Advancement Consulting Services

Service Offerings Statement

  • Review of advancement programs including all aspects of advancement services
  • Determining preparedness for comprehensive campaigns
  • Assessments of database utilization as well as usefulness of all current advancement policies and procedures.
  • Develop and maintain effective database management policies
  • Pre-conversion systems assessments and post-implementation analysis

Virtual Consulting Services

All the offerings listed on this page are available in a remote environment. While in-person services are always the preferred arrangement, we recognize that there are times when a virtual setting is preferred and even necessary. COVID-19 presents us with such a need. There are other circumstances, however, when remote engagement works best for scheduling purposes.

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Level 1 Diagnostic

A Level 1 Diagnostic applies to all the assessment and audit services outlined below. The Diagnostic begins with a detailed review of the requested Advancement documentation. Please click here for a typical material review list. 45-minute individual and group interviews and meetings follow this review, involving all staff affected by the specific assessment, including partners outside the Advancement Office. After these visits, and within two weeks, I will conduct a Zoom-based presentation of findings and recommendations with senior leadership.

Depending on the size of the organization, a Level 1 Diagnostic generally requires 16-32 hours of consultant involvement. Ideally, the interviews are held during a single week, and we schedule the presentation for two weeks hence.

Level 2 Diagnostic

A Level 2 Diagnostic builds upon the findings from the Level 1 Diagnostic. The presentation is more of an update and planning session that prepares for the second phase. Phase 2 involves a deep dive into areas of interest and concern identified during the initial meetings and interviews. As such, it is difficult to predict time requirements for this phase. However, experience suggests that Phase 2 involves an additional 12-24 hours. An incredibly detailed presentation and discussion follow this phase – typically 2-3 weeks after the final deep dive.

PPP Review & Creation

Policies, procedures, and protocols (PPP) provide a foundation for all activities within an Advancement program. As such, we have offered the PPPDD noted below as a mainstay service offering. All PPP development is available remotely, although some are best conducted after a formal assessment or diagnostic.

Please click here for a summary of all PPP suggested for Advancement programs. We can assist with reviews, refinement, or construction of all PPP.

Advancement Operations Audit (AOA)

  • A 4-6 day examination and report on an organization’s advancement operation, with a focus on improving efficiency and verification of regulatory compliance
  • Recommended for any organization that has not had a similar review in over 5 years
  • Typically requires 2-3 days on-site and 2-3 days for pre-visit review and development of a detailed report of findings and recommendations. Areas to be audited include, but are not limited to:
  • Gift processing, biographical records, advancement IT/reporting, prospect research, prospect management, donor relations/stewardship/development communications, and key departmental relationships including the business office, separate foundations, admissions & student affairs, and “central” IT
  • Compliance areas to be reviewed include IRS/Canada Revenue Agency, FASB/GASB, HIPAA, FERPA, PCI, CASE Guidelines, etc.

Pre-conversion Audit (PCA)

A 2.5-3.5 day audit/training experience designed to fully prepare an organization for a major development system conversion. Key components include:

  • What to expect in a conversion
  • What to plan for
  • How to plan
  • What not to expect
  • The audit will include a “state of the database” analysis and recommendations for areas to address prior to conversion to ensure that you avoid the “garbage in; garbage out” conundrum
  • Also designed to fully prepare end-users and help establish proper expectations – involves/requires meetings with senior management to ascertain their expectations, and conduct a reality check to confirm what leadership and staff expect as a result of the conversion

Annual Compliance and Efficiency Review (ACER)

  • A substantially scaled-down version of the AOA (1-2 days on-site), conducted for institutions that have already obtained an AOA to ensure best practices continue to be followed, and that the organization continues to conform to all regulatory requirements including new regulations imposed within the previous 12 months
  • Reviews progress on recommendations made during the previous AOA and identify roadblocks/hurdles that remain with recommendations for resolving those issues