Elevate Philanthropy ™
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Success Story

The Madeira School

Renowned private boarding and day school exceeds its $85 million campaign goal.

Key Results

$85 million


13 gifts

$1 million or greater

$15 million

lead gift

452 donors

made largest gift ever

The Situation

For more than 100 years, The Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, has empowered young women to grow into the leaders of tomorrow. As Madeira looked ahead to its next century of providing learning opportunities to address 21st-century challenges, school leaders knew a comprehensive campaign—the most ambitious in the school’s history—was needed.


The Solution

The Madeira School called on Graham-Pelton to conduct a development assessment. We focused on identifying operational strengths and challenges—as well as on opportunities for maximizing fundraising potential. Through our extensive research on women and giving, we were able to help structure the campaign to motivate alumnae and other women donors by building strong relationships, instilling a sense of urgency, and illustrating the power of giving.

A planning study followed to test the feasibility of an $85 million campaign—42 percent higher than the school’s Centennial campaign—to modernize and expand facilities, endow educational and student-life programs, and bolster the endowment. Following the planning study, we provided early campaign counsel to help build the campaign infrastructure and provided counsel with a specific focus on cultivation and solicitation strategies.


The Success

Madeira recently concluded the All the Difference campaign with more than $85 million raised. More importantly, Madeira inspired 452 donors to make the largest gift that they ever made to the school, a stated objective of the campaign. And Madeira received 13 gifts of $1 million or greater with the lead gift a historic $15 million.

You can raise more money. We can show you how.