Nearly one-third raised, just over two-thirds to go.
That’s the encouraging news from Footbridge Friends, the non-profit group charged with raising $655,000 as part of a private/public partnership to replace Fox Point’s iconic ravine footbridge. The Village Board will be responsible for the remaining costs.
Footbridge Friends has collected $212,000 in pledges in the five months since it began actual fundraising in August. The largest single pledge is for $25,000. There have been $20,000, $10,000, and $5,000 pledges. Many have come in at $1,000, the point at which there will be recognition of the donors at the site of the new bridge.
The smallest pledge? $18.18. But even that is significant.
“It’s my favorite donation,” says Barbara Schwartz, Footbridge Friends president. “It was our very first, and the numbers signify good luck in the Jewish faith.”
The numbers also signify a strong start to the fundraising campaign. Especially given that many of the hundreds of hours volunteers have poured into the effort thus far have gone toward planning, training, organization, seeking status as a 501(c) 3 non-profit, and establishing the financial guidelines and accounts to be responsible stewards of donations.
“We are well-launched and well-organized,” Schwarz says. “As village residents, we are pleased that our community service will reduce the tax implications of a new footbridge for all citizens, thanks to the philanthropic donations of our supporters.”
Strategy-wise, Footbridge Friends is focusing its initial fundraising efforts on residents closest to the bridge. It will gradually widen the circle as the campaign continues, reaching beyond Fox Point to the broader North Shore community – the surprisingly far-flung group of walkers, joggers, bikers and dog-exercisers that regularly used the bridge before its closing.
Efforts to date have included making phone calls, distributing information packets, hosting informational coffees and wine events in private homes, and creating an official Web site.
The longer-term campaign will include outreach to Fox Point businesses, targeted North Shore advertising efforts and major fundraising events at architecturally significant Fox Point residences.
Visit footbridgefriends.com to learn more about the history of the Fox Point Footbridge and plans for the new bridge. While there, you can securely and quickly donate online via PayPal. You can also Barbara Schwartz directly at 414-446-9501 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Footbridge Friends Board of Directors
Barbara Schwartz, President
Maureen Daly, Treasurer
Joel Been, Secretary
Capital Campaign Committee
Polly Drew and David Kornhauser
Mary and John Emory
Andrea and John Grant
Mark B. Pollack
Linda Gale Sampson