Annual Fund Counsel

Managing an Annual Fund today is far more complex than it was 20 years ago.  New technology, increased mailing costs, declining response to phonathons, more competition for volunteer time and philanthropic causes all combine to make the environment increasingly challenging.  We have extensive experience successfully navigating these issues and can put our expertise to work to meet your needs.

Ongoing counsel can help your Annual Fund remain competitive in this environment.  With limited time and resources, it is critical that the Annual Fund team is focused on the most important activities to meet your goals. Feedback about new initiatives, advice on complicated volunteer and personnel matters, help to design a well-thought-out plan to reach goals, providing coaching and training, and positioning your program for success are all ways we can help.

We create services in partnership with you that are specific to your needs.  In our experience, the following counsel services tend to be most valuable to clients:

  • Drafting or refining a written operations plan to guide the work
  • Advising on strategy for effective use of volunteers in support of the Annual Fund
  • Staff and volunteer training
  • Regular coaching for staff new to working in an Annual Fund
  • Facilitating team retreats following, or in advance of, organizational change
  • Advising on implementation of new program initiatives
  • Advising on complex volunteer and personnel issues
  • Guidance in effective hiring practices to help reduce turnover in your team
  • Advising on agendas for volunteer training meetings or recognition events
  • Assisting staff in using data and reports to help make strategic decisions for the program
  • Developing benchmarks to help monitor progress and stay on track to reach goals
  • Providing feedback on messaging for direct mail communications, e-mail solicitations, and phonathon scripts
  • Advising on donor and volunteer recognition strategies
  • Assisting in conducting a full campaign analysis at the close of the campaign

Ongoing counsel typically involves regular phone calls to review progress and work with staff to plan and implement recommendations from the Annual Fund Assessment, and, where appropriate, on-site visits for planning retreats or training.