I never saw myself in a “marketing” or “sales” role. My dad actually had a long career as a salesperson, and I always wondered how such a creative, interesting, and progressive-minded person as he was could enjoy sales so much. He told me that he felt lucky to have found a company he cared about, that delivered a product that society needed, and that cared deeply for its employees and customers. I don’t remember my reaction, but I am sure it was something along the lines of a huge eye roll.
Now I get it – Dad was right! And I’ve carved a similar space for myself here at Elevate, a company full of smart, creative people that provides an important service to the impactful nonprofits we are fortunate to call our clients. As the Vice President of New Client Partnerships, I look forward to continuing to expand Elevate’s portfolio of nonprofit partners doing the hard work of social change – and matching those organizations with an Elevate service that helps them achieve their goals.
Since Elevate was founded in 2013, we have experienced steady growth, largely through word-of-mouth. After we engage with an organization and build an effective partnership that strengthens their grants program, they mention Elevate to their colleagues at other organizations in need of grant writing strategy and capacity.
This referral-based growth has worked well for Elevate so far. We have partnered with hundreds of organizations to secure the funding they need to do their important work to house families, advocate for reproductive justice, educate young people, mitigate climate change, provide mental health services, and much more.
As I build our New Client Partnerships department, I aim to embrace and build upon what works. What has allowed Elevate to grow sustainably, work with impactful organizations, provide a needed service to the nonprofit sector, and hire amazing and talented staff across the country? It all comes back to two intersectional themes: Expertise and Trust.
Elevate employs arguably the most talented group of grant professionals in the country. Our bench is deep, and it includes career fundraisers, nonprofit wonks, academics, educators, social workers, lawyers, artists, published authors, business leaders, policy experts, and social justice warriors. Our staff have worked inside of nonprofits large and small, secured grants from nearly every major foundation in the U.S., and know the ins and outs of every application portal in use today.
Furthermore, our effective Comprehensive Grant Writing Services model allows our clients to tap into just the right amount of this expertise across the members of their team, each of whom specializes in strategy, writing, or project management.
So, yes, Elevate brings deep expertise in grant writing and strategy to our work with clients. But this means very little without our clients’ trust, the other key element of our success. Your grants program is absolutely critical to your organization’s success in achieving its mission. So earning your trust to guide this crucial element of your work is paramount.
How do we earn this trust? First, Elevate deeply cares about our clients’ work. We believe in the power of nonprofits to change the world, and we come to work every day with the aim of supporting each client to present the strongest possible case for support to the funders most likely to invest in their work. We ask questions, read your materials, attend your events, get to know your staff and stakeholders, and absorb your voice and vision.
Second, we do what we say we will do. Elevate’s model and systems are set up to ensure that your grants are submitted with care, on time, and adhering to the guidelines of each funder. We keep our promises, stick to schedules, and share tools and systems to keep your grants program on track.
And third, we leverage our expertise to earn your trust. We deliver well-researched prospects, well-argued proposals, and thoughtful, strategic advice. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. We deliver results that increase your grant revenues, expand your programs, and increase your impact in the community.
So, what can you expect from Elevate’s new New Client Partnerships department? We will lean into the themes of Expertise and Trust. You’ll see more content highlighting our work with clients and the expertise of our staff, more tools – resources, webinars, blogs, and more – that give folks a taste of what it’s like to work with Elevate, and more opportunities to hear from Elevate staff and clients about our work.
Finally, I want to offer my deep appreciation for those who have told a colleague about Elevate, engaged us a second (or third!) time when taking a new position at a different organization, or shared one of our social media posts with their networks. There is no bigger compliment that you can give us than to refer our services to another organization – thank you!