Fundraising Case Studies
Our consultants design and implement fundraising solutions that have effectively strengthened nonprofit institutions time and time again. Here are a few examples of the personalized programs we’ve developed for a wide variety of clients.
AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) is one of the top three HIV service and prevention organizations in the country. Its programs and services promote self-sufficiency for people living with HIV/AIDS, to support positive medical outcomes, and to keep people living with HIV/AIDS in care and treatment programs. Changing Our World partnered with APLA to conduct an audit of its multifaceted fundraising program and an e-philanthropy analysis, develop a planned giving program, and create a strategic plan to further institutional support of APLA’s growing international efforts
The Archdiocese of New York is one of the strongest and most diverse communities of the faithful in the United States. To celebrate its 200th year anniversary, the Archdiocese embarked on a major fundraising effort and engaged Changing Our World to assist them in this historic endeavor. Following a four-month intensive campaign planning study, the Archdiocese launched Through Faith We Grow, The Archdiocese of New York’s Bicentennial Campaign. The Campaign raised more than $220 million from an Archdiocesan-wide parish based effort to fund a multitude of capital and program needs and a leadership gifts effort to establish endowment funds for vital ministries such as Catholic education, Catholic Charities, St. Joseph’s Seminary, and priest retirement. This successful campaign represents the largest fundraising effort in the history of the Archdiocese.
Following the completion of a feasibility study in November 2008, Changing Our World began the implementation of a twenty-month comprehensive campaign for The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. Working in partnership with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s archbishop, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, the campaign addressed four key investments: critical capital improvements, strengthening the endowment, growing the annual fund, and increasing funding for vocations and student recruitment.
In conjunction with fulfilling these needs, one of the campaign’s key goals was to promote the seminary among those who, traditionally, had not supported it. An Archdiocesan-wide outreach and marketing effort was initiated to increase awareness, and included the development of a series of stewardship and outreach committees, including:
- The Pastors’ Advisory Committee
- Lay Pastoral Committee
- Deacon Advisory Committee
- Northern, Central and Cincinnati Committees
Committee members were recruited to increase presence and interest, and to ‘tell the story’ of The Athenaeum. As a result of these efforts:
- The annual fund increased by 35%, or $250,000 ($821,000 in 2009 to $1,079,000 in 2010)
- 166 new donors committed at $1,000+
- 14 charter members signed up for the newly-established Cornerstone Circle ($25,000+ annually)
- 47 additional parishes signed up for parish membership at $1,000 per parish
The campaign entered the public phase in May 2010 and, as a result of these efforts, recently concluded raising more than $19 million, surpassing its $16 million goal. The success of the campaign helped to ensure the financial stability and future sustainability of The Athenaeum of Ohio.
For nearly four decades, BronxWorks (formerly known as Citizens Advice Bureau) has persevered at the forefront of societal change in the Bronx. Home to the poorest Congressional District in the country, the borough has been consistently aided by this vital and responsible nonprofit serving people of all ages and backgrounds at vulnerable points in their lives. Every year, BronxWorks helps more than 35,000 people at nearly 30 locations – impressive numbers, to be sure. In 2010, Changing Our World was engaged by BronxWorks and the Robin Hood Foundation to develop a private philanthropy plan. Specifically, our consultants were tasked with creating multiple year strategies and tactics for increasing support from individual donors and corporations, and providing suggestions for structuring the development department to support these efforts.
Changing the culture of philanthropy from one that was overly reliant on government grants to one that embraced private philanthropy was a challenge; it was approached as a ground up/top down change – from the administrative team to the program team to the Board of Directors. Meetings were held with each group, their roles and responsibilities discussed, and all were encouraged to take ownership of their roles in building relationships with corporations, foundations and individual donors. A second challenge was recognizing that BronxWorks was not a philanthropic priority for most Board members; this challenge was addressed by recommending additional members who would commit time, talent and treasure.
