I am often times asked, â€śWhat do you think is the key to a successful development campaign or fundraising campaign?â€ť And as you know there are many keys to achieving success when seeking funds.Â But, when asked this question I always think of the University of Miami and what they did many years ago to do what many thought they didnâ€™t stand a chance of accomplishing—-raising millions of dollars from the Miami community.Â The reason why most people figured UofM wouldnâ€™t succeed was because most of the people who live in Miami were not raised there and found their way there from all parts of the world.Â People thought there were no connections, no shared histories and that this disconnect would only bring disappointment in any effort to raise millions.Â And if UofM accepted this thinking, they would have failed miserably, but they didnâ€™t.
When UofM leaders looked at their communities and the individuals who had left their families, their churches, their neighborhoods, their museums, their civic groups and everything else that was near and dear to them, they saw opportunities, voids to fill, hunger for connections and people who were ready, able and willing to get re-engaged with meaningful activities and causesâ€¦and who better to meet those needs than the UofM. That is exactly what they did.Â They began to offer the wide array of campus experiences available at the UofM to these folks to engage them in things that were meaningful to them and made them feel a sense of home away from home.Â In doing so, the UofM nurtured a cosmopolitan community into some of the most active and generous university champions in Americaâ€¦generating millions of dollars in support for the UofM driven by immense community loyalty.
Why am I telling you all this?Â Because, one of todayâ€™s alerts gives any college, university, or high school interested in starting a Campus Kitchen and also interested in working with older adults (50+) an opportunity to apply for a grant to help you become a Campus Kitchen.Â Three schools will receive awards of $5000 each to develop Campus Kitchens to:
- Strengthen BodiesÂ by using existing resources to meet hunger and nutritional needs in our community;
- Empower MindsÂ by providing leadership and service learning opportunities to students, and educational benefits to adults, seniors, children, and families in need; and
- Build CommunitiesÂ by fostering a new generation of community-minded adults through resourceful and mutually beneficial partnerships among students, social service agencies, businesses and schools.
This kind of grant opportunity excites me because it gives schools a tangible, purposeful way to connect with its community so that community can start to see whatâ€™s going on in that school and maybe, once they start to see the good things that are happening they too will become loyal, dedicated, generous champions of your school.
If we want our communities support our schools, we have to earn it and we donâ€™t earn it by simply closing the doors and teaching our kidsâ€¦we have to reach out and engage our communities and a Campus Kitchen is an excellent vehicle for doing exactly that.
Take a look at the Campus Kitchens project and see if it might be a good fit for what you are doing.