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Front Page » Top Stories » South Florida Nonprofit Groups Aiming For 22 Billion Total

South Florida Nonprofit Groups Aiming For 22 Billion Total

Written by on November 30, 2000

The lion’s share of the fundraising is going on in Miami-Dade County, where 76 separate campaigns anticipated or under way total $1.4 billion — about $640 per capita. By comparison, wealthier Palm Beach County is being asked for $400 per capita, Florida Keys residents $260 each and Broward residents $250.

These facts spring from a survey about to be released by the Donors Forum, a Miami organization that promotes effective philanthropy, to which 232 organizations responded. Of those, 166 are now in capital or endowment campaigns.

Not included are campaigns by organizations that did not respond or campaigns that have yet to take shape. The former includes Miami-Dade Community College, the latter the University of Miami, both of which could skew totals far higher.

Assessments of these startling figures vary.

The most compelling fact, said Joanne Chester Bander, Donors Forum executive director, "is what a large amount of money we’re looking predominantly at the private sector to provide. The parallel part and the good news is" that much of this total is already raised.

To banker and Donors Forum President Teresa V-F Weintraub, the figures show "the tremendous amount of needs, and important needs, that require a lot of fundraising. My concern is that the important needs are addressed and that those that are superfluous are not."

Michael D. Rierson, chief fundraiser for the University of Miami as vice president of advancement, said the figures mean "that nonprofits are trying so hard to make a difference, and for them private philanthropy makes a profound difference."

The report’s introduction targets the problem of financing these special campaigns while also continuing to provide the funds to keep organizations operating and providing services.

"Both funders and nonprofits need to ask whether or not a particular institution has the financial stability and strength to conduct a special purpose campaign while still maintaining its programs," the survey states.

The Donors Forum expects the survey to help foundations, corporations and individual donors plan and budget charitable contributions.

On the other side of the table, the forum hopes boards and staffs of nonprofit organizations use the figures as guidelines to determine whether a particular campaign is feasible and at what dollar level.

Other key findings:

nTwenty-nine organizations now are evaluating the feasibility of a capital or endowment campaign within 18 months. These include the Historical Association of Southern Florida and the Wolfsonian-FIU museum.

nWithin the past year, 22 organizations completed campaigns totaling $265 million. These included $102 million raised by Barry University alone and $99 million raised in total by three health institutions, including the Jackson Memorial Foundation and Variety Children’s Hospital.

nOf 91 anticipated campaigns that have not yet begun, 81 have already set goals totalling more than $811 million. Most of these are expected to be launched in 2001. "It is also fairly certain that many of the institutions evaluating the feasibility of a campaign will launch one over the next two years," the report states.

Anticipated campaigns listed by the forum include a $20 million campaign by the Miami Museum of Science to be launched in 2004, $5 million by the Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum of Florida, $20 million by the Performing Arts Center Foundation and $30 million by the New World Symphony.

The smallest goal listed for active campaigns is $34,000 for the Horse Protection Association, the largest $265 million for the University of Miami.

But even that figure will be dwarfed by the next UM campaign.

Mr. Rierson said he plans to join President Tad Foote and Provost Luis Glaser in December to talk one by one with the university’s deans to determine needs, then set a fundraising goal thinking five to seven years ahead. He wouldn’t predict the total but said it will be "a lot, because this university wants to go a long way."