May 3, 2012 was an exciting day for Darlington School in Rome, Georgia…Headmaster Tom Whitworth announced that Darlington had surpassed goal in its $90 Million Second Century Campaign. This extraordinary effort involved a record number of 4,962 donors from 49 states and 30 countries, supported by 156 volunteers working tirelessly to ensure success.
The campaign was publicly launched in March 2008, and despite the economic downturn, Darlington received unprecedented levels of support from alumni, parents, faculty members and friends of the school – particularly from past and present Trustees, who collectively gave more than $55 million. Early campaign investments were utilized to build the $21 million LEED gold-certified middle school facility, Thatcher Hall, which opened in August 2009 and represented a visible sign of success helping to fuel ongoing fundraising efforts.
Coxe Curry & Associates was brought in to assist at several critical moments throughout the fundraising process, starting with a development assessment in 2004 to reorganize Darlington’s institutional advancement functions and prepare the school for a major campaign. We completed a feasibility study to test the campaign components and goal in September 2006 and developed a comprehensive campaign plan in early 2008.
After the Second Century Campaign launched, we offered perspective on a variety of issues, from fundraising in the new normal to best practices for independent schools, often reporting to the Board of Trustees as part of the Advancement staff’s campaign updates. We provided strategic direction on special projects – and most recently, we worked with Darlington on its campaign closing strategy, determining how to raise the final dollars and how to celebrate the $90 million worth of success.
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