In the early 2000’s, with cutbacks in funding from public and private sectors and the South Barn destroyed by fire in January 2003, our volunteer leaders realized a need to plan for the club’s long term financial stability. In 2004, the board of directors and staff started an extensive planning study with consultants hired to establish needs and determine fund-raising feasibility. In November 2004, the Second Century Campaign was approved by 100% of the board to address four major concerns vital to “Securing the Future of the Long Trail”:
Trail & Shelter Maintenance Endowment: $1,500,000
We must maintain what we own. Volunteers and staff work together on 445 miles of trail and 66 overnight facilities.
Land Protection: $1,500,000
Since 1986, over 80 trail miles have been protected, with about 12 to go to complete the task.
Land Stewardship Endowment: $500,000
Stewardship means guaranteeing that the trails remain a “footpath in the wilderness” and not an “accidental” clear-cut.
Headquarters Reconstruction: $1,250,000
The South Barn burned in January 2003. Replacement is urgently needed to serve members, staff and the public.
Here is how we have organized our efforts:
Phase One - Advance Gifts
Campaign committee members solicit board, committee members and staff. 100% of the volunteer Board of Directors pledged over $230,000. 100% of the staff pledged about $40,000. For a capital campaign to be successful, those who voted for it must first support it.
Phase Two - Leadership Gifts
With the full commitment of the board and staff, the Second Century Campaign Committee set out confidently to secure gifts and pledges from selected generous members, friends, businesses and foundations in the range of $25,000 to $1,000,000. At this point, we have over $3 million in gifts, pledges and challenge grants.
Phase Three - Major Gifts
In this phase, the focus is on gifts and pledges up to $25,000. The Second Century Campaign Committee is now turning to the biggest strength of the GMC, section members and at-large members, to form regional Major Gifts committees. They are the ones familiar with our thousands of regional members and friends who can help to complete this campaign successfully.
The Burlington Section started its participation in Phase Three of the campaign in January with John Connell, Sue Girouard and Rick Hubbard as co-chairs and Joe Frank and Phil Hazen as advisors. Other committee members now include Kathy Adams, Len Carpenter, Linda Evans, Ed Amidon, Peter Hawkes, Tom Hyde, Lee Ann Banks, John Brown, Elizabeth Bassett, Amy Otten and Sheri Larsen. Early organizational meetings have taken place and the process of contacting other members is just beginning. In the weeks to come, Burlington Section members can expect to be contacted. In the meantime, anyone wishing to learn more about the campaign or to volunteer should contact one of the co-chairs.
Recent exciting news is that the next $500,000 of pledges will be matched one-to-one, thanks to a generous challenge grant. This means that all new pledges are automatically doubled - an extra incentive to give generously for “Securing the Future of the Long Trail.”
Phase Four General Appeal
The final phase of the campaign will be a General Appeal to all members and the public and will build on the momentum of the earlier phases to carry us beyond our minimum need of $5.25 million.
Thanks in advance for bringing the GMC into its Second Century.
Phil Hazen, President, Burlington Section