Turning a long-abandoned reservoir in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood into an urban environmental education center was the aim of two nonprofits – the National Audubon Society and Philadelphia Outward Bound School. The pair embarked on a capital campaign for the Discovery Center with a $17 million price tag for the building, operations, and reserves. They reached the $9 million mark… but were stuck. Fairmount jumpstarted the campaign by maximizing the capacity of a strong fundraising committee through a step-by-step process that included organizing their resources, leveraging their contacts, mapping relationships, refining the case statement, introducing the concept to high-net-worth individuals, and providing one-on-one support for making the ask. The rejuvenated campaign achieved their goal and then raised more. Both organizations benefitted not only from Discovery Center funding but from renewed donor interest in their individual missions, programming, and annual appeals.
For more than 20 years, Face to Face has provided mutuality, hospitality, and transformation through hot meals, health and social services, legal assistance, and after-school programming for high-poverty families and individuals in East Germantown. When it came time to renovate its 19th century building, expand programming, and make operations more efficient and mission-aligned, Face to Face engaged Fairmount for a feasibility study and subsequent capital campaign. With assessment results that showed high interest among the organization’s donor base, volunteer leadership, and external community, Fairmount helped the nonprofit aim high with evidence, tools, and training to confidently ask for funding. The campaign’s goal has expanded twice to fully fund capital needs and grow the endowment, and has attracted new donors, energized existing supporters, generated new partner-based programming, and developed leadership capacity on the board. Ultimately, the campaign will position Face to Face to deliver significant increased impact for those in need in the community, and take a two-generation approach to reducing poverty through new early childhood education services.
Friends of The Rail Park began as a grassroots effort of local artists and advocates with a shared vision for a new public park, but did not have the money or political clout to make it happen. After years of effective advocacy, the world realized they had a powerful idea. The group engaged Fairmount to develop a business plan to plot how to fully realize their vision for the Rail Park over time. The plan determined how to position and build an effective organization, with whom and how to partner with the City and others, and how to secure the needed funding. It resulted in a significant, multi-year grant to for capacity-building, resource development, and community engagement. The end game? Philadelphia’s Rail Park will be a 3.1 mile linear park that connects Fairmount Park with Center City, running from Brewerytown to Northern Liberties, and linking cultural institutions that reach from Chinatown to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.