Case Study: Taking a nonprofit fundraiser to the next level

Improving a Yearly Fundraiser: Taking a nonprofit to the next level

A Rodman & Associates Case Study

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Executive Summary

Rodman & Associates worked with a nonprofit to increase results and effectiveness from their yearly fundraiser, and to:

  1. 1. Identify new income streams
  2. 2. Increase awareness outside of core supporters
  3. 3. Substantially increase attendance and income


The Customer, Challenges, & Goals

Every nonprofit has its own culture and benefits most from a special event unique to them.

As with most nonprofit organizations, the client’s yearly fundraiser provided the bulk of its undesignated income. Unlike grants and gifts designated to fund programs, income from special events may be used to cover vital operational needs such as salaries, the light bill, and office supplies.

This nonprofit looked to its annual fundraiser to be all things to all people: a yearly celebration of clients’ success stories, a way to honor outstanding volunteers, and an opportunity to educate guests on pressing community needs. Their fundraising message had gotten lost in mix.

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The mission was to bring in a significantly higher amount of donations and expand awareness of the organization by bringing in a much larger audience.

Solutions & Strategies

To achieve greater growth, just one angle isn’t enough.

In order to achieve exponential growth, Rodman & Associates proposed multiple tactics and solutions:

  1. 1. Corporate sponsorships
  2. 2. Hosted tables
  3. 3. Live fundraising appeal
  4. 4. Mission-tied silent auction items

Implementing sponsorships and hosted tables drove an increase in guests and donations. Someone who purchases his or her own ticket feels, at some level, they have already supported the event. Guests invited to sit at someone’s table have a stronger motivation for supporting the event.

To increase per-person donations, there were multiple opportunities to give, including silent auction items to benefit the non-profit’s clients. During the live program, a live fundraising appeal branded ‘Fund the Need’ was added. And to increase the incentive for participating matching funds were offered.


A session isn’t successful unless everyone feels satisfied with what they helped create.

The fundraiser doubled in both number of attendees and net income year over year, and was able to fund operations for the upcoming year.
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