Development Director at Operation Fresh Start
Operation Fresh Start steps forward fearlessly
Operation Fresh Start (OFS) provides Dane County youth a path to self-sufficiency through education and job training. In Dane County there are over 4,000 disconnected youth, ages 16 – 24. The vast majority of them have not completed high school and many lack the connections and resources needed to succeed in life. OFS is here to help these youth find a path forward and a new beginning.
Operation Fresh Start launched the Building Futures Capital Campaign in May of 2015. This was the first such undertaking for the organization, which has been in existence for 47 years. While the organization has been serving disconnected youth for decades, a capital campaign was something new and a bit daunting. Many challenges emerge when an organization embarks upon such a venture and Operation Fresh Start was no different. One such challenge was how to structure the financing for a $4,500,000 capital campaign. Forward Community Investments was very helpful in this arena.
Forward Community Investments (FCI) helped provide financial expertise around the campaign. Since FCI had been involved in many capital campaigns, they advised us on how to structure a loan, helped us investigate different financing paths, and discussed with us the building ownership structure that would best benefit OFS. OFS effectively managed our donations leading up to the building purchase with the added advice of FCI and, additionally, earned money on an FCI investment.
FCI helped us “step forward fearlessly” by giving the staff and OFS Board of Directors the confidence to move forward with the financing around such a big project. Having the consult of such a reputable and knowledgeable agency took much of the fear out of the venture. While there is still work to do, and funds to raise on the campaign, we feel poised for success. This campaign will ultimately lead to Operation Fresh Start serving twice as many disconnected youth in Dane County. We are grateful that so many entities in the community are coming together to make it happen.