CASE STUDY

Freedom Foundation

From a $2 million annual budget to $4 million by developing a robust major gifts program.


American Philanthropic has long served as fundraising counsel to the Freedom Foundation, a public policy organization headquartered in Olympia, WA. Thanks in significant part to our involvement in their major gifts program, we have helped them expand their operating footprint from their traditional home in Washington to a three-state region encompassing the entire West Coast.

This unfolded over a span of three years following the arrival of their CEO Tom McCabe in late 2013. During this leadership transition, American Philanthropic provided a measure of continuity in the organization’s fundraising efforts, which allowed them to quickly reactivate a number of major gift relationships that had lapsed under the old regime.

One such foundation provided $100,000 in the first year, and subsequently provided a $500,000 capacity-building grant that allowed the Freedom Foundation to expand into Oregon. American Philanthropic’s involvement included identifying the funding prospect, counseling Freedom Foundation on how to interact with the foundation’s staff and board, and ultimately writing the proposals that were funded. As this relationship evolved, the Freedom Foundation received another $500,000 grant in early 2016 from this funder to expand its work to California.

As the Freedom Foundation has “opened for business” in Oregon and California, American Philanthropic has identified additional funding prospects in these states using our proprietary database and publicly available records such as IRS filings, political donation records, and so on. Our efforts in Oregon resulted in multiple five-figure gifts within their first six months in the state, and we are now pursuing more than 100 major gift prospects in California, where we anticipate continued success.

American Philanthropic’s impact on the Freedom Foundation’s bottom line has been dramatic. They have grown from an organization with an annual budget on the order of $2 million to one that’s just end the year at $4 million, effectively double the level of just three years earlier.

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