“Donna facilitated a fundraising training session for our Main Street managers and volunteers that was outstanding. During the training she was able to using her expertises that she has encountered over the years. The feedback that I have received had lots of great comments about the presentations and group assignments. She also shared great examples that she has put together along with others that she has gathered. I would highly recommend Donna again for this type of training.”
Heritage Consulting’s principal Donna Ann Harris has started, grown, merged, partnered and dissolved non-profit preservation-based organizations throughout her career as either a principal or advisor. Her sensitivity to the human element of the non-profit enterprise makes her uniquely suited to work with emerging or sophisticated organizations seeking new ways to accomplish their organizational missions, both now and in the future.
For the last thirty years I have worked in the historic preservation movement in the nonprofit, government and now for-profit sectors. My career has led me to positions at the National, state and local levels representing organizations that want to save historic and commercial districts as well as historic sites.
Nonprofit heritage organizations need good managers to succeed and I have learned throughout these years that organizations must focus on the fundamentals. A strong Board, capable staff, adequate fundraising and an inspiring program are essential for organizations to save the historic resources they love. I am fortunate to work throughout the country with grass roots revitalization organizations which have further reinforced my emphasis on nonprofit organizational basics. As someone who works now with start ups as well as mature heritage organizations, I can see how some groups have pulled ahead of others because they have adopted a culture of training for board, staff and volunteers. They know they must be ready for the future, and create it for themselves.
In the last eight years as a consultant, I have found that my consulting, training and writing have been become more and more focused on fundraising aspects of the revitalization. I suspect the reason for this is because local heritage organizations and downtown programs are seeking ways to create stable and predictable funding to ensure that their organization remains viable over time. But the fundamentals must come first. Heritage organizations must understand who they are, where they are going, include the right people on board, committees and staff, and reach out to their stakeholders to succeed. Heritage Consulting helps heritage organizations succeed. Can we help you? Please take a look at our project pages in the Organizational Tab to see some great success stories. Please contact us.
Since we began our firm in 2004 we have been providing well regarded training programs for history and heritage organizations. This year, we developed a new workshop series called Diversify Your Revenue Sources! These six group training workshops are all focused on fundraising for heritage organizations as they struggle with diminished government support as the recession continues to throttle state and local governments. These workshops touch on every aspect of fundraising for history or preservation organizations: membership, sponsorship, major gifts and fundraising events of all sizes. This series offers topics relevant for beginners as well as long-standing history organizations.
1. Introduction: Diversify Your Revenue Sources
2. More Members: More Revenue
3.Fundraising Event Catalogue
4. Growing Major Gifts
5. Friend raising Not Fundraising
6. Creating A Fundraising Plan
We can customize any or all of these workshops to fit your specific organizational training needs. Learn more about each session below.
Start up and established history organizations need regular, predictable income to sustain their organizations and to ensure a viable future. This 3.5 hour session informs participants about various sources and methods they can use to broaden their funding base. Content includes: fund-raising roles and responsibilities; a diversified, sustainable funding base; seven traditional revenue sources for history organizations; “growing” existing donations; ideal revenue mixes for organizations at different life stages; and the importance of planned giving programs and endowments for a sustainable organization. We will do three group or individual exercises as part of the workshop. Participants will receive a resource packet of materials including the PowerPoint, several articles and bibliography on CD. Beginner level.
For most history organizations, membership is the first form of fundraising undertaken, but it can be a potent resource for expanding the organization's financial base. This session revolves around a case study of Main Street Libertyville Illinois, where 75% of their organizational revenue now comes from 1100 members. You will learn how they acquired, developed and renew their members in detail, so that you can recreate their success. There will be considerable discussion of the renewal process so you maximize revenue from this already committed group of investors. This 90 minutes workshop includes two group exercises. Participants will receive a resource packet of materials including the PowerPoint, our Main Street Now article, an ideal membership brochure, renewal letters and bibliography on CD. Intermediate/Advanced level.
Based on our work around the country, we present a quick review of nine types of fundraising events that work well for heritage organizations. These events, solely designed to raise money, are best when they are rooted in the historic site's or heritage organization's special character, people or location. We will provide a quick review of each type of event, the revenue components, volunteer requirements to manage, timelines, and growth potential so that you can determine how to adapt these to your organization. This 90 minute workshop includes two group or individual exercises and a 40 page resource packet of articles, sample files and a bibliography provided on CD. Beginner level.
As heritage organizations mature they seek ever greater revenue sources to support their activities, Board members are insisting on clear, measurable fundraising plans as a means to monitor fundraising across the whole organization. This workshop will introduce you to the component parts of a fundraising plan and how it is integrated into the annual planning process. This 90 minutes workshop includes one group exercise. Participants will receive a resource packet of materials including the PowerPoint presentation, several articles, template, sample fundraising calendar and bibliography on CD. Intermediate/Advanced level.
Potential board members may be reluctant to serve on history organization boards because they are concerned about their individual fundraising responsibilities. This workshop will help you understand how every board member can participate in some aspect of raising the necessary funds to operate your local organization. You will learn about the many tasks needed to raise funds, and how to identify and place board members in tasks where they will thrive. Based on the work of Hildy Gottleib (http://www.hildygottlieb.org) this workshop shows you how you can turn the most reluctant board member into an enthusiastic worker for downtown fundraising efforts. This 90 minute workshop includes one group exercise and a 40 page resource packet of articles, checklists and a bibliography provided on CD. Beginner level.
Mounting a capital campaign to raise large sums to save or restore an historic building in town is hard work over many years for any local preservation organization. In this 3.5 hour session you will be introduced to the components of a capital campaign: donor cultivation, the ASK, and stewardship of the donor. We will talk about developing prospect files and the information you will need in those files. You will learn about the five different parts of the Ask, which is the “in person” approach to a potential donor to support your project. We will conclude with a short group exercise: a piece of improvisational theater to show you how to do the different parts of the ASK. This workshop includes two group exercises and a 40 page resource packet of articles, sample files and a bibliography provided on CD. Advanced level.
Contact us for more information about these workshops and how we can customize these for your audience.
Heritage Consulting Inc. principal Donna Ann Harris has promoted nonprofit organizations and events for more than twenty-five years. Throughout our history and since starting our consulting practice we have taught community organizations about and undertaken Public Relations, crisis communication and communication strategies. Using both traditional and new media, we communicate about activities and events for clients nationwide.
Our communications and public relations expertise is:
We enjoy working with our clients to help them solve problems, by quickly assessing the situation, identifying the problem to be solved and providing diplomatic but frank assessments to clients. Over the years we have worked with start up organizations, as well as mature and sophisticated organizations seeking to turn around their operations. Our project pages throughout this site show how we use a variety of skills to help client organizations reach their potential. These are some of the tasks we have been asked to undertake for clients in the last eight years. Check our Projects Tab in Organizational Development to see some great client success stories.
Please contact us to discuss your project.