For only the second time in Teacup's 44 year history, we are excited to be working with our community to make key investments to strengthen and secure our beloved nonprofit. From better, safer and more reliable skiing to more inviting, rewarding and plentiful programs for all ages, our future is ready to be realized.
We would be honored to have you join us in setting the tracks for the next generation! We look forward to hearing from you.
Paul Blackburn & Noel JohnsonCapital Campaign Co-Chairs
Guided by listening, research and planning conversations across our skiing community, we are excited to announce this two season, $2 million dollar campaign towards:
(Noel Johnson, Steve Hochman, Laura Davis, Sue Seyl, Ken Salzberg, Allison Crocker, Duncan Roberts, Tom Jeanne, Clint Harris, Dave Hawley, Chip Dickinson, Leif Hovin, Mariah Nichols
We appreciate hearing from you; please keep the feedback coming via firstname.lastname@example.org
How did the community help craft these proposals?
The actions to be funded by this campaign are those envisioned by you! Refined by the supportive partnerships and nordic community that make Teacup great, the proposed improvements were established through a consultative, bottom-up approach.
We started two years ago via the 200+ individual skier voices we heard from by way of the interviews and surveys conducted by The Goodness Collaborative - a local consultancy engaged by your board to scope and prioritize "what's next" and "what's needed."
From this, your board worked to identify common concerns, suggestions and trends. Experience and leadership was hired via our new General Manager role. Together, we spent last season working to communicate our envisioned changes and investments so that we might hear trailside feedback to refine our planning.
Concurrently, we talked to key outside partners, like the US Forest Service, our banks (Summit Bank and Consolidated Community Credit Union) and our regional ski association, clubs and venues. We learned what has worked, what does not work, etc. The skiing community writ. large is wonderfully sharing and supportive!
We engaged Fundraising Nerd - a capital campaign consultancy to establish a data-driven fundraising size goal. Basically, we attempted to establish reasonable expectations, informed by the collaborative knowledge that surrounds us and online, as to the collective wealth of our local community.
Finally, scrutinized our plans to ensure any single investment action would help solve multiple defined needs.
What are Teacup Nordic's funding sources and options?
As a non-profit, Teacup Nordic’s shareholders are its users. This means there are no private owners profiting from trail and program fees. It also means we lack the normal source of investment funds to scale up and adapt. As our region grows and as community expectations change, our operating and investment capital can only come from:
Trail passes, program fees, community apparel & event sales
Individuals helping to hasten and magnify our impact
Marketing relationships with lifestyle aligned companies
Grants for health, environment & local community
Parking, power, etc. - infrastructure that serve Teacup, and beyond
With this one time infusion of growth capital, our operating budget will be able to reach a self-sustaining level where the needed staffing and annual operating costs (including new investment, repair and replacement reserves) can be funded by reoccurring earned income revenues. In this way, this campaign not only strengthens Teacup, but secures its economic future.
How have you been preparing ahead of this capital campaign?
In preparation for the launch of this capital campaign, we have worked hard to develop and adjust our funding sources to ensure everyone is doing their part. For example, we have:
Adjusted pricing to "current cost" rates to ensure those enjoying the day are paying for the costs of that day's operations.
Invited value aligned corporate sponsors while improving our communications abilities so we can acknowledge their support and create a mutual benefit.
Fostered annual donor support via increased transparency and explicit asks for those who have more, to lean in.
Redoubled efforts at local, state and federal levels to ensure government planning and funding conversations consider our community's needs and desires (this being most focused on transportation and parking needs.)
Utilized financing for the purchase of assets like our new groomers so that the costs of these long-lived machines will be funded by those who are enjoying the corduroy trails they create for the many years to come.
In this way, we hope our capital campaign donors feel their investment is being respected. We want you to feel comfortable knowing that "everyone is being asked to do their part" and that your investment really will strengthen and secure the future of skiing at Teacup Nordic.
It seems some investments have occurred, some are underway and some are planned; please clarify the status of things.
For those investments you see today, like the new Pistenbully machines, we funded them mostly via equipment financing. And so while you see them "in action" - this capital campaign still needs to raise the money to pay for them. For other investments, we are concurrently pushing forward the multi-year regulatory process in hopes of having the approvals ready when we have the funds (and in many cases, the approvals require funds to be in hand.) Finally, some objectives, like our expanded programs and coaching, are simply not yet paying for themselves. But like any organization, we know we need to invest across quality and quantity to reach a scale that self-funds.
I don't like nonprofits using debt.
We agree, but when external events made real the need for these large investments, we really had no risk but to accept this risk in order to keep providing our community the groomed trails and programs. We are confident that our skiing community will step up to this need, and ask you to join us!