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Basic Fundraising Training and Consultation

“Being able to raise more funds” is a constant mantra for Board members and staff. In order to ensure such success, in-house training needs to occur on such related matters as board roles and responsibilities, strategic planning, external communications, understanding the basic best practice “architecture” for successful fundraising efforts, and the process for making the “Ask” . Acquiring all of these “capacity-building” elements will ensure future success.

Annual Fundraising Plan Writing

Once all of capacity-building competencies are in place, it’s time to write a fundraising plan. Such a plan includes financial goals and strategies/tactics. It is also an accountability checklist, outlining roles and responsibilities, deadlines, and budgets for each activity.

Major Gifts and Planned Giving Training and Consultation

With a solid history of raising funds, organizations are ready to launch into the next level of gifting by “drilling down” on their existing donor database. This involves focusing on major gift and planned giving efforts with individuals. Such training and consultation by Third Sector typically involves a combination of in-house training for board and staff followed by a series of meetings and coaching sessions to discuss prospect strategies, the process for actually making the “Ask” and provide accountability for action implementation.

Campaign Feasibility Studies

Prior to announcing a Capital Campaign or major fundraising initiative it is always wise to ask the question, “is such an undertaking feasible?” It is important to undergo comprehensive due diligence in advance for all aspects of the proposed undertaking. This can better assure your key donors that this endeavor has a good chance at success and their donations will be well spent.

Donor Qualification Surveys and Interviews

Ascertaining the financial “appetite” of your closest supporters (individuals, corporations, and foundations) is the best indicator for determining whether or not your capital campaign or major fundraising initiative has a good chance of success. Through personal interviews and online surveys conducted by Third Sector, their appetite can be determined and a report provided to the board of directors that will include observations and recommendations based upon the survey findings.

Capital Campaign Counsel and Management

Once a feasibility study and donor qualification surveys have been completed, the board of directors can make a decision as to how to proceed with their capital campaign or major fundraising initiative. Third Sector can write a fundraising plan and is also available to directly manage a campaign and provide advice and consultation on the implementation of the plan.

Grant Readiness Assessments and Foundation Research

Make sure your organization is ready to apply for grants before submitting any applications. The goal of this assessment is to assist nonprofit staff and board members with understanding the current foundation funding landscape, to locate potential grant opportunities, and to identify the necessary steps that must be completed for grant readiness.

Grant planning, writing, and management

A strategic approach to grant seeking includes matching your organization’s programs with foundations’ missions and funding priorities and creating a calendar for submitting grant applications. In addition to writing a compelling proposal, we guide you through the entire process, from building relationships with funders to ensuring that each proposal is complete and professionally presented.


Communications & Marketing

Marketing & Communications Assessment

An assessment is a valuable exercise when you don’t believe your current marketing and communications initiatives are driving the kind of response you require. Third Sector Enterprises sees your marketing and communication program with a fresh perspective. We will assess all of your external and internal activities and evaluate how your current initiatives impact your donors. Our goal is to help your organization be more effective in its marketing and communications efforts.

Identify Current Target Market(s) and Volunteer/Donor/Advocate Support

Do you really know who your target markets are, and with the ever-changing modes of communication, are you reaching your target markets effectively? We can assist you in analyzing your current target markets and how their support of your organization has changed. We will work with you to identify additional target markets, not just for financial support, but for volunteering and advocacy as well. These initiatives allow your organization to shore up its support base and prepare for growth and the ability to better fulfill your mission.

Identify Goals and Benchmarks to Success

It’s hard to get there if you don’t know where you’re going. Many organizations over-estimate their goals and feel that a program has failed. Third Sector can come in and review your plan, your target market and your resources, and help your organization establish achievable goals. In addition, we can work with you to establish benchmarks to gauge your success and allow adjustments to be made on an ongoing basis.

Marketing & Communications Plan Development

The marketing and communication plan must impact your target markets in a way that will motivate them to support your organization. In the plan development process, we establish goals to measure success, we determine who the target markets are, and we assess the marketing and communication resources available to your organization. Based on those resources, we will develop a marketing and communications plan that will have the greatest propensity to impact your target markets and achieve desired results.


Strategic Planning Services

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning is the process of determining what your organization intends to be in the future and how you will get there. These plans are an essential foundation to all of the capacity building competencies. The plans can help improve organization performance, stimulate forward thinking, solve major organizational problems, enable organizations of survive and flourish and build teamwork and expertise. Third Sector uses the Drucker model for developing key components in your strategic plan.

Capacity Building

Nonprofits want to be successful at raising funds and in order to do so, need to consider acquiring or improving what is now commonly referred to as “capacity building competencies. These competencies can be assessed and such competencies, when acquired, enable certain responsibilities to be undertaken by the organization. When lacking, such competencies can be acquired through training or coaching. Third Sector has an assessment tool to measure competencies as well as provide any necessary training or coaching that is needed.

Volunteer Management and Cultivation

Volunteers are often critical resources that help agencies implement and support their programs. Defining roles and setting clear expectations can lead to efficient volunteer systems that help achieve organizational goals and relieve pressure on your staff. Learning to actively manage and cultivate these relationships, though, is often overlooked and leads to missed financial and operational opportunities. Through detailed discussions and analysis, Third Sector can help your organization develop strategies to maximize the use of volunteer resources.

Interagency Cooperation and Collaboration

More than ever before funding sources such as foundations as well as the public-at-large expect nonprofits to work better with each other in pursuit of the common good. Typically such “shared relationships” among nonprofits can range from communication, contribution, coordination, cooperation, and then collaboration. Third Sector has facilitated numerous groups who want to improve their joint efforts at whatever stage of development they find themselves. We also use a “Walk in the Woods” Model to facilitate further collaborative efforts.


Board & Leadership Development

Board Development and Training

The Board of Directors of nonprofit organizations has the legal responsibility for operating a nonprofit and as such, has the duty of care; duty of loyalty; and the duty of obedience. People who choose to serve as volunteers on Boards need to be aware of the governance model their organization is operating under as well as their specific roles and responsibilities in the discharge of their duties. This includes identifying, training and retaining new board members. Third Sector can explain these expectations in a simple and straightforward fashion.

Leadership Coaching

Whether it is a Senior Leader trying to increase their impact and influence on the organization or a talented member of the team trying to overcome obstacles to improved performance, a leadership coach can help the person describe the vision for where they want to be, identify the obstacles to achieving this vision, and develop an action plan for moving toward the desired state. Third Sector offers the services of several experienced coaches so the needs and personality of the individual can be matched to just the right coach.

Team Development

A high performing team can help an organization accomplish great results. Third Sector uses the GroupsWork!™ model of team development, which focuses on understanding and appreciating different work styles, working together to solve problems and make decisions more effectively, and resolving conflict more creatively. Through this training, team leaders and team members learn the tools and skills they need to work with one another in new ways that help the organization achieve even greater outcomes.

Leading Change

The ability to successfully lead teams through change is a critical organizational competency. Third Sector can work with leaders to understand the human side of change management so they can implement changes in a way that reduces staff (and other stakeholder) resistance. Additionally, they can work with staff members to understand a change model that helps them to adapt more readily to change. Understanding and using additional strategies for managing organizational change can keep the organization continually moving forward.