Sue: Careful. Take steps right away to avoid having any of your selected “community partners” question the project in any way--worse, to have even one disapprove of the renovation for any reason.
Such possible objections would not, of course, be based on refuting the need to serve the needy, but questions and criticisms could stem from a whole host of other reasons, such as having to do with the facility design in general, cost of the renovation, organizational issues regarding fund-raising ability and management, other fund-raising campaigns going on in conflict at the same time, etc. In short, it seems to me that, at this stage, you are asking people of prominence to OK your project on demand, so to speak, with them perhaps being in the dark regarding many key components of the renovation.
Always, in my opinion, it is best to bring in such stake holders and people/entities having influence and affluence, well before the solicitation-of-funds process. That way, before “going public,” you have every chance to address any negatives.
Since you are at this stage, however, talk in person with any of the community partners you want to have endorse the renovation so you can avoid having even one serious and damaging dissenter. You give them a full accounting of your intentions, thus inviting their comments. Drafting letters and sending them with no such advance probing of their opinions and impressions, is taking a big risk.
When the stage is best set, my advice is to seek letters not only of endorsement, but have their letters to be near as they can be to testimonials; provide examples which can be cited as the good and positive difference the renovated health care facility will make on lives in the community.
There should be more than the promotion of the money needed, and not so much print given to the renovation structural particulars. Both factors should be addressed, of course, but the expected human-centered outcome of the renovation is the key to winning endorsements and funding---I believe.
Describe how the project will meet documented consensus needs, and cite its benefit to your health care organization, to the people you serve, and to the overall community.
Tony Poderis http://www.raise-funds.com
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