Red Caboose Child Care Center in Madison, WI, doubled down on its values to offer high-quality, affordable child care to all when it outgrew its decades-old building and moved into a new state-of-the-art facility.
At the same time, the nonprofit childcare center needed to secure additional funds for construction and operations, promote its grand opening event, and strategize to serve three times more families.
This left the organization little time and internal capacity to generate awareness of how their growth would significantly impact our community. It was crucial to get the word out to support Red Caboose’s efforts to meet its $7-million goal for the New Tracks Capital Campaign.
Building on our prior work with Red Caboose in 2021, we crafted a compelling story to share with local media outlets and the community that spanned the organization's history, progress, and future aspirations, culminating in an unforgettable grand opening event.
Board members, staff, and state legislators hold the student-made paper chain for the ribbon cutting at Red Caboose’s grand opening on September 30, 2023.
Our six-month partnership with Red Caboose positioned the nonprofit as a childcare industry thought leader and showcased what its new building would offer the community.
As a result of our collaboration, Red Caboose:
- Had a voice at the table surrounding “Day Without Child Care,” a national day of observance to show communities what they would look like without critical child care.
- Gave a solid response to pending legislation and shared its involvement at a state capitol protest regarding Wisconsin’s Child Care Counts program.
- Informed Madisonians about its crucial role in our local economy as guests on Downtown Madison Inc.’s podcast.
- Maximized facility tours with government officials like Senator Melissa Agard to help our community envision a brighter future for Madison children, inspiring them to get involved.
- Strategized for speaking engagements in both professional and casual settings for our community to learn more post-grand opening.
We also provided counsel and additional services, like graphic design, to help Red Caboose make the most of “grand gestures” prior to and on the day of their grand opening. These grand gestures were strategies to combine Red Caboose's mission and vision throughout all elements and invite the community to participate. This gave their grand opening a distinctly Red Caboose feel, resulting in a more interactive grand opening than a typical event allows.
Our efforts before, during, and after the grand opening event ensured a positive and large turnout with comprehensive coverage from local TV stations, newspapers, and online news sources.
From The Client:
"You’re the best! I really appreciate everything you and The Creative Company did to help Red Caboose’s Grand Opening be such a grand event. The media coverage was among the best I’ve ever seen for a nonprofit grand opening. Trust me, I’ve seen and facilitated my share of these over the years. And the extra time you spent at the event (and afterward) was so helpful. I could tell that this was more than an assignment for you; it was fun, special, and worthwhile. Thanks for treating Red Caboose as a true partner, and not just an account."
Capital Campaign Consultant
Red Caboose Child Care Center
By The Numbers:
- Total Earned Coverage: 243 mentions in six months, including the following news outlets:
- Wisconsin State Journal
- Channel 3000, NBC 15
- Spectrum News 1
- Wisconsin Public Radio
- The Daily Cardinal
- The Cap Times
- Total Reach: 8,176,235 people
- Grand-opening coverage reached 2,722,633 people
- Total Earned Publicity Value: $228,224
Earned Media Examples:
This effort generated excitement, prepared for and promoted the grand opening event, and inspired collective community goals and participation for the future.
We emphasized public relations to support Red Caboose's capital campaign and ensure a successful grand opening. Now it’s time to pivot to a sustainable fundraising campaign that supports both the remainder of the capital campaign and Red Caboose’s ongoing scholarship fund. If you would like to help assure access to affordable child care, please consider donating at https://www.redcaboosechildcare.org/donate/