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Taft Museum of Art

What our client has to say

Need:          Increase the Museum’s endowment

Service:     Pre-Campaign Planning, Campaign Counsel and Coaching


As an integral part of its strategic plan, the Board of Trustees of the Taft Museum of Art set its sights on increasing the assets of its endowment. To help prepare and guide the $12 million campaign, the Board and management turned to The Yunker Group which had directed the Museum’s earlier renovation and expansion campaign which concluded in 2004.


“I’m very pleased with how the endowment campaign has gone,” shared Taft Museum Director/CEO Deborah Emont Scott. “Thanks to this campaign, we can start funding some of our dreams.”


Gerry Greene, Chair of the Board of Trustees, recalls how crucial The Yunker Group’s guidance was, from day one: “At the time we were beginning the campaign, we were just coming out of the recession. We also learned from Jim Yunker that there were around 26 other campaigns going on simultaneously. But I remember Jim saying that there’s no perfect time to launch a fundraising campaign. You just do it when you need to.”


“Looking back, I think that was excellent advice,” reflected Gerry. “We got a truly wonderful response to this campaign – 100% board participation, 100% staff participation, and a very high participation rate from our volunteers. And that is in addition to an incredible response from friends of the Taft and the community in general. I believe their guidance was really crucial to that success. Frankly, we just couldn’t have done this well without them.”


Deborah identified the pre-campaign planning performed by The Yunker Group as one of the cornerstones of the campaign’s success: “The Yunker Group presented a very good feasibility study report and set of recommendations, and that was important for us to be able to begin the campaign with confidence. They also worked with us to create a strong case statement, which meant that we were all on the same page and knew what we were doing.”


Lindsey Riehl, Director of Institutional Advancement, was especially grateful for the contributions of Linda Ault, with whom she worked closely: “Linda was fantastic. You could tell that she’s an expert in her field and knows the landscape of multiple fundraising environments and best practices. She’s definitely full of ideas, and whenever we were presented with roadblocks, she helped us think things through and was very solutions-focused.”


Deborah also shared her praise for Jim Yunker: “Jim is very easy to work with. He’s professional. He’s a likeable person.” She added, “Jim’s manner is an especially effective one. I don’t know that I can quite put my finger on it. But he had the respect of our board and campaign staff, and this couldn’t have worked if he hadn’t achieved that.”


All three agreed that they would feel confident recommending The Yunker Group – in part because of their local expertise. As Lindsay put it, “Cincinnati is a small – but mighty – philanthropic community. Jim and his team were definitely on the pulse of how to prioritize our energies because they know the philanthropic landscape so well.”