Virginia affiliates,


       We are writing to tell you about an exciting new initiative for the

Habitat movement in Virginia!


Habitat for Humanity Virginia is inviting affiliates to participate in a statewide capital campaign that focuses on individual donors. We hope that most affiliates will come to introductory meetings and decide to participate in the campaign.​

The logic behind the campaign

1)    There is great potential among prospective individual donors. Eighty percent of charitable giving in the U.S. is from individuals. And, in Virginia, individuals give more than $5 billion per year.


2)    When we discuss resource development with our member affiliates, they often mention generous individual donors, but also mention that individual donors have the most untapped potential in their communities.


3)    Many individual donors who give widely, give their largest gifts to capital campaigns.


4)    Our affiliates have many partner families who are successful homeowners. These success stories are very compelling for individual donors. We also want potential individual donors to meet many of those successful homeowners.


5)    Our affiliates have credibility in their communities and existing capacity on which to build and grow, as their donations grow.


6)    We believe that, with an infusion of new private donations, over five years, the Habitat affiliates in Virginia could double the number of homes sold per year. We also could double the number of critical home repairs completed each year.


7)    As a Christian housing ministry that puts God’s love into action, we believe that we are called upon to challenge ourselves to do as much as possible to provide a hand up for people to improve their housing, thereby improving their lives.

Proposed campaign slogan 

 (Affiliates are welcome to suggest other possible themes.)

Double the Homes. Double the Hope.

The campaign consulting firm

We have hired The Compass Group to help those affiliates who choose to participate. Compass is based in Alexandria and has helped with Virginia campaigns in the past. They also have worked with a Habitat affiliate campaign in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  And they have worked with affiliated organizations, such as seven Nature Conservancy chapters in seven states. (So far in their campaign, the Virginia Chapter of the Nature Conservancy has raised more than $25 million). Another reason we chose Compass is that they have low turnover and most of their people have been with the firm for many years. 

First Opportunities to learn more 

Affiliates will have four opportunities to get an introduction to the Capital Campaign. You will hear an explanation from Compass and Habitat Virginia and have opportunities to ask questions and provide input. Robert Bull and David Cooper of Compass will be with us for the meetings. Between them, they have 55 years of experience raising money for non-profit organizations, including 17 years with Compass.  We hope that every affiliate will send at least two people. Staff members, board members, resource development committee members, and advisory board members are all welcome. We hope that some larger affiliates will be able to send several people. There are four dates, so depending on what dates work for different people, some affiliates might have people at more than one of the sessions. The content will be similar at all four events, except for the questions and discussions. 

Informational meetings on the capital campaign: 

October 15 – Manassas -- Noon to 5 p.m. -- Manassas Baptist Church, 8730 Sudley Road, Manassas Va. 20110


October 26 – Williamsburg -- 10 to 3 p.m. -- Williamsburg Community Chapel - Ross Hall (2nd Floor), 3899 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg, Va.


November 9 – Roanoke -- noon to 5 -- First Baptist Church of Roanoke, 321 Marshall Ave, Roanoke, Va. 24016


November 26 – Harrisonburg -- noon to 5 -- JMU Festival and Conference Center – Festival Allegheny Room -- 1301 Carrier Drive, Harrisonburg, Va. 22807 

Please RSVP to McKenzie Raber (540) 818-4619


Thanks to the 4 local affiliates for venue recommendations; Habitat Virginia will provide lunch.


Additionally, there will be a brief conference call (30 minutes max) with Compass on October 16 at 10:00 am to provide more information on the regional meetings.  Attending this call will not only give you a better idea as to why attending one of the regional meetings is extremely important, but it will give you an opportunity to learn enough to submit some questions to Habitat VA, that Compass can be prepared to answer at the meetings themselves.  Do expect to hear from Habitat VA after the call to gather your questions and/or feedback.  ​

Info on conference call/webinar

Capital Campaign Info Session with The Compass Group 

Tue, Oct 16, 2018 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM EDT 

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

Join the conference call: 

Call-in Number: (515) 739-1015 

Access Code: 395-392-000# 

First GoToMeeting? Let's do a quick system check: 

If you would like to attend this conference call and webinar please let Casey know and she can send you an Outlook calendar invite (  

How will campaign goals be determined? 

Each affiliate will set its own goal, and the cumulative total of these goals will determine the Habitat Virginia goal for the state.  The process will be collaborative between local leadership, Habitat Virginia and Compass.  A tentative goal will be determined by each affiliate based on its current production and factoring in future growth.  These preliminary goals will be tested with donors and adjustments made based on donor feedback. 


Winter 2018 - Spring 2019 

Affiliate Recruitment and Preparation for the Campaign Planning Study

Habitat Virginia and Compass will meet with affiliates to present plans for the campaign. Based on affiliate feedback, those plans will be finalized.  Affiliates will sign on to participate in the campaign, and then, together with Habitat Virginia and Compass, prepare for a study to be conducted in summer 2019.  The study will require the development of a draft Case for Support and the identification of potential donors who might be interviewed as part of the study (see below).   

