Below are a few selected projects that highlight what Building On does, how we work, and what we accomplish:
Successful fundraising depends on vision, messaging and engagement, tracking outcomes and accountability, and relationships, including touchpoints and gratitude. Building On believes that Interim Fundraising Leadership can be very productive, allow for continued and building momentum during a search, and help set the stage for new leadership success.
Boston Arts Academy Foundation
About: Boston Arts Academy is the City’s only public high school for the arts. A hidden gem in the Boston Public School system, Boston Arts Academy boasts a 96% 5-year graduation rate and a 94% college acceptance rate. Both extraordinary.
Each year, the Boston Arts Academy Foundation raises between 35% and 40% of the Academy’s budget from private sources. The Foundation helps bridge the gap between the school’s allocation from the Boston Public Schools, and the true cost of a high-quality education that is both arts-intensive and college preparatory.
The Project: Building On was engaged to turn around a fundraising decline, during a Foundation leadership transition. The Foundation had been utilizing their cash reserve to support the school, rather than raising the dollars needed.
Building On was charged with raising $685,000 in just under six months, limiting the cash reserve draw to just under $400,000.
Outcomes: Initial analysis conducted by Building On led to a recommendation to increase the dollars to be raised to $920,000, substantially reducing reliance on a dwindling cash reserve. In under 6 months, this increased goal was exceeded by $117,000.
Ultimately $1,037,000 was raised, exceeding the amount Building On was contracted to raise by more than 50%.
Key strategies included: overall messaging made clear and engaging; annual gala rebranded to include student talent and gala sales approach expanded to include Board, groups, etc. (exceeded goal by $160,000); Board engagement increased; staff accountability made clear, with weekly reports to leadership.
In addition, Building On procured a $250,000 grant to support new and increased donor funding matching for the following fiscal year, ensuring an additional $500,000 for the year ahead. Worked closely with the new permanent Foundation CEO/President to ensure a smooth transition.
Building On partners with organizations to accomplish Strategic Planning that is inclusive, energizing, time sensitive and that results in a plan that is results-oriented, measurable and engaging. Building On is available to work with you from conceptualizing the planning process to publishing an external version of the plan – and all of the steps in between.
Essex County Community Foundation
About: With over $90M in assets, Essex County Community Foundation inspires philanthropy that strengthens the communities of Essex County by managing charitable assets, strengthening and supporting nonprofits, and engaging in strategic community leadership initiatives.
The Project: Building On was engaged to work with the Essex County Community Foundation CEO, COO and the Board Strategic Planning Task Force to engage the Board, Advisory Council, other leadership volunteers, Fund Holders, Major Donors, Grantees and all Nonprofit Leaders in the region to assess their experiences with, perceptions of and recommended next directions for the Foundation.
The Results: Utilizing highly engaging design thinking exercises, Building On planned and facilitated retreats, extended meetings, focus groups, and individual meetings. Designed and disseminated live audience and online surveys. Ultimately connected with 1300 key contacts. Collated and analyzed extensive data to provide perception information for rebranding and priority recommendations for strategic directions.
Worked with CEO, COO and Board/Board Strategic Planning Task Force to outline priorities for strategic plan and draft language for internal plan.
ECCF Strategic Plan: Here is the brilliantly simple external version of the Plan.
Essex County Community Foundation is finalizing our next 3-year strategic planning process and couldn’t have done it without the help of our consultant, Jodi Hill. She helped advise us through a highly engaged stakeholder process and formulated the data that shaped our strategic plan. Her research abilities, facilitation skills and strategic thinking were an asset for our Community Foundation. – Beth Francis, CEO, Essex County Community Foundation
Strategic Planning, Rebranding and Messaging
Mainstay supportive housing and homecare
About: With assets that include a 12 property real estate portfolio, Mainstay provides human service and housing programs across Massachusetts, including permanent supportive housing and compassionate, person-centered home care.
The Project: Building On was engaged to advise/assist the new CEO and the senior leadership team in driving culture change and growth at MHPI Inc. and their sister organization RSSI Inc. (Home Care). This project initially focused on: Strategic Planning, New Program Development, Board Engagement, Fundraising
The Process: Strategic planning with senior staff and Board was a smooth process, with shared understandings and vision developed and made very clear. It also became clear that running two parallel organizations, each with names made up of letters without any strong brand, made no sense, and made day to day operations and fundraising both extremely challenging.
Outcomes: A clear, measurable 3 year Strategic Plan was completed; Jodi Wilinsky Hill recommended and advised on merger of MHPI Inc and RSSI Inc, which became Mainstay; Jodi Wilinsky Hill also coordinated and advised on rebrand and new website, setting the stage for organization growth.
Since the new brand needed to be announced and the organization had no compelling print materials nor an annual report, Building On recommended and produced a combined brochure/annual report/strategic plan; developed layout and wrote text for this piece; and worked with Mainstay’s contracted designer to develop this piece: (insert clickable thumbnail of this piece)
Building On also conducted the organization’s first online year end fundraising campaign.
I’ve known Jodi professionally for twelve years and have had the pleasure of working with her on several long term projects over this time. She’s a terrific project manager and change maker with a deep understanding of non profit management issues and industry best practices. I will undoubtedly continue to turn to Jodi to take on new important projects on behalf of the organization I am currently leading because she delivers excellent results every time.
Larry Oakes, CEO, Mainstay
Building On provides contracted consulting and interim leadership services that amplify the impact of nonprofit organizations and social businesses via:
Building On is also available to work with leadership teams and Boards.
Building On has extensive experience with non-profit projects of all kinds: Strategic planning; Partnership development and management; Program design; Grant strategy and writing; Fundraising events; Messaging; Mergers; Research; White Papers; and Operations!
Building On is available to support a range of organizations and efforts – adding value by bringing specialized expertise and delivering project-based, focused results.
Building On provides coaching services to individuals focused on career and family direction, leadership effectiveness, and effective communication.
“I felt so comfortable with your process. Every step made sense to me – including and especially starting with the person, not the paper. From start to finish, this felt like progress I have not experienced in this effort – until today. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to tell me to block a longer window of time because Jodi’s process was so on the money.” – Executive Coaching Client
Building On holds expertise in: Connecting businesses with community through internship programs; advising on and designing strategic philanthropy and volunteerism; strategic staff training planning and funding of staff training through state Workforce Training Grants; B Corp application.
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