RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health created an unprecedented partnership to build the first freestanding cancer hospital in New Jersey. CCS helped position both organizations for a successful statewide joint fundraising initiative.

Interior view of a hospital atrium.

Based in: New Brunswick, NJ, Northeast US, United States

Sector: Health

Reach: National

Key Elements

  • The Joint Oncology Fundraising Initiative is the first of its kind.
  • Cross-team working groups strengthened trust and established a shared understanding of and commitment to joint fundraising among partners.
  • To date, RWJBH and RCINJ have raised more than $180M together.
  • Coordinated fundraising strategy and collaborative donor engagement have resulted in multiple 7- and 8-figure gifts in support of cancer research and care.  

Embarking on a cross-institutional endeavor can be fraught with potential pitfalls. Having our CCS colleagues take part in the planning and launch as an objective partner, allowed us to navigate some of the thornier issues without derailing our partnership. In addition, CCS’s experience working with other clients in similar spaces, was invaluable in helping to guide our decision-making and strategies.

william green, vice president, development, rutgers health, rutgers university foundation


Institutional partners RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ)—the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in New Jersey—set out to build the first freestanding cancer hospital in New Jersey. RWJBH and CINJ enlisted CCS Fundraising to test the feasibility of a joint capital campaign and build the foundation for a joint fundraising strategy. Stakeholders quickly realized they needed to think bigger together and build the foundation for a collaborative, statewide comprehensive fundraising effort, which would serve as a pilot for a larger partnership in development.


After completing a joint campaign feasibility study in 2020, CCS worked with RWJBH and CINJ leaders and staff through early 2024 to design and implement a unique joint fundraising initiative to beat cancer together. CCS began by facilitating joint working groups to build cross-team unity, address critical questions for coordinating development systems and operations, and create a blueprint for collaborative fundraising activity. Culminating in a shared Memorandum of Understanding to guide the engagement forward, CCS continued to support both organizations with the joint effort by developing shared donor messaging, identifying opportunities for collaborative donor engagement, establishing a joint volunteer group of Honorary Ambassadors, exploring paths for coordinated development programs, and working with marketing and communications to prepare for the joint oncology investment announcement in November 2023.

THE impact

What began as a pilot for a joint capital campaign has become a strong partnership in development with a shared commitment to a collaborative fundraising strategy. The Joint Fundraising Initiative is rooted in a shared culture of collaboration across entities and teams and guided by donor-centricity, transparency, and the path of least resistance. Since the start of their institutional partnership, RWJBH and RCINJ have collectively raised over $180 million, including multiple 7- and 8-figure gifts from donors who support the shared vision for the future. An early milestone in their shared success was the naming gift for the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center. In November 2023, they proudly announced and celebrated the significant joint investment in cancer research, care, and education across the state. Today, stakeholders across New Jersey communities know that no matter where you give to cancer locally, it will have a larger statewide impact.

Featured Team Member

Working alongside RWJBH and CINJ leaders and teams has been a great privilege and point of pride in my career. Together, we created an actionable blueprint for joint fundraising to support cancer research and patient care close to home – a cause that effects the lives of so many people. What’s exciting is that this blueprint can be replicated across organizations and communities to fuel even greater impact. I’ve never believed more in the power of partnerships in philanthropy. I’m excited to follow along in the teams’ ongoing success.

juliet gore, senior vice president, CCS Fundraising
A profile picture of Juliet Gore.

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