Philanthropic Development

Nonprofit work can be enormously exciting and impactful, but equally confusing and frustrating. We help you to assess what’s working, what’s not, show you how to build and engage your board, develop comprehensive fundraising plan and much more. Let our three decades of experience help you build a great organization for your community and clients/constituents.

We have formed a strategic collaboration with Growth by Design to create a seamless integration between organizational strategy and non-profit development.

Services include:

  • Board Development & Engagement
  • Capital & Major Gift Campaigns
  • Grants Development & Management
  • Organizational Assessments

Board Development and Engagement

Our firm is dedicated to empowering non-profit organizations to achieve their mission effectively through comprehensive board development and engagement services. We understand the critical role that a well-functioning board plays in guiding and supporting the vision and activities of non-profits. Our tailored approach focuses on enhancing board effectiveness, governance practices, and fostering a culture of engagement and accountability. We are committed to empowering non-profit organizations to thrive and make a meaningful difference in their communities. Through our board development and engagement services, we equip boards with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to lead with excellence, integrity, and purpose. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your organization's journey towards greater impact and success

  • Comprehensive assessments to evaluate the current state of governance practices within the organization.

  • Identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement in board structure, policies, and procedures.

  • Provide actionable recommendations for enhancing governance effectiveness and aligning board practices with industry best practices and legal requirements.

  • Design and deliver customized training sessions and workshops for board members.

  • Topics may include fiduciary responsibilities, strategic planning, fundraising strategies, conflict resolution, and board-staff relations.

  • Equip board members with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to fulfill their roles effectively and contribute to organizational success.

  • Assist in identifying and recruiting diverse, skilled, and committed board members.

  • Develop succession plans to ensure continuity of leadership and effective transition processes.

  • Facilitate orientation sessions for new board members to familiarize them with the organization's mission, goals, and expectations.

  • Implement structured processes for evaluating board performance and individual board member contributions.

  • Collect feedback from board members, staff, and stakeholders to assess effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.

  • Evaluate results to inform board development strategies and enhance overall governance practices.

  • Collaborate with non-profits to develop comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategies.

  • Facilitate dialogue and collaboration between the board, staff, volunteers, donors, and community members.

  • Build strong relationships and foster transparency to enhance trust and support for the organization's mission and programs.

  • Provide ongoing support and guidance to boards and executive leadership teams.

  • Custom services on an as-needed basis to address emerging challenges, opportunities, and strategic priorities.

  • Advice and assist in navigating complex governance issues and organizational development initiatives.

  • Strengthen governance practices and enhance board effectiveness.
  • Cultivate a culture of engagement, accountability, and transparency.
  • Attract and retain high-caliber board members who are committed to advancing the organization's mission.
  • Improve organizational performance, sustainability, and impact.
  • Build stronger relationships with stakeholders and foster a supportive community of supporters.

Capital and Major Gifts Campaigns

Capital & Major Gifts Campaign Counsel

Campaign counsel is a service that offers a comprehensive approach to strategic campaign planning, donor content strategy and development, and provides coaching, training and guidance for key players from beginning to end. Hiring external counsel can help ensure that all participants, including staff and volunteer steering committee members, work together in the most efficient way possible. Additionally, bringing in counsel adds a layer of accountability to your campaign effort and brings fundraising best practices to the forefront. With the help of experienced counsel, your organization can reduce risks and maximize your efficiency and effectiveness. We’re your campaign team’s coach, problem-solver, wise sage, accountability partner, and #1 cheerleader, all rolled into one.

What Are The Major Activities?

  • Develop a strategic campaign plan, timeline, budget and policies/procedures.

  • Create a compelling, engaging case for support package.

  • Recruit, train, and support volunteer steering committee members in donor development and solicitation.

  • Provide real-time coaching to staff and volunteers.

  • Guide the prospecting process and populate the campaign gift chart.

  • Develop all creative tools and donor devices.

  • Assist with donor strategy re: cultivation, solicitation, recognition, and stewardship.


Timeline & Financial Investment

Capital campaigns are not just projects; they are comprehensive processes that demand time, dedication, and strategic planning to achieve success. We require a minimum 12-month engagement, with the opportunity to renew thereafter. Our fee structure is $5,800 per month, plus expenses. This includes a campaign plan, 2 on-site trainings, bi-monthly coaching calls, agenda design, fundraising and donor communications strategy, and presence at monthly steering committee meetings. Additionally, we require separate bids for the design and printing of all donor materials, ensuring that these crucial components of your campaign are executed with precision and professionalism. By engaging in this comprehensive approach, you'll not only have access to our expertise and support but also ensure that your capital campaign is set up for long-term success. We understand that achieving your fundraising goals is a journey, and we are committed to partnering with you every step of the way.


Grants Development and Management

Grant development and management is a comprehensive process crucial for securing funding from various sources for organizations and projects. Overall, grant development and management services play a vital role in helping organizations secure the resources they need to advance their mission and achieve their goals.

What are the major activities?

