Have you ever known a nonprofit that doesn’t need or want to raise more money?
Yeah, me neither.
Think about this: before the introduction of the first iPhone, we didn’t know that we needed a device that would allow us to listen to music, and then have the music automatically stop when a call came through.
Now we can’t live without it.
I think the same is true with fundraising. You need a solid development plan that may have strategies that you didn’t know you needed.
In my work as a strategist to nonprofits, I’m often asked the question, “So where do we start?”
Before anyone can tell you the answer to that, you need to understand the scope of your fundraising – past and present. With that clarity, then you can think about moving forward.
A comprehensive development assessment will help so that you may plan – and grow your fundraising with confidence that you have hard data to inform your decisions. An assessment will give you a historical analysis of how you’ve been raising money. It will show you, in black and white, how your various fundraising tactics have performed, illustrating their strengths and weaknesses.
Based on that data, you’ll have an understanding of your “best bet” options for growing philanthropic revenue, the weaknesses in your back office functions, how to deploy volunteer and staff resources, and what investments you might need to make over time.
I love assessments. It’s fun uncovering the stories that data reveal through the process. And more than anything, I love seeing the faces of board and staff when new ideas are uncovered for them.
A few years ago, I conducted a fundraising assessment of a community college district that had two separate colleges. As a result, we ended up consolidating two institutionally related foundations into a new, single entity. Both of the foundations had the sacred cows of fundraising: galas. One barely broke even and was primarily attended by insiders, while the other netted $40,000 in its final outing. That’s before staff time was calculated.
As we brought the two foundations together into the new entity, the chancellor of the college district agreed, at my urging, to put the sacred cows out to pasture.
A couple of months after we recovered from the final gala, we embarked on a new venture: a “middle donor” program.
What are middle donors, you ask? These are individuals who are giving at the upper levels of your annual giving program – between $500 and $10,000 for most organizations. They need more cultivation and stewardship than your smaller donors donors, but not the high level of attention you give to major donors.
We launched our program in February, using 1:1 solicitations by board members and our development director, as well as a series of house party events. The program was designed to attract donors between $1,200 and $10,000 a year.
One of our board members – a generous local business owner – immediately stepped up with $20,000 challenge pledge.
We upgraded many existing donors to all-time high levels of giving and recruited many new supporters.
And what did it cost? The design and printing of a brochure – no more than $2,000.
When was the last time you had that kind of return on investment with a gala?
Take a moment and complete our fundraising assessment quiz, and then we’ll send you our GKollaborative Guide to Nonprofit Assessments.
Find out for yourself how you can boost your philanthropic revenue.
We derive inspiration from business, technological and the creative sectors in fulfilling our mission.
We believe in the necessity of leadership at all levels to be inspired and open to change in order for innovation to happen.
We relish the role humor and playfulness can have in the pursuit of serious work.
We understand that change and innovation emerge slowly and only by engaging members of an organizational community.
For many of our clients, philanthropic revenue is the lifeblood of the organization. But many organizations typically rely on a handful of tried and true strategies: a gala, a year-end direct mail letter, grants, and maybe a handful of large gifts. And some have engaged in the periodic capital or endowment campaign.
We’ve developed a comprehensive assessment methodology that a data-centric approach to understanding the effectiveness of your past development strategies, and extensive interviewing to begin to uncover areas of growth. We then turn that into a comprehensive narrative that focuses not only on history, but presents concrete ideas for how to grow philanthropy in the future.
Research shows that nonprofits that design and execute annual fundraising and donor stewardship plans are those that raise more money.
We love working with our clients to develop those plans. And if needed, we’ll stick with you to guide execution. We also offer a host of implementation services including copywriting, design, grant writing, and prospect research.
We have deep experience in designing and managing capital and endowment campaigns. Our range of services including creating a case for support; designing and executing feasibility studies; campaign structure and design, and ongoing moves management, prospect strategies, and coaching.
The success of any organization starts with effective volunteer leadership. We offer our clients a range of services including strategic planning; facilitation of board retreats; coaching on board development, and review of governance and policy documents.
Say the word “brand” and people often think “logo.” It’s much more than that. Brand really refers to your organization’s DNA. What is your promise to your constituents? How do you deliver on that promise? How do your constituents experience your organization? How do you make sure those are aligned, and how do you best communicate that to the world?
Through our long-term strategic partnership with MOK2, we help you understand your organization’s DNA, and provide insight, strategy and creative solution design. We help clients to bring ideas or services to their constituents by providing them the tools needed to visualize their ideal future and to make it happen.