Fundraising Skills

I am a one-person, independent fundraising and communications expert. Years of hands-on experience – sometimes in remote locations – have enhanced my effectiveness and reduced my reliance on others by being highly organized, focused and tech savvy. In the 1990s, I worked for half of a year with a large fundraising firm, but I soon discovered I valued my independence and I then went, “rogue.” If I need additional support during the course of my work, which is rare, I discuss that in advance with my nonprofits (bulk mailing would fall into that category).

A brief list of my fundraising skills includes:

  • Major gift and special project campaign strategy design and development, and hands-on campaign implementation. I find less is more when it comes to raising major gifts (don’t be fooled by consultants telling you otherwise).
  • Grant research, writing, submission, reporting. I have worked with philanthropists statewide and beyond.
  • Prospect research (including advanced wealth screening).
  • In-person donor solicitation (and gift negotiation and renegotiation), with or without volunteer assistance. I do understand sometimes “asking” can make one squeamish.
  • Stewardship (keeping donors informed, updated and engaged).
  • Damage control and repair (turning negative situations into positive ones).
  • Executive staffing: I have found by carefully staffing a philanthropist wishing to solicit gifts from his or her colleagues, when done well, results in major gift campaigns attaining and exceeding their goals.
  • Board meeting organization and implementation, documentation of minutes, presentations, reports and follow-up. I have many years of experience, and I type 80+ wpm. Enough said.
  • Digital media communications related to fundraising, including major gifts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, ISSUU, Pinterest, Instagram, PowerPoint, WordPress, Tumblr, Paperless Post, iContact, MailChimp, Constant Contact and more).
  • Other professional writing (correspondence, speeches, blogs, social media, newsletters, brochures, video scripting, print publications, including editing and ghostwriting).
  • Public speaking and teaching. Unlike some “consultants,” I do my own work, by hand. I learn by doing. This means my experiences are genuine, and this helps me work, speak and teach with authority.
  • Special event design and implementation (from conventions and cocktail receptions to galas). I do favor using online platforms for managing events of all sizes and types. One unusual but fun technology discovery is discussed in my article, “Grasshopper.”
  • Travel arrangements and trip hosting (from VIP van and bus to private jet).
  • I am familiar with a variety of other nonprofit fundraising activities. If I cannot do it, I know many experts who can. Ask! To read about my work with online giving days like Amplify Austin, read ISSUU below.
  • The articles in my blog are based upon my personal experiences and research. They are a great way to learn how I work and how I overcame seemingly unsurmountable challenges with success: Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog. In 2020, I delved more deeply into my experiences and methods of working. You might enjoy, “Research and Writing | Ideal Tasks While Working from Home” and “Habits of Mind in Challenging Times … and Remote Locations.”
  • I prefer long-term assignments where more in-depth work accomplished. Fees depend upon the client and the needs of each (half-time and full-time work are considered). Commonly, I receive a flat monthly fee from which I pay my own insurance, taxes, benefits, and basic office expenses (a professional accounting firm has managed my personal and professional taxes for the past twenty years). I have low overhead as I am experienced, fairly unflappable, tech savvy and I maintain a dedicated home office (since 2014).
  • Full documentation is provided upon the conclusion of each assignment, usually in the form of electronic files on a disc, flash drive or via cloud platform. In fact, I have been able to restore critical documents to nonprofits that have lost them years after my work was completed (free of charge, of course – sometimes equipment breaks and the like). When appropriate, I also prepare final written reports with suggestions about future work beyond my tenure.
  • Contact me via the secure online form on this blog. Thank you!