Lucy Burns Institute

Every nonprofit struggles with the challenge of funding its mission. How do you build revenue streams capable of sustaining your organization? How can direct mail, planned giving, foundation solicitations, donor events, the Web, and social media be used to put your organization on a stronger financial footing?

The key is to build a balanced development program that reflects the philanthropic marketplace. There are no magic bullets. Planning, consistent execution, and experience are the keys to raising more money.


The Lucy Burns Institute (LBI) is revolutionizing the way information reaches citizens through its cutting-edge programs—especially its Ballotpedia and Judgepedia websites. Launched only in 2006, LBI’s interactive sites already include more than 180,000 articles and have been viewed more than 340 million times.

Having successfully navigated its startup phase to become a fast-growing enterprise, LBI turned to American Philanthropic to help it build a more diverse donor base. We worked with LBI to develop and implement a direct-mail program that explained the organization’s mission in a way that appealed to new donors while protecting its unique brand. We also worked with LBI to nurture these donor relationships through a systematic house-file mail program.

Finally, American Philanthropic helped LBI launch a more robust foundation-solicitation program by identifying and researching good foundation prospects, crafting strategic approach strategies, and assisting in the writing and editing of letters of inquiry, applications, and proposals. The Lucy Burns Institute is now well on its way to building a more robust house file and broader base of foundation supporters.


  • Messaging development.
  • Direct mail.
  • Customized donor prospect research.
  • Grant writing and proposal creation.
  • Development-program audit.
  • Strategic development planning.
  • Planned giving strategies.
  • Event advising and planning.