Campaign for CFESA
“The concept of our CFESA World Headquarters and Global Training Facility was a game changer for our industry. The capital campaign was a daunting task with an accelerated time frame. TW&B Vice President Don Souhrada was an integral member of our fundraising team. He guided us and took direction as needed. We are on track to hit our financial goal in less than one year’s time in large part due to our partnership with TW&B. We are extremely grateful for the advice and counsel throughout this process.”
Chair of Fundraising Committee
CFESA—The Commercial Food Equipment Service Association is the trade association of professional service and parts distributors. At the core of CFESA’s mission is training today’s equipment service professionals to be more precise and effective in their service.
Everyone involved agrees that technicians retain more with hands-on training. But, coordinating the hands-on sessions required finding a host location and shipping heavy and costly equipment to the training site. These complications limited the curriculum and number of training sessions.
CFESA leaders realized an opportunity to purchase a facility just 25 minutes from the Charlotte-Douglass Airport in Fort Mill, SC. The CFESA Board of directors took decisive action to purchase a facility that has been developed into the CFESA World Headquarters and Global Training Facility.
By investing in this state-of-the-art facility, CFESA is much better equipped to ensure that its CFESA trained technicians are well prepared to meet the needs of a changing industry. In doing so, not only are they providing a valuable resource to their member companies, they are helping to train thousands of individuals into an in-demand career in the foodservice industry.
The prospect pool was limited to CFESA’s member companies. Further complicating the effort was the lack of a fundraising staff or history within CFESA. It was up to board members led by committee chair Kirby Mallon to generate the $400,000 needed to build out the training center, and Kirby already had a full-time job running his parts and service company Elmer Schultz Services, Inc.
On their own, CFESA’s volunteers raised nearly $150,000 from 83 donors, but like many fundraising initiatives hit a plateau and needed assistance. CFESA Executive Director Heather Price engaged TW&B first to assess untapped potential. TW&B Vice President Don Souhrada conducted the assessment and through interviews with key players, he identified enthusiasm for the project among member companies and manufacturers. Souhrada helped establish a fundraising task force with Mallon as chair and recruited enthusiastic members who were interviewed during the assessment.
Through thoughtful evaluation of prospects and solicitation strategy, the CFESA committee re-solicited existing donors for multi-year commitments rather than one-time gifts and approached food service manufacturers who had a vested interest in a well-trained technician workforce. The committee generated several additional five-figure commitments that put CFESA on the cusp of achieving the goal. At the recommendation of TW&B, CFESA prepared a mailing, giving member companies one last chance to be included in the final recognition in the training facility.
The campaign is still in progress, but due to its work with TW&B, CFESA will retire debt on the completed training facility years ahead of schedule.