Case Study: Non-Profits – Reagan Ranch

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Case Study: Non-Profits – Reagan Ranch

Case 1: Young America’s Foundation/Reagan Ranch

Like most of our clients, the Young America’s Foundation, is a repeat business client. The following are two brief case studies of how we helped this non-profit organization.

Project A: Raising Money to Buy the Reagan Ranch

Before Hiring Ethridge

Former President Ronald Reagan was aging and he and Nancy Reagan wanted to preserve their Ranch, where many historical presidential events had occurred, as a national treasure. At the time, the federal government under President Clinton had little to no interest in purchasing and preserving the ranch.

The Young America’s Foundation (YAF), a conservative organization committed to ensuring that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values, wanted to step in to save President Reagan’s Western White House, Rancho del Cielo. YAF wanted to purchase the ranch to preserve it as a living monument to Ronald Reagan to pass on Ronald Reagan’s ideas to future generations.

To help them develop an effective fundraising campaign, the YAF and its fundraising consulting firm SCA, contacted Ethridge & Associates, L.L.C. for strategic communication consulting and research on ways to develop the campaign. We provided the research and consulting described below that helped the YAF raise the money to buy the ranch.

After Hiring Ethridge

Ethridge & Associates, L.L.C. conducted Donor Motivational Research using our proprietary Motivational Linguistics Analysis®. Using these powerful research methodologies, we discovered the right strategic message, themes, key words, key phrases, visual symbols and spokespersons to use in a video direct mail fundraising campaign. In a very short period of time, this direct mail campaign raised $7 million and eventually raise more than twice that. At the time when the campaign had raised its first $7 million, the President of Young America’s Foundation wrote us a testimonial letter summarizing how our work had helped them achieve this success. An extract from this letter is provided below and a copy of the full letter can be found by clicking here.

“Dear Steve: I am writing to let you know what a tremendous contribution your research and consulting made to the success of the Ronald Reagan Historical Trust fundraising campaign. This campaign may be the most successful fundraising campaign this decade. So far, we have raised $7 million dollars and the money is still pouring in. Your research helped us tap the ‘responsive chord” among conservative donors that motivated donors to reach deep into their pocketbooks and write very sizeable contribution checks . . . Steve, on behalf of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, the Ronald Reagan Historical Trust and the owners of the ranch, the Young America’s Foundation, I want to express a heartfelt thank you for a job well done. We will heartily recommend Ethridge & Associates to any organization that wishes to use public opinion research to help it craft a winning message. Sincerely, Ron Robinson, President, Young America’s Foundation, Santa Barbara, California.

Project B: Building the Reagan Center

Before Hiring Ethridge

Several years after buying the Reagan Ranch, the Young America’s Foundation had the vision of building the Reagan Center in Downtown Santa Barbara, California. As the principal outreach organization of the Conservative Movement, the Foundation wanted to build a center that could be used to introduce thousands of American youth to Reagan’s conservative principles of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values. President Reagan committed himself to reaching young people with his ideas — a goal that is also central to the Foundation’s mission. Building the Reagan Ranch Center would continue Reagan’s legacy of ideas.

Again, to help raise the necessary money to achieve their vision and mission, The Young America’s Foundation and SCA turned to Ethridge & Associates, L.L.C. for strategic communication consulting and research to help them develop an effective capital campaign.

After Hiring Ethridge

Ethridge & Associates, L.L.C. conducted another Donor Motivational Research using our proprietary Motivational Linguistics Analysis®. Again, using these powerful research methodologies, we discovered the right strategic message, themes, key words, key phrases, visual symbols and spokespersons to use in a video direct mail fundraising campaign to raise the necessary money. Ethridge & Associates, L.L.C. helped the Foundation raise the millions of dollars that were needed to build The Reagan Ranch Center.

As a result, The Young America’s Foundation is better able to accomplish their mission by providing essential conferences, seminars, educational materials, internships, and speakers to young people across the country. The Reagan Ranch Center in downtown Santa Barbara is a “schoolhouse for Reaganism” where young and old alike can visit and learn more about one of America’s greatest presidents.

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