We welcome Transylvania University, Turnaround Resource Center, and Guthrie Opportunity Center Foundation to our family of clients.

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Annual Giving Counsel

Ashley | Rountree and Associates can help you plan and launch a new annual giving initiative, or strengthen and expand your existing program, expanding your base of donors and creating new revenue for important programs.

A productive, consistent annual giving program is the single most essential element in the long-term sustainability of a successful development program. To help our clients understand and implement the latest trends and best practices in annual giving, we bring wide expertise in areas such as:

  • Direct mail
  • Data/prospect analysis
  • Telemarketing
  • Email campaigns
  • Social media
  • Recognition systems
  • Special events

We know that no two organizations are exactly alike.  We can provide as much—or as little—assistance as your staff, volunteers and budget require. Take advantage of Annual Giving services including:

  • Program assessment and recommendations
  • Database analysis/performance analytics
  • Donor communications  (appeal letters, e-communications, donor recognition)
  • Creation of policies and standards
  • Ongoing coaching/mentoring for staff and volunteers
  • Interim staffing and help with searches

Case Studies

Louisville Visual Art Association (Louisville, KY)

The Louisville Visual Art Association (LVAA) is among the nation’s oldest and most respected visual arts organizations. Established in 1909, the LVAA has engaged artists and audiences through an energetic agenda of education, community outreach, artist support, and exhibitions that nurture creative expression and stimulate dialogue.

As they approached their 100th anniversary, LVAA leaders sought outside expertise to assess their development programs and annual events, evaluate the growth potential of their major gifts program and assist in re-setting board expectations and committee roles, providing renewed commitment to recruit and retain a new generation of board leadership. 

LVAA engaged Ashley | Rountree to take a fresh look at the whole organization, and to explore the tougher mission-based dynamic of “education” versus “exhibition” with a focus on philanthropy, fundraising and board/staff roles.

We worked with LVAA staff and board members to assess the history and recent trends of annual support revenue streams, identify opportunities for growth, and develop specific strategies for increasing major gifts from new donors and estate gifts from loyal donors. 

Annual giving programs were evaluated and new plans were proposed to help grow the base of members and program underwriters. Comprehensive recommendations were developed for critical changes to the board’s policies and procedures, committee roles and functions. 

A particular focus of the project was to substantially strengthen the role of the Development Committee and align its efforts more strategically with the LVAA’s small staff and limited resources. Five years later, the LVAA entered its second century with an even stronger record of service to the community and fundraising success.

Hosparus (Louisville, KY; New Albany, IN; Elizabethtown, KY; Bowling Green, KY)

Hosparus is the region’s leading hospice care provider, serving more than 5,000 patients annually in 36 counties across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. A Joint Commission-accredited, nonprofit hospice organization, Hosparus has for has been providing care, comfort and counseling over 30 years.

After undergoing a significant change in staff leadership, Hosparus turned to Ashley | Rountree in 2009 to help provide direction and counsel for a new capital campaign — a $14.5 million effort to support renovation and construction for the headquarters in Louisville and offices in New Albany (Indiana) and Elizabethtown (Kentucky). The campaign would support new programs and endowment funds, providing stability in a time of shifting health care funding dynamics. 

We helped to provide structure and recruiting strategies for campaign volunteers, and directed efforts to cultivate and secure major gifts. The campaign is currently in a quiet phase but has already secured three $500,000 gifts—the largest in the agency’s history.  We devised a comprehensive, 30-county prospect-screening program to assist Hosparus staff and board in boosting new prospects for gifts to the campaign.

Recently, Hosparus asked Ashley | Rountree to evaluate its annual giving programs and make recommendations on how to grow and sustain a new base of entry-level donors during the campaign.  Using best-practice methods from peer hospices nationally, the program was redesigned to focus on gaining new support from families served by Hosparus and improving the cost-efficiency for special events, among other efforts. 

Later that same year, Hosparus leadership asked Ashley | Rountree to serve as interim staff, leading a staff of 18 in Advancement and Public Affairs, and to direct a national search for a new Senior VP.  Both the reorganization and the search were successfully concluded within 4 months.

The Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo, the state zoo of Kentucky, is a nonprofit organization founded 42 years ago and dedicated to the pursuits of education, conservation, scientific study and recreation. The Zoo’s extensive collections include botanical gardens and exhibits with over 1,300 animals in naturalistic  settings representing both geographical areas and biomes or habitats. The Zoo has over 35,000 members and 800,000 annual visitors, making it one of the nation’s most-visited zoos.

Ashley | Rountree has helped the Zoo successfully complete two successive capital campaigns. In 2004, board and staff leaders approached us to assist in managing the final phase of a campaign for a new aviary exhibit that would highlight the Zoo’s lorikeets.  

Once finished, the Zoo asked us to undertake an assessment study to examine the feasibility of a campaign for an ambitious new exhibit, Glacier Run, which would require more than $20 million — the largest fundraising effort in the Zoo’s history. As a result of our work, the boards of the Zoo and the Zoo Foundation concluded that a goal of $25 million-plus was achievable.  

The Zoo once again turned to Ashley | Rountree in 2005 to serve as campaign counsel, guiding staff and board to successfully go over goal with more than $26 million raised by campaign’s end in 2010, including a successful $900,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation.

Concurrent with these campaigns, Zoo staff has asked for focused assistance in evaluating opportunities for growing the annual giving program. Ashley | Rountree guided the Zoo in creating innovative methods for converting members to donors, as well as strategies for identifying affinities within non-donor groups. 

We also provided ongoing coaching to senior staff leadership, covering a variety of areas in development, community outreach and board relations.