Client Success Stories

Regional Hospital SystemBoston Health Care OrganizationA Religious OrganizationCultural Institution

A Regional Hospital System

In January 2010, during the worst economy imaginable, in the second poorest community in all of Massachusetts, a hospital system fundraising foundation boldly moved forward with the largest capital campaign ever conducted in the entire western part of the state. The Foundation was armed with campaign counsel from The Prospero Group, led by Doris Feinberg, the most engaged, invested and operational consultant one could ever hope to employ. Along with Doris’ expertise the campaign was enhanced in every conceivable way by the talent of the entire Prospero team. In addition, The Prospero Group brought to the table expert creative writers and designers for collateral materials including the case for support, videos and donor recognition. There has not been a single aspect of the campaign project that does not have the Prospero Group stamp on it. 

In addition, and as a direct result of the campaign success, after extensive research, a new “best practice” model for a board structure of a regional foundation supporting a complex health system was proposed by The Prospero Group. In collaboration with the executive director of the Foundation, this new model was approved and implemented.

The end result:

The $20 million campaign goal was met in 18 months, then expanded by $3 million and that goal was achieved 22 months after the campaign was launched.

A Boston Health Care Organization

A Boston-based health care organization asked The Prospero Group to conduct a feasibility study to learn whether $10 million was a reasonable capital campaign goal. The organization learned that, in spite of its worthy and compelling mission, it was not well-known in the community. In addition, there was little evidence of volunteer leadership or major gifts among the participants in the study. After delivering the sobering news to the board and professional leaders, The Prospero Group developed a strategic follow up plan to increase visibility in the marketplace, forge alliances with key community movers and shakers, and recruit a high-profile board. This organization became unstoppable in its grassroots efforts to change the culture and create an environment worthy of philanthropy.

The end result:

Over $40 million raised in a three year period

A Religious Organization

A religious organization hired The Prospero Group after the organization had raised $12 million towards a $30 million goal and then stalled. The volunteer leadership was tired, the board was not invested in leading or “owning” the campaign initiative, and individual gifts were closing at less than estimated levels. Campaign fatigue was rampant. The campaign was floundering, but it would have been untenable to stop the effort while corrective measures were taken. Instead, The Prospero Group team developed new prospect ratings based on qualified research. The board reassessed the campaign goal, now based on capability and affinity as opposed to project need. The board then approved a new goal of $20 million while making alternative funding plans to complete the capital project. The executive director became the key solicitor until new volunteer leadership was identified. The Prospero Group team led board retreats to train and educate the board members about their philanthropic mandate. Solicitation “rehearsals,” held with the solicitors prior to each solicitation meeting, boosted confidence.

The end result:

Now at $17 million with new prospects identified

Cultural Institution

American arts organizations, particularly symphony orchestras, are struggling to achieve equilibrium amid rising production costs and falling subscription and ticket revenue. A small but acclaimed symphony orchestra in a struggling city in Massachusetts hired The Prospero Group to serve as counsel for an endowment campaign designed to provide sustainability in what is forecasted to be a challenging future.

With relatively little experience in campaigns, the symphony entrusted every aspect of the campaign - from development of collateral materials, to prospect identification, to volunteer and board solicitation training, and policies and procedures - to The Prospero Group.

The end result:

$2.1 million has been raised thus far for an organization that is now operating at a higher level of philanthropic and governance sophistication setting the stage for more philanthropic support in the future, and cushioned by a more robust endowment.