Before Neupert and his fellow volunteers could get started, there was considerable homework to be done. To counter those who might have called his goal ludicrous, but more importantly to simply "do things the right way," a feasibility study was performed by professionals in the fundraising business. Ultimately they reported back that, yes, based on the feedback of dozens of senior industry executives, a $10 million goal was not only feasible, but quite possible indeed.

At the advice of the fundraising consultants, the Foundation then conducted a search and brought aboard a full-time professional, Maura Wheeler, whose training and experience in fund development mirrored the needs of the Campaign.

Throughout the next several years, Neupert, Wheeler and the members of the Campaign Advisory Board (CAB) worked tirelessly to amass the kind of support that would be needed to build the Endowment and reach our $10 million goal. Meetings, conference calls, personal visits, letters and a variety of other strategies were employed to present the Endowment's "Case Statement" to potential donors. CAB members partnered with other industry volunteers, traveled thousands of miles at their own expense, and spent countless hours bringing the message of the Campaign to all of ASA's members.

Led by Neupert, these champions of the Endowment managed a campaign that has been characterized by its integrity and credibility. Promises that were made to supporters involve effective governance, permanence of the Fund, good value and support for the Education Foundation's four critical initiatives (see sidebar page 114).

During the first several years of the effort, the Campaign was considered to be in the "quiet phase," as major donors were privately solicited for major gifts. These individuals and companies had been identified as leaders in our industry, whose example would provide a good incentive for others to follow. Then in 1998, the Campaign went "public," and another round of intense fundraising was begun.

Even then, the members of the Campaign Advisory Board continued to meet, plan and ask on behalf of the Endowment. Their zeal for reaching the goal was enhanced each time they were able to secure another gift from one of their peers; their dedication to the ultimate goal of educating our industry was boosted another notch.

The CAB members truly represented the epitome of association volunteerism, and future generations of ASA members will be indebted to each of them for their efforts.