Raising $350-Million for Uncle Sam

By Drew Lindsay

The Trust for the National Mall, a nonprofit created to raise money to restore what it calls "America’s Front Yard," opened its doors in 2007 with a single employee. Here’s how it has beefed up and prepared for its $350-million campaign.

First fundraiser

An elegant 2008 spring benefit on the Mall known as the "hat luncheon," inspired by a similar Central Park Conservancy annual event. Guests donned garden-party wear and stylish hats. It is now a trust tradition; last year’s event raised $1.5-million.

A board that can bring in bucks

Once composed chiefly of Washingtonians, the trust’s 17-member board of directors has expanded to better tap donors in New York and other wealth centers. The board will soon add another 13 members, to include more business leaders.

"We’re changing the structure of the board so that it’s more CEO-based and more leadership-based, because that’s the only way we’re going to be able to raise the kind of money that we need to raise," says Caroline Cunningham, head of the trust.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Philanthropy.