A return on investment greater than 10:1
Prior to working with American Philanthropic, PragerU had widespread name recognition, a national donor base of over 100,000 individuals, and $20 million in annual revenue, but it struggled to implement a successful foundation management program. PragerU wasn’t sure of best foundation outreach practices, including which foundations to reach out to, how to effectively solicit foundations, or how to build connections with foundations. Instead, they chose to focus exclusively on cultivating individual donors, most of whom give to the organization online.
American Philanthropic was able to provide PragerU with immediate guidance, structure, accountability, training, and results to put in place a foundation program that could be easily managed moving forward. We started by getting to know what makes PragerU so unique and why donors flock to it by the thousands. Once we properly understood its messaging and unique selling proposition, we began identifying hundreds of foundation prospects for them to contact. This work also included a strategic analysis of PragerU’s active and lapsed donor lists to identify warm foundation leads and uncover hidden giving potential.
American Philanthropic also developed PragerU’s first-ever general operations proposal—a comprehensive and professionally-designed 16-page proposal that now serves as a primary fundraising tool for PragerU. We also assisted PragerU in its foundation outreach by drafting letters of introduction and inquiry, email templates, and phone scripts—all of which included custom messaging that matched PragerU’s mission to the grantmaking foundation’s philanthropic interests.
In addition, American Philanthropic took the lead in advising on and tracking every foundation contact, allowing our staff to manage up to PragerU regarding next steps, upcoming tasks, application needs, and more. Through our weekly calls, in-person meetings, and expert time on task, we were able to create a robust foundation grants program for PragerU in mere months.
Very quickly, American Philanthropic’s work produced significant and positive results for PragerU. In just ten months, our firm provided PragerU with over 170 research profiles for qualified grantmaking foundations—including many foundation leads uncovered in PragerU’s active and lapsed donor file. American Philanthropic then aided PragerU in its outreach to 155 of those foundations via email, phone, or mail. This outreach included initial grant inquiries, organizational introductions, meeting requests, and grant proposal submissions.
After just ten months of working together, American Philanthropic successfully instituted a program that helped PragerU raise over $500,000 and is likely to surpass $800,000 (and maybe even approach $1,000,000) by the conclusion of 2019. For PragerU, this would represent a return on investment greater than 10:1—before taking into account the possibility for continued and increased giving from the same foundations over time.
American Philanthropic is registered as fundraising counsel or as a fundraising consultancy in all states that require such registration. This means that we are not “fundraisers”: we do not ask people for money on our clients’ behalf, make personal introductions, make phone calls, or otherwise have direct personal contact with your donors or donor prospects. We tee you up to do those things, and to do them more effectively, by advising you, coaching you, and providing the services outlined in this proposal. Our goal is to help you build your development program so that it becomes stronger and more sustainable, and to put you in position to build your own strong, personal relationships with funders.
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