What is a capital campaign?
A capital campaign is an intensive fund raising plan put in place to raise a specific amount of money within a designated time period. A capital campaign is typically organized to raise funds for a significant purchase such as construction of buildings, land purchases, major renovations, or a large piece of equipment.
Why a Capital Campaign for Mountain Discovery Charter School?
The town of Sylva and Jackson County organized a very successful capital campaign to renovate the old Court House into the new library – it is a wonderful facility. And they accomplished that mostly with local money. A new campus for Mountain Discovery Charter School (MDCS) would cost a lot more, and Swain County has fewer people and less money that the Jackson County area. In order to succeed, we need major funding from foundations, trusts, and other outside sources.
All the experts we have heard from agree on one thing – foundations award grants to organizations that have community impact and high levels of community buy-in. Foundation boards see lots of applicants who ask for lots of money, but they come empty-handed with no “seed” money or strong, collective commitments behind the project. These boards want to give money where it is really needed and really appreciated. They want to support organizations doing everything they can to help themselves.
In this regard, we need to show strong support from the entire MDCS community – endorsements, community impact, parental involvement, and a population of supporters that despite our economic realities are willing to prime the pump with donations to our capital fund. This will be an important part of the story we can tell – the extent of donation among our present school families, their extended families, the staff, the board, first generation MDCS families, and the community. Let’s hope we can report that at least 85% of our current MDCS family donated, and that while the total campaign contributions might not be a huge sum, relative to our local economy, it could be impressive.
When foundations look at a grant application it is not only just about the money – they really take a close look at the heart and soul of the application. We have a good story to tell at MDCS. And we believe that our capital campaign can serve as a very wide and brightly lit window into the committed heart and soul of our MDCS community.
Please help us tell this story.