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How Do I Start Fundraising?

Did you know a majority (90%) of non-profit organizations report that they have one source of funding and that one source accounts for 90% of their total funding? When we work with clients to help increase their funding, we typically recommend that they diversify their funding.  When an organization is strongly reliant on fees for service or grants, then we help them determine what other funding sources might be a good fit for their organization based on their industry, community and organizational capacity. We often find that many non-profit organizations, especially those who are smaller (under $1 million dollar budgets), do not have a strategic fundraising strategy. Fundraising simply means partnering with individuals and organizations to support your cause. Fundraising can be

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4 Steps to Establish Evaluation SOPs

An evaluation plan is a roadmap to help organizations validate the impact of their work. In this past blog post, we describe our four-step evaluation process. Step 2 of this process involves creating or modifying data tools and systems. When establishing evaluation systems, it is important to create standard operating procedures, or SOPs. An SOP is a step by step procedure that outlines necessary processes within an organization. SOPs actualize your organization’s processes into actionable tasks in a structured and uniform format. They are used to make sure staff are following the same process when completing an organizational activity. SOPs establish consistency and accountability among staff and improve efficiency and quality. When it comes to evaluation, SOPs help to ensure data collection

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When and How to Create a Strategic Plan

We often talk with clients who identify barriers to their success, but they don’t realize that they may need to create a strategic plan in order to accomplish their goals. In other cases, our clients do recognize their need for a new strategic plan, but they lack the expertise and capacity to develop it on their own. We help organizations navigate this process! Should My Organization Create a Strategic Plan Now? We wrote a blog to answer the question When Is It Time to Change Your Program? The factors in that blog may also indicate that your organization needs a new strategic plan:  Are your programs not having the desired impact? Do you lack sufficient funding? Has new industry research

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2019 Year in Review

This year was another big year for Transform Consulting Group. In 2019, we were thrilled to once again work with a variety of clients and important causes across Indiana and Michigan.  We are thankful for all that we accomplished as a team to help accelerate the impact of our clients in communities across the two states. We summarized a snapshot of the highlights from 2019 below.  Building Capacity: We secured over $1.6 million in grants for clients and created development plans to increase and diversify funding.  We facilitated 8 strategic plans which included internal and external organization assessments, research, building consensus with stakeholders, and mapping out specific steps to achieve the goals. Many of these projects were community wide initiatives

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3 Tips For Managing Program Data

 Do you have a system for effectively and efficiently storing and monitoring program data? At Transform Consulting Group, we work with many clients who are required to report on program outcomes and impact, but they often lack systematic approaches to managing their data. We know data can drive program impact (check out this blog), but in order to use the data, you first have to collect and accurately report information.  One type of organization required to report on program outcomes and impact is Head Start. Head Start programs, at all levels (federal, state, local, and internal), are required to collect program data and report on it regularly. This data includes information about staff, students, families, facilities, maintenance, etc. The list

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Using Data to Tell Your Story

We say we’re #datanerds at Transform Consulting Group. However, for a communication and marketing person like myself, I will admit that data intimidates me. I prefer using words and emotions to convey ideas rather than numbers and excel sheets. So, how does that translate to our data-driven work at TCG?  In Nancy Duarte’s book “Data Story” she says, “Facts aren’t as memorable as stories.” She highlighted an experiment that revealed 5% of people remember individual statistics while 63% remember the stories.  In our work – as an organization and for clients – we have to have both data and storytelling if we want to make an impact. If you search through our blogs, we have several data related posts (here,

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7 Strategies to Maximize #GivingTuesday

As 2019 comes to an end, we’ve talked a lot about how to end the year with a bang when it comes to your fund development goals. (Find our 10 tips for your year-end giving campaign here). This blog is all about Giving Tuesday – the National Day of Giving. Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday right after Thanksgiving. The idea is to have a day for giving thanks (Thanksgiving), followed by two days for deals (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and then there is a day dedicated to giving back (Giving Tuesday!). Giving Tuesday provides a unique opportunity for your organization to engage with donors, partners, and volunteers – and hopefully raise some money! To get the most out

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Besides an ask, did you say thank you?

Research shows nearly a third of giving happens at the end of the year, so now is the time to focus on communication and donor stewardship. Hopefully your year-end campaign will bring in new donors as well as repeat donors. Throughout your campaign, don’t forget to circle back to those who give and follow up with your gratitude. According to Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report, retention rates for first time donors are between 25-30%, but for multi-year donors, the retention rate doubles. We know it’s a busy time of year, but at TCG we recommend building in time to thank your donors and begin (or continue) building a relationship that will continue throughout the year and for years to come. Ultimately,

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4 Free Ways to Increase Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising

Nonprofit leaders know that fundraising is critical to success. There are some easy and free electronic giving options that you can start using now! Regardless of how small or large your organization is, you can benefit from your supporters’ regular shopping habits. These donations can become a consistent part of your comprehensive fund development plan. We have identified 4 such platforms making these donations possible—either through retail companies or third party businesses. The basic formula for all of them is the same. You register your nonprofit with the platform for free. You let your supporters know that they can register themselves with the platform for free. Your supporters choose your nonprofit as the donation recipient. They make purchases, and you

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10 Tips for Your Year-End Giving Campaign

2019 is quickly coming to an end! Before you know it, we’ll be saying “Happy New Year” and plans for 2020 will be underway. We’re heading into the season of giving. It is that time of year where donor dollars increase significantly. Year-end giving trends suggest that nearly one third of annual giving happens in December. At Transform Consulting Group, we highlighted tips for ending your fiscal year strong in this blog. One way to finish the year on a high note, is to kick off a year-end campaign with these simple tips (view our video recap of these tips here): Start Planning Now: You can’t wait until the last few weeks of December to reach out to donors or

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