In 2010, the Fort Collins Senior Center was over capacity and had to expand to meet the needs of our growing, aging population. A group of passionate seniors came together to form the Senior Center Expansion Committee and launch a capital campaign. The group faced several challenges. As volunteers, they had little experience with fundraising, they needed to raise money for a city-owned building, and they wanted to engage Baby Boomers to help ensure the facility would meet the needs of aging adults in the 21st century.
In 2010, Maggie Dennis was hired to write grants for the project. Realizing that grant seeking would be only one element of a successful campaign strategy, she recommended that the committee hire Art Bavoso of Third Sector Enterprises to conduct a campaign feasibility study and donor qualification survey. Working with the committee, Art and Maggie determined that $500,000 could be raised during the campaign, with half of that funding coming from foundation grants. As the campaign’s project manager, Maggie guided the Expansion Committee through the campaign process, while also securing over $250,000 in grants for the project.
All the hard work paid off when the newly expanded Fort Collins Senior Center opened to the public in 2014, featuring new amenities including an adaptive fitness center, wellness center, and state-of-the-art distance-learning theater. The Expansion Committee exceeded its fundraising goal, contributing almost $750,000 to the $5.6 million project. Today, the Fort Collins Senior Center is the only nationally accredited senior center in Colorado.
“Maggie was attentive to multiple ideas and opinions. She was able to resolve conflicts, guide the committee process, and truly became a spark on a team of volunteers. We were bolstered by her energy, careful planning, professional contacts, technical writing skills, sound follow-up, and ultimately success in securing major fund raising grants.”
–Linda Hopkins, Expansion Committee Chair