In August of 2023, Westside Future Fund launched its Our Next Chapter campaign with a goal to raise key philanthropic support to complete the organizations housing development targets it outline in 2017. As the year comes to a close, WFF’s Chief Development Officer Rochelle Reeder shares her vision for 2024 and explains how philanthropic partners help fuel the organization’s mission to advance a compassionate approach to equitable neighborhood revitalization.
Q: Can you provide an overview of the strategic priorities for WFF in 2024, particularly in the context of equitable neighborhood revitalization on the historic Westside in Atlanta?
A: In 2024, our focus is on Our Next Chapter, and specifically meeting our fundraising targets so that we can truly build community on the historic Westside. We launched our capital campaign in August of this year to raise $55 million to help us unlock $45 million from our Impact Fund. With an additional $10 million in public grants, we will be able to provide a significant inventory of quality, affordable housing to support and enable legacy residents, and those with deep ties to the community, to remain on Atlanta’s Westside.
Q: The Our Next Chapter capital campaign launched in August of this year; how do you plan to engage donors in 2024?
A: We intend to build on the success of past campaigns by cultivating strong relationships with existing donors, exploring new partnerships, and implementing targeted stewardship efforts to sustain and increase support.
Q: Regarding the “Our Next Chapter” capital campaign, what are the key objectives, and how does it align with WFF’s broader mission?
A: At Westside Future Fund, our goal is to advance a compassionate approach to equitable neighborhood revitalization on the historic Westside. Over the years, we’ve made progress in so many key areas including additional greenspace, supporting area schools, and partnerships to positively impact the safety and security of the community. Our next chapter is focused on supporting these holistic efforts with quality affordable housing because we believe that families and future generations can’t enjoy these important neighborhood amenities without having access to housing.
Q: How will we engage the local community in our fundraising efforts?
A: Community engagement is a major priority for us. Our office, at 970 Jefferson St. NW, is in the historic Westside. We share our office footprint with dozens of other non-profit partners and see ourselves as a hub and resource for the community. In the new year, we intend to have more events with the residents we serve through our signature program Home on the Westside, and engage with community stakeholders to share more about our mission, progress, and ways that we can be a partner.
Q: How do you envision measuring the success of the “Our Next Chapter” campaign, both in terms of fundraising goals and the impact on the community?
A: Success will be measured not only by meeting fundraising targets but also by the tangible positive changes in the community. That will include the completion of funded projects, increased community engagement, and improved quality of life for residents on the historic Westside.
Q: Are there opportunities for donors to contribute in ways beyond financial support, such as volunteering or offering in-kind donations to support our mission?
A: Absolutely. In addition to financial contributions, we welcome donors to engage through volunteering, providing in-kind support, or contributing their expertise. Collaborative efforts enhance our impact and create a sense of shared responsibility for community revitalization.
Q: As the Chief Development Officer, what excites you about this work and the year ahead?
A: As the Chief Development Officer at Westside Future Fund, the prospect of making a tangible impact on the community is what fuels my excitement for the work ahead. The role presents a unique blend of strategic planning, partnership building, and resource mobilization. Collaborating with diverse stakeholders, including government entities, local businesses, and community members, provides an opportunity to create meaningful change. Fundraising takes on a purposeful dimension, with the challenge of securing resources translating into real-world improvements. The coming year holds the promise of executing strategic plans, expanding successful initiatives, and navigating the dynamic landscape of community development. The thrill lies not only in achieving measurable impact but also in the adaptability required to overcome challenges and contribute to the broader mission of Westside Future Fund.