Case Studies



Challenge: Help a national policy and research organization rebuild a once vibrant corporate giving program.

Approach: This organization retained relationships with corporate sponsors through its annual dinner but it wasn’t able to expand the corporations’ involvement beyond the event. S+R Consulting provided a blueprint for launching a renewed corporate giving program that included two strategic components:

● Involving current corporate allies in revitalizing this program, and

● Offering exclusive opportunities for sponsors to meet with the organization’s policy experts.

We knew firsthand that certain dinner committee members were extremely engaged during the planning of the annual dinner. Therefore, we encouraged the client’s leadership to recruit these members and launch a corporate advisory roundtable that would capitalize on the event’s goodwill.

Results: The organization received a detailed action plan for setting up a corporate advisory roundtable and engaging potential members, including suggested giving levels and touchpoints to retain donors from year to year.


Challenge: Recruit a chief development officer for a national think tank that required the candidate to both motivate its leadership in fundraising and branch out in new directions.

Approach: Finding the right candidate for any organization requires an understanding of the organization’s culture, expectations and non-negotiable attributes they need from a candidate. S+R Consulting was retained to lead the entire recruitment process by:

● Preparing a compelling job description to better reflect the organization’s expectations and disseminating the announcement widely to our referral sources, reviewing and ranking applications, leading the multi-stage interview process, and counseling staff on the selection of top candidates.

● Disseminating the announcement widely to our referral sources, reviewing and ranking applications, leading the multi-stage interview process, and counseling staff on the selection of top candidates.

Results: The final candidate came through S+R Consulting’s professional networks. Indeed, our clients choose us over traditional headhunters because of our relevant networks as well as our first-hand understanding of what makes an effective development director.




Client 1

Challenge: Fundraising efforts for a large-scale national project had been put on hold for over a year and now the organization had to complete the six-figure funding package within three months.

Approach: As with most engagements, the client organization had both assets to capitalize on and challenges to overcome. We moved quickly to:

● Determine engaging, high-profile “sponsor” opportunities

● Develop more concise collateral materials about the need and uniqueness of this project

● Identify new prospects and re-examine past leads, and

● Directly solicit gifts

Results: Earlier that year, S+R Consulting had helped this client oversee the fundraising and logistical arrangements for its national awards dinner. In doing so, we had secured new sponsors, strengthened relationships with current and lapsed donors, and cultivated new prospects. These prospects and donors were an excellent starting point for this project. Building off this base, we successfully completed the funding package on time.

Client 2

Challenge: An organization with a $9.5 million annual budget and dedicated to revealing waste, fraud and abuse by U.S. and international public and private institutions retained S+R as interim development counsel, with a focus on managing and growing its foundation grant portfolio.

Approach: A key first step in our interim counsel engagements is to quickly learn about the client organization and its supporters, and to work closely with senior management, program, communications and finance staff to meet deadlines and ensure that all submissions are of the highest quality possible.

During the engagement, S+R also identified potential foundation prospects and conducted outreach to introduce prospects to the organization. S+R Consultants also coordinated and participated in funder meetings and presentations, and conducted follow up, including preparing requests for support.

In addition, S+R counseled the organization's new CEO and arranged for him to meet with current and prospective foundation supporters.

Results: Over the course of seven months, S+R produced and submitted over 70 reports, inquiry letters and proposals and introduced the new CEO before over a dozen foundations.


Challenge: To fortify and create fundraising systems for state-level research and policy groups – with few if any dedicated development staff.

Approach: Through a national organization that supports state-based economic research and policy organizations, S+R worked with the groups for 12 months to bolster their fundraising skills and systematize donor and prospect outreach, using a three-pronged approach:

  • We launched the project with an intensive, hands-on, day-long “Fundraising 101” training hosted by the national group.
  • From there, we provided tailored one-on-one technical assistance support to 10 selected state groups. Matching our counsel to each group’s needs, S+R Consulting trained and coached staff in donor identification, donor outreach, fundraising messaging, event planning, and board engagement. Each month, we also organized monthly discussions among groups facing similar challenges to promote peer learning.
  • We capped off the project with another day-long training to enhance the fundraising knowledge and skills of a larger group of state affiliates.

Results: The groups identified new prospects, strengthened their development systems and messaging, engaged prospective donors, secured new funds, and/or increased board members’ knowledge and participation in fundraising. Just as important, they gained skills and confidence so they could continue their fundraising efforts after our engagement ended.