Services

Jump Down To:

Major Gift Strategy & Development

Donor Education & Engagement

Stewardship Programs

Portfolio Management Systems

Board Training

Development Staff Training

Development Audits

 

Major Gift Strategy & Development

A strong major gifts program is the cornerstone of a sustainable and robust fundraising program. If done well, it will fuel your mission in remarkable ways.  At Cornerstone Consulting, we’ll help you develop key strategies for building an effective major gifts program so that you can strengthen relationships with major donors and engage them more deeply in your mission. This may include any of the following elements:

  • Determining the appropriate threshold for a major gift at your organization
  • Analyzing your donor base to determine who could be a major donor
  • Developing strategies to engage your top donors in meaningful ways
  • Conducting focus groups with donors, board members, and volunteers
  • Assessing the board’s role in fundraising and their comfort in asking others
  • Creating gift clubs and matching gift opportunities to inspire greater giving
  • Coaching fundraising staff, board, and volunteers on how to “make the ask”


Donor Education & Engagement

Donors who are passionate and well informed about your mission are valuable ambassadors in the community. At Cornerstone Consulting we work with you to create inspiring donor education programs that meet your donors’ needs, as well as your organization’s goals and budget. Together we will:

  • Assess your current level of donor education programs
  • Determine what your donors know and don’t know about your organization
  • Conduct focus groups with donors to find out how they want to be involved
  • Develop programs that creatively tell the story of your mission, values, goals, and impact. Clearly articulate the value of philanthropy in achieving these goals


Stewardship Programs

A stewardship program is more than just thanking your donors. Once the gift is secured, the donor relationship takes on an even deeper level of trust and commitment. Outstanding stewardship is the key to donor retention. At Cornerstone Consulting, we will help you develop a comprehensive stewardship program by:

  • Assessing current stewardship practices
  • Determining areas for new and ongoing stewardship growth
  • Developing new and meaningful ways to thank and recognize donors
  • Developing creative strategies for showing impact and articulating outcomes


Portfolio Management Systems

Successful major gift fundraising is both an art and a science. The art lies in the interpersonal relationships that are formed. The science is the discipline and methodology of consistent donor follow-up. Cornerstone helps you develop effective portfolio management by:

  • Developing effective tools for planning next steps with donors
  • Developing mechanisms for determining ask dates and forecasting revenue
  • Implementing tracking systems
  • Establishing protocols for contact reports, proposal/ask dates, and key communications


Board Training

Board members are one of the most valuable resources for any non-profit. With inspired training and artful coaching they can be highly effective as ambassadors, askers, and stewards. Cornerstone Consulting provides tailored training for Board members and other leadership volunteers to prepare them for meaningful donor engagement and gift invitations. These training components may include:

  • Highlighting how major gift fundraising is different from what you’ve been doing
  • Illustrating the donor engagement cycle and what’s involved at each stage
  • Helping Board members understand their unique role in donor relations
  • Learning about essential conversations to have with donors before asking


Development Staff Training

Working with philanthropists and raising funds for a cause you believe in can be a very rewarding career. However, passion alone for the cause is not enough. Good training, mentoring, and coaching are essential to developing the confidence, skill, and wisdom for successful fundraising. Cornerstone Consulting provides group training and one-on-one coaching for staff in the following areas:

  • Donor cultivation, solicitation preparation, proposal writing, etc
  • Key questions to ask donors before making a gift request
  • Gift requests that are respectful, inspiring, timely, and personal
  • Strategies for determining when to ask, for how much, for what purpose, and with whom
  • Role playing for “making the ask” to get comfortable with gift conversations
  • Key questions to ask donors after they have made a gift decision


Development Audits

A development audit is an internal assessment of your fundraising program, as well as your readiness to embark on a new development effort, such as a campaign or major gift initiative. The goal of the audit is to assess your overall fundraising effectiveness and develop strategies and key recommendations to accelerate success. Each audit is tailored to the client’s needs, but most development audits evaluate the following components:

  • Philanthropic revenue streams
  • Solicitation strategies
  • Donor acquisition rates and strategies
  • Donor retention rates and strategies
  • Donor attrition rates and strategies
  • Board composition and level of involvement in fundraising
  • Staff structure and capacity
  • Donor engagement programs
  • Stewardship programs

The audit further evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of your development systems,such as benchmarking and tracking goals, contact reporting, gift policies, etc. The final audit report outlines a set of recommendations, phased in over time, to improve the overall development program and accelerate philanthropy for your mission.


Copyright 2017, Cornerstone Solutions, LLC