  • Identify opportunities: The consulting firm researches and identifies potential
    grant opportunities that align with the goals and objectives of their clients. This
    includes government grants, private foundation grants, corporate grants, and
    other sources of funding.
  • Proposal development: Consultants work closely with clients to develop
    compelling grant proposals that clearly articulate the project or program, its
    goals, objectives, methodology, budget, and expected outcomes. This often
    involves crafting a narrative that effectively communicates the need for funding
    and the potential impact of the project.
  • Budgeting and financial planning: Consultants assist clients in developing
    detailed budgets that accurately reflect the costs associated with implementing
    the proposed project or program. This includes direct costs such as personnel,
    supplies, and equipment, as well as indirect costs and overhead expenses.
  • Submission and compliance: Once the proposal is complete, consultants
    manage the submission process, ensuring that all required documents and
    materials are submitted on time and in accordance with the funder's guidelines.
    They also provide support in navigating any compliance requirements associated
    with the grant.
  • Grant administration: After securing funding, consultants assist clients in
    effectively managing the grant award. This includes tracking expenses,
    monitoring progress towards project goals, preparing financial reports, and
    ensuring compliance with reporting requirements outlined by the funder.
  • Relationship management: Consultants maintain strong relationships with
    funders and stakeholders, providing regular updates on project progress,
    addressing any concerns or issues that arise, and seeking opportunities for
    continued funding and collaboration.

Timeline & Financial Investment

Grant Development and management is a specialized skill set that requires deep knowledge of the world of foundations and how to successfully secure and compliantly manage grants. We require a minimum 6-month engagement, with the opportunity to renew thereafter. Our fee structure is $5,000 per month, plus expenses. This includes a grant development plan, proposal developmkent, bimonthly project management calls, and regular updates on the entire process including application submission/approval and grant management activities.

Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is a crucial process that provides insight into the potential for and level of support from prospective donors for a philanthropic campaign. It also gives you an understanding of how your organization is perceived by your closest supporters and the wider community. If you're considering launching a major capital campaign, starting a major gifts program or philanthropy program, or reaching a significant organizational milestone, a feasibility study could be the key to your success.

The study creates an opportunity for honest dialogue regarding your aspirations and your organization, which leads to authentic engagement from your donors regarding your mission. This conversation often inspires donors to consider making a gift. Furthermore, many interviewees who participate in feasibility studies become not just donors, but also volunteer leaders for your campaign.

What Are The Major Activities?

  • Conduct an internal assessment of organizational readiness.
  • Develop a preliminary case for support, a concise and compelling document to share and test the proposed plan with key stakeholders during the interview process.
  • Identify, invite, and schedule potential study participants.
  • Conduct 15-18 confidential, face-to-face interviews and 1-2 focus groups or a web survey.
  • Analyze the data collected from the interviews and develop a written report with key recommendations about whether and how to proceed with a campaign.
  • Present findings to your board of directors.

Timeline & Financial Investment

Conducting a feasibility study typically takes 3-4 months from the first meeting to the final presentation of the study report to your board of directors. A feasibility study takes time and an investment from your core staff and board members, including help identifying study participants, scheduling and coordinating the interviews, gathering relevant data, and acting as study informants. Our baseline fee for conducting a feasibility study is $28,500, plus expenses.


Organizational Assessments

We specialize in tailored organizational assessments for non-profit organizations intended to enhance operational efficiency, sustainability, and impact. We understand the unique challenges non-profits face, and our assessment process is designed to provide valuable insights and actionable recommendations that drive positive change. We are committed to supporting non-profit organizations in achieving their mission and creating lasting social impact. Our comprehensive organizational assessment provides the insights and strategies necessary for your organization to thrive in today's dynamic landscape.

What is involved? Organizational assessment encompasses a holistic review of various aspects of your non-profit organization:

Mission, Vision, and Strategic Alignment:

  • Evaluation of the clarity, relevance, and alignment of the organization's mission and vision with its strategic goals.
  • Analysis of the organization's strategies to achieve its mission and the effectiveness of their implementation.

Governance and Leadership:

  • Assessment of the board of directors' composition, roles, and responsibilities.
  • Review of leadership structures, decision-making processes, and succession planning.

Organizational Structure and Culture:

  • Examination of the organizational structure, including departments, teams, and reporting lines.
  • Analysis of the organizational culture, values, and communication channels.

Financial Management and Sustainability:

  • Review of financial practices, budgeting processes, and revenue streams.
  • Assessment of financial sustainability, including fundraising strategies and diversification of funding sources.

Programs and Services:

  • Evaluation of program effectiveness, impact assessment methodologies, and alignment with organizational goals.
  • Analysis of service delivery models, client engagement, and program scalability.

Human Resources and Talent Development:

  • Assessment of HR policies, recruitment processes, and staff retention strategies.
  • Review of professional development opportunities and performance
    management systems.



What are the steps?

Our assessment methodology involves a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches, including:

  • Document review: Analysis of relevant organizational documents, including strategic plans, financial statements, and policies.
  • Stakeholder interviews: Conducting interviews with key stakeholders, including board members, staff, volunteers, donors, and beneficiaries.
  • Surveys: Administering surveys to gather feedback and perspectives from a broader range of stakeholders.
  • Site visits: Observing organizational operations firsthand to assess facilities, processes, and interactions.

What you can expect?

On completion of the assessment, we will provide your nonprofit
organization with:

  • A comprehensive report detailing findings, observations, and recommendations.
  • Actionable strategies and best practices to address identified areas for improvement.
  • A roadmap for implementation, including timelines, responsible parties, and performance metrics.