At its annual meeting Jan. 18, center officials reviewed a number of pieces of positive financial and programmatic items, including that the center met its year-end fundraising goal of $80,000.
Executive director Chris Bartlett attributed the success to the work of board members, volunteers, community partners and patrons.
According to Bartlett, the center puts together year-end goals to serve as an annual guide on what needs to be accomplished, reviewing the figures monthly.
“We actually had challenges in the last year with fundraising, but 35 percent of our income comes from our very generous donors who give $1,000 and more a year,” he said.
To help meet the goal, William Way undertook its first-ever phone-a-thon, issued personalized letters to donors and hosted one-on-one meetings with major donors, issued a series of e-blasts with information and requests and spearheaded a social-media campaign.
The center’s Homecoming event raised $25,000, with 250 people in attendance. According to Bartlett, the 2011 Homecoming only brought in $7,000.
The 2012 Indigo Ball was also a fundraising success, bringing in $50,000 and garnering about 50 more guests than the previous year.
In the coming year, the center will implement new event-management and donor software, transitioning from Giftmaker to SalesForce, to manage their fundraising database.
The Center will also launch a new major-donor acquisition model, based on the L.A. Gay & Lesbian approach, including monthly parties at the homes of board members and donors.
Bartlett said membership is also up — with 1,004 current members, compared to 888 members at the beginning of 2012 — and the center plans to double that number by next year.
Bartlett said the membership uptick could in part be due to the center’s new membership-rewards program, which was implemented a year ago.
“We are growing the membership-rewards program to include additional businesses, which will be an added incentive to become a member,” he said.
The membership-rewards program includes a keychain card that can be presented for discounts at 12th Street Gym, Giovanni’s Room, Smokin’ Betty’s, Café Twelve and Tabu, among several other establishments.
In terms of programming, the center launched a number of new initiatives this past year that sought to bring in new members and donors and foster a greater sense of community.
The center received a grant for $10,000 from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s Philadelphia Music Project, which supported such events as this month’s concert by Ching-Yun Hu. William Way also received a grant from The David Bohnett Foundation to revamp its cyber center, with the facilities department building a new multimedia room with $17,000 worth of equipment. And graduates of The Attic Youth Center will soon have their own space at the center with Loft23, a new program that will provide social, educational and life-enrichment opportunities, made possible by a grant from The Allen Hilles Fund.
Also at the meeting, the center appointed and reappointed new board members, as well as bid farewell to several others.
Four candidates were in the running for four open board positions. Adam Hymans and Laurie Ward were re-elected to their posts, and Ward will also take on the role of co-chair. Newly elected members include Kim Keegan, senior staff personnel at PECO, and Christine Durr, who has raised funds for the City of Brotherly Love Softball League.
The board also reappointed Jeff Sotland as co-chair, and members Vanguard principle and chief diversity officer David Cermak and University of Pennsylvania facilities expert Kathy McLean, who will assist in the center’s upcoming facilities plan.
Leaving the board are former co-chair Stephanie Gross, former treasurer the Hon. Ann Butchart and member Ted Greenberg, although Bartlett said they would all remain active at the center.