General Fundraising

Every nonprofit organization must engage in fundraising on a daily basis to raise the revenue necessary to run programs serving the organization’s clients. McDonald Schaefer engages each individual client with an understanding of what makes them unique, strengthening their general fundraising operations and outreach from the ground up. There is no boilerplate solution that will work for every organization. Your organization’s success will begin with McDonald Schaefer and your organization together learning who you are, in what areas you excel and how we can help you in achieving the next level in your fund development initiatives.

Development Assessments

Our comprehensive assessments include a customized analysis of each development program and its structures. We assess resources, staffing, giving history, results potential, budgets and a variety of other components. An analysis of strategy as it relates to development will often include conversations with key stakeholders, resource assessments and peer comparison. A final written report provides detailed findings and recommendations.


Annual Fund

Most successful fund development programs are founded on a successful and growing annual giving program. Gifts to the Annual Fund are generally used to fund the annual operating expenses of a nonprofit organization. Most annual giving programs utilize direct mail both to communicate with donors and to solicit financial support. In addition to providing vital, regular financial support, annual giving programs assist in the process of identifying potential major donors – those who have demonstrated their interest and also have the capacity to do more. 


McDonald Schaefer helps its clients construct a plan and an infrastructure to manage an annual giving program that fits the client's constituency, personnel and budget. We concentrate on identifying prospects, crafting the appeal package, coordinating the timing of each appeal and aknowledging gifts promptly. Regularly reporting to donors on the impact of their support is a key component of annual fundraising. 


Major Gift Programs

Major gift programs are the result of carefully cultivated and developed relationships with donors. Whether for a special purpose or for general operating support, these are gifts of an unusual size and require a personal, peer-to-peer ask. McDonald Schaefer has significant experience designing, managing and enhancing Major Gift Programs. Identifying appealing funding initiatives, developing a communications plan around each, involving the right people to promote the projects or programs and connecting those opportunities with the right donor prospect(s) are all part of the process for effective major gift fundraising.


Planned Giving

Planned gifts are a way for close friends of the organization to leave a legacy, often in the form of a simple bequest, to support the organization for many years to come. McDonald Schaefer will help you understand the profile of your ideal planned gifts prospects and then develop several integrated marketing strategies to reach them. We will also educate your team in the basics of planned giving so your staff and volunteers can speak confidently with donors about their giving options. We will help you develop policies, forms and processes so you have the infrastructure to ably accommodate the planned giving wishes of your donors.


Communications Strategies

Strategic marketing and communications can have a profound impact on gift income in both growing and established organizations. Whether for a capital campaign or annual giving program, the more compelling your story and the more effectively it is communicated, the easier it is to build awareness and educate prospective donors. A fundraising message can quickly lose impact without a strong marketing and communications program to support it. McDonald Schaefer is skilled at helping our clients achieve optimal impact in communications.