This working farm, in Hunterdon County NJ, is hundreds of acres of protected land, created by an estate gift, governed by the county, and operated by a public-private partnership. When The Farm came to us it had little experience in fundraising beyond a few annual fun events. Under a foundation grant that covered Oram’s services we created a strategic fund development plan for Howell, recruited the first development officer, and over a few years worked to change the board from a purely programmatic overseer to one that combined that essential function with a conscious and increasing emphasis on private sector fundraising. The Farm’s unique pristine location in the nation’s heavily trafficked northeast corridor preserves and reawakens an American rural past going back to pre-Revolutionary War days.
Children’s Health Fund, founded in 1987 by pediatrician/child advocate Irwin Redlener, MD, (pictured at left) and singer/songwriter Paul Simon, is committed to providing comprehensive health care to the nation’s most medically underserved children through the development and support of innovative primary care medical programs and the promotion of guaranteed access to appropriate health care for all children.
When they came to Oram CHF was set to break out, intending to add sites to the already well established locations around the nation. The key fundraiser was, and mainly still is, Dr. Redlener whose passion for children, devotion to providing poor children with accessible first quality health care and irresistible salesmanship – along with Paul Simon’s willingness to help, his ability to attract other entertainers, smashing sell-out events and a top notch development staff were the basic ingredients for taking on a capacity building campaign with a goal at $100 million+. Oram’s role was to help CHF set a strategy in place, aid in designing specific tactics to exponentially upgrade the giving of current donors, identify new prospects, and train volunteers and staff in how to ask for mega-gifts. We also recommended that CHF ramp up estate giving and created a plan for doing so.
We also made one recommendation CHF ultimately followed and which is turning out to hold enormous potential: convincing CHF to get into cause-related marketing seriously and strategically. As a designated beneficiary of American Idol charity funds CHF saw the potential but needed to be convinced it had a place in ongoing fundraising. There was some resistance at first that soon gave way. A program is now in place.
The campaign is ahead of schedule and under budget.