Sudan Relief Fund

Case Study

Anticipated 17 % increase in major gifts
with American Philanthropic officer

Since 1998, the Sudan Relief Fund has been dedicated to bringing food, safe drinking water, clothing, shelter, medical attention, and hope to the people of South Sudan. Their mission and message truly resonate with people and they’d experienced tremendous success in establishing a national donor base through direct mail and online giving campaigns. However, given the ever-pressing responsibilities in South Sudan, SRF staff was being pulled in a number of important directions, leaving little time for them to meet with donors stateside. SRF’s growth was limited due to their inability to properly and personally cultivate their existing donor base. So, in 2017, they first sought the assistance of American Philanthropic.

After partnering with American Philanthropic to strategize and strengthen their development programs, SRF saw the growth potential within a major gift officer (MGO)—someone dedicated to their current and growing base of major donors. An MGO would have the capacity to create relationships with their major donors and provide personal acknowledgement and affirmation of each major donor’s value to SRF.

Aware of American Philanthropic’s expertise and unique access to the nonprofit job market, SRF enlisted their customized personnel search services in hiring an MGO. However, under this unique arrangement, American Philanthropic would hire, train, and advise the MGO as an American Philanthropic employee dedicated exclusively to SRF. Not only did this provide the MGO with a direct network of professional support, advising, and training to ensure he or she was properly equipped to be successful from day one, but it also diminished some of SRF’s human resources responsibility.

American Philanthropic began by putting together a hiring group that had a working of knowledge of SRF’s mission and culture to conduct a nationwide personnel search. We advertised the position, made initial contact with candidates, conducted screenings, tracked next steps, sat in on in-person interviews, and made hiring recommendations.

In a short period of time, American Philanthropic found a candidate who aligned perfectly with SRF’s mission. Once the hire was made, we:

  • Led onboarding for the new MGO;
  • Provided professional mentoring at American Philanthropic, with extensive experience in major gifts;
  • Met in-person with the MGO to train him and provide resources to ensure he was set up for success from day one;
  • Worked with the MGO to establish 30-day, 90-day, and one-year goals and set all key performance indicators; and,
  • Scheduled weekly coaching calls in which we continue to train and advise the MGO.

As a result of this MGO, we anticipate that SRF will be able to achieve a 17 percent increase in their major donor giving in 2020. Most importantly, the MGO will help bridge the connection between donors and the vision of Sudan Relief Fund. Through meetings, acknowledgments, and proper stewardship, the MGO will reach over 2,000 major donors and will craft relationships to strengthen the future of Sudan Relief Fund.

Learn more about the Sudan Relief Fund’s work here

American Philanthropic is registered as fundraising counsel or as a fundraising consultancy in all states that require such registration. This means that we are not “fundraisers”: we do not ask people for money on our clients’ behalf, make personal introductions, make phone calls, or otherwise have direct personal contact with your donors or donor prospects. We tee you up to do those things, and to do them more effectively, by advising you, coaching you, and providing the services outlined in this proposal. Our goal is to help you build your development program so that it becomes stronger and more sustainable, and to put you in position to build your own strong, personal relationships with funders.