Good Ways Inc Portfolio
What we do
We help non-profits fundraise more effectively by being strategic and tech-savvy. Our process helps organizations understand their donors, connect with them in a meaningful way, uncover missed opportunities, and create campaigns they are proud of.
The services we provide are:
- Fundraising reviews – an analysis to discover what’s working, what’s not, and opportunities for the future.
- Fundraising plans – a strategy and execution plan tailored to the organization.
- Campaign development – marketing plans and fundraising materials for specific campaigns.
- Coaching and support – ongoing coaching for fundraising teams.
We draw on our over 60 years of combined experience in the non-profit sector to help you. We combine old-school fundraising (those tried and true tactics) with shiny new technology skills. We’ve worked at start-up non-profits and large established organizations and raised hundreds of millions of dollars. And we can help you uncover your keys to success using our business-based processes.
Good Ways Inc is the experience of a big firm tailored to fit small to mid-sized organizations.
Our big why
The first time I worked at a non-profit organization I was lucky enough to receive some pro bono consulting from a top management firm. They were so fancy and smart. I was in awe. At the end of our engagement, they gave me a 165-page report filled with recommendations and best practices from much bigger organizations.
We tried to implement all the ideas and failed miserably. I blamed myself.
These very kind consultants failed to understand our organization had a small staff, a big voice, and not a lot of access to powerful people. Our consultants thought the same tactics that worked for a hospital, museum, or food bank would work for us. For us, the only thing that was paying off were email campaigns – a tactic we were advised: “not to spend too much time on” since it was “small money.” (It was 2001, but come on).
The idea for Good Ways Inc started to take shape: what if best practices were doing more harm than good? What if each organization could find its own path to success? There was certainly more than one good way to fundraise.
Today, Good Ways Inc. aims to help non-profit organizations find their special combination of fundraising tactics that work for them. We have one client that is focusing on gifts under $50. Another client is laser-focused on $1,000 gifts. We use research, technology, and strategy to help both organizations.
The thing both clients have in common? The knowledge on what yields the best results, systems that are easy to execute, clarity on their connection to donors, and the confidence to ignore the rest.
1. Full fundraising analysis and plan
An organization serving people experiencing homelessness. They were stuck in a rut on fundraising and losing donors every year. We completed a full review of their fundraising to date and worked with their board of directors on overseeing and implementing a multi-pronged fundraising approach.
Here’s an executive summary of the plan we presented. Please note this is not a full plan, rather just the summary. We also provided a prospect list, a year-long calendar, a project management spreadsheet, and messaging advice.
A year after delivering this plan, we received this nice update from the Executive Director:
“I wanted to give you a pretty cool update … We are currently sitting at nearly $200K for our end of year appeal, we have added 955 new donors this year, and will end the year with just about $1M in cash and receivables, and have a full-time Development Director budgeted for next year. Not a bad year! :)”
2. A fundraising campaign
Creative fundraising is fun for us, so when someone gives us a challenge we jump at it. This client had lists and lists of emails and none of them lived in the same place. They hadn’t been in touch with many of their donors and knew they needed a plan, but were totally overwhelmed.
Oh, and it was December 15th. (See? We love a challenge.)
So we started simply with what they DID have:
Piles of emails
Some good stories
From there, worked fast and coordinated a mini-campaign email that surprised us all when it raised over $10,000. Our analysis of the results from that campaign highlighted for the client exactly what they needed to do next.
Three months later, they are in the middle of their second campaign and are on track to raise $50,000.
3. Tech forward fundraising
We practice what we preach here at Good Ways Inc, so when a global pandemic started, we jumped into action helping launch these two projects:
Masks for Humanity – creating a network of craftspeople to create handmade masks for hospitals and community health clinics.
House Seats Live – an online theater for good causes. We had one of the first “zoom shows” on March 23, 2020. From there we launched this theater to make it easy to sell tickets to an online show. To date, we have produced over 50 shows and raised over $1,000,000 for food banks, social justice causes, and artists.
Percentage organizations that think they have sufficient capacity to carry out their fund development activities
Source: “Undeveloped” CompassPoint and the Walter Haas Jr Fund
Percentage of fundraisers that report a drop in donations over last year
Source: 2019 Harris Insights & Analytics
of fundraisers for small non-profits say they plan to leave their job within two years
Source: “Underdeveloped” 2013
Number of non-profit organizations that report not having a fundraising plan
Source: Haas Foundation
of those who engage with non-profits via social media are inspired to take further action
Stats source: Nonprofit Tech for Good
of donors said that they are more likely to stop supporting not-for-profits that communicate and ask too often
Source: Burk Donor Survey