CLIENT: Vivalon (formerly Whistlestop)
Vivalon, established in 1956, is the North Bay’s leading provider of services to older adults through an extensive array of services including transportation, nutrition, classes, and information & referral fueled by the sheer power of human connection.
Vivalon’s building in downtown San Rafael had to move to make way for the new SMART train that was building its station just feet away. Forced to relocate, the organization seized the opportunity to reimagine what it could be and how to better serve the needs of California’s oldest county per capita where more than 16,000 older adults live at or below the poverty line. And where to relocate in an area where commercial properties are few and extremely costly?
The forced relocation opened possibilities for new vision, facilitated by PRG, resulting in the “Healthy Aging Center” that combined the services of Vivalon with desperately needed affordable housing for older adults in partnership with an experienced, well-respected affordable housing developer – Eden Housing. Yet there were still obstacles – the project required a complex real estate deal with a growing international company that owned the property, numerous entitlements, and a major capital fundraising effort. This would be a long road.
PRG was brought in to assess the feasibility of an $8 million capital campaign that, to the surprise of some, tested strongly. Following specific readiness measures recommended in the feasibility assessment, community leaders were recruited for the Campaign Cabinet, and the effort was launched.
Changes to the building program added another $2 million to the costs and PRG recalibrated Vivalon’s strategy to achieve $10 million. Working one-on-one with the organization’s CEO, Chief Development Officer, and each member of the campaign cabinet PRG supported the campaign that not only met but exceeded its $10 million goal.
The Healthy Aging Campus is currently under construction and scheduled to welcome it new participants and residents in September 2023.