Overview

A nonprofit early childhood education center provides a comprehensive and inclusive educational program to a predominantly low-income student population. They required a dedicated staff person focused on fundraising and grant writing support just as their funds began to dwindle and a major funding source was ending. The organization, in existence for over 40 years, never had an individual serve this function.

 

Role

Rachel Werner served as the Director of Development, responsible for all fundraising, grant writing, and marketing support related to fund acquisition for the organization.

Goal

Obtain funding for the organization to fill a (growing) gap in excess of $200,000 that government funding and tuition fees from current students were no longer able to fill.

children using computers

Achievements

  • Prepared and implemented organization’s first fundraising strategy to grow and maintain all of the organization’s fundraising activities, in order to increase grant support by 75%, and private funding by 60%
  • Created grants calendar to manage proposal activities, and prepared applications that totaled over $250,000 in funding requests
  • Prepared application which led to organization becoming a Finalist for a Board Leadership Award
  • Established organizational protocols and processes for donor retention, donor giving levels, and training board members on donor cultivation best practices

Outcomes

  • Enhanced organizational capacity as grant seekers and managers of grant funds, both for the staff and Board
  • Greater understanding of the importance of a culture of philanthropy within the school
  • Maintenance of high-quality early childhood services, and ability of the school to continue to support a predominantly low-income population