We Understand What It Takes to Build a Best-in-Class Program

At GG+A, we’re not just about the big gifts. We know that a strong annual giving operation is critical to the long-term health of your fundraising program—and institution. As experts in all aspects of philanthropy management, we understand that a strategic, holistic approach to annual giving packs a three-fold punch: boosting participation and yield, increasing constituent engagement, and driving growth in major and planned gifts.

Of course, there’s more to producing exemplary results than meets the eye. A lot more. Best-in-class annual giving programs achieve their success through a combination of sophisticated analytics, meticulous management, compelling creative expression, and a relentless appetite for refinement.

We Bring Both Analytical and Creative Talent to the Table

Maybe your president is demanding a higher participation rate. Or your unit leaders are pressing for more current-use cash. One of your own priorities might be to ensure you’re doing everything possible to feed your major-gift pipeline.

But how to balance aggressive income and participation targets? Maximize donor retention? Determine the right mix of giving channels for different audiences and purposes? Ensure your annual gift officers are focused on the most promising prospects? Improve phone and mail results? Develop the most persuasive messaging? Our experts understand the dynamics behind all types of annual giving challenges—and have both the analytical and creative chops to recommend effective solutions.

The University of Sheffield Alumni Fund provides scholarships, enriches the student experience, and enhances academics through grants to departments. By evaluating its program and creating a roadmap for the future, the fund is more robust than ever.

University of Sheffield Case Study
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Our Services

Whether you’re interested in building a program from the ground up or optimizing a single aspect, we can help. Services include:

Annual giving program reviews

An assessment of the annual giving operation that provides recommendations on the optimal organizational structure and deployment of staff and resources. Typically focuses on management and organization, resources and budgets, giving data, direct-mail marketing and communications, and recognition and stewardship strategies.

Creative materials assessments

A detailed evaluation of individual pieces measured against defined criteria addressing the power of creative concepts, editorial content, and visual presentation. Considerations include strategic intent, institutional and audience appropriateness, and cohesion. Report may include ideas to stimulate new thinking.

Creative materials development

Creative services to conceptualize, write, and—if helpful—coordinate design and production of advancement communications materials.

Executive assessments

Cost-effective diagnostic gap analysis of a program as compared to best practices. Clients receive a memo report with top-line recommendations, and a clear road map to aid prioritization and implementation.

Focused reviews

An in-depth analysis of a specific program area within a broader development program area, such as direct-mail marketing, social media strategy, alumni board and volunteers, or reporting. Provides targeted recommendations for improvements.

Messaging platforms

A structured set of messages that articulate a fundraising proposition via core and supporting points nuanced for target audiences. Enables a disciplined approach to conveying strategically important messages through any combination of vehicles. Useful for institutional campaigns, annual giving programs, alumni engagement initiatives, and other purpose

Ongoing counsel and interim management

Flexible configurations of customized, one-on-one support, ranging from several hours per month to several days per week. Strategic and campaign counsel commonly includes advising leadership on internal and external positioning for philanthropy, providing direction on cultivation and solicitation strategies, effective uses for staff and volunteer resources, and the structure and role of volunteer committees. Counsel at the interim-management level may include hands-on time reviewing the prospect pool and targets, advising on the development of a prospect management system and accompanying reports, or evaluating gift capacities and identifying ask amounts

Results monitoring

Provides best-practice recommendations for monitoring progress throughout the year, including recommendations for adjustments to strategies and tactics that will help maximize results.

Teaching, coaching, and talent development

At GG+A, consultants with extensive annual giving experience coach clients in the core competencies of annual giving programs: structure and planning, segmentation, donor retention, writing for direct marketing, stewardship, and online fundraising. Learn more.

Upgrade analysis and pipeline building

Uses wealth screening, demographics, institutional relationship, past giving, and engagement data to develop a sophisticated segmentation strategy for  annual giving programs that  maximize donor retention, acquisition, upgrades, and overall annual fund yield.

Our Clients

GG+A has shared its annual giving expertise with organizations of all sizes, across all nonprofit sectors. Here is a sampling:

  • American Red Cross
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Children's Medical Center
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Durham University
  • Elderhostel
  • Georgetown University
  • Knox College
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester
  • Northampton Community College
  • Rutgers University Foundation
  • University of Salford
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St Andrews
  • Stratford Festival
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • The University of Sheffield
  • University of Toronto
  • Vanderbilt University