Following are the many ways we can support your mission growth. We can take the lead in these things, or we can be a supporting player. Let us know what you need.
We want to see your mission grow and succeed — whatever that takes.
We want to help however we can.
Individual donor relations
Depending on how you calculate it, research shows that at least 70-90% of philanthropic giving comes from individual donors. That's a BIG piece of the philanthropic pie! We love individual donor work because we know this fact — we know how important individual donors are to successfully achieving a nonprofit's mission. But ALSO, we just LOVE working with individual donors. We can help you build your strategies and plans for working with individual donors, and/or we can help you actually execute your plans. Whatever it is, we want to roll up our sleeves and dive into this meaningful work. Let's start building and growing your individual donor program!
board coaching re: philanthropy
For a nonprofit to have a thriving philanthropy program, the board must have a dynamic culture of philanthropy. There is a role for everyone to play. Sure, some board members will be hesitant/worried. Sure, some will say that they don't know how to help, even if they want to. We can help them ALL find their way(s) to help. Together, we can start to make that essential culture shift for your organization — so that EVERYONE is committed to, and happily contributing to, the culture of philanthropy.
overall fund development strategy/planning
How do all your various funding initiatives fit together? What are your primary strategies? What tactics are you using to pursue those strategies? Does the research support those strategies/tactics? What is the arc of the calendar year like, for your fundraising/philanthropy plan? How do your near-term goals support your long-term goals? We can help you think these questions through. We can help you create your cohesive, successful strategy/plan.
Communications are key, right? You need to communicate with all of your supporters — and potential supporters — in order to build your relationship with them and ensure they remain on your team. If you don't communicate with them enough, or in the right way, you will likely lose them and their support. We can help you create your communications strategy, and/or we can help you execute that strategy. Your communications are an essential tool in your tool belt for building — and keeping — your funding support.
We've written every kind of grant proposal — from federal, to state, to county, to city government; to corporate; to private foundation. We get grants, and we can help you get them too.
Events are a sticky wicket. Done the right way, for the right reasons, they can be valuable. But many nonprofits have grown to rely on them too much. And the general consensus in the world of fundraising/philanthropy is that their Return on Investment (ROI) — especially in terms of staff time and other high costs — is far too low. We can help you strategize for, plan, and/or execute your events — but of course, not without first helping you do the careful calculation necessary to determine that they are the best approach for your organization and its supporters.
Examples of Our Founder's Work
Individual Donor Relations
Take advantage of our experience in the full spectrum of work with individual donors — from creating and sending regular donor e-newsletters, to managing production of print donor newsletters, to donor appeal letters, to managing relations with major donors (and raising up to five-figure gifts from them, so far!).
communications: video production
Over the years, we've learned a lot about communicating with donors in a way that inspires them to want to get involved — to help. This video was used to support a capital campaign. We believe this is a great example of the kind of meaningful, powerful, persuasive communications we can create for you. Our work involved leading the entire production of the video, including managing the video production vendor relationship from pre- to post-production; initial content strategy/planning; collaborating with program staff to identify client success stories and schedule interviews; managing all aspects of filming days; and finalizing editing on the back-end.
Corporate Partnership Development
The right corporate partnership can be a boon for a nonprofit. We can help you pursue and/or develop such a partnership, if we decide that that is the best strategy for you. An example of a successful corporate partnership we've led is CornerHouse's successful multi-year collaboration with the Blue Plate Restaurant Company. Every year, Blue Plate collaborates with CornerHouse to develop and promote a month-long campaign in April (Child Abuse Prevention Month), to raise both awareness and funds in their nine restaurants around the Twin Cities metro area. In the three years of the partnership so far (2017), many thousands have already been raised for CornerHouse, and countless new people have been introduced to (and educated about) the issue of child abuse.
To achieve your mission in your community, often you need to reach out into that community — to entities like the media or the government — to build partnerships, to find new supporters, and to spread the word. An example of a successful media/government relations campaign we've led is the one for CornerHouse during its April 2017 Blue Kids Campaign. Initiatives during the monthlong campaign included the following: we planned/executed a press conference at the Hennepin County Government Center, collaborating with county public information staff; we collaborated with Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene and her staff to have the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners declare April Child Abuse Prevention Month in Hennepin County; we secured earned media appearances on KSTP-TV (including a live evening news shoot at CornerHouse and a Saturday AM in-studio interview of the Executive Director), and in the Star Tribune; we created/ran ads and PSAs, collaborating with radio staff, on multiple radio stations (myTalk 107.1; 1500 ESPN; KS95; Cities 97; etc.) throughout the month.
communications: print publication production
Sometimes, your communication needs are for printed publications. We have led production for many different types of print publications. One example (of many) is a series of print publications: a collection of four books highlighting all of the graduate programs offered by Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We led the copywriting, facilitating extensive collaboration between college administration, faculty leadership, and in-house marketing and recruitment staff. We also managed the design vendor relationship.
As we mentioned above, we don't believe that events are always worthwhile. But done right, for the right reasons, they can be valuable. We have led events of all sizes, for all purposes. One example of a highly successful event we recently led was a greatly expanded Blue Kids Breakfast for CornerHouse in 2017. Through dedicated, persistent recruitment of table hosts and sponsors, we grew the attendance from previous years by more than 100 guests. We more-than-doubled the “Ask” goal, and we exceeded the sponsorships goal by thousands too.