Summer - Fall 2019



Study phase 

Compass will conduct confidential interviews with a representative sample of potential campaign donors.  These are not solicitations.  They are interviews designed to gather information to make sure the campaign is positioned for success when it launches.  The confidential nature of the conversations allows Compass to get an honest sense of the best way to present the campaign and a warning on any potential challenges.


The study results will be presented in fall 2019.  The insights gained will allow local affiliates, Habitat Virginia and Compass to finalize the campaign’s Case for Support and the details of how the campaign will be conducted.   

2020 - 2024 

The campaign’s solicitation phase will be spread over five years.  This will give all participating affiliates time to engage prospects and build even stronger relationships.  Compass and Habitat Virginia will work alongside affiliates during this phase to make sure that every group gets the most it can out of the campaign.  Besides increased revenue, the purpose of the campaign is to make every affiliate a stronger fundraising organization.  In this way, the campaign will have a lasting legacy on Habitat across the Commonwealth. 

Are we stronger together?


We certainly think so. We believe this statewide campaign will generate excitement and publicity.  We want to build on your successes and, in some cases, reinvigorate the Habitat name in communities where Habitat for Humanity may be taken for granted. We also believe that affiliates will identify potential donors who have connections to more than one affiliate service area. This will give affiliates an opportunity to approach those donors as a unified group and ask for a gift that will benefit each affiliate in the areas where the donor has connections. An example might be a donor who lives in one service area, but owns businesses in several service areas.  Donors typically appreciate this kind of strategic collaboration and respond positively.


How will gifts be used to achieve both local and statewide goals?


The standard split for all campaign gifts will be 90% for affiliates and 10% for Habitat Virginia. Habitat Virginia will pay The Compass Group out of our 10%. Habitat Virginia will use the remainder of our 10% to help fund our mission of supporting Virginia Habitat affiliates and looking for funding sources and partnerships for Virginia affiliates. If a donor is already giving to you every year, and increases their gift during the campaign, you only need to give Habitat Virginia 10% of the increase.  

Habitat Virginia is already paying The Compass Group for the planning and introduction phase. Compass has been involved in helping plan the campaign for several months. We have also supplemented the Habitat Virginia staff a little bit to help with the campaign. Here are some Habitat Virginia staff who will be helping with the campaign: 

Overton McGehee – Habitat Virginia executive director since 2008. Experience with major donors as executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville from 1997-2008.


Casey Reed – Deputy Director. Casey has been with Habitat Virginia since 2008 and has a background in social work in Virginia and in Peru.


Maureen Burkhill – Grant writer with Habitat Virginia since 2008. Former executive director of Teen Site Inc.


Marcia Joseph – Program manager. Former affiliate volunteer and board member. Former board chair of Habitat Virginia.  


McKenzie Raber – Program manager. VISTA member.


Alexander Whiteway – Branding & Marketing Assistant - Videographer / Designer   

Some affiliates will want extra help in drafting their case statements, in identifying potential donors, in preparing campaign videos or brochures, and in asking potential large donors. Habitat Virginia is happy to help with that. If the amount of help the affiliate needs is large, we can negotiate a slightly higher fee for Habitat Virginia to pay for some of that staff time and travel.


Can The Compass Group help with some of the actual donor solicitations?


The Compass Group is not licensed to ask for money, but they are happy to accompany the affiliate on some of the large asks, if the affiliate thinks that might be helpful.  Representatives from the affiliate can do the direct asking.


Is affiliate donor information safe?


Yes. The Compass group is not allowed to share your donor information. Habitat Virginia is not allowed to solicit individuals for donations unless we are doing so on behalf of, or in partnership with an affiliate.


Are some affiliates already on board?


Several affiliates are represented on the Habitat Virginia board and have been involved in planning the campaign and selecting the consulting firm. We have also consulted 17 affiliates for early input and suggestions. They have been very enthusiastic and have encouraged us to get started this Fall.  

What will be the relationship with Habitat for Humanity International?


We ran the idea of a statewide affiliate campaign past the head of U.S. affiliates last year. She was okay with it.


Jayne Johnson, executive director of Farmville Area HFH, is on the U.S. Council of Habitat for Humanity International. She is keeping her eyes open for partnership possibilities, as HFHI explores ways to revise the cooperative fund raising agreement. As you know HFHI raises a fair amount of money in Virginia, through direct marketing and through a major gifts officer in D.C.


We look forward to seeing you at the introductory meetings.


Please contact us if you have questions:


Overton McGehee -- (804) 929-8436;


Casey Reed -- (757) 869-7311;  

Marcia Joseph -- (434) 996-1572;


McKenzie Raber -- (540) 818-4619;