As a result of our partnership, BronxWorks reaped the following benefits from its 2010 end of year appeal:
- Giving increased by 114% over 2009
- Board giving increased by 122% over 2009
- The number of appeal gifts increased by 20%
- Five new major donors were secured
Measures of effectiveness included three-year benchmarks to which the internal team could be measured against including, for example, number of donor visits per month.
For BronxWorks, the development planning process transformed the Board and staff’s understanding of private philanthropy and helped elevate its importance in the creation of a robust and diverse revenue strategy.
While New York’s Central Park, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and Chicago’s Millennium Park have come to define those cities, Los Angeles has never had an iconic park to represent its cultural, natural, and industrial leadership. Today, the State of California is preparing to launch a public-private partnership to develop Los Angeles State Historic Park into a world-class park, worthy of the City of Angels. With a breathtaking, unobstructed view of the downtown skyline, Los Angeles State Historic Park will become a place where residents and visitors alike can gather for events, cultural and historic interpretive exhibits, and recreation activities. To share this history with visitors near and far, Los Angeles State Historic Park will become a living, breathing place that salutes the past, present, and future a place where the City’s diversity can be recognized and honored. In its effort to establish an urban footprint in downtown Los Angeles, California State Parks Foundation engaged Changing Our World to conduct a feasibility and planning study to guide the development of a fundraising plan for Los Angeles State Historic Park at Los Angeles’ historic ‘cornfield’ rail yards. The project, which included over 75 interviews with Los Angeles’ civic and philanthropic community, led to an intensive leadership development phase which will support the long-term expansion of park efforts.
Changing Our World conducted a capital campaign feasibility study for Camphill Special School, located in Glenmoore, PA, in July 2007. Camphill Special School, the only Waldorf school for children with developmental disabilities, tested a goal of $9 million to construct a new early childhood center at the school and to build two new residences and an education and resource center for their Transition Program at Beaver Farm. Upon completion of the study, Changing Our World recommended a fundraising goal of $2.5 million. Under our campaign management, the school raised north of $3.1 million toward the campaign. As a result of a successful campaign and favorable debt financing, the new buildings opened to the students in the fall of 2011.
Following a comprehensive feasibility and planning study, Changing Our World is currently managing the initial implementation of the new Catholic Alumni Partnership (CAP). CAP is a privately funded effort that seeks to install strong, sustainable annual fundraising programs in each of the 303 participating elementary schools and to provide these schools with the development tools and resources they need to identify, cultivate and solicit their alumni for ongoing support of their mission. The Archdiocese of Boston and 49 of its elementary schools, recently signed on to begin the planning phases of the program. CAP is a pioneering undertaking for various reasons. Unlike Catholic high schools, Catholic elementary schools generally have not engaged their alumni. In addition, never before has a group of archdioceses and dioceses participated in an initiative working toward this type of common goal.
Founded by the Sisters of Charity of New York in 1847, the College of Mount Saint Vincent was the first women’s college in New York City, in the decades before colleges and universities were open to women. It afforded its students the life changing opportunity to pursue careers of extraordinary achievement and service. The College became coeducational in 1974, and today, as an academically excellent, authentically inclusive, Catholic and ecumenical liberal arts college, it continues to uphold the mission entrusted to it by the Sisters of Charity. To advance this mission, the College sought the services of Changing Our World and, in partnership, we re-engineered the College’s fundraising program over a two-year period. Upon completion of this intensive effort, the College engaged Changing Our World to conduct a campaign feasibility and planning study and, based on this study’s findings, launched the Building Our Future campaign. This successful fundraising effort raised more than $20 million toward the $18 million goal.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, serving 1.4 million Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens, is the only completely urban diocese in the United States. The Diocese of Brooklyn engaged Changing Our World, Inc. to lead a diocesan-wide, parish-focused effort the Parish Support Program in the more than 190 parishes that comprise the Diocese. The goal in each parish was three-fold: increase weekly collections; with each parish's lay leadership, educate parishioners on the financial standing of their parishes and on taking ownership as its stewards; and register more parishioners to use offertory envelopes. Changing Our World conducted individualized, tailored six-week programs in each parish. The project has successfully increased the parish collections diocesan-wide by more than 24%. As the final parishes conduct their campaigns, Changing Our World has provided completed parish with best practices on maintenance and renewal as well as next steps in order to sustain the increase achieved.
