What We Do 2019-04-22T17:24:00-04:00

Each organization’s vision for the future is unique. The Rolfson Group engages in flexible consulting arrangements that address specific priorities, aspirations and budgets. Working with senior leadership, we assess, plan, and deliver the friend-raising, fundraising, and related marketing and communications initiatives that reflect available resources and intentional timeframes.

Whether your objective is to enhance an existing fundraising initiative, start a program with limited resources, or prepare to launch a capital campaign, Rolfson Group consultants can offer guidance in the following fundraising disciplines:

  • Campaign Preparation, Planning, and Execution,
  • Annual, Major, and Planned Giving Program Enhancement
  • Foundation Planning and Grant Writing
  • Constituent Engagement and Retention
  • Database Optimization
  • Donor and Prospect Research / Wealth Screening
  • Development Marketing and Communications
  • Talent Management and Professional Development

Successful annual giving is the foundation for fruitful fundraising programs. However, when an organization has capital needs that are partially or completely unfunded, beginning or enhancing a major gifts program may be warranted. Similarly, building an organization’s endowment through planned giving initiatives can guarantee the delivery and sustainability of its mission. Below are some of the topics we can explore with your leadership team:

    • Phased, strategic staff and program investments
    • Initiating effective “Moves Management” and a pipeline approach to major gifts
        • Prospect identification
        • Prospect / donor cultivation
        • Prospect / donor solicitation
      • Donor stewardship
      • Beginning or enhancing a bequest program and other planned giving initiatives
    • Moving from a direct mail and/or events-focused fundraising program to a major gifts focus that delivers significant results

Many organizations leap into capital campaigns before they are ready. To ensure success, it is critical to plan carefully for a campaign and/or be willing to postpone a campaign until the organization is fully prepared for success. Rolfson Group consultants can help you determine if and when you are ready to launch and, when ready, can guide you throughout the process.

Campaign services include:

    • Current program analysis or “Campaign Readiness Assessment” (budget, staffing, planning, prior fundraising results, executive volunteers, and more)
    • Campaign or project “Feasibility Study,” using a combination of direct mail, e-mail or other digital engagement, and personal interviews to determine the viability of proposed programmatic and financial goals
    • Case for support and other campaign collateral (letters of intent, naming brochures, etc.)
    • Tables of needed gifts based upon identified prospects
    • Campaign policies and procedures
    • Campaign accounting best practices
    • Campaign planning and ongoing counsel, as needed
    • Volunteer and staff training

The Rolfson Group believes that strong not-for-profit boards are critical to sustaining long-term fundraising results, and that every organization can strengthen its Board by setting expectations and following clear recruitment and retention principles. Further, Boards are (and should be) interested in Return on Investment scenarios when it comes to enhancing their Advancement infrastructure. Below are some of the initiatives and conversations that Group consultants can facilitate:

    • Fundraising 101 for Boards (and institutional leadership)
    • Recruiting and growing effective fundraising boards
    • Drafting bylaws and setting appropriate philanthropic expectations
    • Ensuring positive volunteer experiences
    • Funding growth in Advancement programs and return on investment scenarios
    • Demonstrating how board members and other volunteer leadership can support fundraising without asking for money

Whether executive director, director of development, vice president, school head, volunteer, or staff member, you may benefit from coaching in various advancement disciplines. Sessions may be held one-on-one, at staff or Board meetings, or in a setting of your choice. Customized presentations and discussions may include some of the following topics:

    • Hiring the right staff and building an Advancement team
    • Helping other staff understand how they can support your advancement efforts
    • Setting appropriate metrics and goals for leadership, volunteers, and gifts officers
    • Assessing performance and corrective coaching
    • Fundraising effectively, and how to have fun doing it!
    • Prioritizing time devoted to fundraising for best results
    • Compensating for gaps or weaknesses, and optimizing strengths and opportunities

To ensure long-term, meaningful fundraising success, it is important to interest, and then involve prospective donors prior to inviting them to invest in the future of your organization. This implies a process and pipeline approach to annual, capital, and planned giving donors whereby strategic engagement activities precede solicitations. The various hardcopy and digital communications in which you invest, as well as the related meetings and events you hold, will determine the extent of your long-term fundraising success and the ultimate success of your program.


We work very closely with you and your organization to ensure a successful plan, tailored to your particular needs.