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Our Philosophy and Approach

Fundraising and development impact the daily operations and future sustainability of not-for-profits, either positively or negatively. NFP leaders need to harness the philanthropic community's power effectively to achieve their vision and mission. To accomplish this, their organisations must become more donor-centric. We see many NFPs trying to improve in this area, but without support and relevant tools, the good intent is lost.

We have developed a suite of fundraising and development tools and strategies based on the latest in fundraising theory and practice to help your organisation instil a donor-centric culture and attract more philanthropic support.

The concept of 'donor-centricity' is all about developing authentic relationships based on understanding the needs of donors and supporters and practising genuine two-way communication (see here).

Being 'donor-centric' doesn't negate the need to be 'beneficiary-centric', 'staff-centric', etc. It's just been proven to be the best strategy for attracting philanthropic support - and it's an area that many not-for-profits need to focus on because there are almost always opportunities for significant improvement.

That said, 'donor-centrism' doesn't address a crucial building block - the integrity and strength of character of your organisation. If your organisation doesn't meet key credibility factors, for example, being mentally fit with an open and collaborative culture, a clear vision and mission, precise positioning and messaging, good governance, effective partnerships and worthwhile programs - then it won't be as attractive to philanthropists as it could be. That is why we combine the concept of 'donor-centricity' with the idea of 'The Foundations of Credibility' (see here). This powerful combination of two concepts drives our strategic planning and program implementation approach. 

In a nutshell - we have developed a suite of fundraising and development tools and strategies to strengthen your organisation's credibility and combine this with donor-centric fundraising and development practices to lift your organisation's ability to attract philanthropic funding. In addition, we use the latest evidence-based fundraising strategies to improve the performance of your fundraising programs and ensure everyone in your organisation is "singing from the same hymn sheet". 

Our approach works whether we are retained to help with a single fundraising program (e.g. major donors, capital campaigns, trusts & foundations, bequests, corporate sponsorship, community fundraising, etc.) or if you have brought us in to establish or strengthen your entire fundraising operation. One thing never changes - our desire to work with you to make 'donor-centricity' part of your organisation's 'DNA'.


Example Fundraising and Development Program

Every organisation is unique, and an appropriate fundraising model and development plan to leverage its strengths will vary according to circumstances. However, the following program steps are common to many (not strictly sequential):

  • Meetings with CEO/Head of Fundraising
  • Review fundraising programs, messaging, collateral, ROI and lifetime value
  • Interview the Senior Management Team to identify issues and opportunities
  • Conduct a donor survey to collect engagement preferences and attitudinal data
  • Conduct a staff survey to gain feedback about how best to instil a philanthropic culture
  • Conduct 'peer research' to find out what fundraising strategies have worked in other similar organisations
  • Conduct a Board workshop to discuss survey results; review organisational development opportunities to strengthen the 'Foundations of Credibility'; prioritise key messages; identify potential collaborators; and agree on fundraising goals and investment required
  • Conduct 'wealth-screening' and 'prospect research'
  • Develop a 'campaign portfolio' and draft 'case statements' for high-priority fundraising projects
  • Conduct community consultation/'feasibility studies' with existing and potential donors (high-net-worth-individuals, corporates and potential collaborators)
  • Finalise 'case statements' and a 'case for support'
  • Refresh website and fundraising collateral
  • Develop a Strategic Fundraising and Development Plan with associated operational plans
  • Set up a Foundation
  • Set up a Bequest Society
  • Recruit additional qualified staff
  • Recruit new Ambassadors/Patrons
  • Recruit new board members
  • Form MOUs with new collaborators
  • Secure state/federal govt funding support for a new major program(s)
  • Launch a refreshed regular giving program; major donor program (potentially including capital campaigns); bequest program; a community fundraising program; a Trusts & Foundations Program; a corporate partnerships program, and a special events program
  • Review performance against agreed KPIs and conduct follow-up surveys.