Ann supported the development of a strategy with the OSA board for the then newly established OSA Foundation, hired and mentored staff in the implementation of best in class standards of operation, promotions and communications and continued to realign the strategic plan as the OSAF grew and evolved over the last decade. She is a devoted and effective resource for the OSAF Board, Chairs of fundraising committees and staff.
Elizabeth A. Rogan,
Chief Executive Officer
The Optical Society
[ Fundraising Services ]
The Development Audit
When it is time to push the re-start button on your development program, the Development Audit launches the process by providing a thorough study and analysis of an organization’s current fundraising operations. The audit reviews the development program within the context of the organization’s mission and examines leadership, the case for support as well as program effectiveness, efficiency and systems. Audits conclude with a written report that outlines strategic and specific recommendations for achieving fundraising goals.
The Development/Fundraising Action Plan
Successful fundraising starts with a plan. The hallmarks of an effective planning process include: the full participation of each of the key fundraising players; aspirational yet realistic goal setting; honest evaluation of the status quo; and a process that is both positive and inspirational. The completed plan provides a detailed roadmap that:
Articulates appropriate fundraising goals (both financial and programmatic);
Clarifies what you are raising money for;
Assesses the fundraising environment;
Specifies appropriate strategies for reaching the goals;
Outlines resource needs;
Establishes benchmarks for evaluating progress;
Identifies who is accountable for what; and
Provides a timeline for accomplishing specific tasks.
The Feasibility Study is the first crucial step to launching a major fundraising campaign. It involves interviews with prospective donors and answers three important questions that determine a campaign’s trajectory and ultimate success: Is the case for support compelling, exciting and worthy of extra-ordinary support? Is the financial goal achievable given the level of interest and number of prospective donors? Who emerges as a potential campaign leader?
Staying three steps ahead and keeping the focus on the bottom line is the central role of a campaign consultant. Working closely with key development staff and the volunteer campaign steering committee, the campaign consultant helps create the campaign plan, refines the case for support, identifies leaders and then serves as a guide, outside expert and independent sounding board every step along the way to reaching the campaign goal.
Coaching provides an opportunity to brainstorm ideas, problem-solve and strategize with a trusted development mentor who can offer a fresh perspective and share best practices, personal experiences and expert advice on day-to-day challenges. Discussion topics may include:
Reviewing and critiquing the development plan;
Assessing development staffing needs and structural designs;
Strategizing donor solicitation and cultivation plans;
Refining the case for support;
Getting the most out of the board of directors; and
“Managing up” and working effectively with partners at all levels.
Thoughtful, personal, strategic and trusted advice for philanthropists seeking to make a difference is invaluable. Helping individuals and families articulate philanthropic goals, create a giving plan, research, identify and vet prospective grantees, and then establish ongoing and productive communication with grantees ensures that goals and expectations are met. A credible philanthropic advisor combines decades of experience working alongside remarkable philanthropists with a keen understanding of how the most effective and impactful organizations are funded and operate.