CCS partnered with the University of New Orleans (UNO) to plan for and successfully manage the initial phases of its first-ever comprehensive campaign, even amid the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students from the University of New Orleans

Based in: New Orleans, LA, Central US, United States

Sector: Higher Education

Key Elements

  • Scholarships and tuition assistance remain at the forefront for both UNO and its leadership.
  • The Next Is Now campaign has been an opportunity to further elevate the name, branding, and work of the University of New Orleans across the region and among its alumni and friends.
  • This campaign has also helped round out the development staff at UNO to assist in maintaining its level of activity throughout the campaign and after its conclusion. 

The University of New Orleans (UNO) brings together a variety of diverse, talented, and motivated students so that they may learn, interact, and pursue their career goals. Since opening its doors in 1958 as the first fully integrated university in the south, UNO has conferred more than 70,000 degrees. Today, UNO is ranked as one of the nation’s best colleges by The Princeton Review, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report.

We hired CCS because of its proven track record, and we were very pleased with the results of the partnership. CCS staff were very detail-oriented, and we benefited from their insight, experience, and expertise. I would recommend CCS to other potential clients without reservation.

Dr. John Nicklow, President, University of New Orleans

The Challenge

In the beginning of 2019, UNO retained CCS to assess the possibilities for their first-ever comprehensive campaign. UNO sought to test a $100 million goal to allow the University to expand its endowment and complete capital projects with a focus on four priorities: Student Access and Success; Dedicated Faculty and High-Impact Research; State-of-the-Art Facilities, Equipment, and Technology; and Sustained and Expanded Academic Excellence.


CCS’s comprehensive feasibility study assessed the best path forward for the campaign, eventually recommending a $50 million goal. In parallel, CCS conducted an internal assessment that analyzed current development efforts, resources, and staff to better understand the University’s capabilities in launching a major fundraising initiative. CCS made recommendations on job titles, descriptions, and positions to ensure UNO’s success in achieving the goals of its campaign.

UNO later enlisted the help of CCS to launch the Next Is Now campaign. CCS provided full-time campaign management services to advance the day-to-day work of fundraising in the campaign’s initial phases.


Throughout our campaign management engagement, UNO secured numerous historic six- and seven-figure gifts to support endowed scholarships, facility upgrades, and areas of greatest need across the campus. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, UNO never paused, and instead kept moving forward and found unique opportunities to encourage prospective donors to keep supporting the school through virtual meetings and tours.

By the end of CCS’s engagement, UNO raised more than $20 million and was empowered to successfully complete the remainder of the campaign in-house. With this momentous campaign, UNO has been able to support students with emergency funds due to the impacts of the pandemic and recent hurricanes, offer more scholarships, further develop program opportunities, and name a few of their colleges and schools.

Featured Team Member

The Next Is Now campaign is UNO’s first-ever comprehensive campaign focused on improving the student experience through scholarships, a STEAM-focused education, upgraded facilities, and an investment in the faculty and staff to ensure its graduates go on to live an extraordinary life. The mission, the student body, and the leadership of this University are inspiring, and I am humbled to have been a part of the work they are doing to change lives. I look forward to seeing what UNO does next.

Cassie Pericak, CCS Fundraising Alumna

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