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.
Our Success Metrics — Because of the strong groundwork laid, the organization grew from an annual revenue of $709K to nearly $1.8M within four years.
Growth during the year they worked with me: 28%
(2012 vs. 2014)
Growth the year after they worked with me: 127%
(2012 vs. 2015)
Our Challenge — The savvy ED of an established after-school tutoring organization needed an objective partner to audit her organization’s development activities from top to bottom. Although she and her team had steadily grown the organization — even doubling the annual revenue in the last three years — she knew there was still room to grow. What kept her up at night was that the funding model was not diverse or stable because a tremendous amount of funds were derived from a soon-ending multi-year grant. The organization was successful in transactional relationships because of its strong metric-based programs, but was failing in deep, mission-driven individual relationships. Leadership was weighing the timing to move from a single-role Development Staff member to creating a true Development Department for the future. Lastly, fundraising had primarily been accomplished through one long-standing staff member, and the ED wanted to know if the current tools and processes were up to date and competitive in today’s fundraising arena.
Our Services & Solutions — We audited the organization from top to bottom – resulting in a Strategic Fundraising Growth Plan to work in tandem with their Strategic Plan. This plan outlined all the donor-focused, internal tasks that needed to change to support further growth. Then we created a twelve-month work plan for the organization to use to drive all the recommendations through to completion. We supported the ED by designing what the future Development Department could look like. Then we partnered with leadership through the staff identification, hiring, and interview process to identify a a new Development Director with Individual donor experience. After hiring a great candidate, we worked as a bridge to onboard the new staff member so she could hit the ground running. For six months we worked alongside the team implementing projects, starting relationship-based activities, training the board of directors, creating individual donor collateral, and shifting internal processes to support new donor relationships. In the end, the organization has a long-term plan in place to continue to scale and diversify funding to support planned growth initiatives.
Our Success Metrics — Contract completed end of 2018. The organization is currently implementing a plan to raise annual funding by 135% this year. Can’t wait to report back on their results after their Form 990 is submitted!
Growth during the year they worked with me: TBD
(2017 vs. 2018 )
Growth the year after they worked with me: TBD
(2017 vs. 2019)
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.
Our Success Metrics — The organization’s giving grew by 45% from 2017 to 2018, when you include pledged gifts. Actual giving is represented below.
Growth during the year they worked with me: 24%
(2017 vs. 2018)
Growth the year after they worked with me: TBD (2019)
(2017 vs. 2019)
Our Challenge — After being exposed to trafficking in their own city, this team of two co-founders felt called to open a residential facility to provide hope and healing to undeserved women. Making this dream a reality was difficult with so many concurrent steps – both starting an annual fund and significant start-up (one-time) capital dollars required for the home. As first time Executive Directors, from the start it was important to establish internal processes and procedures which would not only launch the organization but also keep it strong for years to come. The team was concerned with how they would approach donors, cast the vision for the unidentified home, and show the impact a donor could make despite not having the physical facility yet.
Our Services & Solutions — We designed an overall launch plan outlining how all the crucial milestones would fit together. This allowed the client to see how the funding pace, program design, and physical facility creation was integrated. This approach empowered them to prioritize key tasks early. The plan integrated how the team could educate donors on the need while vision-casting. With deep solicitation training, this approach allowed them to raise all the capital monies and start-up costs needed to open the doors on time. We then designed the partnership structure expressing what it looked like for a church to partner with the organization – from a funding, volunteer, and prayer support angle. This allowed monthly support to start early and created steady funding from day one.
Our Success Metrics — Because of the strong groundwork laid, the organization raised $350,000 of funds in the first year of existence. Today, the organization consistently raises $nearly $600,000 annually using the tools and processes we established.
Growth during the year they worked with me: 100%
(2013 vs. 2014 )
Growth the year after they worked with me: 114%
(2013 vs. 2015)
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 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.
Our Success Metrics — Through solicitation coaching and presentation of a new, clearer impact message, the organization’s annual event revenue doubled to $180K the first year. Specifically, a long-time donor (whose largest gift to date was $12,000) was cultivated and giving grew to $110,000 in one year.
Growth during the year they worked with me: 42%
(2013 vs. 2015)
Growth the year after they worked with me: 49%
(2013 vs. 2016)