The following is an open letter from Norway House regarding the results of the interviews conducted in person from February to March, and and the survey emailed to Norway House newsletter recipients on March 12, 2018.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Dear friends of Norway House,
Thank you to all those who took time to participate in the Campaign Planning Study for Norway House. In this letter, we will provide a high-level overview of the study’s results. In addition, we will share the next steps for moving forward with the campaign.
CCS Fundraising, the professional counsel contracted by Norway House, conducted 37 strategic conversations and received 299 completed online survey responses to gauge our community’s reaction to the campaign plans and feasibility of raising $15 million for our Cultural Center. A summary of the study’s findings and recommendations was presented at the Norway House’s Board meeting on March 27, 2018. We are pleased to inform you that the Board of Directors supports CCS’s recommendations and we will be continuing our campaign efforts over the next 21 months. Norway House’s immediate next steps include finalizing the scope of the project plans against a working fundraising target of $9-$11M and begin a planning phase in earnest.
Some of the highlights from the study include:
Norway House is well regarded, but would benefit from further defining its organizational mission, vision, and value proposition to constituents and partner organizations.
Gathering and community space, permanent exhibition space, a performance/lecture hall, and a genealogical research library were seen as high priorities for the Cultural Center. In order to inspire philanthropy, a Cultural Center-specific case for support will need to be developed to further demonstrate how the project aligns with Norway House’s mission.
Ninety-five percent of interview respondents reacted positively to the overall proposed plans. Ninety-two percent of online survey respondents reacted positively to the proposed plans.
Seventy-five percent of interview respondents and 41% of online survey respondents are willing to consider making a gift to the campaign.
CCS recommended an initial working goal of $3 to $5 million, subject to the receipt of the first 15-20 campaign gifts, in new fundraising to match against the bonding grant from the State of Minnesota. The goal will be set against a timeframe of approximately 18 months with financial benchmarks culminating with a public, community phase. In December of this year, Norway House will reevaluate the pace of fundraising to inform overall feasibility of a larger campaign goal.
We thank you for not only your participation, but also your willingness to provide CCS your candid and thoughtful feedback. As we move forward with our plans, we plan to keep you informed of any updates and hope to continue to have your support during this pivotal time for Norway House.