We welcome Transylvania University, Turnaround Resource Center, and Guthrie Opportunity Center Foundation to our family of clients.

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Comprehensive Capital Campaign Management

Whether it’s a significant capital campaign or a special major gifts initiative, we can work side-by-side with your volunteer leadership and staff to prepare, launch and manage fundraising efforts. We are able to provide consistent week-to-week support to help you implement a plan, anticipate challenges and reach your goal.

Successful campaigns depend on planning, flexibility, persistence and a commitment to focus on key steps each week. Such major efforts require a significant new allocation of staff and volunteer resources. 

The primary benefit of partnering with temporary, outside counsel to supplement your staff’s expertise is that we have the experience to keep you focused on doing the right things in the most efficient ways.  Our staff and associates have assisted over 300 capital campaigns across the nation. 

As campaign counsel we understand that no two organizations are exactly alike.  We can provide as much — or as little — assistance as your staff, volunteers and budget require, from “start-up” of the campaign (creating a plan and structure, assisting in recruitment and training of volunteer leaders, refining prospect lists and strategies) to week-to-week campaign management. 

We can also assist in creating all of the core campaign communication materials, grant proposals and essential reporting you’ll need for reports to volunteers and donors.

Case Studies

Burlington Baptist Church (Burlington, KY)

Burlington Baptist Church has served the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area since 1842, making this faith community one of the oldest in the Tri-state region. In 2010, the Church turned to Dr. Steve McSwain of Ashley | Rountree for counsel on planning their capital campaign.

We led the congregation in a thorough pre-campaign assessment, engaging all leaders and members of the Church in a dialogue about a proposed $1.7 million capital campaign. The campaign study included interviews with key leaders and donors, as well as group meetings and a church-wide survey.

As a result of the study, the Church concluded that it could successfully raise at least $1 million, with the real possibility of raising even more once that goal was achieved.  They then engaged Ashley | Rountree to manage the campaign. Within just a few months, Burlington Baptist Church exceeded its $1 million goal, and they continue to collect more funds.

At the conclusion of the campaign, Pastor Todd Toole wrote, “I am thrilled with the outcomes in our campaign. We had more members participate in the campaign than in any effort in the history of the church. I would also say that I have been involved as a pastor in several capital campaigns and this was by far the most organized, pointed and successful. Dr. McSwain and Ashley | Rountree served our church well and I would be more than happy to offer my personal endorsement to any church leader wishing to know more about the quality of expertise they brought to our campaign and the experience we had with them.”

Jewish Family & Career Services (Louisville, KY)

Jewish Family & Career Services (formerly known as Jewish Family & Vocational Service) is a nonprofit comprehensive human services organization that serves the Louisville Metro community. Founded in 1908, the roots of JFCS began within the Jewish community, but today JFCS serves people of all faiths in Metro Louisville with programs focusing on family, work, education, older adults, immigrants and refugees.

In 2007, as JFCS approached its Centennial, staff and board leadership envisioned a $2.75 million campaign to grow the organization’s endowment.  Knowing that an endowment campaign was an unusual and ambitious step, JFCS leaders turned to Ashley | Rountree to assess the feasibility of such a campaign. 

We conducted interviews with leading and prospective donors and evaluated JFCS annual programs to determine whether they could sustain critical annual donations and grow major gifts during and after an endowment campaign. 

We also worked with staff and board to provide training that would clarify board roles and expectations and strengthen their capacity to serve in a major campaign.

Our assessment study concluded that the $2.75 million campaign was feasible. The JFCS board asked Ashley | Rountree to provide ongoing campaign management. Midway through the campaign, the goal was raised to $3 million due to the early success of major gift solicitations. 

We helped the campaign committee and JFCS articulate the increased needs behind the new, higher goal, and the campaign topped $3.2 million in cash and confirmed planned gift commitments to the JFCS endowment, including a lead gift of nearly $1 million. The final goal tally also provided an extra $275,000 in new programmatic funds.

Hosparus (Louisville, KY; New Albany, IN; Elizabethtown, KY; Bowling Green, KY)

Hosparus is the region’s leading hospice care provider, serving more than 5,000 patients annually in 36 counties across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. A Joint Commission-accredited, nonprofit hospice organization, Hosparus has for has been providing care, comfort and counseling over 30 years.

After undergoing a significant change in staff leadership, Hosparus turned to Ashley | Rountree in 2009 to help provide direction and counsel for a new capital campaign — a $14.5 million effort to support renovation and construction for the headquarters in Louisville and offices in New Albany (Indiana) and Elizabethtown (Kentucky). The campaign would support new programs and endowment funds, providing stability in a time of shifting health care funding dynamics. 

