Fundraising Counsel

We believe in the power philanthropy has to transform lives.

At Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt, we help our clients use powerful fundraising strategies to realize their visions of the future. Whether you’re looking to expand your programming or you’re considering starting a new building project, we can help you raise the money to achieve it.

Let’s work together to make it happen.

Fundraising Services

Campaign Planning and Feasibility Studies

Good fundraising doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s essential to know how committed your potential volunteers and donors are to your capital campaign plans and if your prospect pool has the capacity to make the level of gifts necessary to raise the funds.

Our campaign planning studies gather the information you need to prepare for campaign success. Through meaningful conversations with your major prospects about your near and long-term goals and a thorough examination of your internal readiness, we will verify your dollar goals, help move your donors toward significant gifts, identify campaign leadership, and develop key campaign messages that are compelling to your prospects. Once the campaign is launched, we are ready to provide expert, tailored campaign counsel to ensure your success.

At Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt, we use our expertise as fundraisers and consultants to provide actionable and realistic recommendations that are specific to each of our clients. With a thoughtful strategy and a strengthened development program, you’ll be prepared to launch a capital campaign that will reach or surpass your financial goals.

Ask us about campaign planning

Campaign Counsel

Capital campaigns are a major undertaking for any nonprofit. We can help you stay on target.

At Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt, we help our clients develop effective strategies for soliciting major donors, from preparation and relationship-building to making the big asks. As ongoing counsel, we’re able to help you prepare for upcoming challenges, see issues as they arise and provide you with the tools to resolve them. We guide you through hitting each of your campaign milestones, providing you with in-depth analysis and support throughout the process. We’ll help you start this journey and see it through, from your campaign kickoff to the gift that helps you reach your goal.

Ask us about campaign counsel

Development Program Assessment

If you’re planning a campaign, finishing a campaign, or working to expand your fundraising abilities, it could be a good time for a tune-up of your development program.

By interviewing key personnel and volunteers, examining fundraising and marketing materials, analyzing fundraising activity, and evaluating organizational structure, we’ll be able to see how each piece of your fundraising program works together. We’ll then provide you with the recommendations to make your development operations more effective and efficient. We’ll also create an actionable plan to help guide you and your team over the next 1-3 years.

With a thorough assessment of your development program, we’re able to help you increase fundraising capacity and make a bigger impact on the community.

Learn more about our development assessments

Annual Giving Consulting

A healthy annual fund is the backbone of a healthy development program.

At Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt, we work with nonprofits to assess or establish annual fund and membership programs. We’ll help you implement effective cultivation strategies that improve donor retention and upgrade rates. We adapt annual fund best practices to your unique situation to foster a solid pool of committed donors, allowing your nonprofit to widen its impact and take on new challenges.

Ask us about annual giving consulting

Major Gifts Program Consulting

At most organizations, the largest portion of income from gifts comes from a handful of extremely generous and dedicated individual donors. That’s why having a strong major giving program can be transformational for any nonprofit.

Our team will work with you to ensure your major giving program reaches its potential. We’ll help assess your program, develop prospect review and solicitation strategies, identify cultivation opportunities, determine how to best align and train your staff and board, develop effective stewardship strategies, and reach your campaign or year-end goals.

Ask us about major giving consulting

Planned Giving Consulting

Data shows that donors who make significant bequests often don’t give nearly as much during their lifetimes. This suggests that the people who make these bequests think a little bit differently than donors who make outright gifts. That means, as fundraisers, we need to approach planned giving a little bit differently.

At Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt, we’ll take a look at your planned giving initiatives and help you establish and hone a fundraising strategy to that will identify, appeal to, and cultivate potential bequest donors. By developing the messaging and tactics that speak to these donors, you’ll be able to ensure you’re connecting with donors impassioned by your cause, however they choose to give.

Ask us about planned giving

Corporate Engagement & Foundation Relations

Corporate giving and foundation grants are important pieces of developing diverse funding sources. Even as foundation and corporate giving evolves and integrates new funding models and increased engagement by funders, it remains a cornerstone of a well-balanced funding portfolio, often resulting in larger gifts and multi-year commitments.

Through our work, we’re able to help you build the relationships and collaborations your organization needs to be successful. We’ll help you discover giving programs that align with your organization’s mission and identify future giving prospects. We also assist our clients with writing grants and deepening existing relationships with funders.

Ask us about corporate engagement & foundation relations

Government Funding

Public funding can make a huge impact on moving capital projects and programming forward. But frequently, small and mid-size organizations don’t have the staff or processes in place to make this possible.

Through our work, we’ll help staff and board leadership create an infrastructure to research, secure, and administer government grants effectively. We help our clients identify grant opportunities and secure medium and large-scale funding on the municipal, county, state, and federal levels.

Ask us about government funding

Development Communications

Your potential donors should be just as excited about your vision as you are.

We work closely with our clients to develop persuasive planned giving materials, artful annual fund appeals, and compelling campaign case statements that inspire donors to give. We’ll involve your leadership, staff, and volunteers each step of the way, from conceptualization to the finishing touches. We will also ensure that your communications complement each other and effectively speak to all of your key constituents at all stages of their involvement with your organization. Through powerful storytelling, we’ll help you foster relationships with potential donors and engage them in your cause.

Ask us about development communications

Volunteer Training

Your passionate volunteers are your nonprofit’s best advocates.

At Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt, we train board members and other key volunteers, helping them gain the confidence and skill to cultivate and solicit prospective donors. Through hands-on training sessions, we’ll help your volunteers learn how to secure a meeting, engage prospects in your goals and mission, share their own passion, and make the ask. With their enthusiasm and our preparation, your volunteers will be ready to reach your shared goals.

Learn more about volunteer training

Our Work in Action

See how our clients have exceeded their fundraising goals to advance their missions into the future.

New Trier Educational Foundation
McLean County Museum of History
Baltimore Museum of Art
North Park University