Since its earliest days, demand for mental health services for children from birth to age 4 had increased by 400 percent. At the time, The Children’s Center had been heavily reliant on government grants and contracts, which were always fluctuating. The board decided to be proactive in addressing the pressing issues. They ambitiously worked to create a 10-year strategic plan which focused on increased fundraising, a relocation of the Children’s Center. The 10-year plan allowed the staff and board leadership to rally behind a concrete vision that addressed the growing population of children in critical need of mental health care.
The Children’s Center committed to launch a capital and endowment campaign. The search for a new facility was paramount and when the historic Oquirrh School building became available, the campaign solidified. The Oquirrh School was spacious and conveniently located near public transportation making the Children’s Center more accessible to the entire Salt Lake Valley population. The size of the campaign crystallized for the committee and was set at $10 million. The goal allowed the Children’s Center to purchase and fully remodel the historical building and provide for a moderate endowment. It was a tall order. Giving to the annual fund had been generating less than $400,000 each year.
It took five years from start to finish and the goal was surpassed because the Children’s Center organized itself for success. The strategic plan gave the organization clear direction about what needed to be accomplished. It directed the organization to invest in the growth of revenue streams and it catalyzed the board and staff to clearly and consistently communicate the organization’s mission. The board and then the capital campaign committee members were trained and began talking about the campaign regularly, introducing the mission to new people, leaders, corporations and foundations. Campaign Chairs, Jesselie and Scott Anderson were the keys to the campaign’s success. Each was passionate, courageous and indefatigable in holding the vision for the need for children’s mental health services in Utah. Armed with a new intensity to share the clear mission and compelling vision, staff members, board members and campaign members were continually meeting with the Utah community to generate support.
In the end, the Children’s Center raised $13.5 million. Annual giving revenues increased to $1.3 million yearly and the Center’s total operating budget grew to $4.7 million, greater than twice the amount prior to the campaign. The Center now operates in two locations, the OquirrhSchool in downtown Salt Lake City and in Kearns.
What Impact Does the Children’s Center Have on the Community Post Campaign?
In Salt Lake County, it is estimated that 17,000 children from birth to age 4 are eligible for mental health services due to trauma, autism, aggression, depression and ADHD among other issues.
The Center treats over 2,000 families annually with referrals increasing each year. Key services now being offered at the Children’s Center include community outreach to train community child care providers; therapeutic pre-school; evidence-based trauma services; autism spectrum programs’ and professional training for future psychologists, social workers, counselors, speech and language pathologists, psychiatrists, family practitioners, pediatricians and nurses. To learn more about the life changing programs of the Children’s Center, please visit http://www.tccslc.org/home. Consider making a gift to this outstanding organization.