Changing Our World partnership with the Diocese of Rockville Centre on developing and implementing a fundraising program for the 2009 Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA), with a particular focus on increasing financial support at the parish level, and from corporations and foundations. By improving longstanding solicitation strategies, instituting new initiatives designed to grow the total number of donors, working with staff to solicit major gifts and instituting a strategy to appeal to local businesses, the CMA finished 2009 ahead in both pledges and monies raised.
Changing Our World conducted a feasibility and planning study for the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, NY. We tested a goal of $3.5 million to fund renovations to the Arts Building, Gymnasium, High School Common Room and Science Lab. After a three month study, we recommended a working goal of $2.5 million. Under the management of Changing Our World, the capital campaign exceeded its goal, successfully raising more than $3.4 million in gifts and pledges. As a result, the new Arts Building will opened in the winter of 2012.
The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is the premier college for art, design, business and technology in New York City. Growing out of a need for an “MIT for the fashion industries”, the school was established in 1944 to encourage innovation and passion among tomorrow’s industry leaders. As a college within the State University of New York public school system, FIT raises funds and receives donations through its foundation, the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries. FIT engaged Changing Our World to build its fundraising capacity and prepare the college for a major capital campaign. Changing Our World conducted an in-depth assessment of the foundation's current systems and infrastructure, fundraising programs, and governance. In the two years since Changing Our World began its work with FIT, the foundation has gained new governing leadership from among the upper echelon of the retail and fashion industries, broadened its fundraising programs to include the launch of the first Annual Fund, and conducted initial outreach to alumni. Changing Our World created, and is currently working to implement the Foundation's first comprehensive development program which corresponds with the college's ten year strategic plan.
Causing involuntary movements in all parts of the body, severe emotional disturbance, and progressive cognitive loss, Huntington’s disease creates both physical and emotional stress on an individual and a family. As an inherited, degenerative disorder of the brain, the disease progresses without remission over 15-20 years and is always fatal. No treatments exist. Symptoms usually appear in the third or fourth decade of life, but can strike children as young as two or adults as old as 80. Each child of an affected parent has a 50% chance of inheriting the illness. The Hereditary Disease Foundation was founded in 1968 and is dedicated to finding a cure for Huntington’s disease and related disorders. The HDF’s unique combination of creating and funding innovative, strategic research has sparked an explosion of knowledge. Collectively, the HDF scientists have created a vast, international, collaborative effort that is markedly shortening the journey toward a cure. Formed forty years ago with roots in the entertainment industry, the Foundation had relied on a limited network of celebrities and high net worth individuals for its resources. Changing Our World was engaged to assess the possibilities for extending its fundraising network. The engagement included a Board assessment and Board development, the development of a planned giving strategy, and support to both major gifts acquisition and to several high-profile events in New York, Seattle and in Hollywood.
Under Changing Our World’s direction, Molloy College embarked on a successful capital campaign with two major goals: 1) to build a new 65,000 square foot student center, called the ‘Public Square,’ along with Molloy’s first residence hall, and 2) to raise much needed monies for endowed scholarships. Raising $20 million toward the campaign’s $12 million goal, the campaign’s success enabled Molloy College to build on its 50-year legacy and reach new heights of educational excellence.
