1999 to 2006
2003, 2004 and 2006
During 2003, 2004 and 2006, I coordinated full-time a $8,500,000 capital campaign called Arts Within Our Reach. Orchestrated for the South Texas Institute for the Arts (STIA) – now known as the Art Museum of South Texas (AMST) – I came into the campaign mid-stream to secure the remaining $5,000,000 required for construction of a new wing designed by internationally renowned architectural firm Legorreta + Legorreta of Mexico City. The architectural firm was then headed by the late Ricardo Legorreta and his son, Victor Legorreta. Our campaign was officially co-chaired by Dr. Robert R. Furgason, recent past President of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and Al Jones, former Chairman of American Bank.
Lead donor and outstanding civic leader Mrs. Maureen Miller was our top volunteer, and she worked with me side-by-side for three years, “24-7” as they say.
Maureen wanted to see the internationally renowned work of the Legorreta firm showcased in Corpus Christi, and by that architectural choice (which was made by a team that included Maureen), to celebrate the city’s rich Hispanic heritage with the work of one of its finest architects. It is my hope that Maureen’s contributions to Corpus Christi will be further recognized. Development by nature inspires jealousy, and it is so important to honor the right person(s) when home runs like our museum expansion campaign occur.
I was an independent contractor funded via the museum’s foundation. Two consultants had attempted to manage the campaign – stalled after 9-11 – without success. Hard work and hands-on experience saved the day! Among the many donations I helped the Art Museum of South Texas secure were grants from The Brown Foundation, Inc., The Fondren Foundation, The William Randolph Hearst Foundations, Houston Endowment Inc., Dr. and Mrs. Hugh A. Kennedy Foundation, The Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, Inc., Earl C. Sams Foundation, Inc., as well as donations from several private individuals and companies. As always, I brought my many contacts and extensive statewide experience to bear, and I thank everyone for their support.
Articles on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog discussing some aspects of my work on this project (some anonymously)
- Giving Awards | Do Your Research (examples of this problem are rife across Texas, but my work in South Texas includes some notable examples)
- Thank You!
- Virtual Tours Can Bring Campaigns (Back) to Life
- Volunteering and Charitable Giving
Thanks go to A. Javier Huerta and Render Solutions/CLK Architects for the magnificent “virtual tour” that helped energize our campaign and take it to an entirely new level. Follow the link to learn how it came about.
In 2005, I stepped away from the Art Museum of South Texas to work one year with the South Texas Council, Boy Scouts of America (see below). In 2006, at the request of the Museum’s leading donor, I returned to the Art Museum of South Texas as a full-time independent contractor (again funded via the nonprofit’s foundation arm), to work on, “Completing the Masterpiece,” a $985,000 campaign to secure furnishings and equipment for the expanded arts complex in Corpus Christi (designed by Legorreta + Legorreta, now shortened to Legorreta). I was asked by lead donor Mrs. Maureen Miller to return to help raise additional funds in 2006. In seven months, the campaign met and exceeded its original goal, raising $104,000 more than required. Thanks go to all volunteers involved. They really stepped up to the plate to get the project done!
NOTE: Although AMST is partially supported by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, I was not paid by TAMUCC nor the City of Corpus Christi for my work. TAMUCC had tried to complete the campaign in prior years without success; by the time I arrived on the scene, they had moved on to other priorities. Still, President Furgason stayed on as campaign co-chair and his endorsement was very meaningful.
I stayed on through the fall once we secured our campaign goal to develop and personally implement one of three grand opening events: the Patron Party evening reception designed just for five-figure and larger campaign donors. Special thanks go to Lee Gwozdz of Cathedral Music Ministry and his colleagues for their invaluable participation. Today, when I hear Aaron Copland’s, “Fanfare For The Common Man,” I recall those ecstatic trumpets blaring from the musicians standing one above the other on the main staircase! A proud moment.
I also provided development support to the Museum Board and staff to help them gear-up for increased operational requirements once the William B. and Maureen Miller Wing opened to the public that fall of 2006, suggesting new funding sources, some of which came through with grants. To view a slide presentation developed for the Rotary Club of Corpus Christi regarding this project, see SlideShare. Separately and based upon my prior experiences living and working in North Texas, I helped organize a VIP Collectors Club trip to Dallas and Fort Worth in March 2004. It included tours of public collections and the homes and galleries of private collectors. Special thanks to Caroline Rose Hunt and her Crescent Club team in Dallas for making our cocktail hour and dinner extra special. Thank you to Ed Bass in Fort Worth for putting in a kind word behind the scenes with each venue we had the privilege of visiting in his city.
Last but not least, at the request of the museum director and staff, I served as the primary liaison for the November 27 gala, The Ambassador Dinner in honor of the late Ambassador to Great Britain Anne Armstrong, which included Ambassador Armstrong, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, Texas Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator John Cornyn, and then-Chairman of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, Adair Margo.
