What We Do
We provide a myriad of services to the non-profit world. For those considering a large-scale capital campaign, the first step is a Feasibility Study to test the receptiveness and inclination of your donors to support the project. Then, should the results of that Study prove positive, Columns will work with you through the Campaign, providing guidance and working with your staff and Board to solicit gifts and attract the resources you need to fulfill your mission.
Strategic Planning enables organizations to move forward with an intentional purpose and on a definitive path. As the saying goes, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." We will help take you to your intended destination. Our consultants will assist your organization in determining your mission, vision, goals and strategic initiatives. We believe that your board, volunteers and staff will perform better and more efficiently with a living, workable Strategic Plan.
Grant Research, Writing & Submission
At Columns Fundraising, we analyze grant opportunities and seek partnerships with clients who have a strong commitment to promoting their mission. Our number-one priority is to establish meaningful and ongoing relationships with our clients, resulting in grant funds that allow your organization to advance its strategic initiatives.
Our grant writers and staff are skilled in all aspects of the grant process, and work with you on the continuum from funding needs assessment and research to building relationships and writing grants to help you reach your funding goals. Though we cannot guarantee funding, we will do everything in our power to assist you in submitting a successful grant application!
Funder Research - Targeted funder research is essential to the grant writing process. We help you identify funding sources by reviewing subject matter terms, geographic area, the target populations you serve, and then create a master grant calendar of potential state/federal funding and corporate/private foundations. We then confirm that prospective funders are a good fit for your organization and its programs.
Grant Writing - We provide a range of grant writing services, including preparation of letters of intent (LOI), cover letters, federal forms, proposal narratives, budgets and required attachments (resumes, service areas, organizational charts, letters of support, etc.). Grants are written for city, state, federal, corporate and private foundation proposals/applications. We submit final proposals and assist in preparation for a site visit and/or funder review.
Columns has an in-house writing and editing staff that will prepare persuasive proposals to highlight your mission, programs, outcomes, and impacts as required by prospective funders. Each proposal is written with a customized approach, taking into consideration how your strengths fit a funder’s priorities.
Grant Readiness - Our organizational and grant readiness reviews constructively examine your current policies, systems, and procedures and offer best practices recommendations from highly successful grant seeking organizations so you end up with a stronger operation. We use a checklist system to determine if you have all the documents in place to begin writing, and review your program and strategic plan to accurately pin-point your message to funders.
In keeping with the best practices and ethics of development and grant writing established by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Grant Professionals Association (GPA), Columns does not work on a commission basis, and fees are never built into the grant request. Fees are determined based on the scope of the project and/or application process, the research required, and the timeline.
Every successful campaign begins with a Feasibility Study. We conduct personal interviews with a carefully-selected group of constituents and survey a larger audience in order to ascertain their perceptions about your organization. We aggregate the information gleaned from these confidential interviews, along with survey responses, to determine the probability of a successful campaign. A Feasibility Study Report gives your organization a precise understanding of exactly how your donors perceive the relevance and importance of your work and goals.
Major & Planned Gift Initiatives
Major and planned gifts transform organizations. Our consultants collaborate with you to increase the effectiveness of your major donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship efforts. Don't have a planned gifts program? You should! Let us work with your Board and staff to elevate your major and planned gifts program.
Comprehensive Capital Campaigns
Capital Campaigns promote major gift fundraising for specific purposes. These campaigns garner funds for a specific capital project or goal, or they can be comprehensive in nature, incorporating both current funding needs and endowment goals. Successful capital campaigns catapult your future fund raising and your organization to new heights.
Executive Search & Interim Staffing
We believe in our network. Through a wide range of coast-to-coast connections, our consultants have decades of experience in finding the right person for the right position. We spend time understanding the culture of the hiring organization and then conduct your search to find the perfect candidate.
Internal Development Assessment
An Internal Development Assessment identifies strengths and opportunities for an organization to continue its growth, as necessary infrastructure must be in place to ensure success for a future campaign. The Internal Development Assessment reviews internal operations, external operations, governance and staffing, and recommendations are offered by our experts to ensure all operations of a non-profit adhere to industry best practices. We all need a check-up periodically!
Additional services include:
Board & Staff Retreat Facilitation
Topic Specialists for conferences and meetings
Foundation & Alumni Association Mergers
Volunteer & Staff Solicitor Coaching
Need more details?
Contact us by phone or email. We'll be glad to assist.