Home » Our Work » Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation: Campaign for Dignity
Kansas City, Mo.
So perfectly did this building match the needs of CPRF, it became known throughout the rest of the campaign as the Miracle on 21st Street. Yet, miracles alone weren’t responsible for CPRF’s dynamic success. It took lots of hard work, a commitment to the organization and its goals and a well-structured, integrated approach to campaign fundraising to raise a groundbreaking $25 million.
Kinetic was retained to provide the nonprofit with an audit of its annual fund activities and prepare the organization for a campaign. While the organization had experienced success in attracting and retaining public funding over the years, no formal structure existed for raising funds from the private sector.
“Kinetic has been critical to our success.” The Pre-Campaign Study uncovered an anonymous donor who wanted to make a substantial, deferred gift to the endowment. What began as a $10-million campaign for annual funds and endowment ended with $25 million raised.
CPRF is an excellent organization that has provided support for people with disabilities for many years,” says Dan Carney. “Our problem has always been our ability to raise financial support from our community. We were excited to see the plans that were put in place that resulted in our anticipated success.
Daniel M. Carney
Chairman of the board and co-founder of Pizza Hut
Campaign for Dignity
When the leadership of the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation of Kansas (CPRF) embarked on a $10-million endowment campaign, no one could have predicted its dynamic success. What began as a modest annual fund and endowment effort evolved into a concisely executed campaign with a $25-million goal.
CPRF is a nationally recognized leader in the development of rehabilitation engineering, specialized services, advocacy, employment training, and job placement for people with all types of disabilities
The nonprofit helps people with disabilities achieve their employment and independence goals through a variety of well-developed programs including Adult Day Services, a Wheelchair and Posture Seating Clinic, disability benefits analysis, housing, job placement and more.
While CPRF had experienced success in attracting and retaining public funding over the years, no formal structure existed for raising funds from the private sector. Kinetic was retained to provide an audit for CPRF’s annual fund activities, prepare for anticipated estate and planned gifts and conduct an endowment campaign.
The campaign’s first goal was to establish an annual giving program which could generate a minimum of $100,000 in ongoing support. CPRF had been experiencing significant fluctuations in annual fund giving while capital campaigns were in progress. Adding endowment fund objectives without coordination also caused confusion on the part of the donor. By taking an integrated approach increases giving at all levels. Within five years, the annual fund was generating an average of $250,000 a year. “Kinetic* has been critical to our success,” said Jack Jonas, CPRF’s president.
While working with the board to identify leadership for the newly formed Annual Fund Advisory Council, CPRF made plans to undertake a $10-million endowment campaign. Following the Pre-Campaign Study, Kinetic recommended the addition of capital objectives and a much larger campaign goal of $25 million.
Taking an organization from a $10-million goal to a $25- million goal was ambitious, but it was clear the organization’s services were much-appreciated and valued by its clients; and the composition of CPRF’S board included several successful entrepreneurs who were capable of influencing the outcome of a campaign. Additionally, the Pre-Campaign Study uncovered an anonymous donor who wanted to make a substantial, deferred gift to the endowment.
The campaign goal included $7 million for capital construction and renovations; $16 million for endowment through both outright and deferred gifts; and $2 million through a combination of program grants and a larger annual fund. Capital projects included the expansion of the Daniel M. Carney Rehabilitation Engineering Center; renovations to The Timbers, a 100-unit apartment complex; construction of a new 14,000-square-foot facility to relocate several of CPRF’S programs; and acquisition of new equipment for Center Industries Corporation, the manufacturing division of CPRF.
Confidence was heightened when Daniel M. Carney, chairman of the board and co-founder of Pizza Hut, and Daniel J. Taylor, CEO of Property Management, agreed to co-chair the campaign. Both were major philanthropic investors and shared an unwavering commitment to the organization’s mission.
“CPRF is an excellent organization that has provided support for people with disabilities for many years,” says Dan Carney. “Our problem has always been our ability to raise financial support from our community. We were excited to see the plans that were put in place that resulted in our anticipated success.”
The roster of people Carney and Taylor recruited to serve with them on the campaign’s steering committee also were outstanding community leaders. The old fundraising adage that campaigns succeed or fail based on the strength and commitment of the volunteer leadership was certainly underscored throughout CPRF’S two-year Campaign for Dignity. Good staff support was also crucial to the success of the campaign.
Through a series of personal presentations, the Campaign for Dignity secured over 75% of the campaign goal within the first twelve months. This included two major challenge grants. One from the Mabee Foundation for $1.5 million and another from The Kresge Foundation for $600,000.
Both of these challenge grants had been awarded on the campaign needs as outlined in the case for support. Then, a miracle occurred.
CPRF was within one month of satisfying the Mabee Foundation challenge and within three months of meeting the Kresge Foundation challenge when board member and campaign co-chair, Dan Taylor, successfully negotiated the purchase of a 36,000-square-foot, former psychiatric hospital adjacent to CPRF’S campus—perfectly positioned and almost in mint condition.
CPRF’s leadership wrote to both foundations outlining the advantages of renovating an existing facility as compared to constructing a new one. The renovation actually cost less per square foot than the cost of new construction and allowed all of CPRF’s programs and services to be brought under one roof. It generated greater efficiency in the delivery of services and added visibility in its presence on 21st Street—a main thoroughfare in Wichita.
So perfectly did this building match the needs of CPRF, it became known throughout the rest of the campaign as the Miracle on 21st Street. To their credit, both the Mabee Foundation and The Kresge Foundation agreed to adjust to this change in plans.
Yet, miracles alone weren’t responsible for CPRF’s dynamic success. It took lots of hard work, a commitment to the organization and its goals and a well-structured, integrated approach to campaign fundraising to raise a groundbreaking $25 million.
*This campaign took place prior to Hartsook becoming Kinetic in 2022.
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