Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Louisville, KY

Louisville’s landscape bears the signature of Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture.  In 1891, Mr. Olmsted, the mastermind behind New York’s Central Park, the grounds at Biltmore Estate and the U.S. Capitol Grounds, was invited to Louisville to help establish a park system.  The result was a stunning array of 18 parks and six parkways.  They are Louisville landmarks and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Nearly 100 years later, a nonprofit organization was established to help preserve and enhance these masterpieces for generations to come, the Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy.  When they needed to revitalize a capital campaign to grow their efforts, they called on The Covenant Group.

Kate Chandler, Executive Vice President for the Conservancy, said that The Covenant Group did not stop at providing campaign assistance.  “Dr. Moisan and his team not only helped with the campaign, they really helped to lay a solid foundation for our entire development process at the Conservancy.  We have had a development effort in place; however, it was not strategic in its approach and had not reached its potential.  Len stepped in, made suggestions to our board, and they listened and acted on his counsel.”

“For example, in conducting the Feasibility Study, Dr. Moisan identified other areas that could be strengthened. He assisted in creating a job description for a development director and then served on the search and interview committee in landing that individual – me!”  Ms. Chandler had previously served on the development staff of a large Louisville nonprofit, and she commented on how The Covenant Group performed.  “They added more value than other nationally-recognized consultants I had observed.  Len’s knowledge of the city’s philanthropic landscape and the players was invaluable.  And, his expertise was welcomed and respected by our board.  In some cases, he would share ideas and concepts that they may have heard before, however, he carried a level of validity with the board that resulted in action.”

Kate discussed the numerous project update and status meetings led by Dr. Moisan.  “Many times, we would go to Len’s office a bit down, wondering if we would make our goal.  Each and every time we left reinvigorated!  Len was always enthusiastic and he is a creative problem solver.  He would send us away with new ideas, new strategies and a renewed sense of optimism.” It paid off.  “We have exceeded our goal of $4.3 million and we are not done yet! The campaign has a few months left for the public phase and we are already at $5.2 million!”

Ms. Chandler summarized her experience with The Covenant Group. “I would not hesitate to involve Len and his team again.  Len was not like a paid service provider; he really became our partner in the process and helped keep us on track.  To all my fundraising colleagues I would enthusiastically recommend him.  And, I have done so.”