CCS partnered with Children’s Mercy on a feasibility and planning study for a campaign that has raised more than $250M and led to the completion of a transformational research institute.

Aerial view of the Children's Mercy building in Kansas City.

Based in: Kansas City, MO, Central US, United States

Sector: Health

From a single-bed hospital in 1897, Children’s Mercy has evolved to become the Kansas City region’s preeminent pediatric healthcare provider and one of the nation’s top pediatric medical centers. Every year, Children’s Mercy serves more than 250,000 children and families from Kansas City, Missouri and far beyond. For more than 120 years, Children’s Mercy has worked to create a world of well-being for children.

Key Elements

  • Children’s Mercy raised over $250 million, completing the construction of a new research institute in 2020
  • This campaign yielded two $75 million gifts, including one from a local foundation after interviews surfaced the possibility of a larger than expected gift
  • CCS conducted over 100 personal interviews and integrated predictive modeling to create the blueprint to fundraise for and successfully open the Children’s Mercy Research Institute

CCS was extremely professional, working seamlessly as an extension of our staff, to provide guidance and gather insights to help inform our campaign goals and objectives. Together, in a collaborative partnership, we were able to exceed campaign expectations leading to the largest one-time gift ever made to a children’s hospital for pediatric research. I would highly recommend CCS when considering a fundraising partner to assist with developing strategies to meet your transformational goals.

Jenea Oliver, PhD, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Children’s Mercy


To continue to transform the health, well-being, and potential for children, Children’s Mercy identified strategic priorities to provide the best clinical care available. Children’s Mercy also acknowledged the challenges in preparing for a campaign with no formal volunteer structure and the need to cultivate an understanding of the case for support.

Children’s Mercy planned to launch a campaign to provide the best clinical care available through the construction of the Children’s Mercy Research Institute.


CCS was retained to conduct a feasibility and planning study to determine Children’s Mercy’s potential to raise as much as $350 million. Our engagement included an organizational scan to review the philanthropy team’s preparedness to undertake this ambitious effort; a predictive modeling exercise to help surface new major gift potential; and more than 100 personal interviews and an electronic survey.


As a result, CCS developed a campaign blueprint to raise funds for the new Children’s Mercy Research Institute. Children’s Mercy received recommendations on the case and messaging, leadership engagement, prospective donors, and a campaign plan as they launched the campaign in-house. More than $250 million has been raised to date, including two transformative $75 million gifts. The construction of the Children’s Mercy Research Institute was completed in September 2020.

Today, CCS is honored to partner once again with Children’s Mercy to conduct a feasibility and planning study to inform the capital fundraising for a new strategic plan as they continue to grow.

Featured Team Member

It has been a privilege to partner with Children’s Mercy through the process of opening their life-changing research institute and witnessing record donations. Working with an organization that will have a global impact on pediatric research and seeing the support they receive is energizing. Children’s Mercy is a strong partner and an even stronger healthcare system.

Steve Manno, Principal and Managing Director, CCS Fundraising
A cropped profile picture of Steve Manno.

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