CCS partnered with Thomas Jefferson School to launch the school’s first major fundraising campaign. As the COVID-19 pandemic struck, CCS advised Thomas Jefferson on how to address immediate needs, evolve its campaign strategy, and maintain fundraising.

Students at Thomas Jefferson School in St. Louis, MO

Based in: St. Louis, MO, Central U.S., United States

Sector: Primary and Secondary Education

Key Elements

  • Thomas Jefferson launched its first major fundraising campaign following a feasibility and planning study
  • At the onset of the pandemic, CCS and Thomas Jefferson School navigated the unforeseen challenges and implications of the pandemic by pivoting the campaign to support the TJ Resiliency Fund
  • Funds from the campaign to date provided both short-term pandemic assistance and support for long-term strategic initiatives

Thomas Jefferson School is a co-educational, non-sectarian, independent day and boarding school located in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. The school educates a purposefully diverse and deliberately sized group of academically talented students spanning grades 7-12.

CCS was paramount in the success of our campaign. They helped our small team organize around advancement efforts, assisted in organizing and professionalizing our development efforts, and created resources that effectively communicated the campaign to our donors. CCS was not just a consultant for our campaign but provided operational support for the entire organization based on best practices in the fundraising industry.

Matthew Troutman, Head of School, Thomas Jefferson School

The Challenge

Established in 1946, Thomas Jefferson School’s campus features many older buildings. As school leadership explored the future of educational delivery and experience, they assessed their physical campus through a campus planning process, developing a master plan to meet their 21st-century campus needs while maintaining the charm and character of the beloved campus.

Thomas Jefferson School engaged CCS Fundraising in 2019 following this campus planning process to best understand the path to raising funds to support these projects.

The Solution

To build a road map for the school’s first major fundraising campaign, CCS conducted a feasibility study to assess sources of support for the school’s vision and the best sequencing for campus projects. Through the study, Thomas Jefferson’s Main Hall—the center of academic life on campus and a defining facility of the school’s campus—was identified as the first step in this multi-phased campus plan.

Following the study, CCS created a campaign plan with insights from our study and managed the campaign activation. At the onset of the pandemic, CCS partnered with Thomas Jefferson to shift focus to addressing immediate needs through a TJ Resilience Fund campaign. As the initiative progressed, CCS provided advisory services and counsel to Thomas Jefferson leadership, including its newly transitioned Head of School, Board President, and Director of Development, to develop the evolving campaign strategy and maintain active fundraising activity.

The Impact

As a school with nascent major gift history and numerous leadership transitions, Thomas Jefferson School has begun creating a budding culture of philanthropy within its school community. Throughout our partnership, Thomas Jefferson experienced several leadership transitions, including a new Head of School, Board President, and Director of Development, all of whom did not have an extensive fundraising background. Through ongoing coaching and strategizing sessions, each has developed a strong foundation for cultivating and stewarding relationships with donors and securing philanthropic support.

Featured Team Member

It has been absolutely remarkable to witness Thomas Jefferson School’s growth over these last several years. From fostering a more robust culture of philanthropy to navigating the unprecedented challenges associated with the pandemic, it has been a privilege for CCS to collaborate with school leadership to create transformational change for their school and students.

Courtney Baugh, Senior Director, CCS Fundraising

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