Planning a Nonprofit Anniversary Campaign on a Tight Deadline

Why This Nonprofit Called WHC When Facing Down a Tight Deadline

Case Study Snapshot:

Before

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas (BBBSCC) had a major milestone on the horizon – and no plans in place to celebrate it. 

Working with WHC

WHC facilitated three coaching sessions to help BBBSCC leadership develop a solid plan to not only celebrate their milestone but leverage it for the good of their mission.

After

BBBSCC is seeing great momentum around their 50th Anniversary plans and they’ve gained organizational capacity for fundraising and marketing.

 

“I went into panic mode.”

Stacy Greene is no novice to the nonprofit world. But when she started a new position in the summer of 2021, she faced a tight deadline that had her feeling overwhelmed in spite of her decades of experience.

Stacy is the Director of Development and Marketing for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas (BBBSCC), one of over 250 nationwide Big Brothers Big Sisters of America agencies. With a focus on one-on-one mentoring for young people in three regional counties, BBBSCC served more than 900 kids last year. 

Besides needing to learn the ins and outs of a new position at a new  organization, Stacy was tasked with planning BBBSCC’s 50th anniversary. That meant marketing, fundraising, and an event for a major milestone that was approximately a year away. 

“Normally, you’d start planning anywhere from two years to 18 months in advance,” Stacy explained. “I went into panic mode as nothing had been done.” 

“We needed someone to help us think outside the box….”

Because of the significance of the milestone, Stacy wanted to bring in a consultant to get the staff and board moving in the same direction – fast. 

Not everyone shared Stacy’s desire to hire a consultant “There were reservations,” she remembered. “One was the cost. Another was why hire someone to do what we can do ourselves? But I wanted a fresh perspective, someone who could help us think outside the box and be strategic.”

After interviews with a few consultants, Stacy and the team agreed Barbara had the right combination of expertise and people skills. “Her experience, strategic thinking, and temperament were what we needed.”

“She helped us see this is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime.”

Barbara facilitated three conversations with staff and board leadership. She encouraged them to think bigger than simply celebrating the occasion. How could they leverage the milestone to improve brand recognition, recruit board members and volunteers, steward current donors, and acquire new ones?

“She helped us see this is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime,” Stacy said, “and even with a tight schedule and budget, we need to make the most of it.”

Barbara led the team through idea generation first, separating their ideas into three areas: marketing, revenue, and volunteer/board commitment. Then, for each idea they came up with, she coached them in making step-by-step implementation strategies.

From there, the BBBSCC team finalized a strategy and got to work.

“We’ve got some big things coming….”

Stacy and the team are currently hard at work implementing their 50th Anniversary plan and are thrilled with how everything’s coming together. 

A few of the ideas Barbara helped the BBBSCC team uncover and develop:

  • Expanding a signature yearly event (“Big Day at the Lake”) into a special 50th Anniversary community event and inviting key stakeholders and funders to attend. They ended up having funders, grantors, and board alumni come to see their investment in action!
  • Working with a PR agency to maximize their short timeframe, which has led to radio and tv spots as well as media partnerships. 
  • Launching an extensive marketing campaign to celebrate the anniversary and improve brand recognition in the community, including six weeks of bus route and light rail ads across Charlotte, a Big Brothers Big Sisters night at a local sports field, and plans to light up the skyline with BBBS colors. 

While it will be months before the organization can fully assess the success of their 50th Anniversary marketing and fundraising efforts, Stacy is excited about what she sees. “We have some big things coming.”

“The staff and board have really grown in understanding what goes into a successful campaign.”

For Stacy, the short term results of the conversations Barbara led were really clear: she went from feeling anxious and stressed to feeling calm and focused. “I felt like, okay, we have a plan. Let’s prioritize and move forward.”

Beyond the anniversary plans, though, Stacy sees clear growth in their organizational capacity. 

“The staff and the board have really grown in understanding what goes into a successful campaign like this,” Stacy said. “They understand the strategy involved, the detail, the time required. And they’re more willing to commit to it.”

When asked what she’d say to someone considering hiring Barbara to help with strategy, Stacy said, “She’s a wise investment and an excellent team player. She makes you feel heard and also shares ideas that help you see things from different perspectives.”

If your team is struggling to gain traction and build unity around a major fundraising or event goal, WHC can help! Book a call today!

Site Design & Development North Star Sites