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The Childhood League Center

The Challenge.

The Childhood League Center began in 1945 with a bold idea from a group of Central Ohio women to provide daycare services to the working poor throughout Columbus. What began as two daycares – the Jacob Hare Home and the Sullivan Gardens Nursery School – has grown to a best-in-class organization committed to serving young children in Franklin County who are both typically developing and those with physical and developmental delays.


After serving children at their facility near Nationwide Children’s Hospital since 1990, The Childhood League Center was asked to relocate so the Hospital could expand their services. The Board and leadership of The Childhood League Center went on the search for a new home and quickly found an ideal space on the historic Fort Hayes Campus. This campus was being reimagined into an educational hub for Columbus children and families and was ideally located near downtown and 1-670.


After a feasibility study was completed in 2014, their CEO, Ginger Young, reached out to Cramer in need of a strategic campaign plan and counsel for their impeding $14.5 million comprehensive campaign to relocate The Center.

Childhood League Center

The Strategy.

The Childhood League Center began with a group of women volunteers, many of which were  from prominent families throughout Central Ohio. These women, known as Childhood League Members, commit to volunteering 5 years at The Center. After their time, they then serve as Assisting Board Members for The League. During their volunteer time, bonds and friendships are made that last a lifetime. When Cramer began to put the campaign strategy together, we knew we had to capitalize on this passionate group of volunteers for The Childhood League Center.


Early in the campaign, a $2 million leadership gift was identified from a former Childhood League family, along with a $1 million challenge/matching gift to motivate current and former members of the Childhood League. A philanthropic campaign marketing strategy was created around our campaign theme – It’s All For The Kids! – to engage major gifts from former League members.


Our campaign strategy included three tracks:

  1. Engage and solicit current donors, inclusive of philanthropic corporations/businesses and foundations;
  2. Re-engage and solicit former Childhood League members; and
  3. Engage and solicit gifts from the public sector – the City & County.


While we were crafting the campaign strategy, we discovered that an opportunity to obtain historical tax credits became available given that new location for The Center would be on a historic property in Columbus. The team at The Childhood League Center quickly assembled a second Board that would be responsible for these tax credits, totaling over $3 million. This lowered our philanthropic need to $11.5 million.

Project Facts

$ 0 Million
$ 0 Million+
Childhood League Center groundbreaking

The Result.

This campaign had many firsts:

  1. It was one of the first campaigns to be led primarily by staff. While a handful of volunteer campaign leaders were recruited, their focus was to lend their name to the campaign and open key doors.
  2. We overhauled the traditional campaign collateral used for a campaign and created an easy to understand one-page campaign case, deck, and webpage that told the campaign story in a visual and compelling way.
  3. There was never a “quiet” phase to the campaign. Because everyone knew The Center had to move, the campaign strategy centered around the sense of urgency to raise the money quickly to build a new Center.
  4. We customized cultivation events and tours with the Board, staff, and key prospects, including a groundbreaking ceremony highlighting The Center’s kids.


After 2 years of active campaigning, we had secured more than $10 million. On a cold and blustery day in January 2017, The Childhood League Center Board and staff officially cut the ribbon on their new 40,000 sq. ft., 4-acre Center.


Since its opening, Cramer has continued to work with The Childhood League Center by providing philanthropic counsel and crafting a multi-year development plan, creating a planned giving program, facilitating their strategic planning process, and conducting the search for their new development director.

Services Provided

  • Campaign Counsel
  • Annual Development Planning
  • Planned Giving Program
  • Strategic Planning
  • Executive Search

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