My behind-the-scenes work covered eight months and ranged from serving as a liaison with the Armstrong Family (as I knew the family well from prior years of work in Dallas and in South Texas), tracking event details including donations/registrations, working with the U.S. Secret Service and local law enforcement on security, to writing and submitting grant proposals and correspondence to-and-from contributors, obtaining honorary framed certificates from the Governor and gifts for the honoree and gala co-chairs (the certificates being my idea), and more. I was not responsible for table arrangements, catering nor decorations, however, focusing my energies instead on critical infrastructure behind our smoothly run and secure event. The lead event volunteers raised approximately $400,000 in cash and in-kind donations, with some proceeds being earmarked for an art education endowment in honor of Ambassador Armstrong. Thanks go to the late C. C. Winn and Sam Susser for their invaluable work behind the scenes to make this event possible.
My work for the Art Museum of South Texas spanned three full years. As always, I did all work by hand, with little if any additional support – except for a number of truly outstanding and committed community volunteers. Examples of our campaign project designs and documents may be found in Mary and Jeff Bell Library at the Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. Thanks to the TAMUCC “copy shop” for the hundreds of beautifully bound, color case statement copies they created for me. I blazed what became a well-worn trail up and down Shoreline and Ocean Drives those three years to the copy shop. TAMUCC’s John Stalmach, Director of Publications, helped format those documents and make them more “printable.” Thanks also go to Grunwald Printing Company for our nicer invitations, and the “I Dig Art” stickers – I enjoyed sitting down with the team to “brainstorm” on those. O’ Gosh!, a top notch stationery shop that is sadly no longer open, helped with additional invitations for volunteer-hosted events, and I cannot overstate how beautiful their work for us was.
For the entirety of 2005, I worked full-time with the South Texas Council, Boy Scouts of America to create the infrastructure for a $3,500,000 capital and endowment campaign, An Enduring Legacy, chaired by Robert Adler, Atlas Iron & Metal, Corpus Christi. I developed campaign systems from the ground-up, including prospect databases and acknowledgement systems; a 51-page case for support (which I wrote and designed for in-house production); and a campaign video testimonial featuring civic leaders region-wide (including Texas Governors Rick Perry and Dolph Briscoe Jr.). Sincere thanks go to Joe Cook of Coastal Bend Video for his outstanding work producing the video.
I also wrote and designed three “hard copy” newsletters for a hand-generated VIP prospect list; orchestrated initial calls to help launch the campaign; drafted grant proposals; and created a video about the life and achievements of the late John O. Chapman for the BSA 2005 Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner. The video production was underwritten by Wells Fargo at my request, and it was also created with the help of Joe Cook of Coastal Bend Video.
To read more about my work with the BSA, follow the links:
Last but not least, I made a donation to the BSA in honor of my father upon my departure, through the James E. West Fellowship program.
1999 to 2003
In 1999, I was recruited by a headhunter to move from Dallas to South Texas to work with the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute to coordinate (full-time), a $15,000,000 capital and endowment campaign chaired by Stuart W. Stedman of the Stedman West Foundation of Houston, helping him to reach $11,000,000 by the conclusion of my three-year tenure. CKWRI was only 25% supported by Texas A&M University at the time (the remainder being provided by private sources), and hence, CKWRI did not defer to, nor coordinate with the advancement and campus foundation offices.
While at CKWRI, I also helped found South Texas Natives, a native plant development project initiated by Caroline Alexander Forgason of the King Ranch Family, and subsequently co-chaired by Will Harte and Katharine Armstrong Love. I worked with, and helped secure $1,200,000 in start-up funding from the Alexander, Bass, Harte, Martin, McColl and other generous families for that project alone.
I also provided fundraising support to 15 faculty members and helped secure several hundred thousand dollars in research funding for a variety of wildlife projects. This nonprofit had relatively little visibility when I began work, but because of its excellent reputation, we were able to ramp-up private-sector fundraising with a little “elbow grease.” I worked full-time and drove each day across the farm fields for an hour to Kingsville from my home on the shoreline of Corpus Christi for three years and three months.
Before completing my tenure at CKWRI, I split-off to work for three months with King Ranch, Inc. Chairman James H. Clement, Jr. to help him establish the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, assisting him in raising $4,300,000 in endowment funds to launch the program.
One of my proudest achievements was personally requesting from the Chancellor and his investment team at Texas A&M-College Station that KRIRM endowment gifts be invested in the Permanent University Fund (PUF), rather than independently via private sources. When the global economic crisis hit not long after, the PUF guarantee of steady salaries and benefits regardless of the ups-and-downs of the stock market was a God-send.
Articles on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog written about my work during this time:
- Asking for Donations | The Best Laid Plans
- Newsletter Success
- Habits of Mind in Challenging Times … And Remote Locations
Quick links for my biographical pages: