SUCCESS STORY: Rainbow Village

Moving Forward After A Disappointing Feasibility Study

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The Situation

Duluth, Georgia-based Rainbow Village has been providing transitional housing to homeless families with children for over 25 years. In 2008, the organization’s leadership determined it was time to significantly expand their mission…with a goal of tripling the number of families they serve. They took all the right steps. A board-led strategic planning process helped to define their goals, costs were researched and a goal of $7 million established, and a consultant was brought in to complete a funding feasibility study. That’s where it almost fell apart before Convergent was engaged.

Rainbow Village, Inc.


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Funding Goals

  • At the end of a board-led strategic planning process, Rainbow Village estimated they would need to raise upwards of $7 million to actualize their vision.
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The Challenges

  • Campaign launched in the midst of a major economic recession 
  • Organization’s first-ever capital campaign
  • Previous consultants told Rainbow Village to expect to raise no more than $1.5 million
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The Convergent Approach

After receiving a disappointing estimate from the previous consultants, Rainbow Village’s Former CEO Nancy Yancy found herself remembering one sentence she heard while attending Convergent Principal Tom Ralser’s presentation at a Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness conference:

 “What if I told you that you already had all the donors you need?” 

Nancy’s recollection of this one seemingly simple sentence from Tom can be looked at as the turning point in Rainbow Village’s Capital Campaign. After determining that the original firm’s “old school” philosophy was not the right approach, Rainbow Village ultimately hired Convergent to manage their campaign.

Convergent revisited the individuals interviewed in the original feasibility study conducted by the previous consultants. It was immediately apparent that the total scope—and impact—of the campaign had not been properly explained. In fact, the process of reinterviewing these individuals directly led to two separate $1 million investments, which provided significant momentum from the outset of the campaign.

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The Results

  • Phase 1 campaign commitments of $2.7 million, which allowed Rainbow Village to break ground on a new transitional housing facility and Family Service Center.
  • Rainbow Village secured a total of over $9 million, completed Phase II, and broke ground on the fully-funded Phase III of the master plan.

More than $9 million raised

I can tell you of all the things connected to this campaign, the greatest angst for our board was fear of having to ask for money. Taking away this angst—and replacing it with the reassurance that professionals would be making the ask—instilled our confidence in Convergent to lead a successful campaign.

Nancy Yancey
 Former CEO

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