Washington Family Engagement (WAFE) is a nonprofit dedicated to teaching parents and children of all ages how to become leaders in their schools and communities. When WAFE approached Ostara, the organization was almost entirely volunteer-run, with one full-time paid employee and very little time to dedicate to fundraising. While their community greatly needed more of their impactful services, they did not know where or how to start raising new funds.
In December 2018, Ostara analyzed WAFE’s list of grant prospects and then conducted a thorough search to expand the list and prioritize those that were well-aligned with WAFE’s work. Afterward, we created an action-oriented and realistic grant work plan for the year that was linked to concrete revenue targets.
Over the next year, Ostara managed grants according to the work plan and helped the WAFE team refine their language and strategy along the way. As they sought grants, they worked together to build an organizational budget for the board to approve, design new projects, and approach new funders. Through this process, they identified ways to clearly communicate WAFE’s programs and facilitate effective relationship-building with funders.
This work led to strong fundraising results. Between 2018 and 2019, WAFE more than tripled their grant revenue, exceeded their revenue target, and secured five new funders. With this growth, WAFE was able to begin paying its formerly-volunteer Executive Director for the first time, moved into its first office space, and began to think about programmatic growth goals for the next several years. More importantly, they now have a sustainable fundraising mechanism in place to fuel that growth.