Recent research by the Federal Reserve Bank shows the most deciding factor in revitalizing cities is the ability for leaders to work across sectors over a sustained period of time with a comprehensive vision. The Albuquerque Community Foundation’s pivot with their Concours du Soleil fundraiser last year is a testament to the success of this approach. Here’s the story:
The Cinco Amigos are a mysterious bunch. Much as you might suspect, there are five of these Bond-like gentlemen, and they are the business men behind Concours du Soleil, an annual fundraiser in partnership with the Albuquerque Community Foundation that benefits local nonprofit organizations. Concours du Soleil gathers the community annually to celebrate a premiere collection of New Mexico owned automo- biles. These are the kinds of cars that inspire awe and a twinge of jealousy even in those indifferent to the shiny paint jobs and impeccable curves of fine cars. Over the past seven years, Concours du Soleil has raised over $500,000 in grantmaking funds to positively impact New Mexico.
In 2014, the Cinco Amigos and the Albuquerque Community Foundation embarked on a new mission with the Concours. They sought unprecedented collaboration with the City of Albuquerque and the private sector to expand the impact and reach, and hone the focus of the annual fundraiser. They called it “Driving to the Future.”
Driving to the Future sought to provide funding for a permanent technology lab in the Innovation District of Downtown Albuquerque. With combined forces (government, private and philanthropic sectors) the fundraiser not only doubled its previous annual proceeds, raising over $200,000, but also succeeded in se- curing a generous in-kind donation made by a local business that funded the elaborate Internet system for the technology lab, and an offer from the City of Albuquerque to provide the space. Viola, with Bond-like grace and tact, the mission to build this technology lab was complete.
Kelli Cooper of the Albuquerque Community Foundation commented, “This cross-sector collaboration has opened an interesting door for us … this year we will be able to bring people in and demonstrate what last year enabled us to do. We will have another opportunity to continue this partnership and engage in more collaborative approaches that have significantly stronger momentum to better our community.”