We are committed to the confidentiality of our clients. We certainly understand most clients aren’t open to exposing the challenges and behind-the-scenes stresses we’ve worked through together. Therefore, we have removed the organizations' names from our case studies.
Our Challenge — The founding executive director was ready to move onto a new chapter in his life, but needed a thought partner and objective counsel as he prepared to pass the baton to a new leader. Trained as a social worker, he led successfully for many years but knew there were still building blocks he hadn’t laid. He knew many of them needed to be put into place to create a smooth leadership transition and ensure the organization could withstand the stressful transition from founding director. We audited the organization from top to bottom – resulting in a detailed work plan which drove the activities required to be accomplished prior to the leadership transition. In the end, the Executive Director desired to confidently hand over a strong organization with proper organizational and development processes in place for the future. Leadership desired to make an investment in a smooth transition to allow the new leader to make substantial strides early in her role.
Our Services & Solutions — Historically, the organization’s programs and revenue grew at a healthy rate. However, like many young organizations, the funding profile wasn’t diverse yet and therefore risky with heavy dependence on a few large foundations. We created a segmented donor development plan and strategy, identified priorities to quickly generate revenue, created donor solicitation tools and tracking mechanisms, and provided development training to the staff. In addition, we acted as bridge support between the original founding and newly incoming Executive Directors to ensure all the work we had done propelled the organization into its next phase of existence.
Because of the strong groundwork laid, the organization grew from an annual revenue of $825K to nearly $2M within four years.
Our Challenge — Our client left her career in journalism to start a nonprofit to serve a population of refugee girls in a major American city - her first leadership role. She needed help moving her five-year-old organization from a small (yet steadily growing) to a medium-sized organization – a hurdle many organizations struggle with. Although the ED was doing many things right during the hustle and bustle of the growth, some of the core relationship-based development processes needed to be designed or strengthened before the organization could grow its programs again. In addition, her support staff was young and required much of her valuable time as a manager. Despite modest growth, she struggled cultivating relationships with individual donors and suspected that there was money being left on the table. She was right. Together we set out on a path to put the structures in place to create the confidence to gather all the revenue streams within her reach.
Our Services & Solutions — We love working with first-time Executive Directors! We first dove deep into all the operational and development activities – the trends, the metrics, and the donor-file. This resulted in a detailed work plan which drove all activities required to position the organization to grow individual gifts of all sizes. In the end, the Executive Director had the tools to create and grow new avenues of funding from individuals – through major donor conversation pieces, gift charts, and third-party fundraising tool-kits. Most importantly, all the annual processes and tracking mechanisms were created to drive healthy, annual fund growth year after year. In addition, we participated in the interview and onboarding process for a new development coordinator. This strategic hire allowed the Executive Director prioritize her time on a new large-gifts initiative and the new staff member to focus on the newly created revenue activities.
The organization’s giving grew by 145% from 2017 to 2018, which was the year we worked together. This percentage includes pledged gifts.
Our Challenge — My client spent years successfully designing a library of technology-based Gospel sharing tools. Along the way, the focus on the products they created overshadowed their founding mission of the Gospel being shared and deployed globally through Christians. The mission had gotten lost. Together, we analyzed the way they worked and created a plan to get every facet of their organization back on mission. Because the Executive Director had a background of 20+ plus years of pastoral ministry, he hadn’t ever grown a business or managed the annual rhythms and demands a business requires. The funding had plateaued and the reactive approach did not support their desire to grow. The highly relational and visionary ED needed help seeing how every part of his organization worked together to impact growth and fundraising.
Our Services & Solutions — We worked alongside the organization’s content creator and marketer to re-calibrate the way the organization came to market. We refined how the organization explained their programs and activities to donors, which provided clarity on the financial need of the organization. We identified metrics for all revenue-generating staff members, provided leadership counsel, board training, support thru the implementation of donor management software, and overall development and event strategy. We designed and scheduled all the annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly milestones that needed to be achieved to grow. We deeply segmented the constituency and put proactive development plans in place that were supported by tools to allow targeted solicitations.
Through solicitation coaching and presentation of a new, clearer impact message, the organization’s annual event revenue doubled to $180K the first year.
While under contract and afterwards, annual charitable revenue grew 150% in 30 months. Specifically, a long-time donor (whose largest gift to date was $12,000) was cultivated and giving grew to $110,000 in one year.