Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA)

Washington, DC


An official status as a federal landmark and research facility has left the public uncertain as to what the Arboretum stands for and if it is worthy of philanthropic support.   A successful campaign in the 1980s saw the installment of the iconic East Portico Columns from the Capital building.  But that was a long time ago.  A strategic plan was developed and a landscape planning firm created a plan for enhanced public use.  But which projects should be pursued and who will pay for them?


Solve the identity issue first by identifying the authentic brand promise and strategy.  Use this framework to identify items from the strategic “wish list” to validate and activate the brand strategy.  Collaborate with appropriate strategic partners in all stages.  Develop a philanthropic case for investment to communicate the vision and plan with an expanded pool of potential major investors from all key audience groups.  Promote a comprehensive approach to near-term and long-term strategic success.


The USNA Director and FONA Board approved recommendations of an authentic brand promise and strategy based upon internal discussions, facilitated focus groups, and surveys.  We used this framework to select projects to test in the campaign study. 

A comprehensive case for philanthropic investment was then crafted and approved based on core themes identified, validating projects, and the long-term success of the Arboretum and the FONA.  The client partnership currently is moving into the next phase of the campaign planning process.

R+A Services:

  • Customized campaign planning study (with dedicated brand identification and strategy process)

R+A Team:

  • Bob Bartlett, Ph.D., Senior Marketing Advisor
  • Thad Henry, Senior Philanthropic Advisor
  • Katlin Chadwick, Independent Content Strategist
  • Jon McGann, Ph.D., Organizational Development Advisor
  • Dan Rogge, President / Chief Strategist
  • EK Collab, Communications support 

How can we help you meet your goals?