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Planning Financial Sustainability

October 15, 2018

Categories: Support Wolf Ridge

By Russ Bierbaum

Russ Bierbaum is the Wolf Ridge Board Chair.

As I begin my second year as Chair of the Wolf Ridge Board of Trustees, I am reminded of how proud I am of the accomplishments of this amazing organization. Your support of Wolf Ridge has been critical in the success of Wolf Ridge. Wolf Ridge has educated students and adults for over 45 years. In this time of environmental stress, we need more than ever a well-informed population. That has been and is the mission of Wolf Ridge. Your past support indicates that your values match the mission of Wolf Ridge.

The construction project on the Wolf Ridge Campus is completed and getting rave reviews. The most recently completed building is the Margaret A. Cargill Lodge (MAC Lodge), formally the West Dorm. A goal of the complete renovation of the old West Dorm was to increase efficiency in both energy use and occupancy flexibility. Both of these goals have been achieved thanks to the great execution of the architectural plan by HGA and Gardner Builders. The MAC has been well received by both students and families who occupied the building for the first time this summer.

From a financial perspective, the long-term goal of increased revenue by higher capacity through rooming flexibility and lower energy costs will be monitored closely during the next few years. We have every reason to believe that our operational financial position will improve with more aggressive marketing and efficiency. However, we must pay for the capital building projects without using funds from operations. Our donors are stepping up to the plate and we believe we will achieve full funding of our building projects.

Long-range financial stability is a goal of the Board of Trustees and the staff of Wolf Ridge. This brings me to the topic of planned giving. We have several people who have notified Wolf Ridge that their will or living trust lists Wolf Ridge as a beneficiary. The Board of Trustees has set a goal of formalizing a planned giving program – The Leaders of the Pack. I am asking you to consider naming Wolf Ridge as a beneficiary of your estate plans. The Leaders of the Pack has the potential of providing long-range stabilization of funding the needs of Wolf Ridge for generations to come. Without planning, nothing will happen. What a great legacy you and your family can leave to ensure that environmental education at Wolf Ridge continues at the highest level.

More details will be forthcoming about The Leaders of the Pack through future Almanac articles and our website. For more info or to tell us about your gift, please contact Pete Smerud at 800-523-2733 (MN, WI, ND) or 218-353-7414.

P.S. Are you a Thrivent member? Wolf Ridge is an approved Thrivent Choice recipient, which means members are welcome to recommend us for charitable outreach distributions.