Giving To Pleasant View: A Conversation with New Director of Development Gene Musser

When it comes to retirement communities, Pleasant View is a standout.

PV not only showcases beautiful facilities and grounds; the organization also makes an active effort to integrate into the neighboring community of Manheim. Gene Musser, Pleasant View Communities’ new Director of Development, is a large part of this ongoing initiative.

We recently sat down with Gene to learn more about the projects in development at Pleasant View and his approach to charitable giving.

Gene Musser’s Path to Pleasant View

Gene started as Pleasant View’s Director of Development this past February. Both a retired air force colonel and former president and CEO of Kirby-Smith Associates—a national leader in church fundraising—Gene brings a unique perspective to the role.  At his core is a commitment to service, which ultimately drew him to the role at Pleasant View.

“When I retired at 65, I realized I wasn’t ready to be fully done,” Gene Said. “And so I was excited by the job at Pleasant View, where I could lend my skills in professional development.”

A bonus is Pleasant View’s status as a Christian retirement home, which plays right into Gene’s experience in Christian fundraising. This was the primary focus of his work at Kirby-Smith Associates.

At Pleasant View, Gene’s vision for development is focused on community-building initiatives that contribute to PV’s overall goal of creating a full, robust life for residents.

The Capital Campaign for the Hoffer Farm

One of Pleasant View’s most ambitious projects has been The Hoffer Farm: a planned cultural center that will bring Pleasant View and the wider Manheim community closer together. The ambitious capital campaign goal of $8.6 million to fund the project is almost as impressive as the project itself.

A Detailed Look at the Hoffer Farm Project
A detailed look at the proposed Hoffer Farm project

“We have a lot of focus on this campaign at the moment,” Gene said.

At its core, The Hoffer Farm represents Pleasant View’s commitment to building a tighter-knit connection with the greater Manheim community and providing more inter-generational opportunities for its residents. The cultural center will boast event spaces, kitchens, and meeting rooms, as well as the Manheim Community Library. Recreational areas and green spaces for a farmer’s market will be on site, along with a maker’s space, an alpaca ranch for animal therapy, walking trails, a picnic grove, and more.

Also integral to the Hoffer Farm initiative are partnerships with community organizations such as OneLife Institute, Manheim Central School District, a childcare facility, and the Central PA food bank. For example, crops grown on the farm grounds will be distributed to the food bank to help supplement their supply.

Gene and the rest of the team at Pleasant View envision the Hoffer Farm as a key to becoming an even greater asset to the Manheim area.

“You can live for 20-plus years at Pleasant View because you are not siloed from the rest of the world,” Gene said. “There is reciprocity between Pleasant View and Manheim.”

Giving to Pleasant View

While The Hoffer Farm capital campaign is indeed a major focus of development at Pleasant View, Gene stresses the importance of tailoring donor’s gifts to reflect their individual passion.

An often-overlooked aspect of Pleasant View Communities is its status as a non-profit organization. This impacts development in that it affects how and why people give to our organization. Beyond the obvious tax incentives that accompany giving to a non-profit, where someone chooses to donate their money reflects their vested interest in a specific cause.

Gene’s emphasis is on a donor’s legacy when it comes to giving to Pleasant View.

“We want to develop relationships with people so we can work with them to see where their gift can make the most impact,” Gene said.

Important to note is that Pleasant View is also a Life Plan Community (formerly known as a CCRC, or a “continuing-care retirement community”), which means residents can receive a continuum of care from independent living to more involved medical and nursing care.

Gene said he greatly admires the dedication Pleasant View’s CEO, Jonathan Hollinger, has given to this continuum of care.

“[Jonathan] is a leader,” Gene said. “He sets a clear vision for how residents can live a long and full life at Pleasant View.”

As a Life Plan Community, Pleasant View accommodates residents across the age and care spectrum, which means there are a variety of needs when it comes to charitable giving.

For example, the Benevolent Care Fund offsets living costs for residents who have exhausted their assets. This is particularly helpful for residents who have spent a long time at Pleasant View and end up needing more assistance. Gene said giving to the Benevolent Care Fund is a profound way to make an impact on the overall PV community.

For Gene, there is a clear distinction between fundraising and development.

Fundraising indicates something more immediate, while development focuses on nurturing long-term relationships between donors and recipients. Community is key to everything we do at Pleasant View, which makes Gene’s approach to development a perfect fit.

“When someone gives to Pleasant View, it should feel personal and speak to their unique passions,” Gene said.

If you’d like to learn more about The Hoffer Farm project, click here. For more information on how you can make a legacy impact at Pleasant View Communities, reach out to Gene directly at

To make a financial contribution today, click here, and thanks for supporting Pleasant View Communities.

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