The American Hotel & Lodging Association represents more than 54,000 lodging properties, supports $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales, and generates nearly $170 billion in taxes to local, state, and federal governments. Since 1996, CCS has helped the American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Foundation (AHLEF) raise over $23.9 million for four campaigns to strengthen this industry that supports eight million jobs. The most recent effort—the Opening Doors to Opportunity campaign—recently surpassed its $8 million campaign goal to fund scholarships, professional development programs, and research.

Challenge

The American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Foundation launched the $8 million Opening Doors to Opportunity campaign to promote hospitality’s future talent through professional development programs, scholarships, and industry research. To accomplish this goal, AHLEF needed to engage leaders of branded properties, owners and management companies, partner state associations, independent properties, and allied partners.

 Solution

CCS first conducted a feasibility study among this diverse stakeholder group to test fundraising potential for a campaign.  After the study, CCS helped manage the campaign spearheaded by 15 senior hospitality executives, including former Loews Hotels CEO Kirk Kinsell.  Leading gifts from hotel corporations and individual commitments from leaders in the profession helped the campaign raise more than $8.2 million to empower and grow this profession.

Impact

The campaign’s success will enable AHLEF to increase the amount and number of annual academic scholarships granted to hospitality students; increase professional development; and fund innovative research projects that support the entire hotel and lodging industry.

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