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Cincinnati Youth Collaborative

What our client has to say

Need:          Positioning organization to meet a very special challenge of building reserves

Service:     Pre-Campaign Planning, Campaign Counsel and Coaching


Founded in 1982 to tackle Cincinnati’s exceedingly high dropout rates, concerned community and school leaders pioneered the idea of collaboration between the business community and public schools. They created a game-changing model for intervention and founded Cincinnati Youth Collaborative. Wanting to ensure its long-term future, a major donor provided a very special $1MM challenge gift to raise a like amount for reserves in order to increase its capacity to grow and expand.

CEO and President Jane Keller identified two key contributions that were crucial to CYC’s success: “Having The Yunker Group do a market feasibility study for us was absolutely invaluable. The conversations Jim and his team had with people in the community provided enormous insight, which ultimately enabled us to stop and to take the time to lay the groundwork for what would eventually be a successful campaign.”

“The Yunker Group was also a great help when it came to board development. Jim Yunker’s expertise and experience were invaluable in helping our board to think about their role in the campaign, and to coach them to make the ask.”


Danielle Gentry-Barth, Chief Development and Marketing Officer, emphasized that it was a positive – and vital – partnership, from day one: “From the very first interaction with The Yunker Group, it’s a positive, customer-service oriented experience. Everyone on the staff was so kind, competent, and helpful throughout the entire campaign process. You get this warm sense from them, like they’ve got your back. That’s so important, especially for a group like us who was going out there and doing something we’ve never done before. We needed someone we could really rely on, and for us, that was The Yunker Group.”


Both Jane and Danielle believe that the firm’s understanding of Cincinnati’s philanthropic landscape was critical, yet Jane emphasized that it was the The Yunker Group’s honesty she valued most.


“I’ve actually already recommended The Yunker Group to others, based on strengths like their experience, expertise, credibility, respect within the community – and their straight, honest assessment of our goal,” shared Jane. “During a campaign, you want to make sure you’re not off in la la land, that you actually understand what the community knows about you and what the capacity is. I think The Yunker Group is the best in the community for doing that.”


Danielle hopes that CYC’s experience will inspire like organizations in the region to see what they, too, can achieve: “I just feel we are like ‘the poster child’ for what The Yunker Group can help an organization like ours accomplish. We were so pleased with the outcome of the campaign, which has exceeded our goal. The campaign and the funds we raised are going to do so much to advance our organization. But even more than that, this campaign is helping to establish a stronger fundraising culture within CYC, which is really going to take us to the next level. We couldn’t have done it without The Yunker Group.”