For more than 60 years, Tall Timbers has fostered exemplary land stewardship through research, conservation, and education. With a primary focus on the study of the ecology and management of fire-dependent ecosystems—an increasingly important topic because of climate change—they are recognized as one of the country’s leading land trusts. They had a number of high-level annual donors and believed the timing was right for pursuing a campaign, but needed to train their staff on communicating with prospective donors.
In conducting a Campaign Planning Study, Graham-Pelton homed in on an unusual situation: Tall Timbers’ donors demonstrated deep trust in the organization’s mission and scientific integrity, and didn’t hesitate to make annual gifts to fund researchers’ and educators’ salaries and overhead. Yet to create a sustainable and future-minded funding model, Tall Timbers’ leaders were interested in understanding the donor appetite for endowment or capital projects.