Denver Academy partnered with CCS to raise funds for renovating its historic buildings and constructing new facilities, as well as increasing its endowment. Building on Excellence ultimately raised $25M in the most significant campaign in the school’s history.

Exterior view of the Louise McCabe Performing Arts Center.

Based in: Denver, CO, Western US, United States

Sector: Primary and Secondary Education

Reach: Local

Key Elements

  • Denver Academy exceeded and raised its original working campaign goal of $15M three times.
  • Many early campaign supporters offered additional gifts later in the campaign.
  • The campaign ultimately raised $25M, allowing for the renovation of its elementary school, the construction of a brand-new athletic facility and a performing arts center, and the strengthening of its endowment.

After interviewing a number of recommended campaign consultants, it was easy to see that CCS was the best choice for Denver Academy. CCS has exceptional staff who became part of our community and understood our school’s mission and goals. With their direction, we were able to execute the largest capital campaign in our school’s 50-year history. They have endless examples of materials and campaign histories they could share with us. We would not hesitate to recommend CCS to another organization and have, in fact, recommended them to many of our colleagues in fundraising.

karen lozow, director of development, denver academy


Founded in 1972, Denver Academy (DA) celebrates a national reputation for being innovative leaders in education, serving a bright, diverse group of learners in grades 2 through 12.

Denver Academy has been at its current location since 2001. This historic property was previously a hospital serving patients with tuberculosis. While beautiful, the campus had spaces that did not effectively serve its innovative approach or the needs of the school’s approximately 400 students and highly trained faculty and staff.  Specifically, the gym was too small for a comprehensive athletic program, the theater was housed in a former cafeteria, and the elementary/6th-grade building was not designed to support modern learning. Additionally, thirty percent (30%) of the school’s families receive financial assistance, necessitating a more robust endowment to bolster need-based tuition assistance. The Building on Excellence campaign sought to engage support from the loyal Denver Academy families and community to bring the school into its next chapter.


Having a modest campaign history, DA engaged CCS to conduct a feasibility and planning study to help determine their path forward. Using the blueprint from the study, Denver Academy then engaged CCS for campaign planning, activation, and management. Our team cultivated close relationships with the school’s director of development and head of school, who prioritized the campaign alongside their Board of Trustees. We helped the campaign team finalize the case for support, recruit and train a campaign cabinet, finalize campaign materials and processes, and focus on leadership and major gifts.

THE impact

Denver Academy exceeded the original working campaign goal of $15 million and ultimately raised the goal three times. The team did such an effective job relaying the campaign’s mission and inspiring the community around the vision and need that many early campaign donors regifted, and Building on Excellence raised a total of $25 million, the most significant campaign in the school’s history.

The successful campaign has enabled DA to renovate its elementary school and build a brand-new athletic facility where the whole community can gather and a performing arts center highlighting the talented student body. These new spaces celebrate and honor the talents of students and teachers alike. Further, the enhanced campus aids recruitment efforts as it better reflects the school’s teaching and student learning while providing the teachers and students spaces of which they are proud.

DA’s endowment was also increased through the campaign, allowing the school to be less tuition-reliant and better positioned to serve its families and the community.

Featured Team Member

The tremendous success of this campaign was a result of the passion, commitment, and leadership of the head of school, director of development, and board. Campaigns move at the speed of trust, and trust and connectivity run deep at DA. 

polly breit, senior vice president, CCS Fundraising
Headshot of Polly Breit

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