Smooth out revenue ups and downs.

Allow your donors to leave a legacy to your organization.

Grand Rapids SymphonyGrand Rapids Symphony
$40 million endowment campaign

The Grand Rapids Symphony embarked upon a $40 million endowment campaign to secure a sustainable revenue stream that would complement their ticket sales and annual fundraising. The Symphony successfully completed this campaign in three years.

Read More

The Grand Rapids Symphony was in the midst of planning for an endowment campaign when the 2008 recession caused a significant contraction in philanthropic giving.  We worked with them for three years to build up their major gift program and position them for success when the market eventually bounced back.  This pre-campaign development work paid off when the market rebounded in 2013, and the Symphony began their endowment campaign.

Like many arts organizations, the Grand Rapids Symphony receives only a portion of its revenue from ticket sales. Arts organizations typically rely on endowment income for roughly one-third of their total revenue. The board wanted to come closer to that percentage, which required a significant increase in the endowment fund.

We helped the Symphony:

  • Articulate their case for support
  • Evaluate community support for the project
  • Form a campaign cabinet
  • Solicit lead gifts and cultivate donors
  • Diligently work to achieve their $40 million goal over three years
  • Implement a planned giving component in their campaign, including the Legacy of Leadership Circle

“Kennari Consulting assisted the Grand Rapids Symphony with reaching ambitious and aggressive donated revenue goals. Kennari’s formula of versatile services, targeted solutions, and local relationships helped increase our annual operating revenue, endowed funds and build a planned giving program.” 

Diane F. Lobbestael
Vice President for Development
Grand Rapids Symphony

Grand Rapids Public SchoolsBlandford Nature Center
$7 million endowment portion of $10.3 million campaign; Ongoing planned gift cultivation

Blandford Nature Center provides 143 acres of unspoiled beauty for people of all ages to enjoy. They derive a portion of their revenue from membership, a portion from grants, and the remainder from philanthropic gifts. Prior to 2014, Blandford had an extremely small endowment fund, and they did not have a legacy society to honor people who had made planned gifts.

Read More

Blandford embarked upon a comprehensive campaign in 2015. A portion of the campaign was dedicated to building their endowment fund, so that they could reduce their reliance on grants. However, they needed the infrastructure and knowledge to accept planned gifts as a part of that campaign. They also needed the tools to cultivate donors for planned gifts after the campaign ended.

We helped Blandford:

  • Evaluate their infrastructure and set up systems to track and acknowledge planned gifts
  • Create marketing materials that explain legacy giving options to their donors
  • Create the Circle of Stewards Legacy Society
  • Identify and cultivate potential donors for membership in the Circle of Stewards Society

In less than two years, Blandford has secured 14 future gifts, and they are just getting started. With the national average for planned gifts at approximately $31,000, the investment in planned giving will pay significant endowment benefits as Blandford continues to develop this strategic fundraising capability.

Paws With a CausePaws With a Cause®
Implementing a planned giving program

Paws With A Cause enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs and increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog Teams through education and advocacy. They occasionally received planned gifts from grateful donors and clients, but did not have a system of cultivating new gifts.

Read More

Grateful clients are a very important source of legacy gifts, and Paws with a Cause has many such clients. The occasional gifts they did receive were very welcome, but came completely out of the blue.

We helped them:

  • Evaluate their planned giving capabilities
  • Determine what kinds of planned gifts they could accept
  • Build the necessary infrastructure, including the PAWS Legacy Society
  • Implement Crescendo, a web-based tool for cultivating planned gifts
  • Target and cultivate donors for potential legacy society membership

They now have more than 60 people in their legacy program, and continue to work on this important strategic aspect of their fundraising capabilities.

"Kennari Consulting assisted the Grand Rapids Symphony with reaching ambitious and aggressive donated revenue goals. Kennari’s formula of versatile services, targeted solutions, and local relationships helped increase our annual operating revenue, endowed funds and build a planned giving program."

Diane F. Lobbestael
Vice President for Development
Grand Rapids Symphony


Need help moving
your mission forward?

Looking for a
speaker?

Browse our
brochure