Case study

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City of Refuge | Founders Weekend


In their quest to engage a diverse range of donors, including recurring and new, younger supporters, City of Refuge embarked on a transformative partnership with Westfall Gold for their 5th Founders Weekend Major Donor Experience. This event marked a significant milestone, profoundly introducing City of Refuge to the next generation of donors while building upon the organization's established major donors.


Throughout all 5 of their MDEs, there has been a commitment to creating unique donor experiences, each centered around a thematic concept designed to resonate with their supporters. In a previous year, donors engaged in the creation of LEGO models representing City of Refuge campus and surrounding city, symbolizing the theme of "Building Together." This year's theme, "Forging with Fire,"  featured skilled blacksmiths on-site crafting keys for the donors.


Before partnering with Westfall Gold, City of Refuge was an $8 million organization with aspirations for growth. Through strategic collaboration and the execution of the past 5 Founders Weekend events, the organization hosting other events, and growing corporate sponsorships, City of Refuge has seen remarkable progress, now standing at roughly $20 million in support.


Through the partnership with our creative and events team, the continuity of strong imagery and themes across invitations, giving portfolios, pillow gifts, and videos proved to be a cornerstone of the event's success. The Founders Weekend not only captured the attention of attendees but also carried through to the keynote speakers. Kevin Holland, our keynote speaker, is a remarkable individual who had the distinction of serving in two SEAL teams and as a Ranger. Drawing from his military experiences, Holland shared how his personal story was "forged with fire," aligning it with the journey of City of Refuge.

In addition to Holland's impactful address, the event featured transformational stories from City of Refuge clients that demonstrated to donors how the organization is making an impact through its programs. These elements seamlessly wove the overarching theme into the fabric of the program, creating a multi-dimensional experience for attendees.


The outcome of this collaboration and the Founders Weekend celebration exceeded all expectations. With clear messaging, an inspiring vision, and meticulously planned programs, every attendee at the event pledged their support. The fact that 100% of those present contributed underscores their profound dedication and connection to City of Refuge's mission. Throughout our 5-year partnership, City of Refuge has raised over $27 million through their MDE initiatives, a testament to their remarkable cause.

The partnership between Westfall Gold and City of Refuge for the Founders Weekend Major Donor Experience Event stands as a model of success in donor engagement and fundraising. By crafting a cohesive theme, integrating impactful speakers, and creating an immersive experience, City of Refuge welcomed a new generation of supporters and achieved significant growth in its mission to provide refuge and support to those in need. 

"The Westfall Gold team strives to put together events that share the message of our organization in creative, impactful ways. Their efforts have produced incredible results and we look forward to many more events together."

- Bruce Deel | CEO, City of Refuge