Some visions come from very unlikely places. For the Executive Director of the Inter City Christian Federation the vision of restoring the century old D.A. Blodgett Home for Children came from a 1906 postcard showing the building in its original beauty. Thus began a long journey toward providing the clients of ICCF with a new home that offered both beauty and efficiency.
Faith based charities, as well as communities of faith, have unique fund raising challenges and opportunities. MAI has been able to help many churches realize their ministerial visions through congregational efforts. The Parish of the Holy Spirit was one such example where consultative services were helpful in gauging parishioner support of an ambitious plan to renovate and expand the school with the construction of a new church to follow.
MAI revels in the opportunity to take on unique and challenging projects. Few were as interesting and enriching as the partnership with Binder Park Zoo. The Zoo was established in 1977 to provide natural history education, wildlife conservation, and outdoor recreation for people in southwest and south central Michigan.
In 1997, MAI was invited to work with Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Notre Dame Academy was the outcome of the consolidation of four individual private schools; and it quickly was growing into the area’s preeminent, college preparatory school. What started in 1997, grew into a 15 year partnership. Initially, MAI was contracted to perform a feasibility study on more than $13 million of critical needs.
Beautiful Camp Blodgett, situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, offered many inner city children their first glimpse of an “ocean like” experience. Even though the Lake was only a 30 minute drive from their neighborhoods, most of these children had never seen the “big lake” because they had no means of travel.
In preparation for the celebration of the sesquicentennial anniversary of the City of Grand Rapids, a group of citizens was formed to consider a major project that would highlight this historic event. Chaired by a young attorney who would later become Mayor, the committee developed an ambitious plan to create a River Walk along the Grand River downtown.
MAI has had the privilege to work with numerous Colleges and Community Colleges. One particular success story dealt with Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC). KVCC sought MAI’s counsel in testing the community’s reaction to and support of a plan to create a downtown campus. In the feasibility study, MAI uncovered two somewhat competing efforts that could detract from efforts to secure philanthropic support of the College’s plan.
BaySail is a unique organization with an interesting problem. Although their mission is tied to environmental education, their method is to impart this education through an exciting “tall ship” experience. Unlike most nonprofits, BaySail did minimal fundraising, relying instead on revenue that came from fees and the public use of the ships during off hours. When MAI was approached for consultation services, the organization was beginning to feel the effects of a depressed economy in the form of significantly reduced revenue without a mature and systematic approach to fundraising.
Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra (GRSO) has always had a proud and illustrious history, crafted by strong leadership and the best in conductors. However, even with such a strong formula, GRSO experienced what has been the demise of many fine Philharmonic Orchestras – increasing costs with diminishing revenues.
MAI’s association with the Grand Rapids (Van Andel) Museum dates back almost three decades. In 1985, MAI had the opportunity to partner with The Museum for a Resource Audit in preparation for a campaign. That initial service, lead to future feasibility studies and campaign implementation counsel that strengthened both the operational equation and the facilities and exhibits.
MAI has a decade’s long relationship of providing consultative services to a number of YMCAs throughout its service region. Most notable is its work with its hometown YMCA. Since the late 1880s, MAI has been able to provide feasibility study and campaign services to many of its branches and to its Camp Manitou-Lin. Through strong administrative leadership and its continuing successes in campaigning, the YMCA of Grand Rapids has been able to build one of the region’s strongest systems.
In the early 1990’s, the Grand Rapids Public Library had substantial needs within the system. Four of its branches needed to be replaced, while two others were in need of extensive upgrades and expansion. MAI was contracted to carry out a community wide feasibility study to assess the local climate for a project that could run close to $30 million. The results of the study showed significant support for the Library System, but skepticism on the use of and potential of raising private support for a public entity. The resulting funding equation suggested by the Study Report sought private support complementing a bond/millage proposal.
William R. Schmiedicke has had the opportunity to be involved in the non-profit arena for more than 35 years. After nearly three decades with Monaghan Associates, Inc., Bill currently serves as President. Monaghan Associates, Inc. has over 30 years experience in service to non profits.Learn More
Erin C. Schmiedicke has served the non profit arena for 15 years and is currently Senior Project Director for Monaghan Associates, Inc. Before joining Monaghan Associates, Inc., Erin spent three years with the Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism (GRACE) in development and business administration.Learn More