Situation

The Holden Arboretum, in Kirtland, Ohio, is one of the largest arboreta and botanical gardens in the United States. Encompassing more than 3,600 acres, Holden serves as an outdoor classroom and museum featuring forests, fields, mountains, ravines, streams, wetlands, wildlife and more than 17,000 plants. In early 2013, Prosper for Purpose led Holden in launching the public phase (Phase One) of its $8 million New Leaf Campaign.

Objective

To activate the Holden membership to raise the public dollars, which would be used to create a tower and canopy walk, rhododendron garden, tree allée and renovated library, as well as provide the ecological restoration of Corning Lake and Lotus Pond.

Strategy

To devise and implement a public relations and communications plan focused on specific marketing and development tactics to expand Holden’s visibility throughout the community and generate donations.

Marketing Tactics:

  • Write new and inspired messaging for the public phase, collateral, visuals and other content
  • Create and distribute two direct mail pieces
  • Follow up on all social media and other online platforms

Development Tactics:

  • Manage fundraising activity through full use of Holden’s Raiser’s Edge customer relationship management database
  • Board and campaign committee volunteer “peer-to-peer” solicitations
  • Prepare all solicitation materials
  • Train volunteers

Results

Shortly after launching Phase One the goal was quickly increased to $9 million. Together with the help of Holden’s amazing marketing and development teams, the new goal was surpassed by the end of 2013. The highly popular emergent tower and canopy walk debuted to the public on September 14, 2015.