I’ve been honored to be working with the Lowell Community Health Center for the past 18 months on their extraordinary capital campaign. They have an amazing project to renovate a 100 year-old mill and turn it into a state-of-the-art community health clinic. The project is one of the largest in their community and a first for the Health Center.

While they started with less than 100 donors and the daunting task of raising $5 million or more from the community for this $42 million project, they have continued to look for the ways to be innovative, identify partners, and generate gifts larger than they could imagine. In 18 months they now have more than 700 donors and are just shy of reaching the $3 million mark on this campaign.

What has often struck me about the team at LCHC is they have really taken seriously the task of creating engaging ways to connect with the community to keep them in the loop. Last year, we cooked up something called “Ringing the Bell” messages. These were messages that are shared via email to update donors and those interested in the campaign. While it’s a virtual bell ringing, these messages have struck a chord and allowed supporters near and far to keep updated on the progress of the campaign.    

With their permission, I’m sharing with you the bell ringing message I received yesterday. This warm, inviting message from the Vice President of Development does two important things: connects supporters to a special announcement AND it reminds readers about the current goals for the capital campaign:


This fun, intimate message does a nice job of explaining that this substantial gift is exciting but that it will not actually affect their capital campaign goal. The way it’s done is likely to put a smile on the reader’s face. It did mine.

I found this to be a wonderful example of communication that causes the reader to really feel connected and be updated at the same time. Hats off to Maura and her team at Lowell Community Health Center, who will most certainly meet their goals this month and this year!


Subscribe to Fire Starters