VISTA Service Opportunity with Cornerstone Ranch

2013LogowithtaglineCornerstone Ranch is a unique home and day program for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. This family-centered environment creates a safe place where independence thrives, character grows, and confidence is nurtured. Located on 42 acres just outside of McKinney, Texas, Cornerstone’s 10,000-square-foot residential home comfortably accommodates seven adults with disabilities residentially and two highly integrated care giving families. The Cornerstone staff strives to help each resident and day program participant feel loved, respected, and safe. Cornerstone Ranch exists to enable the residents and day program participants to experience three core values: Community integration – Be productive members of our local community by serving others; Abundant life – Live an abundant life through which they realize their God-given potential and enjoy every day to its fullest; and Family-centered Environment – Experience the joy of living with people who truly love them and celebrate their lives. . The Outreach and Development VISTA at Cornerstone Ranch will build capacity by increasing community awareness of the agency and increasing financial support through events and grant writing efforts to raise at least $100,000 to support programming needs. The VISTA will work with the organization to develop plans for events, solicit sponsorships and in-kind support, create logistical strategies and develop post-evaluation processes for each special event. To learn more about Cornerstone Ranch, visit

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Cornerstone Ranch VISTA Organizes Donor Data Leading to Successful Fundraising

Martha TonnCornerstone Ranch, located in McKinney, TX, is a unique home and day program for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. In late November, Cornerstone Ranch began working with a development consultant to design and implement a strategic fundraising plan for the end of 2017 and 2018. The first step was to craft a year-end direct mail appeal targeting various segments of donors and prospects to consider an end-of-year gift. For the past two years, Cornerstone Ranch has maintained approximately 2000 names and address in their database, but not donation information. Donations have been stored in QuickBooks and various event-related spreadsheets. For this reason, it was a very difficult and time-consuming process to segment donors into major donors, mid-level donors, event donors, general donors, and lapsed donors, as was needed for the appeal. VISTA member Martha Tonn took the information that was compiled from various sources and sorted out the donors into the appropriate categories, taking the time to check and re-check for errors and duplications. While one large group of constituents was sent to a mailing house for processing, the smaller groups, totaling approximately 500 letters in six different segments were printed and processed in-house to save on costs. The appeal was successfully mailed in early December and resulted in donations of $37,275. These funds support the Day Program activities and operating costs for Cornerstone Ranch where the residents and day program participants learn new skills, and reach their highest level of independence, as active participants in grocery shopping, home care, meal preparation and personal grooming. They can also be found volunteering at local nonprofits and making contributions to their communities.