After successfully closing one of its largest campaigns, the University of Florida decided to double its philanthropic effort. CCS assisted with extensive campaign planning and assessment, as well as enhancing engagement strategies. To date, UF closed the largest private gift in the history of the institution.

Based in: Gainesville, FL, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast U.S., United States

Sector: Higher Education

Reach: Local, National

Key Elements

  • CCS facilitated visioning sessions with UF’s Office of Development and college deans to identify big idea fundraising opportunities for transformational investment.
  • Additional infrastructure – including writing, research, executive support – was created to propel focused efforts around high 8-figure giving.
  • UF launched a second campaign, Go Greater, with a goal of $3 billion. With this campaign, UF celebrated its first lifetime donor of over $100 million.

The Challenge

In the fall of 2012, the University of Florida (UF) celebrated the successful close of one of the largest public university campaigns in history.  Over the course of seven years, the institution attracted more than $1.76 billion in private support to fund scholarships, research, campus improvements, and other programs. Following the success of this campaign, with the ambitions of doubling its fundraising production in the next five years, University leaders set their sights on the next – even bigger – philanthropic effort. Accomplishing this goal would mean managing staffing growth, capacity investments, and cultural changes.

The Solution

CCS was tapped to complete a full-scale assessment of the University of Florida’s record-breaking Florida Tomorrow campaign. To evaluate campaign performance and identify future growth opportunities, CCS conducted more than 50 face-to-face interviews with University leaders, staff, volunteers and donors, completed benchmarking research on the University’s peer and aspirational institutions, and performed rigorous analysis of its prospective donor base, staffing, campaign proposal activities, and fundraising results.

The Impact

CCS’s Florida Tomorrow Assessment provided UF with the data-driven insights and fresh perspective it needed to elevate its fundraising operation even further. With the help of CCS’s framework, UF has reimagined its regional pipeline as well as its mega giving and donor engagement strategies. This has set the stage for its next comprehensive effort, Go Greater, which publicly launched in October 2017 with a goal of $3 billion. In the painstaking process of preparing the development division for this campaign, UF closed the largest private gifts in the institution’s history, including a naming gift for its College of Engineering, and celebrated its first lifetime donor of over $100 million.


Hagerstown Community College

Hagerstown Community College

Northeast U.S.

Hagerstown Community College (HCC) engaged CCS in a campaign to discover new transformational donors and increase scholarship availability. Our partnership helped HCC develop its campaign prospect list and donor pipeline.

Drury University

Drury University

Central U.S.

CCS conducted a feasibility study and provided data analytics and research services for Drury University. As a result, Drury was able to optimize and leverage its portfolios for Phase II of its Go Beyond capital campaign.