Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area is conducting a capital campaign to expand its capacity, services and impact on La Crosse and surrounding communities and families. This executive summary provides an overview of the case study written and produced in support of the All Hands In Capital Campaign.
Background and Need
Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area has built 44 homes and served hundreds of people since its establishment 26 years ago serving La Crosse, Vernon, and Trempealeau counties in WI and Houston County, MN. Habitat improves the lives of people by improving their housing stability, which in turn positively impacts their lives, health and education. Habitat also improves communities as a whole by revitalizing neighborhoods, raising property values and increasing the tax base, and reducing crime. A successful capital campaign will increase these positive impacts exponentially.
Besides increasing services and impacts on the community, additional impetus for the campaign comes from the desire to pay off the mortgage of the Habitat building,acquired in 2014, that houses the administration center as well as its ReStore and ReClaim programs. This building, valued at $1.3 million, was purchased for only $1.1 million with the intention of conducting a capital campaign to payoff the mortgage before a balloon payment came due in 2019. Paying off this mortgage would allow Habitat to direct additional resources to serving more families on an ongoing basis.
Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area is a nonprofit, ecumenical organization that partners with homeowners and the community to provide and maintain affordable housing; they live out their mission of
Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
Habitat is unable to meet the full need for homes in the La Crosse area. Currently there are 15 applications from highly qualified families and over 100 families waiting for the next selection process. A combination of factors has created this need: a high percentage of low-income homeowners, a high percentage (66%)of homes older than 75 years, and a high percentage (59%) of renters with inadequate housing. Habitat believes that the $1.6 million All Hands In Capital Campaign will address these needs by allowing the organization to expand services and programs to reach more families in the community.
The All Hands In Capital Campaign Goals
Habitat knows that expanding home ownership provides benefits to the entire region as well as the homeowners themselves. With this in mind, Habitat for Humanity LaCrosse Area developed a three-year strategic plan with the main goal of growing programs to meet unmet needs in the area. The Habitat Board contracted with Crescendo Fundraising Professionals, LLC, to undertake a pre-campaign study, which established that the project is justifiable and has the necessary components for success, such as a financially stable sponsoring organization, adequate major lead gifts, and effective campaign leaders.
Proceeds from the All Hands In Capital Campaign will be used to expand programs and services as follows:
A successful capital campaign will increase Habitat’s ability to utilize itseffective and sustainable model to provide stable and accessible housing to more families.
Habitat Programs and Services
Home Building: Homeowners are selected based on need, ability to pay a mortgage payment that is no more that 30 percent of their income, and willingness to invest a minimum of 350 hours of labor in building their home and participating in homeowner education opportunities. Partner families purchase their homes based on the actual appraised value of the home, but are able to utilize their labor as the down payment and are given a zero percent interest rate on the mortgage, making home ownership affordable for low-income families.
Home Repair: The Critical Home Repair program provides needed home repair and offers zero percent interest loans to qualified homeowners.
ReStore:This discount home improvement store sells new and used furniture, appliances,building supplies and home goods. ReStore’s $125,000 annual net profit is invested into building more homes.
ReClaim:This program promotes sustainability and conservation by removing and reselling useable materials from homes and businesses and participants are then eligible for a tax deduction.
ReNEW:This partnership of neighbors and local organizations, including Habitat, works together to revitalize neighborhoods with home repair, painting, weatherization and landscaping projects.
Habitat also coordinates with other area organizations such as Couleecap and the City of La Crosse that are working to improve conditions for neighborhoods and individual families. One example of the impact of these partnerships is the current development project on the corner of 5th Avenue and Mississippi Street in La Crosse.
Volunteers are an essential component in all of Habitat’s programs and services, and are vital to the organization’s fiscal stability. In 2017 alone, 600 volunteers worked a total of 18,000 hours!
The All Hands In Capital Campaign will be soliciting donations from individuals,organizations, small businesses, large corporations and private foundations. Contributions are tax deductible, and all contributions of $500 or more will be recognized at the Habitat Offices without identifying the amount. Gifts of $100 of more will also be publicly acknowledged. Donors may choose to remain anonymous, and may make gifts in honor or memory of individuals or in recognition of events or accomplishments. There will also be naming opportunities for donors gifting$10,000 or more. Gifts can be cash, check, IRA distribution, online giving, or appreciated property. Employers may offer payroll deduction or matching gifts.
The campaign is underway and a special community launch event is scheduled for Thursday, October 25, 2018.
For more information, please contact Kahya Fox,Habitat Executive Director, at 608-785-2373, ext 105.