CASE STORY - Philanthropy
John, the chief executive officer for a large mental health agency, recently completed a three year strategic plan for his organization. In order to have the necessary resources to implement the plan, John contacted DCM and asked for our help in developing a strategic fundraising plan to support the goals of the strategic plan.
In order to develop such a plan, we first reviewed the following information from the client: completed strategic plan; communication and marketing materials; board structure and committees, board minutes, current fundraising operations, including all sources of revenue and donors, e.g. special events, grants, major gifts, etc. We then confidentially interviewed with all 20 members of his boards, executive team and development officer. Interviewees were asked a series of open ended questions about the organization to ascertain their level of passion and engagement with the organization, their understanding of their roles and responsibilities, their achievements, how those achievements are communicated to all key stakeholders, identify areas of strength and areas of needed improvement, the board's level of understanding and experience with fundraising, the organization's image in the community and brand identification.
Organizations that have strong board governance, a compelling strategic vision, positive branding and understanding of philanthropy do extremely well with fundraising results.
Our comprehensive strategic fundraising plan included a series of specific recommendations on improving the board structure, committees and board development, marketing and communications/branding strategies to improve the community's awareness of the organization, and detailed recommendations to improve board giving, leadership gifts, corporate and foundation grants and special events. Our plan also included a Case for Support which included the organization's mission and vision, record of achievements, the difference in the lives of those served, what they were raising money for, ways to give and why the donor would benefit from giving a gift.
Since our report was issued, the organization has seen a dramatic increase in both board and individual gifts, greater brand/awareness presence in the community, a more engaged board with a clearer understanding of their roles and responsibilities and a willingness of key leaders in business and the community to join their board.