Arts/Environment

21st Century Parks, Louisville, KY

The story of 21st Century Parks began with a successful founding campaign that raised $25 million. Dan Jones, President and CEO of the organization recalled, “We had a clear vision and outline of the project, but we knew we needed to raise more money and to strengthen our case for support to take it to a broader audience.” Upon the recommendation of Bill Juckett, Board Chairman, Mr. Jones engaged The Covenant Group to conduct a feasibility study.

“We needed a more formal test of the market and to put the whole project on more solid footing.” Jones added, “The feasibility study process provided us with valuable research, data on what percentage of donors would give a second time, a clear campaign structure, valid recommendations and a target amount to raise.”

Jones mentioned that another benefit that came from the study was the recommendation to add a seasoned, experienced Director of Development to the team. The Covenant Group helped the organization recruit Christen Boone who was just putting the finishing touches on a successful campaign at Actors Theatre. “Christen was instrumental in helping the campaign transition from theory to action. Since she had already worked with The Covenant Group on the Actors’ campaign it was an easy relationship that helped the campaign build early momentum.”

Jones described The Covenant Group as being vested in the campaign’s success. “Many consultants finish the study, give you the report and then leave. The Covenant Group was so involved. They continually touched base to ensure that we were on track.” He continued, “They are highly competent, very experienced and knowledgeable. They provided a broad perspective by equipping us with useful data on other campaigns and best practices in the field. All in all, they are excellent.”

Jones calls the campaign a huge success. He is proud to say that 21st Century Parks achieved all that they wanted to achieve through the campaign. “As a result of the funds raised we have been able to buy 3700 acres which will be built into a 4 park system. It will open within 3 years.” Comparing the progress of this campaign to those of peer cities, Jones marveled, “There are at least 5 or 6 big park projects going on now nationally. The only one that is 100% financed is here in Louisville. When you compare the size and the pace of our campaign to those underway in much bigger cities like New York and Chicago, it is so unique and amazing what we have been able to accomplish. The Covenant Group’s work contributed a great deal to that success.”

Jones closed with a hearty recommendation. “Of course I would recommend The Covenant Group to other organizations. There is such a good spirit in the firm. It was such an easy working relationship. They are true professionals. Flexible, available… I have nothing but the highest appreciation and regard for Len and his associates.”


Kentucky School of Art, Louisville, KY

The Kentucky School of Art at Spalding University (KSA) started four years ago with a vision.  Founder and Chancellor, Churchill Davenport, wanted to bring an innovative, first rate school dedicated to the visual arts to Louisville.  Through partnership with Spalding University students have a unique opportunity to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities with a concentration in Art and now a Bachelor’s in Fine Art.  Since its inception in 2009, enrollment at KSA has grown to more than 100 students today.

However, as a young, start-up organization, keeping a steady stream of operational capital can be a challenge.  Meghan Greenwell, Director of Institutional Advancement, states: “We had an influx of capital at the beginning, but then we hit a lull.  We needed a way to stabilize support and grow our donor base. We decided the best way to do that was through a capital campaign.” Before moving ahead with the campaign, KSA leaders sought the help of fundraising counsel to conduct a feasibility study.  Meghan recalls, “We interviewed several firms.  The Covenant Group really stood out.  Len made us immediately comfortable. He had such a great attitude.  We really believed that he wanted to partner with us in this journey. It was clear he understood higher education as well as our unique position.”

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Actors Theatre, Louisville, KY

The recently completed Actors Theatre of Louisville capital campaign achieved amazing success. “We beat the original $12 million goal by $1.5 million,” said Christen McDonough-Boone, Director of Development.

In addition to the $13.5 million raised in campaign gifts, Actors Theatre also generated $3.5 million in annual commitments. “Dr. Moisan instructed us to ask for the campaign and annual gifts at the same time”, said Todd Lowe, President of the Board. “This strategy obviously worked.”
In 2004, The Covenant Group conducted a feasibility study for Actors Theatre. “The feasibility study process was really helpful, especially to the strategic planning phase of the campaign” said McDonough-Boone. “The interviews and ground work completed by The Covenant Group helped us craft and then refine our case statement, uncover new donor sources and word our case in a way that helped generate people’s interest and involvement.”

Lowe agreed, “The organizational skills that The Covenant Group brought to the campaign were very helpful. They showed us how to plan, implement, really determine the nuts and bolts of the campaign.” Both cited following the campaign plan as key to achieving results. Lowe stated, “Dr. Moisan convinced us that following the campaign plan was crucial.”
In addition to campaign planning, the counsel provided by Dr. Len Moisan of the Covenant Group was extremely helpful in each stage of the campaign. “I really appreciated Dr. Moisan’s counsel throughout the campaign process, and even now I still call him for input at times,” stated McDonough-Boone.

Both people noted that they would not hesitate to call The Covenant Group again for campaign services or to recommend them to other organizations seeking campaign counsel. “The Covenant Group is dependable, creative, thoughtful and extremely serious about what they do,” remarked Lowe. “They have a terrific record of structuring and conducting campaigns that exceed goals.” McDonough-Boone added, “The level of experience, support and professionalism Dr. Moisan and his team brought to our campaign helped to ensure our success.”