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Major Gifts/Legacy Giving Counsel

Case Study: Spalding University (Louisville, KY)

Founded in 1814, Spalding University is one of the most historic institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and combines a dedication to comprehensive, modern education with a genuine respect for its rich academic heritage. Evolving from the Nazareth Academy, founded by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth near Bardstown, Kentucky, Spalding University is the oldest University west of the Alleghenies to be steeped in the Catholic tradition. Today Spalding is an urban, co-educational institution offering twenty-five degree programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels to over 2000 students.

At the end of its last major capital campaign, Spalding faced a Presidential transition and turned to the team of Ashley|Rountree for guidance on its major gifts and planned giving programs. As the University's former Vice President for Advancement, Jeff Ashley was uniquely positioned to provide expert insight regarding donor relationships and additional giving opportunities during the final phase of Spalding's capital campaign and moving into post-campaign initiatives. Ashley worked closely with the University's staff leadership team and board to also identify new donors who could be approached for major gifts, as well as recommending initiatives to return to prior donors and asked for renewed support. Spalding was successful in raising over $15 million on a $10 million goal.

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Case Study: Louisville Visual Art Association (Louisville, KY)

The Louisville Visual Art Association (LVAA) is among the naton's oldest and most respected visual arts organizations. Established in 1909, the LVAA has engaged artists and audiences through an energetic agenda of education, community outreach, artist support, and exhibitions that nurture creative expression and stimulate dialogue.

In 2006, as they approached their 100th anniversary, LVAA leaders sought expert outside counsel to assess their development programs and annual events, evaluate the LVAA's potential to grow its major gifts program and assist in repositioning the board's expectations and committee roles, providing renewed commitment to recruit and retain a new generation of board leadership. LVAA looked to the team at Ashley|Rountree to take a fresh look at the whole organization, to not shy away from the tougher mission-based dynamic of "education" versus "exhibition", but to do so with a particular focus on philanthropy, fundraising and board/staff roles.

Through the summer and fall of 2006, our consultants worked side-by side with LVAA staff and board members to assess the recent history and trends of their annual support revenue streams, identify opportunities for growth and develop specific strategies for securing increased (or new) major gifts from new donors and estate gifts from loyal donors. Annual giving programs were evaluated and new plans were proposed to help grow the base of members and program underwriters. Comprehensive recommendations were developed for critical changes to the board's policies and procedures, committee roles and functions. A particular focus of the project was to substantially strengthen the role of the Development Committee and align its efforts more strategically with the LVAA's small staff and limited resources. Five years later, the LVAA has entered its second century with an even stronger record of service to the community and fundraising success.

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Case Study: 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 for assistance to help provide campaign direction and counsel for a new capital campaign. The campaign envisions a $14.5 million effort to support renovation and construction for facilities used for staff at the headquarters in Louisville, as well as offices in New Albany (Indiana) and Elizabethtown (Kentucky). The campaign supports new programs and endowment funds, providing much-needed stability in a time of shifting health care funding dynamics. Our consultants 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. Our consultants recently 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.

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Case Study: Volunteers of America - Kentucky (Louisville, KY)

Volunteers of America of Kentucky (VOAKY) is committed to serving individuals and families throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Southern Indiana, by creating positive change in the lives of individuals and communities through a ministry of service.

In addition to being one of the region's largest and most comprehensive human services organizations, VOAKY is an interdenominational church with a distinctive ministry of service. VOAKY opened its first location in Kentucky in 1896, the same year social reformers within the Methodist faith founded the national organization on the promise to "go wherever we are needed, and do whatever comes to hand," filling important gaps for those who would otherwise be overlooked. Today the organization provides professional services to individuals with developmental disabilities, families facing homelessness, individuals at risk for HIV/AIDS and affected by HIV/AIDS, veterans who are homeless and addicted, and other individuals recovering from addiction.

Seeking assistance with a strategic initiative focused on community engagement, the organization turned to Ashley|Rountree. Ashley|Rountree evaluated Volunteers of America's major gift program and focused on increasing corporate support in the Louisville Metro area. Efforts included identifying qualified prospects that were uniquely matched to the organization's mission, developing winning strategies to secure new gifts and consulting on potential future board leadership for the organization. Through the entire project, Ashley|Rountree staff remained on-call providing timely coaching and guidance to senior staff.

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