Kansas City Ballet

Kansas City Ballet

“Campbell & Company partnered with us on our strategy and helped keep our focus. They helped us persevere during the last phase of a decade-long campaign.”

-Jeffrey J. Bentley, Executive Director, Kansas City Ballet

About Kansas City Ballet

Kansas City Ballet is a 25-member professional ballet company founded in 1957. This community jewel of the Midwest has earned kudos from the national dance community as an artistically dynamic and financially strong performing arts group.

THE CHALLENGE

To finance a permanent home for their school and dance company, Kansas City Ballet undertook a $39 million capital campaign in 2001. By 2006, the campaign had stalled, with only half of the needed funds secured. The executive director and key leadership asked Campbell & Company, with a national perspective and deep experience in campaigns for the arts, to reignite the fundraising campaign.

THE APPROACH

Campbell & Company initiated a mid-campaign assessment, which indicated the Ballet’s need to focus in three areas: organizing, training and mobilizing staff and volunteers; sharpening the campaign messages; and helping identify, cultivate and solicit a broader pool of donors. With Campbell & Company’s strategic direction and counsel, a new group of major donor prospects was identified through peer and electronic screening, a new organizational structure was established for the campaign committee, and the key campaign messages were revised and focused. The proposed changes were effective in kick-starting the campaign so that construction could go forward on the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity.

In 2009, construction of the Bolender Center began in Union Station, a historically important neighborhood of Kansas City. Campbell & Company recommended that the campaign committee capitalize on the positive sentiment that surrounded the renovations in the neighborhood to engage the downtown business community. Securing a Kresge Challenge Grant ($900K) catalyzed further support from the local business community, and corporate leadership united to help raise the matching funds required by the challenge grant.

THE RESULT

On August 26, 2011, Kansas City Ballet hosted the grand opening of their permanent facility. As of the opening, all construction costs had been covered and more than 95 percent of the $39 million goal had been raised. The balance of donations will fund an endowment restricted to support the operations and maintenance of the building itself. By the spring of 2012, all fundraising is expected to be complete.