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YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

What our client has to say

Need:          Renovating and enhancing aging camp facilities

Service:     Campaign planning and counsel


Wishing to tackle major renovations at its Camp Ernst, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati asked Smith Beers Yunker to objectively test donor receptivity to a major fundraising initiative for the camp and other potential projects. Following a comprehensive pre-campaign planning exercise, the firm recommended a $4-million, multi-generational initiative, “For the Love of Camp Ernst.” SBY was retained to work with YMCA staff, board and campaign volunteers to bring new life to the 365-acre Burlington, Kentucky facility.


YMCA Vice President for Organizational Development Suzy Dorward explains, “After a competitive search for our Capital Campaign for Camp Ernst, we felt SBY had the most local experience yet offered a broad, knowledgeable team of professionals to help assess the feasibility of the projects. The leadership at SBY is familiar with the community (both sides of the River) which heightened our interest, as this would allow us to begin the process much more quickly. Once we decided to move forward on the project, it was a natural fit to engage them as our campaign partner. Bringing expert writers, campaign consultants and back shop support helped us organize our campaign quickly and get things moving in the right direction.”


Suzy also identified SBY’s forthright approach as a major asset, “During the pre-campaign planning phase, SBY gave us an honest assessment of our project’s potential for success and, in fact, recommended we shelve a few of our projects. This direction was based on experience and knowledge of the community which was very helpful.”


Over the course of the campaign, Suzy valued SBY’s steadfast partnership: “Our campaign lasted over two years, which meant there were times when we lost focus along the journey. The SBY team helped keep us on target, motivated and engaged. Their hands on approach made me feel as though they were as invested in the project as we were – truly a part of the team.”


“I have recommended SBY to others already as I believe they bring a solid track record of thorough research for feasibility studies, knowledge of local donors, and unparalleled understanding of fundraising principles and capital campaign structure. The SBY team is highly responsive, easy to work with and great at helping to maintain the focus that can help to ensure success.”