Larry Zook interviews Beth Trout, Vice President of Advancement
Sharing financial resources has been integral to Landis Homes since our beginning. As you look at our history, what are some of the ways this has been demonstrated? Landis Homes would not be what it is today without our history of generous donors. The $100,000 of seed money given by Graybill Landis in 1961 followed by the partial donation of the farm from his relatives, Clayton, and Ellen Landis, literally enabled Landis Homes to be built. The Landis Homes Auxiliary was formed in 1973 and was responsible for partially funding many projects throughout the years, including the prayer garden, a bus and the gazebo at Leaman Woods. The Caring Fund was established in 1994 to provide benevolent care to residents who, through no fault of their own, have exhausted their personal financial resources. The current need for benevolent care is over $3 million annually. Two previous capital campaigns are also part of our history – $1.2 million was raised in 1997-98 for the Heritage Memory Support Center and $2.1 million in 2002 for the person-centered healthcare neighborhoods. The initiatives funded by both these campaigns were innovative for their day and continue to keep Landis Homes strong and vital in the marketplace.
How is philanthropy being expressed in the current capital campaign? Have there been any surprises? The response to Connections: A Campaign for the Learning & Wellness Center has been filled with surprises! Because it had been many years since Landis Homes conducted a campaign, we started the process with a feasibility study to determine how much of the $11 million needed for the Learning & Wellness Center could come from the campaign. An initial goal of $2.6 million was established, but prior to groundbreaking, $2.4 million had already been committed by 83 very generous lead donors. The Steering Committee voted to raise the minimum goal to $3.2. We are thrilled to share that this milestone was reached in September! Although we celebrate and give thanks for those who have contributed, we are continuing with the campaign so all who choose to can be part of this exciting effort. Gifts of all sizes are important and we know that for every dollar ($1) we raise now we save Landis Homes a dollar and a half ($1.50) in long term financing. Every gift makes a difference.
Are other parts of Landis Communities benefitting from people’s generosity? Absolutely! The ExtraOrdinary Give, Lancaster County’s one day online giving event, will take place November 17, 2017. Landis Communities, along with Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning® and Welsh Mountain Home, are all participating this year. Our Adult Day Services program is the beneficiary of the annual golf tournament held the first Friday in June. Landis Communities, Landis Homes, Welsh Mountain Home, Adult Day Services and Pathways Institute are all eligible to receive charitable donations.
How is philanthropy changing as generations shift? Each generation approaches giving in a slightly different way. Beyond the church, our parents may have given to several organizations that reflected their values, had a mission they supported or a connection with someone they knew. Today’s 50-year-old may have a more focused approach, supporting approximately five organizations where they volunteer or feel connected to the vision. They generally have more interest in how the organization is run and want to be told about the impact of their gift. Millennials tend to be about causes and passion. They give of their time and resources to support groups where they feel they can make a difference. The number of non-profits in this country continues to rise at a time when we are starting to see a great transfer of wealth. To stay relevant we must communicate openly with a message that draws people in, connects with their passions and encourages their participation in achieving our mission.