One-Hundred Years Old and Brand New

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The Country’s Oldest Fundraising Firm Re-launches Itself At The NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Annual Conference

Rick Fitzgerald, VP of WD&R speaks with Gary Gruber, Interim Head of the Bosque School in Albuquerque, NM , while getting his shoes shined, complimentary of WD&R.

As the new Vice President of Ward, Dreshman & Reinhardt, it was exciting to find the majority of my conversations, with school heads and trustees, focused on the unique approach our firm brings to fundraising for independent schools. ~ Rick Fitzgerald

New ideas in Campaign Fundraising come along rarely. Even more rare is one of the country’s most distinguished fundraising firms re-conceiving its approach in order to respond to new economic and digital realities. When new ideas and innovative approaches to non-profit fundraising are mandated by changing times, it takes the oldest firm in the country to lead the way.

Since 1905, Ward, Dreshman & Reinhardt, a division of James D. Klote & Associates, http://www.jdklote.com, has been a pioneer in capital fundraising. The firm’s short term, resident-consultant approach was revolutionary when first introduced one-hundred years ago. Historical highlights include direction of the first nationwide Red Cross capital campaign, an effort that raised $123,000,000 in 1917 and the Venture in Mission campaign that raised $170,000,000 in 1976 for the Episcopal Church of America.

Over the past one-hundred years, as many non-profit institutions created their own in-house development offices, often in imitation of the Ward, Dreshman & Reinhardt model, fundraising consulting moved inevitably towards periodic, non-resident counsel.

But today’s fundraising realities are significantly different than those of even ten years ago. Suddenly, many development offices are stretched just to meet their annual fund goals. Economic realities have forced development professionals to re-focus the majority of their time to effective annual fund management. Development Directors who were expected to lead and manage both annual and capital campaigns are now seriously over scheduled, even with the periodic, two-to-three days a month support of traditional campaign counsel.

In recognition of this critical situation, WD&R has re-launched its full-time, in-resident approach to campaign counsel. Adapting the highly successful James D. Klote & Associates Plan of Campaign to the needs of independent schools and community non-profits, WD&R’s consultants developed the capabilities and skills necessary to integrate campaign counsel seamless into a broad variety of non-profits. A campaign that traditionally took three years to conduct is directed in one highly-effective campaign year.

Jim Klote, who began his career with WD&R in 1988 and now serves as its president, stated, "Never before has there been such an urgent need for schools to raise necessary funds to provide for the needs of their students. We are experiencing a time when there is considerably more competition for charitable contributions. All these factors demonstrate the importance of conducting capital campaigns in the most personal and professional manner possible."

At the recent (February 24-25, 2011) NAIS Annual Conference, http://www.nais.org, representatives from more than 40 schools stopped at the Ward, Dreshman & Reinhardt booth to learn more about the firm’s unique approach. Addressing both the economic and digital pressures of this new fundraising world, Ward, Dreshman & Reinhardt’s representatives found an eager audience. Richard F. Barter, Education Consultant to The Klingenstein Fund and former Head of School, Collegiate School said, “The challenges of effective fundraising in these changing times affirms the need for new approaches and innovative options as schools strive to take advantage of existing and future opportunities to achieve the standard of fiscal sustainability needed and desired.”]

Rick Fitzgerald, the new Vice President of Ward, Dreshman & Reinhardt stated, "It was exciting to find the majority of my conversations, with school heads and trustees, focused on the unique approach our firm brings to fundraising for independent schools."

By re-imagining the full-time, resident approach to campaign consulting, WD&R has set the standard for the next one-hundred years.

For additional information regarding Ward, Dreshman & Reinhardt and the services they provide, please contact Erin West or Rick Fitzgerald at 1-888-830-0533 or go to http://www.wdrincorp.com.

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Erin West

Rick Fitzgerald

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