CASE STUDY: ECOSYSTEMS
Location: San Francisco, California
Sector: Workforce Development
Project: Fundraising technical assistance for members of REDF social enterprise accelerator cohorts
REDF is a venture philanthropy organization that invests exclusively in social enterprises that employ and empower people overcoming barriers to work. REDF has built several portfolios of organizations working to establish the strategic clarity, infrastructure, and daily practices that lead to scale. From 2016-2020, REDF invested $22 million and 28,000 hours of capacity building to 192 social enterprises across the country.
Seed came alongside REDF while it was working to develop a baseline assessment to measure the fundraising gaps and opportunities across its portfolio. The majority of REDF’s portfolio managers had a background in business, leadership, and operational growth. Yet the team lacked experience to evaluate and coach their portfolio on the topic of fundraising. At the same time, REDF leaned on Seed to improve the program’s application process to give access to organizations who previously had lacked capacity to submit a competitive application.
Next, Seed was assigned a coaching portfolio. Seed works weekly with organizations REDF has determined require technical support on fundraising strategy, infrastructure, or skill building to improve performance.
As a result, Seed and REDF have witnessed:
Improved clarity on the ROI of specific fundraising strategies.
Effective onboarding of new development staff
Expanded major gift portfolios
More dynamic impact messaging
“Seed Fundraisers have been absolutely fantastic to work with. More than most consultancies, they are able to consistently meet our grantees “where they are” – providing the type of tailored and flexible support than our grantees need in a manner that’s approachable, instructive, and impactful. The REDF staff have also learned a great deal about what it means to fundraise well, and the insights we’ve gleaned will have far-reaching effects across all of our programs.”
Director, Capacity Building, REDF