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Founded in 1991, The Florence Academy of Art (FAA) is an art school dedicated to training professional painters and sculptors in the Realist tradition.  FAA teaches a rigorous three-year program for 100 students annually at its studios in Florence, Italy and for 27 students at its branch near Gothenburg, Sweden.  In January 2015, FAA opened its first US branch at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ.


HAC teamed up with Shakin Boreyko Consulting of New York, NY to provide capital campaign counsel to FAA.  The Academy had located an empty warehouse that it intended to purchase and make into its first permanent home.  It had arranged a mortgage for the purchase, but it needed to raise $2 million to renovate the space and make it ready for students.  The Academy asked HAC/SBC to help them raise the funds by the end of calendar 2014, or in a period of 11 months.

Our Solution


SBC/HAC did the following:

• Discussed each prospect in detail, developed a cultivation and solicitation plan for each, and plotted out a timeline for the campaign.

• Arranged for the screening of prospects using WealthEngine.

• Interviewed board members to ascertain whether they knew any of the prospects personally and could help in soliciting them.

• Helped the executive director identify a campaign committee chair.

• Created talking points for the executive eirector for use in soliciting those trustees who had not yet pledged.

• Coached the executive director and artistic director on how to make solicitations in meetings with top donors.

• Advised on campaign materials and communications.

• Created an annual fund plan that could follow on the heels of the campaign. 


Outcome:  the campaign goal was met and the building acquired in mid-2015. Renovations on the new facility will begin in the fall of 2015.


The most signifcant challenge facing SBC/HAC was that the organization had no history of fundraising. It had thrived for over 23 years on earned income and donations from trustees and a small number of other donors. The short timeline also posed a challenge, as did the fact that all campaign prospects lived in the US. The organization had many strengths, however. It was strong financially, had a generous and committed board, and enjoyed great loyalty from its graduates. Staff leadership was exceedingly competent, articulate, and determined. 

Our Challenge


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