Clapping Audience

Advancing the Greater Good



Planning for Success with a Fund Development Plan and Board Training

Sisters in Cinema is a new nonprofit with an inclusive mission to entertain, educate, develop, and celebrate Black girls, women, and gender non-conforming media makers. (Chicago, IL)

Image by Jakob Owens
The Impact

In the first year of our partnership, Sisters in Cinema and AltruNext worked together to capture the vision, build the systems, and create the tools for development success and organizational sustainability. Now, AltruNext provides one-on-one coaching with Sisters’ Board members to equip them to participate in all stages of the donor cycle, thus engaging their personal networks in the exciting work of building a new media maker’s space on Chicago’s south side. By implementing a donor moves management process, Sisters will successfully complete a capital campaign and continue to provide a safe, creative space for Black girls/women and LGBTQ+ individuals.

Key Project Elements
  • Organizational Assessment

  • Fund Development Plan

  • Staff and Board Coaching

  • Grant Writing

  • Case for Support

  • Capital Campaign

The Client

The Challenge

As a start-up nonprofit organization, Sisters in Cinema didn’t know where to begin with its development efforts. They knew funds were desperately needed; but as an all-volunteer staff and inexperienced Board, the organization wasn’t very familiar with best practices and didn’t know how to maximize effectiveness with minimal resources. Sisters in Cinema also felt a sense of urgency: through a city grant, they had been able to purchase a building in South Shore, but needed capital to renovate and open this creative space for media makers. 

The Collaboration Process

AltruNext began by listening carefully to the Founder’s vision for the organization and the media arts center. Through an organizational audit, we assessed their readiness to pursue various types of funding--individual support, foundation grants, corporate philanthropy, and government grants. The Fund Development Plan highlighted short- and long-term actionable steps in all areas of development and organizational capacity: individual giving, institutional giving, government grants/contracts, events, infrastructure, and capital campaign. Additional deliverables included:

  • recommendations for an appropriate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solution;

  • a toolkit to empower Board members to be active participants in fundraising;

  • a grant calendar to guide grant-writing activities;

  • capital campaign collateral; and

  • a draft case statement for program and campaign materials.

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