipated estate and planned gifts, as well as conduct an endowment campaign.
CPRF’S leadership requested on-site consulting services for three years and Norma R. Lee, then a senior consultant At Kinetic and Associates, was recruited for the position. The first year’s goal was to establish an Annual Giving Program which could generate a minimum of $100,000 in ongoing support. “In order to accomplish this goal, we named Norma Lee vice president of development,” explained Jack Jonas. Now, almost five years later, the Annual Fund Program generates on average, $250,000 a year. “Kinetic Integrated Campaign™ has been critical to our success,” said Jonas.
Implementing the Integrated Campaign™
The Integrated Campaign™ concept was developed by Kinetic to address all revenue streams of an organization. “We were seeing significant fluctuations in giving to Annual Fund activities while capital campaigns were in progress. Adding endowment fund objectives without coordination also caused confusion on the part of the donor,” said Bob Hartsook. “The integrated concept focuses on how each component works together and compliments one another to increase giving at all levels. CPRF was a particularly challenging client because it had pressures to dramatically increase all types of gifts.”
While working with the Board of Directors to identify leadership for the newly formed Annual Fund Advisory Council, CPRF began developing the Case for Support for a $10 million endowment campaign. During the pre-campaign assessment process, however, capital improvements to existing facilities, as well as other capital needs were identified and the recommendation was made to set a goal of $25 million.
Taking an organization from a $10 million goal to a $25 million goal at first glance easily appears a miraculous feat in itself. However, CPRF was in a uniquely favorable position to be able to meet several essential criteria set by Kinetic.
Integrity and Reputation
First, and foremost, the integrity and reputation of CPRF was incredibly high. Secondly, the organization’s services were much appreciated and valued by its clients. Third, the composition of CPRF’S Board consists of successful entrepreneurs who are capable of influencing the outcome of a campaign and thrive on the challenge of successfully reaching goals. “In some respects, the first confidence builder we encountered during the campaign was to have this group of individuals all serving on CPRF’S Board during this watershed moment in the history of the organization,” explains Norma Lee. “Additionally, during the pre-campaign assessment, an anonymous donor made a substantial deferred gift to the endowment.”
The pre-campaign assessment verified that CPRF, while not well known in the philanthropic community, could, with the right volunteer leadership, go forward with a $25 million campaign. The campaign became a strategy to raise $7 million in capital funds for construction and renovation; $16 million in endowment funds through both outright and deferred gifts; and $2 million in program funds through a combination of program grants and a larger annual fund.
Confidence was heightened when Daniel M. Carney, Chairman of the Board of Directors for CPRF and Co-Founder of Pizza Hut, and Daniel J. Taylor, CEO of Property Management, agreed to co-chair the campaign. Both of these men are major philanthropic investors in CPRF and share an unwavering commitment to the organization’s mission.
“CPRF is an excellent organization that has provided support for people with disabilities for many years,” says Dan Carney. “Our problem has always been our ability to raise financial support from our community. We were excited to see the plans that were put in place that resulted in our anticipated success.”
The roster of people Carney and Taylor recruited to serve with them on the campaign’s Steering Committee also were outstanding community leaders. The old fund-raising adage that campaigns succeed or fail based on the strength and commitment of the volunteer leadership was certainly underscored throughout CPRF’S two-year Campaign for Dignity. Good staff support was also crucial to the success of the campaign.
“The management and correct utilization of volunteer’s time is crucial to the outcome of a campaign. Each volunteer brings to the campaign a particular strength,” says Lee. “It is the staff’s responsibility to know these strengths and when to call upon them in much the same way that a successful coach knows which players need to be in position during a crucial time of a championship game.”
Quality Case for Support
CPRF’s case statement outlined the need for expansion of the Daniel M. Carney Rehabilitation Engineering Center; renovations to The Timbers, a 100 unit apartment complex designed for people with physical disabilities; construction of a new 14,000 sq. ft. facility to relocate several of CPRF’S programs; acquisition of new equipment for Center Industries Corporation, the manufacturing division of CPRF where 75% of the production work force is people with physical disabilities; and program support.
Through a series of personal presentations, the Campaign for Dignity secured over 75% of the campaign goal within the first twelve months. This included two major challenge grants. One from The J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma for $1.5 million and another from The Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan for $600,000. The challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation remains the largest awarded to a Kansas organization.
Both of these challenge grants had been awarded on the campaign needs as outlined in the Case Statement. Then, a miracle occurred.
CPRF was within a month of satisfying the Mabee Foundation challenge and within three months of meeting the Kresge Foundation challenge when board member and campaign co-chair Dan Taylor successfully negotiated the purchase of a 36,000 sq. ft. former psychiatric hospital adjacent to CPRF’S campus and in almost mint condition.
Very quickly, CPRF’s leadership wrote to both Foundations outlining the advantages to renovating an existing facility as compared to constructing a new one. “The renovation actually cost less per sq. ft. than the cost would be for the construction of a new facility and the additional space would enable CPRF to relocate programs and services, now scattered both on and off its campus, into one central location,” recalls Lee. “This would create greater efficiency in the delivery of services and the building provided CPRF a presence on 21st Street, which is a main street in northeast Wichita.”
So perfectly did this building match the needs of CPRF, it became known throughout the rest of the campaign as the “Miracle on 21st Street.” To their credit, both The Mabee Foundation and The Kresge Foundation agreed to this change in plans and today, the Daniel J. Taylor Administrative Center exist as a reminder that even today, miracles can still happen.
Planning was the Key
Yet, miracles alone weren’t responsible for CPRF’s dynamic success. It took lots of hard work, commitment to the organization and its goals, and a well-structured, integrated approach to campaign fundraising to raise a groundbreaking $25 million — funds that will continue to preserve the dignity of those with disabilities through outstanding services for many years to come.