When Rainbow Village decided it was time to grow their mission, they did what most non-profit organizations would do: they developed a strategic plan, and an ambitious one at that. This small, local program provides a transitional housing community for homeless families with children, and their goal was to expand their ten-family campus which provides child care, financial management training, and lifestyle coaching into a 30 family, all-inclusive village. They estimated that they would need to raise $7.7 million dollars to actualize their vision, and despite the fact that they had strong relationships within the community to call upon, the reality was that they had never undertaken a capital campaign before.
Like most boards would do in similar circumstances, they interviewed several companies before hiring a consulting firm to conduct a funding feasibility study for them. Unfortunately, the results were not what they had expected. According to the feasibility report, Rainbow Village would only be able to raise $1.5-$1.7 million. To a board that was already reluctant to ask for money, these results were potentially devastating. Rainbow Village CEO Nancy Yancey had another idea though. She had recently heard Tom Ralser, a Principal with Convergent Nonprofit Solutions, speak at a Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness conference and couldn’t get his words out of her head, “You already have all the investors you’ll ever need.” Deciding that it might be time for a different approach, Nancy and the Rainbow Village board ultimately hired Convergent to run their capital campaign; a company that has helped them raise over $4.5M towards their goal as of the date of this publication.
Moving from a funding feasibility study to a campaign should be a simple process. Deciding to hire a different company to run your campaign than you hired to complete the feasibility study makes it more complex, and maybe even scary. In the following interview with Nancy Yancey, we find out what prompted her to change companies, the challenges that change presented, and how the decision to change their path mid-stream impacted Rainbow Village’s campaign.