Client Spotlight: The Ark Chicago Moves Into New Building After Successful $23+ Million Campaign

Client spotlight, (3 minute read)

The Ark Chicago collaborated with a team of Alford Group consultants to realize its vision for a new building in West Rogers Park, empowering the organization to expand its services to 20% more of its community.

Four people look through canned food donations on a table.

The Ark food pantry volunteers sort through donations in the organization’s new facility.

Who is The Ark Chicago?

The Ark is a vibrant hub of vital human services, empowered by Jewish values, that lifts and strengthens the Jewish community, providing free care and support to Chicagoland Jews ​in need. Since its founding, it has grown from a small medical clinic into a comprehensive organization that offers professional case management, a food pantry, a pharmacy, financial counseling and assistance, employment counseling, housing solutions and many other services for clients.

What was the focus of the work between The Ark and Alford Group?

The partnership began with an in-depth feasibility study, which included meeting with constituent groups to talk about the goals of the campaign. Through the process, group members expressed deep care for the cause and understood the need to renovate the building, particularly the food pantry. The Ark also overcame adversities, including a change of executive director and unforeseen challenges during construction resulting in increased costs.

As a result of the feasibility study, Alford Group recommended to The Ark’s Board of Directors that the organization launch a campaign. The consultants provided thought partnership through campaign counsel along the way. This involved accompanying the team on calls and engaging with the campaign committee regularly.

What were the major changes made in the process?

The Ark’s campaign was completed successfully, and it has moved into its new building which increases its physical space by 60%, allowing the organization to serve at least 20% more clients annually. New facilities in the building include an expanded, modern food pantry; an atrium and community room for public gatherings and events; and a second floor reserved for therapeutic day programs and dedicated volunteers.

Over the course of its partnership with Alford Group, The Ark increased the campaign fundraising goal from $9 million in 2019 and has raised more than $23 million to date for the physical spaces and the sustainability of programs.

Adam Parker, Director of Development at The Ark credits the success of the campaign to the collaboration:

“Our partnership with Alford Group was instrumental in realizing our vision for the new building. Their support empowered us to overcome obstacles, exceed our fundraising goal and advance vital services for the Jewish community in Chicagoland.”

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