Any experienced nonprofit executive or board member worth their salt, as well as donors who are asked to support those nonprofits, understand that capital campaigns are incomplete unless they include raising money for an endowment that covers the cost to maintain the building.

This is the “no elephants without hay” principle, which encourages the nonprofit to do more than raise money to buy an elephant, but to provide for its care and feeding too.

Ralph M. Serpe is president and chief executive officer of the Adams County Community Foundation.

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