NRPA Annual Fund Campaign

Article excerpt

Congratulations and thank you to all our members who contributed to last year's successful Annual Fund Campaign. On behalf of the National Recreation and Park Association's Development Committee and the Annual Fund Committee I would like to thank all who have helped to make our first two campaigns successful. Under the leadership of our chair, Fran Mainella, each campaign received donations from nearly 300 members, generating more than $60,000 toward new programs and projects for your association.

Although that is a significant number, our goat is to have each and every member contribute to NRPA beyond the cost of annual membership dues and the countless volunteer hours many of you devote to the betterment of our association.

What have your donations done for NRPA? With your generous contributions, were been able to:

* Purchase cataloging software for the Joseph Lee Memorial Library

* Fund new product development for the benefits program

* Purchased a high-tech overhead projector for the NRPA Headquarters' Musco Auditorium

* Pay towards retirement of the Ahren's NRPA Headquarters' building loan

* Develop an NRPA Web search engine that will enable members and NRPAnet subscribers to conduct keyword searches of our Web pages more quickly and accurately

* Fund a commissioner/citizens board member video designed to educate citizens at local and state levels about the important rote they play as advocates for public park and recreation services

* Purchase a display booth to help market NRPA at regional, state, and ally-organization conferences

* Purchase LCD projectors for each regional office for use at schools and institutes

Funds raised during the 2000 campaign were designated by donors to support programs such as branch special projects, benefits, and playground safety, and for other initiatives such as research, capital improvement and the Joseph Lee Library. These funds will be allocated during the year as requests are received.

This month marks the beginning of our Fourth Annual Fund Campaign.

What will we do with funds generated in Campaign 2001?

One of our major goals is to generate new entrepreneurial dollars to fund innovative staff, branch, section, regional council, and member initiatives that help NRPA attain its mission and vision for the future. The development committee that reviews and selects projects for funding is always looking for economically sound programs that extend our annual campaign funds, that is, programs and projects that may not save us money today, but will be financially beneficial well into the future. We are seeking ideas that reduce NRPA's overhead and eliminate or reduce program expenses and labor costs while attaining the Vision 2010 Strategic Plan goals and objectives.

We challenge you -- the membership -- to look at fund-raising in a different tight. Fund-raising is not a dirty word; in fact, it has become an important component of every one of our jobs. If it is not an important part of your job now, it soon will be. Why is it that many of us can solicit funding assistance throughout our communities, yet we find it difficult to make a personal financial commitment to the future of our profession and our association? I look at fund-raising as a necessity to ensure the future stability of our association, Whether we like it or not, we're fighting for financial security against other units of local, state and federal government that provide social services to all Americans. If we cannot see the benefit in giving to our own organization, how can we expect those on the outside to understand our goals and financially contribute to our success?

Our Committee is looking for park and recreation professionals, citizen advocates, and corporate systems dedicated to parks, recreation, and environmental conservation advancement. The NRPA Development Committee, the Annual Fund Committee members, and the Board of Trustees have already made pledges to the campaign and invite you to participate in the Annual Fund 2001 Campaign, which will provide critical resources necessary to enhance our effectiveness and to prepare us to meet the future challenges. …