Build it and
they will camp
didn’t factor in miles of time-consuming red
Coming out of their
shell: Campers hit tape. She and Cook spent the first year con-
all the right notes ducting a statewide medical-needs assess-
during The Painted ment that revealed that more than 17,500 kids
Turtle singalongs. in California were unable to attend summer
camp due to their medical needs.
STUDIO 1501/TOM HINCKLEY
Other hurdles included finding a solid
board of directors, as well as spending two
years obtaining land and building permits.
Oh yes, they also needed to raise
money—and lots of it. And they had to
persuade potential donors to cough it up
long before ground had ever been broken
“IT TOOK SEVEN LONG YEARS from the time on the camp.
we came up with the idea to start the Using footage taken from other Hole in
camp until we were able to open the the Wall Gang camps, Adler’s husband,
doors,” says Page Adler, co-founder of The record producer Lou Adler, helped create a
Painted Turtle. When the gates finally moving marketing video, narrated by Jack
opened in May of last year, Adler’s greeting Nicholson. “Jack has a great line in the video:
to the first child to approach the camp: ‘The Painted Turtle has no billing depart-
“We’ve been waiting for you!” ment,’ ” Page says.
lation you serve, what geographic area, etc., Adler teamed with pediatrician Dr. Wendy The Painted Turtle has almost completed
new ideas can be evaluated in that context. Cook to spearhead the creation of The its second full summer of camps for kids
The mission statement also helps in commu- Painted Turtle ( www.thepaintedturtle.org)— with medical issues ranging from hemophilia
nicating to the public what you’re about. the sixth of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall to kidney transplants, skin disease, Crohn’s
But nonprofit organizations are caught Gang Camps for seriously ill children located disease, colitis and sickle-cell anemia.
when it comes to marketing. If they produce just northeast of Los Angeles in the foothills “I still tell every child that walks through
materials with high production values, they of Angeles National Forest. “It was very hard our door, ‘We’ve been waiting for you!’ ”
can be criticized for spending too much on for us to hold back our emotions,” she says of Adler says. “It’s a remarkable feeling. Every
overhead, points out Michele Quintaglie, that landmark day. single time I drive up, I can’t believe that it’s
director of the corporate social responsibility “We were extraordinarily naïve and there. I’m constantly receiving gifts from this
group for Hill & Knowlton, an international thought we’d have the camp running in a place. I think I get more out of it than the kids
public relations firm. If they go the low-budget year,” Adler laughs. “We thought it would do sometimes.”—Mark E. Stroder
route, their materials may be overlooked or, take no more than a couple of million dollars
worse, people may conclude that the charity to get the camp built.”
itself is not well managed because its brochure She was off by about six years and $23 To learn more about Mark E. Stroder’s
or Web site looks amateurish. million, but who’s counting? firsthand experience as a Painted Turtle
For smaller nonprofits that serve a local Adler, who spent years volunteering at volunteer, see page 8.
market, Quintaglie recommends, “Get to camps and other nonprofit causes for children,
know key players in the community. The ball
game hasn’t changed; it’s about relationships.
“Devote one day a week to meeting with
the top four business leaders or the top five they want to feel, that you’re making the world nonprofits. Like many small businesses, they
political leaders or academic leaders. Join the a better place, because they’re powerless to often operate with a skeleton staff. And while
Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce. These change it any other way.” some small businesses may have advisory
relationships can make a big difference. You Successful marketing and fund-raising, boards, every nonprofit registered with the
will get a lot more referrals [than if you send] however, requires talented people. And non- Internal Revenue Service is required to have
out a bunch of brochures.” profits as a group are notorious for not paying a board of directors. Nonprofits also depend
Then you need to tell your story in a com- as well as their private-sector counterparts. heavily on volunteers. In today’s time-stressed
pelling way, Phibbs stresses. “Tell us the suc- Which leads to the next challenge they face. world, finding and keeping capable and com-cess. Make the marketing piece personal: ‘Your mitted people is an ongoing challenge.
$100 gift allows us do this…. ’ PEOPLE “The days of gray-haired ladies working
“[People] want to knowthatthey’re mak- Quality people can make or break an as volunteers all day are impossible,” says
ing a difference in the community. That’s what organization, and that’s especially true for Phibbs. No one has extra time—they need to