For foundations to make the greatest impact,they must be keenly aware of nonprofits’ needs. Hampton Roads Community Foundation decided to launch a program called Building Excellence, which provided fundraising capacity-building grants to area organizations. Through an RFP process, The Curtis Group was selected to be the fundraising counsel for this program.

With each organization, we assessed their development programs and needs, made detailed recommendations to their staff and board leadership, then worked with them over the course of a year to implement our recommendations. The Hampton Roads Community Foundation tracked metrics on these nonprofits before, during and after the process, which showed that capacity had indeed increased, and that, in aggregate, all organizations were raising more money. The program was so successful that the foundation launched Phase 2 of the program in 2016 and again selected us to provide counsel.

“The Curtis Group has been a key partner in the Hampton Roads Community Foundation’s Building Excellence program. Their professionalism and individualized technical support made a strong impact on the 19 participating organizations—teaching them to operate more like a business, giving them skills to communicate with funders, redefining their role as fundraisers, helping their boards become more engaged, and showing them how to create good habits and turn around bad ones. The nonprofits told us they benefitted from being held accountable for their progress, and found The Curtis Group’s guidance very practical. Most importantly, the metrics showed these organizations raised more money after receiving The Curtis Group’s assistance.”

Linda M. Rice, Ph.D., Vice President for Grantmaking and Community Engagement

Hampton Roads Community Foundation