Assisting leadership through the campaign planning
Working together to achieve our client's goals
Exceeded original goal and completed $12 million campaign
The Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma was at a crossroads. It had undergone a merger–combining three councils to form one. In the previous year it was the fourth fastest growing Council in the nation, representing over 30 counties. Its Council Headquarters was outdated, overcrowded and inefficient –a massive state transportation project would make access difficult. This location could not serve the organization next year, let alone in the years to come.
When Girl Scouts leadership first approached Dini Spheris, they wanted to understand what it would take to launch a capital campaign. They knew hard work lie ahead. The new CEO had a strong background in the corporate world, but had never led a capital campaign. The Development Director recently retired and it had been 20 years since the last capital campaign. The Board members were just starting to engage in major gifts philanthropy, as it was not currently a strong source of funding. Some in the philanthropic community lacked awareness of their accomplishments and relevance.
It is often in these circumstances, and faced with these fundamental needs–developing a case, uncovering donors, coaching leadership, building a campaign goal–that Dini Spheris thrives. The Girl Scouts leadership needed some help. With Dini Spheris they received more than just a fundraising advisor– they found a partner who would make their philanthropic dreams a reality. Roberta Preston, CEO, reflects on our work together, saying, “I can’t imagine a better partnership. Dini Spheris had a passionate commitment to our goal and I am confident we would not have been as successful as we were with anyone else.”
To start, Dini Spheris helped the Girl Scouts think about their campaign in bigger and broader terms – beyond the walls of a new facility – to consider the impact a strengthened organization would have on the region: how reaching 15% of Eastern Oklahoma’s girl population would impact not only those girls, but their families, schools and communities; how to utilize a capital campaign to raise funds for resident camps and establish an endowment. This led to increasing the campaign goal by $2.5 million and augmenting the campaign vision to fulfill needs beyond the new building.
Dini Spheris reimagined and developed a new case for support, rooted in national research and statistics, to reposition the Girl Scouts within the community as a relevant and impactful organization. To ensure its effectiveness, the case for support was accompanied by a toolkit and training on sharing the points through a philanthropic lens. Staff and volunteers were encouraged to weave case messaging into every encounter, from talking points and grant proposals, to social media updates and newsletters.
During campaign planning, Dini Spheris accompanied the CEO on donor visits, which provided her with real-time coaching and sharpened her fundraising skills. With a strong understanding of the case and firsthand knowledge of the donors, we crafted a philanthropic strategy that resonated with each donor. As Dini Spheris was involved from the onset, we worked alongside leadership and architects to incorporate naming opportunities seamlessly into the building plans. The result was opportunities for recognition that were natural to the facility and meaningful to donors.
After two years of partnership, the Girl Scouts exceeded their original goal and finished a $12 million campaign. The campaign received six gifts over $1 million–an impressive feat considering it had been 20 years since the last seven-figure gift. The Girl Scouts leadership forged new connections with donors, strengthened their fundraising skills and transformed how they communicated their impact. Thanks to the relationships Dini Spheris helped facilitate, the Girl Scouts turned one-time donors into lifelong supporters. Today, as the organization embarks on a new chapter, it is transformed–operating in a facility that reflects its importance and supported by partners that believe in its future.