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Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens


The Challenge.

In 2003, the Board of Trustees of the Franklin Park Conservatory facilitated a master plan to redevelop major components of the campus. There was particular interest in creating beautiful themed gardens, improving the caretaker’s house, and making additions to the John F. Wolfe Palm House, among other proposed projects. It would require $75 million to fulfill all elements of the vision. Franklin Park Conservatory engaged the Cramer team to conduct their first-ever feasibility study for a campaign that would raise the money for this ambitious undertaking.

The Strategy.

During study interviews, donors said the Conservatory should work to engage surrounding neighborhoods and earn revenue to sustain its operations. Our team recommended breaking the campaign into two distinct phases to address these concerns. The first phase of the plan would prioritize projects that would increase revenue. The timeline would ensure that benchmark goals were met regularly, so the Conservatory could celebrate large scale facility achievements and drum up support and enthusiasm from the community.

Project Facts

Raised in Phase I
$ 0 M+
Raised inPhase II
$ 0 M
growth in earned revenue in 8 years
0 %

The Result.

Phase One: Growth by Design (2004 – 2006)
Phase One of the campaign addressed the issue of operational revenue by focusing on elements such as the café, event venues, and rotating exhibit spaces. The $12 million goal attracted a large base of committed leaders. These strategies resulted in Phase One exceeding expectations and raising more than $22 million.


Phase Two: Master Plan 2.0 (2015 – 2018)
The success of Phase One earned the community’s trust and gave Conservatory leaders the confidence to set a $20 million goal for Phase Two. Generous donors funded the Scott’s Miracle Gro Children’s Garden, a redesigned Atrium and Lobby, and the Wells Barn education center and event venue.


All these initiatives have raised the profile of the Conservatory throughout the United States and allowed it to operate sustainably.

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