The 4-H movement in the United States is a direct product of the agricultural extension system. Created through the extension services and land grant universities to encourage new farming practices by focusing on the innovative spirit of rural youth, 4-H began as the youth program in agricultural extension. A century later, the 4-H legacy now includes 6 million youth served each year and more than 60 million alumni. 4-H can be found in every county in every state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and over 80 countries around the world. 4-H'ers participate in fun, hands-on learning activities, supported by the latest research of land-grant universities, that are focused on three areas: Science, Engineering and Technology; Healthy Living; and Citizenship. Changing Our World has partnered with the National 4-H Council to design and activate a global resource development plan that will increase the capacity of, and linkages between, 4-H partners around the world and, in so doing, better enable 4-H to realize its mission going forward.
Founded in 1912, RCSA is the second-oldest foundation in the United States and the oldest foundation for science advancement. For nearly 100 years RCSA has funded transformative research by investing in early career scientists, who consistently make important science breakthroughs, improve the quality of student learning and encourage student persistence in science through the integration of research and teaching. Cognizant that America has been losing ground in science and that talent pipeline issues are intensifying, RCSA partnered with Changing Our World to explore philanthropic options that would allow it to grow its programs and pursue a new solar energy initiative. Changing Our World studied RCSA’s potential to engage philanthropic partners in its programs and, therefore, expand its ability to impact the way in which early scientific research is supported in the United States. Rather than institute a traditional giving program, RCSA and Changing Our World are preparing to launch a partnership office to leverage money in collaboration with like-minded foundations and corporate partners. This approach is tailored to RCSA’s unique history and institutional culture, supporting its desire to improve communication across academic disciplines and sectors while growing its resource base.
The Rudolf Steiner School of New York was founded in 1928. It is the oldest Waldorf School in North America, and is focused on addressing the physical, emotional and intellectual capacities of the developing child. In November of 2009, the school engaged Changing Our World to conduct an audit of its fundraising program and create a new three-year development plan.
During the engagement, Changing Our World interviewed key stakeholders of the school to assess its internal needs and capacity and uncovered challenges, including a highly untapped alumni community; for a school of its size and age, virtually no alumni engagement existed. It was also discovered that the school did not have a major gift program. Changing Our World addressed these circumstances by: 1) building a more robust alumni engagement program that included a monthly electronic newsletter, the initiation of a Facebook page, and implementation of alumni receptions; and 2) creating a formalized major gift program that engaged the development committee and board members as primary solicitors.
Upon the completion of the audit, Changing Our World was retained to provide high-level fundraising counsel and assistance with the implementation of the development plan, successfully increasing revenue by more than 70%, and guiding the Rudolf Steiner School to its most successful fundraising year in its history. Specific year over year results are:
Scranton Preparatory School completed The Defining Moment Capital Campaign with the assistance of Changing Our World as fundraising counsel. Capitalizing on an historic tradition of giving and a dedicated leadership team, Scranton Preparatory School raised more than $22,000,000 for the opening of the school's new Arts and Science Building. This campaign helped to secure Scranton Prep's prominence as one of the premier regional preparatory schools in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1870 by the Vincentian Fathers, St. John’s Preparatory School is a co-educational college preparatory school located in Astoria, Queens. The school is affiliated with St. John’s University and is committed to upholding the traditions and ideas of Catholic education. Changing Our World worked closely with St. John’s Prep leadership to develop and implement a sound and sustainable development plan. The scope of work included: developing a case for support that articulated the school’s vision, needs and aspirations for the future; preparing in-depth research profiles on the top prospects; and creating personalized solicitation briefings to be used during each solicitation visit.
Despite its rich history, prior to our engagement, St. John’s Preparatory had never executed organized fundraising. Contributions were given and leaders were engaged, however “the ask” was not taking place in a formal structure. The school had made the correct investments in alumni and development resources and tools – three full-time staff members and an established financial reporting system through Blackbaud. Changing Our World worked with the school to establish an OnDemand relationship with Blackbaud for the Raiser’s Edge and taught staff how to use their data more effectively. This new structure and use of technology, while a challenge, was rivaled by the task of crafting messages for three different schools. During the 1970s, as many Catholic schools became co-educational in New York, St. John’s Prep merged with an existing co-ed school and relocated. Maintaining the identity of the original school, while also integrating messaging to the traditional base, was a challenge that was overcome through proper segmentation and customized solicitations. Changing Our World recruited solicitors whose history was tied to the original building and/or school name. This step was important for the school to maintain an identity with the former schools while also celebrating the needs of the new, merged, and co-educational entity.
