DePelchin Children’s Center
A major gifts overhaul produced striking results.
Problem / Challenge
DePelchin Children’s Center stewarded major donors but had no structured program for them. Staff needed help putting the pieces together.
Working with Veritus Group, DePelchin worked to establish, and then fine tune, the structure and systems for donor relations. This included creating caseload pools for major gift fundraisers, developing plans, and providing advice on mid-level caseload parameters for other staff.
In the first year, the major gift caseload brought in 70% more donations, and donor attrition dropped by 1/3.
“The Veritus Way is intentional and donor-centered, and that is what will make us stand apart. That is a huge part of why we raised 12% more last year as a team during COVID. The direct marketing and donor relations should be so entwined in the philosophy and process that everyone succeeds, and we are only able to do it because we’re all donor-centered.”
Creating a Structure that Worked
What the Organization Needed
When the Sr. VP was hired, she discovered the donor pipeline had not been fully constructed and there was no widespread acquisition. While staff put an emphasis on thanking donors quickly and personally to good results, the program lacked a consistent structure for building deeper relationships. There was also no established mid-level program.
Fundraising staff needed structure to their caseloads, and there hadn’t been a regular culture of asking for broader giving or transformational gifts.
After adopting Veritus Group’s recommendations, DePelchin implemented a whole new structure and approach to interacting with their donors and worked to help their internal leadership understand and embrace this new approach. Veritus has been there to help navigate the changes and the pandemic crisis. Veritus…
- Provided counsel on how to shift the structure, especially as staffing landscape shifted, and how to structure caseloads.
- Helped talk through strategic adjustments in solicitation plans, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Gave advice on communication strategies (both written and in person).
- Helped them focus on presenting the case, reporting back on impact.
One donor said, “I love the stories you have been sending, and the focus we have had on sharing stories from the client perspective.”
Increased giving in 2020
Instead of cutting fundraising efforts due to COVID, DePelchin fundraisers moved ahead and raised 12% more in 2020.
By keeping in contact with donors in a structured way, donor attrition (loss) was reduced by 1/3 in a difficult year.
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