Nonprofits in the United States are central to a civilized society, addressing our toughest challenges and providing a safety net for millions of people. Currently, the estimated 1.5 million charitable organizations account for 5.5% of GDP, employ 10% of the workforce, and pay nearly 10% of all wages. Thus, in addition to providing vital services, nonprofits are a major employer in our economy.
Yet, the sector is in crisis. Currently between 7–8% of nonprofits are technically insolvent and half have less than one month of operating reserves. Research shows that nonprofits more reliant on private philanthropy have less debt and larger reserves, leading us to the conclusion that building development efforts within nonprofits will help to provide long-term sustainability.
However, there is a critical shortage of experienced development professionals in the Chicagoland area. Small to medium-sized nonprofits are struggling and cannot afford to compete with larger nonprofits for qualified staff. So how can we increase the pipeline of trained development professionals?
Welcome to The Chicago Fundraising Accelerator
An intensive program designed to train novice or non-development professionals in the practice of fundraising and incorporate those learnings throughout the organization. Our rigorous program begins with classroom training and is reinforced through actual scenarios and challenges. A virtual director of development provides weekly coaching to strategize real-time on issues impacting the organization. Peer learning is incorporated through cohort affinity groups that extend support long after the program ends. Board and senior leadership support is vital to the success of this program and specifically design curriculum has been added train them on their role in fundraising.
Our goal is to build development programs that realistically fit within an organization’s culture and structure, resulting in increased sources of revenue, built-in succession planning and a more financially stable organization in the future.