Fundraising Strategy

If you don't know where you're going, you'll always get there

We help create paths to organizational goals, and help you ensure it’s the right path. After completing the Assessment, our work allows you to focus on the highest-leverage actions you and your team can take, and we make sure those actions are sequenced in a way that makes the most sense for your organization.

Fundraising Planning

We help build a fundraising plan with an eye toward implementation, accountability, timing, and who does what. We also look at what the right channels are for your fundraising. What percentage of your time should be focused on major donors, smaller donors, events, grant writing? We can help you figure that out.


Here’s where the rubber meets the road. We partner with you to roll out the plan, coaching you in the game of creating maximum success. It’s just like you’re on a baseball team, and the coach tells you when to bunt—or slam it into the outfield.

Major Donor Development

This work is centered around teaching you how to care for and nurture long-term relationships with people who are passionate about your mission. We know that 87 percent of funds given to nonprofits comes from individuals, so we come on strong in the realm of donor relations, and we promote authentic engagement as the key to success. Once we know what’s missing and what needs to be strengthened, we’ll help you build a more powerful major donor program that can transform your organization.

Board/Staff Training

“But how will you help us?” you might ask. “It depends on what you need,” we’ll say.

We work with your staff and/or board to determine those needs and provide the customized training that fills the gaps we identify. We can help you learn how to:

  • Build a Culture of Philanthropy
  • Manage effective meetings
  • Approach a capital campaign
  • Resolve conflict
  • Engage major donors
  • Ask for money
  • Best work with volunteers
  • Implement strategic plans
Create a Culture of Philanthropy

We teach on how to build a Culture of Philanthropy. We help create access to the abundance already surrounding your organization. We provide you with the tools you’ll need, and lead you into action with purposeful abandon.

Capital Campaigns

We think all capital campaigns should have two goals: One, raising the money for your capital needs, and, two, building a strong Culture of Philanthropy that launches your organization into a new and invigorated place. Don’t expect that we will come in and be satisfied that your goal is just to raise money. That won’t bring change for the long haul. We’ll coach and train you in building a more sustainable organization.

We will help you prepare for the campaign, assuring that systems are in place, individuals are trained, and donors are well-stewarded. We help you create a campaign plan from start to finish. Regarding the traditional feasibility study? Well, we feel particular about how to go about this. We think that the traditional feasibility study—as they have been done for years—is a generally ineffective way to determine how much funding you can secure for a capital project (or any other project). We don’t buy the idea that potential donors will be more candid and forthcoming with an independent consultant about their intent to support your organization. Imagine an independent consultant being hired to find out what your friends think of you, when you could just ask them for honest feedback yourself! So, we think traditional feasibility studies are a waste of your precious time and money.

Planned Giving

The best time to plant the tree of giving was 10 years ago, and the second best time is tomorrow. We can help you do that.

Our approach to planned giving is to coach your team in how to structure a planned giving program, and then train you to have great conversations with loyal donors who will invest in your organization beyond their lifetime. We imagine that you aren’t tax experts, and neither are we. We advise you to build the relationships with the donors, and then let them ask their financial advisors for advice.

Grant Review and Feedback

We give you critical feedback on your grant writing efforts and choices, sharing what we know about the realities and trends in the field. We’ll review RFPs with you and help you make decisions about your fundraising priorities.

Event Evaluation

We will work with your team to determine the Return on Investment (ROI) of your gala, golf tournaments or party. Looking at hard and soft costs, organizational priorities, and impact, we will provide an assessment report on any and all events.

Rainmaker does not provide event coordination services, unless within the context of a larger fundraising strategy.

Revenue Strategies

One of our strengths is that we bring a social-innovation approach to the work of helping you create diversified revenue streams that lead to long-term sustainability. This may include grants, planned giving, events, individual campaigns, appeals, earned income, and fee-for-service offerings. We think more “entrepreneurial” and less “institutional.”