What will excite our next generation of donors and funders?

Building a narrative to inspire

What do you do when your donor base isn’t giving at capacity and you need more money? Fairmount creates effective strategies that jumpstart donor programs, broaden visibility, build and steward donor relationships, and attracts new grants. Our approach to fundraising fosters an organization-wide culture that shapes new narratives to inspire the next generation of active and engaged supporters.

A national organization with Philadelphia roots, Children’s Literacy Initiative is changing the way reading is taught in early childhood education. Fairmount was engaged after the group’s early success in attracting philanthropy plateaued. We wrote the proposal that led to CLI winning a prestigious, highly competitive $21 million grant which enabled them to expand beyond the Philadelphia region and validate their model. A few years later, Fairmount wrote another grant that secured an additional $19 million to take their validated model to scale, establishing regional hubs that positively impact student achievement across the United States.

Following a merger that combined the area’s United Ways, the revamped organization needed to determine the optimal way to invest its funds for maximum impact. Through a highly participatory process, Fairmount engaged the United Way’s board, nonprofit leaders, staff, and key donors to build a blueprint for investment that addressed significantly diverse communities and wide-ranging need. The outcome was a compelling case for investment and future giving that strikes a balance between honoring donor interests and educating donors on the agency’s expanded role.

With one of the best known brands in the country and a program that can reach every community regardless of socio-economic profile, the Boy Scouts has the opportunity to have a profound impact on the lives of youth and communities at a scale unparalleled by many other youth-serving organizations. The Scouts are committed to serving dramatically more youth, with a particular focus on urban communities with too little access to the outdoors. One challenge is that many people have set ideas about the Scouts based on old information. To recruit more youth, volunteer leaders and donors, the Scouts needed a significant refresh in their messaging and outreach efforts along with the funds to help underwrite their growth. Fairmount facilitated and wrote the Council’s strategic plan, and then organized a capital campaign centered on three major initiatives that can energize current supporters, attract the next generation of donors, and reintroduce Scouting’s new approach to new audiences.

Episcopal Community Services, a 150-year-old human services organization, has continually refreshed its service approach over the decades to respond to the most urgent issues facing vulnerable Philadelphians. As it recently reimagined its future and rebranded with a singular focus on challenging poverty, ECS had the foresight to engage Fairmount at the outset of that pivot to anticipate the implications from a fundraising perspective. While the client developed its path for the future, Fairmount translated the shift to excite ECS’ funding base and attract new supporters. As part of the process, Fairmount identified new opportunities for funding support and has helped secured multiple new public sector contracts for ECS’ housing, workforce, and out-of-school time programs. Together, the efforts assure close alignment with the agency’s new strategic plan and mission, which emphasizes economic mobility as a pathway out of poverty.

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