The Baker Institute is an independent, internationally renowned medical research facility with a history spanning more than 90 years. The Institute’s work extends from the laboratory to large-scale community studies with an emphasis on diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Until 2015, the Baker Institute’s development program consisted mostly of direct marketing campaigns. While these campaigns were achieving results, it became increasingly apparent that many donors had both the capacity and the inclination to give more. The focus subsequently shifted towards strategically nurturing donor relationships to encourage increased giving and maximise impact.
With the arrival of a new Director to arrive it was timely for the Baker to review its programs and investigate the critical success factors required for a structured major gift strategy.
Philanthropy Squared began its working partnership with the Institute with a comprehensive review of its development programs in context of the wider organisation. In light of the impending leadership change, a two-phase approach was recommended to build internal capacity and organisational readiness before going to market.
In the first phase, Philanthropy Squared helped to lay the groundwork for a sustainable major giving program – leveraging the existing resources, structure, activity and data to seize early opportunities for support.
Once the new Director was in place and had communicated his strategies and priorities, the work shifted focus to add the final touches to a major giving strategy. Philanthropy Squared guided the team in developing a compelling case for support, mapping institutional connections, implementing a disciplined moves management process and ran workshops with staff and leadership to hone their skills in donor development.
The Baker has now developed a long-term vision and plan for a major gift campaign supported by a sound understanding of major gift principles. The Institute is able to articulate the role of major giving and a more robust organisational culture of philanthropy has ensued – starting at Board level. The Board and the Director of the Institute are fully supportive of development’s work and feel empowered to contribute to major donor development.