|Organization Name:||Blue Sea Philanthropy|
|Project Name:||Essentials Fundraising Academy Pilot|
|Purpose of Investment:||To develop and launch a sustainable process to train and mentor charity leaders in best practices for fundraising.|
Blue Sea Philanthropy is passionate about charities. They are proud of the essential work they do and their vision is to see more of them thrive. Why? Because charities are passionate about changing their world. Whether that’s serving a refugee camp in Uganda, a homeless family in Annapolis Valley, or a trafficked 13 year old in Vancouver. For Blue Sea, a thriving charity has the funds they need to accomplish their mission this year and to grow their vision next year. For Blue Sea, a thriving charity is continually building buzz, momentum and their bottom line – all while making a measurable impact.
To date Blue Sea Philanthropy has helped 503 charities find some of that buzz, momentum and bottom line by operating two national peer-to-peer events – the Ride for Refuge and Coldest Night of the Year. Approved charity partners work hard on their events with them. And because they coach, train and cheerlead them forward from beginning to end, charities also receive other dividends besides the cold, hard cash in their hands. After doing one or more Blue Sea events, most of Blue Sea’s charity partners can articulate their message better, define their value proposition accurately, rally their followers widely and ask better.
But, a successful 90-day peer-to-peer campaign isn’t enough. Blue Sea’s partnership with so many charities gives them a unique glimpse into their operations. Some challenging trends include: (1) Significant turnover of development staff that stalls momentum and transfer of knowledge (2) Modest budgets that limit the quality, experience and training of fundraising staff (3) Capacity challenges that distract and deprioritize their fundraising (4) Pursuit of inefficient or ineffective methods of fundraising (5) Absence of integrated or responsive fundraising plans. Some charities are stalled, some are stuck and some are paralyzed.
Blue Sea Philanthropy wants to do something about this. This grant will help launch “Essentials Fundraising Academy” (EFA), a unique cohort-based fundraising training school for motivated charity leaders who are potential-rich but plan-poor, program-savvy but fundraising-challenged.
EFA will train, coach and mentor charity leaders so they can immediately grow their fundraising programs and fund their mission more effectively. EFA will help each participant accelerate their fundraising efforts, shorten the distance to fundraising success, eliminate unnecessary fundraising noise and condense the fundraising process to eight essential elements. The program would be limited to 12 participants in each cohort, and would begin and end with in-person group sessions. EFA would be hosted online and will include an e-guide, coaches corner, planner, topic specific training webinars, and community interaction. EFA members will be assigned a personal mentor who will coach them forward for the 18 month program.
- Successfully “graduate” 12 charity leaders in the Essentials Fundraising Academy pilot, resulting from the development of “Essentials” curriculum including formalized training over 6 months and mentorship extending for an additional 6 months.
- The 12 charities represented will have an organizational development plan at the conclusion of the initial 6 months, including multi-year revenue objectives focused on growth, and customized key-metrics will be developed for each charity to which they will be held accountable by both Blue Sea and their mentor.
- At the conclusion of the pilot, assess the efficacy of the Essentials Fundraising Academy based on the following criteria: (1) 80% of the participants would score their experience and value of the program at an A or A+; (2) 80% of the participants would score their expectation of achieving their development goals at an A or A+ (3) 80% of the participants would score their confidence in fundraising skills at an A or A+.