Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation

THE ORGANIZATION: Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation serves more than 8,000 residents of the Cypress Hills community each year through programs that promote housing preservation, economic development, and the positive development of youth and families.

Feeling like the agency had hit a wall in attracting new funders, Cypress Hills LDC came to Cause Effective for help in using its 25th anniversary campaign to diversify its funding base and raise more money from individuals.

OUR WORK: Cause Effective helped Cypress Hills LDC rethink who might take a deeper interest in their work.  Through a series of Cause Effective-facilitated brainstorming sessions, according to Cypress Hills LDC executive director Michelle Neugebauer, “We realized we have a lot more access to resources and wealth than we had imagined.”

By reaching out in a more personal way to banks and others who had already provided institutional support, the organization discovered wider circles of people who were ready to support Cypress Hills LDC’s work through their own personal networks.  This ultimately opened doors to people working on Wall Street who had seemed too distant a target in the past.

As an outgrowth of these sessions, the agency formed a College Success Partners volunteer corps, whose members support Cypress Hills LDC’s college access programs by volunteering with participants and fundraising.  This group “has brought us connections with worlds that we didn’t otherwise have access to,” reflects Cypress Hills LDC development director Emily Blank.

THE RESULTS:  Cypress Hills LDC raised $130,000 through its anniversary campaign, more than doubling the net proceeds from the last anniversary event.  And the impact is lasting far beyond Cypress Hills LDC’s 25th year: “While other nonprofits are closing programs, the money we have raised has enabled us to sustain our services” explains Michelle.  “Even in the midst of an economic recession, with Cause Effective’s help, we have been able to continue to develop innovative affordable housing for our community.”