Building a Systemic Approach to Fundraising

Youth Service, Inc.

Nonprofits need fund development programs that are as sophisticated as the services that make them the leaders in their fields. But investing in an internal development team or deploying existing non-development staff isn’t always feasible for small and mid-sized nonprofits. The first prospect is costly, and the latter is a surefire way to burn out staff whose core expertise lies elsewhere. That’s why many nonprofits turn to Fairmount to provide outsourced resource development support and help build internal systems that engage a wide berth of stakeholders and garner financial support. Such is the case with Youth Service, Inc., a nonprofit that has provided comprehensive support services to children and families throughout Philadelphia for nearly 60 years.

To serve effectively as YSI’s fundraising arm, we’ve made it our business to know YSI’s services and leadership inside-out and become an integral part of their executive team. We actively staff and support the Executive Director as well as the board’s resource development committee. Together, we roll up our sleeves and pool our best thinking to create fundraising strategies. We maintain YSI’s grants calendar, actively troll for new funding opportunities, create templates and adapt them to each funder’s interests and submit grant applications on YSI’s behalf. We advise the internal team on strategies for cultivating existing donors and acquiring new ones. We also advise on the intersection between fundraising and program design, communications, internal tracking mechanisms and volunteer development to foster a culture and capacity for fundraising across the entire agency.

As YSI’s outsourced development team, we work hand-in-glove with its leadership to assure a strategic, mission-aligned approach to resource development. Internally, YSI is gaining the tools and skills that will foster and support a successful organizational approach to fundraising over the long term. The bottom-line results speak for themselves: a notable increase in annual giving, donor retention, gift size and foundation giving, all despite a downturn in the economy and an increasingly crowded market.

Fairmount Services: Fundraising & Capital Campaigns