The Situation

InnerCity Tennis serves 4,000 children and youth a year with tennis, character development and academic programs. Year-round programs are largely funded by adult players and members, and they require quality indoor tennis facilities. The harsh 2013 winter accelerated the need to replace its aging tennis domes. They needed a major fundraising effort.

The Communications Challenge

The best “case” statement would be about closing the achievement gap through programs. However, the actual need is for tennis facilities – used by all. The campaign was torn on how to communicate these two messages and still have the needed impact to get attention.


We developed a campaign theme that tied in their youth development messages with the tennis domes. “Raise the Roof – Close the Gap!” allowed the campaign committee to tie its dome and facilities funding needs directly to its impact on youth. Materials included an interactive folder that allows the reader to open and “pull” up the tennis domes while pulling up the results of inner city youth as shown in interactive bar graphs. Inside, a square-sized case statement shows programs with lively photos, with inserts to describe naming opportunities.


The board of directors and campaign committee were excited and motivated by the campaign materials. Two significant grants are now pending, several early-stage meetings have been warmly received, and the team plans a public kick-off to “Raise the Roof!” In addition, the piece earned the International Association of Business Communicator’s Golden Quill merit award for graphic design.