Thanks to good management and sound governance, Cunningham Children’s Home had successfully built two brand new buildings for children and youth with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities in Urbana, Illinois. Both had been made possible through generous support from United Methodist Women across the state, whose faith inspired them to heed the words of John Wesley, “Do all the good you can… In all the ways you can… As long as ever you can.”
A new school and recreation complex offered an opportunity to tap into another kind of fervor – the passion of University of Illinois sports fans, whose fondness for Illini and NBA player Kendall Gill and his record-breaking coach, Lou Henson, had made the agency’s golf outing an annual success.
Having recently led a mission-driven branding process, my role in the Capital Campaign kick-off was to deliver materials that would be flexible enough to break into pieces for individual visits with donors, but would produce a visual impact that captured the excitement of two very different donor constituencies. We also needed to convey the special connection that Cunningham offers for children and teens in need of intensive support – without patronizing the young people, insulting their families or over-simplifying the complicated range of reasons that support might be needed.
The tagline we came up with, “Win One for the Kids” conveyed the spirit of victory we wanted to capture. There was also something touching about dwelling on the relationship between lead donors, the Hensons and Gills. And old photo of Lou and Kendall together was a reminder of the impact that caring adults can have in a young person’s life.