We’ll help you identify and understand… high-potential donors.

Some donors – individuals, organizations, foundations and government Ministries or agencies – are likely to give money to support your cause.  Others aren’t.

Tunnelwood will help you identify which are which, and plan accordingly.

Sadly, most fundraising efforts waste a lot of resources asking for help from sources that simply won’t support you.

The Tunnelwood Group recommends that – before you start spending money on brochures, mailings or events – your organization should conduct a systematic inventory of potential donors

Which potential donor groups – from individuals to government Ministries – share your values and your goals as a priority?

    Pay special attention to the words they use:  if they talk about their goals in the same phrases you use, that’s good; if you find yourself saying ‘that’s sort of like our mission…’, don’t take their support for granted; and if you have to labour to explain how your goals fit into their objectives, chances are you’ll be better off looking at other potential donors.

    Do you have knowledge of other organizations these potential donors might be supporting?  Are any of them providing services or pursuing projects that are comparable to yours?

    Which potential sources of support have already committed their budgets (governments and foundations often make their commitments annually:  you may have to start work now to build relationships that will lead to support a year or more in the future)?

With which potential donor groups do you already have relationships? 

    Think about your members and your Board Members in particular.  Do they have personal relationships that can help you build trust more quickly or that can help you get a deeper understanding of the donor’s goals and concerns?

    Always target the groups who have supported you in the past or that are already supporting you now:  it should always be a priority to retain those relationships, and often the people who are already investing in your cause can be persuaded to invest more.

Since it’s inception in 1992, The Tunnelwood Group has been developing, refining and constantly updating an extensive local (Manitoba) and national database of charitable Foundations and Individual and Corporate donors. We are also expert at coming into an organization helping you to identify unrealized potential donors from amongst the many current and past stakeholders, contacts board and friends of the organization. 

To find out more about ways your organization can use a Tunnelwood “inventory of potential donors”  to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your fundraising efforts, call us.

We’ll help you develop the organizational strengths you’ll need to win your donors’ confidence

In today’s climate, standards of accountability are higher than ever – whether you’re talking about charitable dollars, support from industry or unions or financial help from government programs or foundations.

Tunnelwood’s professional Organizational Development Services will help you identify and develop the capabilities you’ll need to meet your donors’ accountability and effectiveness standards.

Of course, no two organizations are exactly alike:  the strategies you’ll need to develop your organization’s capacities will be uniquely your own, arising from the interaction and shared learning of your management, your board, your staff and your members.

But while much about your situation will be unique, the challenges you’ll face are the same challenges that face every organization that goes out into society, asking for others to provide financial support to meet your goals. 
Tunnelwood has worked with dozens of organizations as they fashion their own unique responses to those challenges.  Our professional Organizational Development Services give your people the opportunity to draw on the experience of all those other organizations, too, as you build your organization’s effectiveness.

Board Governance

The high-quality Board Governance your organization needs will be a combination of generally accepted standards and procedures – plus the particular strengths, preferences and working relationships your own group brings to the task of making your organization as effective as possible. 
When you sign up for the Tunnelwood process for defining your organization’s approach to Board Governance, you’ll be buying into a powerful catalyst – strengthening key relationships, deepening mutual understanding and a powerful sense of shared purpose – as well as giving your organization the capacity to meet the highest possible standards for Board Governance and accountability.

Strategic Planning

Is your organization doing the kind of strategic planning needed to build your capacity and earn the trust of staff, members, partner agencies and the donor community?
A quick way to answer that question is to ask a second question:  If you spent 20 minutes explaining your organization’s current plan to your staff, members, partner agencies and the donor community… would they say:

  • Yes, I see… that excites me, and I can see how we’ll achieve those goals!” or…
  • “Yes… but…” or
  • “Huh?”

If you follow the Tunnelwood approach, your organization’s plans should always rate at least a B+ on that A-B-C scale.

Effective short and long term planning are among the hardest things your organization will have to do – and it can only be done if Board, management, staff and other key players are all part of the process and all feel themselves to be invested in the results.

The Tunnelwood Strategic Planning Process combines our noted congenial style of coaching and engaging Board, Staff Members and other key actors with a hard-edged focus on the real challenges (and the practical responses) that lie in your organization’s future.

At the end of the process, you’ll have plans that not only inform and motivate your members, but also inspire and engage your partners and donors community-wide.

It all works because of our (Not too) Structured Approaches to Joint Action and Relationship Building.

Almost everyone in the not-for-profit sector has had at least a few experiences with “out-of-the-box”, standardized meeting or process guides:  they’re a hardy perennial whenever consultants promise to help you get better (and they’re also very profitable for consultants – we use a few of them ourselves).

The huge risk with these off-the-shelf programs is that, when the program is over, everyone has become a little better at doing what the program asks you to do, but none of us are really any better at the things we have to do in our real lives.

Every Tunnelwood process includes a balance of state-of-the-art organizational development tools – plus your organization’s unique reality.

That’s true of the Tunnelwood approach to Board Retreats, too.  We’ll help you achieve a truly productive Board Self-Assessment process at your Board Retreat – engaging your team leaders early and helping your provide a program that will meet your Board Development goals within your time frames.

We can incorporate other activities smoothly into the process:  reviewing mission statements or policies and procedures; we can help you use the Board Retreat to meet other goals – like addressing Organizational Hygiene issues from Bylaw, Policy and Governance Reviews to the Development of Policy Handbooks.

At the end of the day, organizational effectiveness depends on leadership and actions.

How are yours?

We encounter a surprising number of organizations – some with proud, decades-long histories – who have a sense that they’re just running out of gas:  everyone is still doing their best, but it’s just not jelling. It’s pretty hard to ask others to trust you with their money when that’s the (even unstated) feeling around your own shop. 

The Tunnelwood Group specializes in making those kinds of “black holes” go away.

We’re proud of our track record in helping stalled groups achieve the hard insights and make the hard decisions necessary to create the action plans – and the actions – that can recapture your vitality and re-energize your successful teams.

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