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, SlideShare, 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).
Carolyn uses Adobe Spark in her work.
Adobe Spark graphic created by me, quote c/o BrainyQuote.
  • 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!

Wordle created by me.