A Note from Christine Corwin, Principal of Green Source Consulting
Like most fundraising communications consultants, I didn’t start out in this line of work. In fact, my first job out of college was working for a parks nonprofit organizing volunteer trail workdays in Acadia National Park in Maine. I got to work with a group of feisty retirees who helped co-lead the workdays and to welcome folks from all over the world who were inspired to volunteer during their vacations. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was my first introduction to fundraising. Building genuine connections, fostering positive energy, and providing people with the opportunity to give back.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with a variety of nonprofit organizations—from nimble startups to nonprofits rooted in years of institution. I spent my early career doing communications, community outreach, and program work for organizations including National Parks Conservation Association, PBS, and Rainforest Action Network. In 2004, I made the jump to fundraising, bringing with me a campaign-style approach that incorporates communications, branding, and community building.
Through my work, I have learned six important lessons:
1. Successful fundraising is community building.
2. Doing the best program work does not guarantee success. Attention to communications and branding is often what separates nonprofits that soar from those that struggle.
3. Providing donors and volunteers with the opportunity to get in the trenches with your organization and to make a difference creates life-long supporters.
4. Don’t bore your supporters. Organizations that use creative graphics, photos, and/or videos combined with fresh messaging in their outreach (while staying true to their brands) receive more donations and keep their supporters wanting more.
5. Positive energy and hope are contagious.
6. Resources come to organizations that dare to dream.
I often ask my clients if money were no object, what would you do with your organization and why? Then we can get down to planning.
If your organization is going through a transition, looking to expand, or has a challenge to solve, I’d love to hear from you. I look forward to putting our heads together.
During the past decade, Christine Corwin has helped secure more than $15 million for her client organizations. She has a strong track-record successfully positioning organizations and their programs to attract funding, creating fundraising plans for small to multi-million dollar projects, developing successful grant proposals and fundraising materials, and integrating strategic messaging and branding across multiple communications platforms.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Maine and a Masters degree in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School.