Development Consulting Solutions is announcing NEW interim and project-based service offerings:
Who is “DCS”? There are limited Certified Fund-Raising Executives (CFRE) providing outsourced fund development services and serving as interim fund development staffing. What most organizations need is someone who can do the work for them!
“DCS” recognizes this need and has provided this service to a variety of small to mid-sized nonprofits throughout the New England region. Some of these nonprofits have included Malta House of Norwalk, CT, Friends of Buttonwood Park of New Bedford, MA, and United Methodist Elder Care of East Providence, RI.
“DCS’s mission” “DCS” does not engage with everyone! We have a rigorous eligibility requirement and screening process and only work with four select clients at a time.
What are our requirements? We only work with small to mid-sized organizations that are ready, receptive, and willing to take their development program to the next level through outsourced assistance. These organizations have an engaged Board of Directors, an open-minded and willing staff, and leadership ready to support the organization.
We only work with organizations that are willing to invest in their development function, value established service costs, heed professional advice, and strategy, and act respectfully in the client and consultant relationship.
By selecting those clients most ready to embark on taking their organization to the next level, “DCS” provides you with the tools and staffing to raise more money in support of mission!
To provide outsourced development expertise to organizations that do not want to hire someone in-house.
To assist busy executive directors with taking a few things off their plates.
To reassure donors during a transition or vacancy in your development office that your fundraising efforts will continue
If time is needed to do a search for a permanent development director, and you do not want to be rushed to make a selection
When you are seeking a new executive director and you want to be sure that this leader has an opportunity to select the permanent development director
Because as interim development director, I can have more candid conversations with the executive director, board, and other leaders about why there are problems with keeping development staff or staff is underperforming
When your organization has never had a development director and needs an experienced professional with a proven track record to start up the development office and pave the way for a more junior development officer to be successful.
Here is what “DCS” can do for you:
Assess current fundraising activities and make recommendations to improve strategy
Improve your fundraising efforts
Model what a good development officer does
Enhance systems and processes within the development office
Troubleshoot development problems
Coach the Executive Director and Board in fundraising to boost confidence and skill
Help with the hire of a permanent development director
“DCS” helps with:
Direct Mail Appeals
Development print publications – your newsletter, annual report, brochures, etc.
Younger donors don’t give as much. You can chase the Millennials and the generation whatever’s, but if you don’t take into consideration the family life cycle, then you are misdirecting your energies.
What is the family life cycle I hear you ask?
Wills and Gubar (1966) identified nine distinct life cycle stages of a family. 1966 – and this information is still relevant! They believed that that the age and composition of the family unit has a direct impact on the buying patterns of families. And, as the family moves through the life cycles, these stages change as well.
For instance, at certain points, giving decisions are made jointly with spouses, starting a new family impacts discretionary spending patterns, and levels of disposable income vary over the lifetime of a family. That is why you see younger people not giving as much – while raising a family, they have less disposable income to give away, saving for their child’s education, and their retirement. As folks age and their children grow up, these same folks have an improved financial position with more disposable income and fewer demands on the future and tend to give more.
Since 1966, there have been changes in the family unit that bring to mind some questions – what about single parent households, families having children later in life, and other family units? How do those impact philanthropic giving patterns?
However, overall, I think it is fair to say that looking at where a family is in their particular life cycle stage is an important indicator of their propensity to give, and why I believe that younger folks, while wanting to be, just cannot be as generous as their parents.
I was recently approached by my local Catholic elementary schools to put together some thoughts about building an alumni base that could possible provide scholarship fund assistance.
Some elementary schools have very robust elementary alumni efforts and some, like my particular community, are non-existent.
These days, elementary schools are faced with the need to provide scholarships and tuition assistance. They just can’t keep pace with the changing reality and demographics. Many must change their current model in order to remain robust and relevant. So in an effort to assist, I have put together some simple steps towards this aim that I want to share with you.
Here are some simple steps you can take to start building your elementary school alumni efforts:
1. Develop alumni mailing lists
Develop a database for current students contact information
Research past student attendance and other available records for known graduates and alumni
Utilize social media strategies (Twitter/Facebook) to obtain names and contact information
Post “ads” in local church bulletins
2. Create an official alumni group/committee with a specific mission, vision, and strategy.
Determine structure of this group. If multiple elementary schools are considering forming one alumni association, perhaps look at “donor designation” fund models for structural examples
Determine if you want to have annual alumni association dues
3. Develop strong and compelling “case for support” or your rationale for elementary education in your community.
Let them know that the school in their “dusty memories” hasn’t stopped growing and striving for success
Show them computer labs and any other technological advances the school has made. Establish special project funds i.e. “technology fund”
Establish an Alumni scholarship fund. For just a few dollars, alumni can make sure that any child who wants to attend the school, regardless of economic status, will have the chance. Gifts can be made in the name of a family member, a corporation, or anonymously. Regardless of how the gift is presented, it does give the alumnus a sense of true inclusion in the on-going development of the school
4. Develop and conduct an initial mailing and/or social media contact to all known alumni, introducing them to the forming association, requesting them to update and verify their contact information, and inquiring if there are any interested volunteers for the committee.
5. Plan and host a “launch” event with broad appeal to attract as many alumni as possible through advertising in local paper, radio, TV, social media and personal networks and invites.
Celebrate long-time teachers and invite all past-students to celebrate
Catholic elementary school reunion, milestone or anniversary
Advertise in local paper, radio, and TV
6. Create alumni web-page for Catholic elementary schools
Develop a website that could host this page
Share alumni news, post old photos, current photos, post old athletic records, etc.
Share alumni year-books
Sell alumni – wear on website, etc.
7. Create alumni social media presence for elementary schools
8. Create printed and e-mail alumni newsletter with return envelope that is mailed at least three times per year.
9. Create direct mail program with at least two mailings per year.
10. Organize special yearly events to support the Alumni Scholarship Fund.
Can host special reunions for those classes celebrating their 25th, 50th, etc. reunion
Special anniversaries or milestones, etc
While not all-inclusive, I think that these steps provide any elementary school with a springboard for launching their alumni efforts.
What are your thoughts and suggestions? Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.