Many consulting engagements begin with an audit of a specific program within one of the advancement disciplines. These audits present a factual review of people and programs at the institution, often forming the basis for considering important action steps to improve advancement results. Audits focus on a straightforward review process, followed by clear recommendations for change, recommendations which include an implementation and monitoring process.
We conduct audits in the following areas: alumni/constituent relations, organizational structure, communications, alumni data/advancement services, major gift fundraising, annual fundraising, alumni education, alumni programs on and off campus, online communications, management relations, and public affairs, among others.
In some consulting engagements, the client has already assessed strengths and weaknesses, identified specific goals and determined strategic initiatives. Our role becomes one of providing guidance in planning and executing the action steps that will deliver measurable progress toward these defined goals. If strategic directions are not yet established, we work with the client to help develop them along with a comprehensive implementation plan.
We are prepared to address the following: general fundraising campaigns, alumni education programs, electronic communications programs, donor communication publications, online community development, alumni club and chapter programs, alumni reunions, specific fundraising projects, and strategic planning.
In some instances, the strengths and needs of an advancement program are well known to the client, but the client needs assistance in moving the program to the next level. In these instances, we can help the client understand the choices involved in moving in one direction versus another, choosing between competing goals, or deciding on appropriate action steps. Often strategic choices hinge on understanding the balance among the three disciplinary areas of advancement.
We are prepared to provide strategic guidance in projects such as: linking alumni, parents and friends more closely with the institution, developing a more positive relationship with community partners, achieving greater recognition of institutional strengths, building the base for a major fundraising effort, developing an integrated marketing approach, balancing the advancement effort across disciplines, and repairing or revitalizing relations between the institution and its alumni organization.
One of the greatest challenges for all institutions is developing an effective strategy for employing new technologies. Technology is making it possible to build effective relationships that minimize the impact of distance and time. As advancement is built on developing strong relationships, technology will favor those that make effective use of our new ability to make new connections and reinforce old ones.
We provide direct consulting advice in this important arena, taking the existing programs as a starting point and moving toward more effective use of the strategic advantages of an environment where communications are faster, more targeted and cheaper every day.
Most CEOs, whether they head an institution or one of the disciplines within an advancement operation, share a common challenge. While much of their time is spent in operations, the key to their success lies in thinking through the impact of their current activity in light of their ultimate goals. Indeed, reviewing goals and objectives, while examining the success of specific actions taken by the CEO and others toward these goals and objectives, is crucial to the future of every institution. Such “after action” analysis is difficult to do alone and, unfortunately, the CEO rarely has the freedom to share thoughts with others in the organization.
We recognize this dilemma as one of the most important areas in our consulting practice. We provide an institutional or advancement leader a unique opportunity to review goals and objectives within a variety of contexts including best practices, and then consider the impact of actions that might be taken, or already have been taken. We are prepared to discuss this type of engagement directly with CEOs at every level in the institution.
As advancement efforts find greater acceptance outside North America, eAdvancement has expanded its client base in both Europe and Asia. Our client list underscores the global reach of our work.
Our virtual organizational structure enables us to provide cost-effective consulting advice to institutions throughout the world. The translation of advancement experience from the United States and Canada to other parts of the world is far from straightforward. The significant impact of cultural differences on advancement transactions cannot be underestimated. Each of the principals in the consortium has had experience working with institutions outside North America, some as a result of living in Europe or Asia for an extended period of time.
In addition to welcoming clients from outside North America, eAdvancement principals welcome assignments with North American campuses eager to build effective advancement efforts for their international campuses and for alumni residing abroad. These international efforts are among the most important new initiatives for some institutions in today’s increasingly international world. Our experience in the international arena is for some clients the key to success in building a cost-effective international presence.