Weill Cornell Medical College

Dedication of the College’s First Ambulatory Building:

The Weill Greenberg Center closes one campaign and delivers messages for the next campaign!

Challenge: Weill Cornell Medical College had just publicly launched a $1.3 billion “Discoveries that Make a Difference” campaign on the heels of a successful $700 million campaign. And, a beautiful new state-of-the-art 13-story ambulatory center has just been completed on the Medical College’s Upper East Side campus. The lead benefactors and donors to the previous $700 million campaign, which supported the new building, would be recognized at the dedication of the new Weill Greenberg Center. All the while, solicitations for the new $1.3 billion campaign were already getting underway and the new campaign priorities and messages were being rolled out. Even in a city accustomed to a fast pace, WCMC was challenged with potential donor burn out and message clarity. 

Approach: As the Chief Development Officer at WCMC, Susan led a team that developed a program and supportive collateral materials that thanked and recognized donors by clearly delineating the previous campaign’s impact, the most significant being this beautiful new ambulatory care center. In speeches, videos and building tours, the Building Dedication team delicately interwove the new campaign messages and priorities. The collaterals illustrated how the previous campaign had set the stage for the Medical College to seize these new priorities.  And, the Building Dedication introduced the new campaign chairman, but did not dwell on the new “Discoveries that Make a Difference” campaign. Rather, the program focused on a celebration of great accomplishments made possible by visionary generosity and positioned the next campaign priorities and messages.  Most importantly, the team’s objectives were to demonstrate the momentum in the Medical College’s immense accomplishments and to steward vital relationships.

The Philanthropy Outcome: Following the building dedication program, major donors were given tours of the Center and given opportunities to interact with the College’s leadership, faculty and students, setting the stage for the College’s new strategic plan and campaign. Interviews with faculty were displayed on continuous loop throughout the building, thus enabling self-tours as well as guided tours. The “Discoveries that Make a Difference Campaign” Steering Committee had been recruited prior to the dedication and the first meeting of this leadership group was held the day after the dedication. It was a time when everyone was in great spirits, ready to continue the momentum and get down to the hard work of the new campaign. Most importantly, the building dedication created a great sense of accomplishment and ownership by those who would be the lead donors and volunteers to the $1.3 billion campaign. Success begets success!