The Truman Center and its sister organization, Truman Project, is a network of experts in the national security, public and foreign policy professions. With over 2000 members in sixteen chapters across the U.S., the organization identifies and develops the next generation of leaders as they work to reimagine how national security and foreign policy can be more effective, and bring greater benefit to local communities across the nation.
When a new President and CEO sought to reprioritize the organization’s impact and relevance, along with its financial model, renewed emphasis was placed on private philanthropy and corporate support. After decades of reliance on a small group of private foundations and one major benefactor, the challenge was to redesign donor messages and communications channels, and create structures to attract individual and corporate engagement.
An open full-time chief development staff position had yielded a disparate range of candidates of varying experience and skills. This uneven pool of candidates had caused some confusion about what staffing could best serve the organization in successfully building private support.
The most urgent challenge was to secure corporate support for a fast -approaching virtual conference. After a challenging 2020 required planning and replanning the traditional annual in-person conference, a virtual conference offered high visibility and star power, but needed to be shared fast and effectively with prospective sponsors.
Carter Consulting Group was engaged to helicopter in, serving as interim development director in a completely virtual work setting. Over the course of four months we:
- Reframed donor communications to highlight value for individual philanthropists and the corporate community.
- Secured conference sponsorships and major gift project support totaling $170,000, and began multiple additional conversations with future sponsors.
- Adapted sponsor benefits to virtual platforms, along with engagement and stewardship activities.
Working closely with the President and CEO and the former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, a virtual fireside chat for sponsors and prospective sponsors was designed and executed. With the intent to illustrate the value of ongoing engagement with the Truman Center, a series is planned to enhance stewardship with expert content curated for the corporate community.
Carter Consulting Group also designed and oversaw mailing of personalized, year-end review style electronic greeting cards to welcome the new year.
Working closely with the Managing Director of Finance and Administration, we screened and interviewed Director of Development candidates, and worked alongside with the successful candidate for several weeks to ensure the baton was successfully passed for a seamless transition.
The Truman Center is a fast-moving organization perfectly positioned to partner with high profile philanthropic leaders and industry as the national security community pivots to reinventing policies in a new administration.
Despite obvious challenges, the Corporate Council had a very strong launch in 2020, with all prospects for robust growth in the near term. Steps to reactivate a nascent pool of individual donors were taken, and several major gifts secured as the new year began.
To learn more about The Truman Center and their work, check out their newest report on ‘Transforming the State Department’