As a result of these efforts, Changing Our World assisted St. John’s Prep in successfully creating a major gift effort including a planned giving program. Over a two-year period, these focused actions led to an increase in the school’s annual fundraising efforts by 124 percent.
St. John's Riverside Hospital is a comprehensive network of health care services that extends from Yonkers to the riverfront communities of Hastings on Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley and Irvington. With roots in the community that date back nearly 140 years, St. John's was the first hospital in Westchester County. To secure its position as a leader in providing the highest quality and compassionate health care utilizing the latest state-of-the-art medical technology, St. John's launched the Riverside 2010, a capital campaign that raised the financial support needed to significantly expand the hospital's services within the Operating Room, Chest Pain Center, Cardiac Catherization Lab, Inpatient services, Private medical/surgical rooms, and Obstetrical Services, as well as create a new Cancer Infusion Center. The success of this campaign has enabled St. John's to continue its commitment to excellence and a long and proud tradition of responding to the changing and diverse health care needs of the communities it serves.
Changing Our World conducted an assessment and analysis of St. Mary’s College Preparatory High School’s development program and offered recommendations that served to strengthen existing programs as well as cultivate relationships with alumni and other constituents. Changing Our World’s engagement with St. Mary’s included: an assessment of the annual fund; a case for support; a database screening and analysis; donor identification and prioritization assistance; personal interviews; an analysis and recommendations on approaching foundations and a 12-month fundraising plan. As a result of this engagement, St. Mary’s significantly increased the number of donors participating in their fundraising efforts and had an increase in fundraising revenue of more than 300 percent over a 12-month period.
Upon the completion of a campaign feasibility study for the Waldorf School of Garden City, Changing Our World was retained to conduct the school’s first comprehensive capital campaign. The school successfully completed Opening Worlds of Opportunity - A Campaign for the Waldorf School to increase scholarship and endowment funds, make capital improvements to the campus, renovate and expand the library and make critical improvements to its extension campus, Camp Glen Brook in Marlborough, NH. Prior to its relationship with Changing Our World, the school had never raised more than $150,000 for a special campaign. With the assistance of Changing Our World, the school raised $2.7 million. This represented the single largest fundraising initiative for the school since its founding in 1947.
Since its creation in 1950, World Vision has become the largest U.S.-based international relief and development organization. It now serves over 100 million people in nearly 100 countries around the globe. World Vision’s programs work to combat the root causes of poverty, elevate the living standard of children and their families, and respond quickly when disaster strikes. In the United States, World Vision works in 11 major urban and rural areas, giving hope to those in need and resources to those who are leading the way in the fight against poverty here at home. Changing Our World is currently partnering with World Vision US on an intensive effort to elevate the role of major gifts fundraising. In addition to assisting with the design and implementation of a comprehensive major gifts plan, Changing Our World is training and equipping World Vision’s major donor representatives throughout the country with the necessary tools and skills to achieve their new fundraising goals.
For more than 150 years, Xavier High School has been one of the premier Jesuit High Schools in New York City. In late 2002, after the completion of a feasibility study conducted by Changing Our World, Stand So All the World Can See, the campaign for Xavier, was launched. The campaign objective was to secure the school’s continued growth and excellence by expanding its endowed resources, increasing professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, and creating a reserve fund for facility and technological enhancements. The initial goal of $8 million was quickly surpassed at the outset, and goal increased to $10 million, then $12.5 million. Over two years, Changing Our World led Xavier through its most successful fundraising campaign in its long history. More than $14 million was secured in gifts and pledges from alumni, parents and friends.