For more than a century, Providence Animal Center (formerly known as Delaware County SPCA), has dedicated itself to ending the homelessness and suffering of companion animals by fostering adoptions; community education and outreach programs; cruelty investigations; and accessible, affordable wellness and medical services. Providence has undergone a significant transition in its mission and activities from operating as an open admission animal shelter for Delaware County, PA, to serving as a lifesaving shelter for companion animals, which means that no adoptable animal is euthanized.
The biggest issue that Providence Animal Center faced was one that had been a challenge throughout its recent history—its aging facilities. It lacked the space and modernization needed to operate now and into the future. In 2014, the organization’s Board of Directors approved a master plan for expansion and renovation of the Center’s central services facility. This project has nearly doubled the size of the Center’s footprint, modernized and enlarged its medical and surgical operations, and transformed customers’ experience with an expanded adoption center. The Board also approved the organization’s first-ever capital campaign to raise funds for facility improvements.
Revealing The Bar
In 2014, Schultz & Williams conducted a Campaign Planning Study to determine whether the Providence Animal Center could raise substantial philanthropic support to renovate and construct needed facilities and maintain its ongoing programs.
Setting Strategic Direction
Once it was determined that the Center could raise the funds, Schultz & Williams was retained as campaign counsel to launch and set the strategic direction for the Building a Forever Future $2.75 million capital campaign. It was determined that the capital improvement project would be staged in 4 phases: Phase 1 began in spring 2015 for the construction of the Support Services Building, which houses the Center’s low-cost Wellness Clinic and low-cost behavioral services that both serve as a resource for the community. Phase 2, completed in summer 2016, welcomed a new medical wing, which gave Providence the ability to do more surgeries and separate and treat medical cases. Phases 3 and 4 provided a new adoption lobby, cattery and administrative offices.
Achieving Goals with S&W StaffSolutions™
The $2.75 million fundraising goal was reached at the end of 2017, with more than 1,100 donations of all sizes from friends and supporters of Providence Animal Center. With much of the physical plant transformed, there was one more challenge to address – the outdated dog kennels that were originally erected in the 1930s. The Board of Directors approved Phase 5, the modernization of the dog kennels, with a $1.3 million fundraising goal. A new friend of Providence, a New York-based Trust, provided a lead gift of $500,000 to kick off the fundraising for the new kennels at the end of 2017. Thanks to the continued generosity of Providence Animal Center’s donors, the kennels’ fundraising goal has been exceeded at $1,420,425. This brings the total fundraising efforts for the Building a Forever Future capital campaign to $4,170,425 – a resounding success!
Two challenges remained for Providence Animal Center to conquer in accomplishing its goal of becoming the dominant animal welfare organization in the Delaware Valley: to refresh its image and develop a more robust fundraising program. As an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, the Center worked diligently to transform its image and overcome misperceptions that it receives funding from government sources or any SPCA or humane group. It underwent a rebranding process and in 2016 announced its new name, which better portrays its lifesaving work. While Providence Animal Center had long been engaged in efforts to raise contributed income through direct mail appeals and special events, major gift and capital fundraising were new to the organization. Their leadership recognized that they would require professional external expertise to enhance their fundraising and to meet an ambitious goal for the capital campaign.
Since 2014, Schultz & Williams (S&W) has served in a variety of roles to assist Providence Animal Center in building its base of support for both operating and capital needs. S&W was hired by the Center in the summer of 2014 to conduct a Campaign Planning Study that would determine whether the organization could raise substantial philanthropic support to renovate and construct needed facilities and maintain its ongoing programs. Based on the results of that study, S&W was engaged in January 2015 to serve as Campaign Counsel to help launch and set the strategic direction for the Building a Forever Future $2.75 million capital campaign. S&W continued to serve in that capacity through 2016, assisting with the recruitment of volunteer leadership for the campaign; preparing the Case for Support; providing direction and supporting the Board and Campaign Steering Committee; and identifying and developing strategies for top campaign prospects. From 2017 through 2019, S&W provided strategic direction for the Center’s capital campaign.