Fundraising Strategy – Major Non-Profit Organization

A 100 year-old regional non-profit was struggling to increase its donations. Blessed with a generous donor database of more than 50,000 participants, but with pressed with goals to improve facilities, add staffing and revamp programs to serve the community, the non-profit asked us to assess its current development program and make recommendations for improvement. 

Solution

For this organization, we found an established, well-rounded development program comprising events, annual giving campaigns, and major gift and estate-giving donor relationship management, bolstered by corporate sponsorship and partnership giving, resulting in more than $15M in donations. Still, there was room for improvement. Within these buckets, many forms of outreach had grown stale. For example, producing five hours of live television no longer reaped the benefits it once did. And events with costly food and entertainment investments rarely made enough money for them to be worth the time and effort of staff and volunteers. Events, as a whole, were therefore overhauled and re-engineered to reduce overhead and staff time. Other areas of fundraising were assessed from a strategic standpoint. We analyzed the efficacy of campaigns and put in place detailed campaign plans, instituting greater forethought, detailed campaign steps and predicted outcomes, which were measured and analyzed upon completion. We also segmented donors more granularly, creating messaging specific to each prescribed donor audience. For larger donors, we increased access to executives and board members, resulting in a more productive path of communication between them, engendering trust and engagement. Finally, we developed more compelling pitches to increase the number of event sponsors and corporate partners.

Results
  • Reduced cost and staff/volunteer time on events, providing them with more time to spend on community programs

  • Achieved 4-star Charity Navigator status, with 81 cents of every dollar spent on programs

  • Created two $1M events 

  • Became the 2nd most donated-to charity on Colorado Gives Day

  • Increased overall giving by 42% over previous year

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