We helped to provide structure and recruiting strategies for campaign volunteers, and directed efforts to cultivate and secure major gifts. The campaign is currently in a quiet phase but has already secured three $500,000 gifts—the largest in the agency’s history.  We devised a comprehensive, 30-county prospect-screening program to assist Hosparus staff and board in boosting new prospects for gifts to the campaign.

Recently, Hosparus asked Ashley | Rountree to evaluate its annual giving programs and make recommendations on how to grow and sustain a new base of entry-level donors during the campaign.  Using best-practice methods from peer hospices nationally, the program was redesigned to focus on gaining new support from families served by Hosparus and improving the cost-efficiency for special events, among other efforts. 

Later that same year, Hosparus leadership asked Ashley | Rountree to serve as interim staff, leading a staff of 18 in Advancement and Public Affairs, and to direct a national search for a new Senior VP.  Both the reorganization and the search were successfully concluded within 4 months.

Assumption High School (Louisville, KY)

Founded in 1955 by the Sisters of Mercy, Assumption High School is a college preparatory school that brings together approximately 875 young women, grades 9-12, in a Catholic environment. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Assumption is a faith community, guided by the gospel teachings of the Catholic Church, offering special prayer services and liturgies, along with interesting theology classes and a four-year overnight retreat program.

Assumption’s board and staff turned to Ashley | Rountree for ongoing campaign counsel during their most recent capital campaign, Mind, Body & Spirit. We helped the staff and campaign volunteers identify key underwriters, build successful cultivation strategies and guide successful solicitations in an effort focused on projects for the art & theatre program, new athletic facilities, as well as tuition assistance and faculty funds.

Concurrent with these efforts, we identified a need for cost-effective, experienced interim staffing to provide short-term administrative support for the campaign and development office. As a result, Assumption’s development staff members were able to receive the benefit of expert support without having to search, hire and train a full-time replacement.

Farmington Historic Home (Louisville, KY)

Farmington Historic Home is one of Kentucky’s most invaluable historic and educational resources. A 14-room Federal-style home that was built for John and Lucy Fry Speed and their family of 13 children in 1815-1816, the house was the center of a 550-acre hemp plantation. In 1959, Farmington opened as the first house museum in the Louisville area.  Today the museum owns 18 acres of the original property.

Beginning in 2007, the staff and volunteer leaders at Farmington started planning for a comprehensive capital campaign to enhance educational exhibits and visitor services, and to complete critical restorations throughout the property. 

Since such a large campaign had never been attempted and the philanthropic appeal of the programs was admittedly specialized, the The Farmington Historic Home Trustees thought it wise to engage  Ashley | Rountree to conduct a feasibility study to determine the likely success of a proposed $1 million campaign. 

We conducted extensive interviews with prospective donors and worked with staff and board to clarify roles and expectations and provide board training for a major campaign.  As a result, the board asked Ashley | Rountree to remain as campaign counsel, assisting staff and a newly formed campaign committee. 

Early in the campaign, we assisted in efforts to receive a $200,000 challenge grant and two $100,000 gifts, among others. Despite a recent national recession, Farmington exceeded its $1 million goal. 

Just prior to the campaign’s completion in early 2011, we led the board in two planning retreats focused on strengthening and growing the board, with an eye on increasing sustained annual support for Farmington.

The Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo, the state zoo of Kentucky, is a nonprofit organization founded 42 years ago and dedicated to the pursuits of education, conservation, scientific study and recreation. The Zoo’s extensive collections include botanical gardens and exhibits with over 1,300 animals in naturalistic  settings representing both geographical areas and biomes or habitats. The Zoo has over 35,000 members and 800,000 annual visitors, making it one of the nation’s most-visited zoos.

Ashley | Rountree has helped the Zoo successfully complete two successive capital campaigns. In 2004, board and staff leaders approached us to assist in managing the final phase of a campaign for a new aviary exhibit that would highlight the Zoo’s lorikeets.  

Once finished, the Zoo asked us to undertake an assessment study to examine the feasibility of a campaign for an ambitious new exhibit, Glacier Run, which would require more than $20 million — the largest fundraising effort in the Zoo’s history. As a result of our work, the boards of the Zoo and the Zoo Foundation concluded that a goal of $25 million-plus was achievable.  

The Zoo once again turned to Ashley | Rountree in 2005 to serve as campaign counsel, guiding staff and board to successfully go over goal with more than $26 million raised by campaign’s end in 2010, including a successful $900,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation.

Concurrent with these campaigns, Zoo staff has asked for focused assistance in evaluating opportunities for growing the annual giving program. Ashley | Rountree guided the Zoo in creating innovative methods for converting members to donors, as well as strategies for identifying affinities within non-donor groups. 

We also provided ongoing coaching to senior staff leadership, covering a variety of areas in development, community outreach and board relations.