The Nature Conservancy in Illinois (TNC in IL) is a business unit within The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a global organization whose vision is a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives. For more than 60 years, TNC in IL has worked with communities to help protect the sun-kissed prairies, shady oak savannas, tranquil forests and freshwater systems of Illinois, bringing people together to help solve the state’s biggest conservation challenges, from climate change and habitat loss to protecting clean water. The Nature Conservancy in Illinois has built an effective state-wide conservation program that has done tremendous work, including protecting and restoring almost 90,000 acres of nature across the state. As part of this growth, they have partnered with Campbell & Company to complete successful fundraising campaigns, the last of which was the largest in TNC in IL’s history and supported both Illinois and Global priorities.
What We Heard
Having already partnered with TNC in IL on a range of successful fundraising projects, they were looking to develop specific recommendations for fundraising sustainability and growth in the business unit. To ensure the organization was maximizing the potential of all its resources, TNC in IL requested an analysis of staff roles, technology, methods, processes, and procedures with coordinated suggestions to maximize fundraising in preparation for a comprehensive campaign.
Through a review of TNC in IL’s donor prospects, we provided detailed recommendations on prospect prioritization, pipeline and portfolio development, and staffing. Recognizing the challenge of achieving its goals due to the variability in principal and major gifts, we recommended a strategic shift towards concentrating on donors in the $100,000 to $999,999 range, aiming to convert them into consistent annual contributors. Our work culminated in a comprehensive report with tools to achieve annual contributed revenue growth, including recommended investments, prospect strategies, and goals and metrics to secure support to meet TNC in IL’s annual goals for the next five years.
As we began planning for our next campaign, we realized there was a need to assess our development team’s resources, roles, and processes in order to more clearly develop a strategy to ensure growth and financial stability. We contracted with Campbell & Company to help us analyze our portfolios, tools, procedures, and staff roles and deliver recommendations that we are using to help improve our portfolio health and move us closer to meeting market potential.
Our development assessment not only redefined the Nature Conservancy in IL’s sustainable giving goals but also significantly influenced the areas of focus for its fundraisers, reshaping their portfolio sizes and compositions to maximize the impact of TNC in IL’s fundraising efforts.