The Montauk Historical Society’s $1.3MM goal turned into a surprising $1.8MM
Find out how the Montauk Historical Society saved a beloved lighthouse. A $1.3MM goal turned into $1.8MM — more than they ever thought possible.
The Montauk Historical Society exists to collect, restore, preserve, and display historically significant buildings, objects, and writings, and to preserve the history and cultures of Montauk and the East End for this and future generations.
Over the years since its founding in 1962, MHS has grown and flourished. Currently, their historical society oversees four properties: the Montauk Point Lighthouse, the Second House Museum, the Indian Museum, and the Carl Fisher House.
The Montauk Historical Society was handed the sacred duty of safeguarding the Lighthouse by the U. S. Coast Guard in 1989. Unfortunately, the tower had sustained damage through its exposure to extreme weather over the centuries. In 2016, a building assessment concluded that a complete exterior restoration needed to take place, representing the most extensive project attempted on the tower since it was enlarged in 1860.
The cost to restore the lighthouse was estimated at $1.3MM, which eventually increased to $1.8MM.
“We didn’t know how to ask people for money. That’s what first drew us to Capital Campaign Pro.”Mia Certic, first-ever Executive Director
Luckily, the lighthouse was already loved by the community. “People already donate to it because the lighthouse is imperiled. There was a sense among us on staff that we must save it.”
Capital Campaign Pro provided Mia and her team with access to the online toolkit of resources, campaign advisor support, and weekly group calls with other Capital Campaign Pro clients.
She was paired with advisor Kent Stroman, who immersed himself in the organization and its ambitions.
“Everything Kent had to say resonated with us,” says Mia. “We learned everything from the Capital Campaign Pro team, trusted the process, and it worked for us.”
Not only is the society on path to complete renovations in 2023, but the entire goal has been reimagined to include all four properties that they are responsible for, two of which are museums which need to be relaunched.
With Kent’s help, Mia and the team reimagined the goal, elevated the organization’s perception about fundraising and capacity, and positioned MHS for even greater success in their next campaign.
Plans are now in place to establish a true annual fund and a sustaining members program.
“Over time, with patient persistence, we were able to rally the troops, overcome some early missteps in the campaign, and eventually increase the campaign goal and then exceed it.
Abundant credit must be given to Mia, an Executive Director who was teachable and eager, and a campaign chair who was willing to exchange fundraising techniques with which he was familiar for new-to-him approaches which enabled the campaign to exceed everyone’s expectations. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish with their next campaign!”Kent Stroman, Capital Campaign Pro Advisor
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