Lackey Clinic is an inspiring story of a successful grassroots effort, which started with a couple who felt a divine calling. In 1995, Jim and Cooka Shaw saw a need to provide free health care for the medically disadvantaged in and around Yorktown, Virginia. What started in a humble church space one night per week would grow over the next decade to serving thousands of people in a freestanding facility. As need continued to climb, Lackey’s leaders decided to take steps toward ensuring its sustainability—engaging The Curtis Group to assess their readiness for an endowment campaign.

We worked together on their goals of expanding clinic hours and building capacity, and identified needs including greater public awareness and building up their board. To better engage the community, we helped rebrand Lackey’s communication materials—from marketing handouts to their website to donor messaging. We also helped them expand their board, start on succession planning and create a campaign committee. Lackey did not have any development staff at the time, so we guided them in adding that structure, enabling them to track donors, make sure events were running smoothly, step up their direct-marketing appeals and conduct proper stewardship. Most of all, we helped them implement a successful campaign, which secured major gifts and brought donors into the clinic for vision tours—a journey from beginning to end through the eyes of a patient, telling the story of the clinic.

With all these measures in place, the campaign was successful—establishing an endowment of well over $1 million. The clinic was even able to purchase the property next door to them, as an add-on halfway into the campaign. When the opportunity arose, we helped them refocus the campaign to also raise dollars for the land, allowing them to expand and accommodate more patients, as well as expanding their dental clinic.

“If we were left on our own to reach our funding goal, we probably would not have succeeded. The Curtis Group was critical in helping the board stay on task to reach our goal. I don’t know of any board that likes to ask for money. The Curtis Group actually likes to raise funds and helps energize an organization to fulfill one of its most important functions, maintaining its financial viability.”

Dave Anderson, Past Board Member, Lackey Clinic