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Clapping Audience

Advancing the Greater Good


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Sustaining Program Growth with a Clear Plan

The Client

Housing Forward is an organization focused on transitioning people from housing crisis to housing stability through prevention, outreach, and permanent housing solutions in partnership with local resources. (Maywood, IL)

Image by Maria Ziegler
The Impact

AltruNext helped the new Director of Development to quickly delve into the development activities with the highest ROI and create a long-term plan based on industry best practices. New accountability systems and procedures amongst staff, committees, and Board members will ensure that objectives and the plan are a regular topic of conversation--rather than the plan getting dusty on a forgotten shelf! The energy generated at the Board retreat led to the organization’s most successful Giving Tuesday to-date and renewed engagement by the Board.

Key Project Elements
  • Organizational Assessment

  • Fund Development Plan

  • Board Retreat

The Challenge

While they had recently completed a comprehensive strategic planning process, Housing Forward lacked a formal Fund Development Plan to guide its efforts. Yet, over the past five years, Housing Forward had grown from a $2.7M budget to more than $8.5M--which required creative, strategic thinking about new approaches to fund development that would foster long-term sustainability.

The organization wanted to focus on:

  • building a donor-centric culture,

  • creating a board development strategy,

  • building their major gifts pipeline, and

  • identifying needed infrastructure.

After having the Director of Development position unstaffed for nearly a year, Housing Forward sought a partner to collaborate with the new Director of Development to make up for lost time.

The Collaboration Process

Through a deliberate process, AltruNext and Housing Forward reviewed historic funding data, explored the evolving landscape, and documented a three-year fund development plan with clear baselines and embedded accountability processes. At a Board Retreat, we created space for creative collaboration and problem-solving, especially as the sector pivots to deal with COVID and its economic consequences. We also established clear roles between Board and staff positions to help break down silos and encourage them to work together toward shared goals.

"AltruNext put together a great virtual retreat with our board of directors and development team. We were very impressed with the content and participation.  The AltruNext team was very helpful as we shifted our focus from a live format to a virtual experience, due to the COVID-19 crisis. The agenda flowed seamlessly, keeping us on task and engaged throughout. It felt effortless and for that, I am most appreciative."

Lynda Schueler, MPA / Executive Director / Housing Forward

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