After 130 years, Bancroft Neurohealth (or “Bancroft”) has grown from a small private school for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Haddonfield, New Jersey into a leading nonprofit provider of programs and facilities covering a full continuum of care for individuals of all ages. Bancroft now has programs in three states, including nearly 200 supervised apartments and community group homes. In recent years, the organization expanded its mission to support those with acquired brain injuries, and today it is one of the largest providers of services in the Philadelphia region.
Yet many still think of Bancroft as simply an educational program on a single campus, The Bancroft School in Haddonfield.
How does an organization that has experienced great change share its expanded role and, equally important, develop new partnerships that will support its continued growth?
Three dynamic strategies are enhancing Bancroft’s success and may offer some benefits to your organization:
1. Updating its brand and key messages; bringing in marketing expertise—Bancroft updated its butterfly logo (signifying promise and potential) and established the tag line, One World…For Everyone, which both inspires and creates a call to action for stakeholders. The organization’s name was shortened from “Bancroft Neurohealth” to simply “Bancroft”; its mission and vision statements were also made more succinct in order to help reinforce its new brand.
2. Identifying key audiences and specific ways each audience can advance Bancroft’s mission; implementing awareness and cultivation strategies—Bancroft has always relied on the families it serves for guidance and support, but it also recognizes its two-way relationship with other individuals and business leaders. The organization is stronger due to:
- business partnerships with health providers, such as Center for Neurological, Neurodevelopment Health (CNNH) and Fox Rehabilitation, that enable Bancroft to expand its services wherever needed
- new committee and Board members who bring expertise in key areas that better shape Bancroft’s future
- partnerships with local universities—including Drexel, Rutgers and Penn—that focus on reaching a younger audience and offer both new ideas and future leaders
- the Friends of Bancroft, an active group of young professionals committed to Bancroft’s mission
3. Introducing Bancroft’s expanded role through its leadership volunteers and at highly personalized events for business and community leaders—Bancroft has asked community leaders, Board members, vendors and volunteers to join in delivering its key messages. This has generated a growing list of potential donors and volunteers interested in expanding and strengthening Bancroft’s services and strategic opportunities. Existing events, such as the Butterfly Ball, showcase the impact of the organization’s mission through sharing of personal stories and talents of the people served.
A new event, Inside Bancroft, brought 15 business leaders for an hour-long breakfast, presentation and tour of one Bancroft program; all participants responded that they’d like to become more involved. In addition, a current Board member shared the psychic energy he receives when working with Bancroft’s Board members and professional staff who, he believes, are the best in their fields. Schultz & Williams is bringing together the considerable talents of Bancroft’s development, marketing and executive staff to follow up with the participants who expressed an interest in being meaningfully engaged in Bancroft’s mission.
Through these initiatives and others, Bancroft is building a reputation—and creating partnerships—for helping people with diverse challenges reach their maximum potential.