Celebrating the Last Leg of a Long Journey

When we serve as Development Manager for an institutional development project, often one of our main responsibilities is supporting fundraising and financing efforts, as well as managing cash flow with these factors in mind. This was the case when we were brought on to manage the development of Lenfest Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music. Our team prepared and administered a $15 million Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program (RACP) grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These grants typically support the acquisition and construction of various types of regional projects. The grants don’t directly pay for project costs; they only reimburse bills already paid. So accurate, timely recordkeeping and organization is critical to smooth the flow of funds and to keep the cost of gap financing to a minimum. This requires diligent tracking, reporting, and piles of paperwork to ensure that all project funds that were originally promised can be secured.

A poorly administered process can cause months of delay in the receipt of reimbursements. Further, the Commonwealth performs an end-of-project audit, often months after the project has been completed, before approving release of the final funds.

Well after a long (and fun if we say so ourselves) journey, with the development project commencing in 2008 and Lenfest Hall opening in the Fall of 2011, the final payment of the RACP grant was received this month and every cent of the grant was accounted for. And although we helped arrange for a $20 million standby loan from PNC for the project to cover gaps between payments by Curtis and reimbursements from the grant, we were able to manage cash flow and reimbursements so effectively that we never needed to call on the loan.

It is always our goal to account for every penny promised – both public and private – on all aspects of a development project we are involved in, and we’re often told we do it better than anyone else!

Many thanks to our partners, Intech and VSBA, and the team at Curtis who together worked so diligently on this project. We know that it takes a team effort for large-scale development projects like this one and we’re proud to have had the chance to work with such a great team.