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MB Seminary

In the summer of 2017, MB Seminary came to us in a season of change: they had just hired a new president, and were also transitioning from a start up to an established school. With these changes came many opportunities for growth. However, while having several options in front of you is exciting because of the possibilities, it can also be overwhelming because of the amount of choices. The first step MB Seminary wanted to take was to make sure that they understood their organization at a deep level.

That’s where we came in.

“My first impression of Charity Electric was that...they represented new ideas and opportunities in the world of development and marketing. Further conversation revealed that systematic and sophisticated thinking was also part of the CE package, and that together, CE likely offered what we needed.”
— Mark Wessner, PhD, President

 

Using our expertise in this industry, we analyzed donor giving history, interviewed their current team, examined past material, and compared what we found to research on current industry best practices. At the end, MB Seminary received a two-part audit. The first part was a Donor Data Audit that analyzed donor patterns, total giving, and statistics on retention/reactivation patterns. The second was a Marketing and Advertising Audit that examined their current website, social media practices and strategy, email marketing practices, and direct mail activities, as well as the presentation of the MinistryLift brand. These audits not only presented MB Seminary with a detailed picture of their current fundraising and communications practices, but also gave the new president a deeper understanding of the organization.

Along with a concise summary of MB Seminary’s current and past practices, this report also provided concrete, practical recommendations they could consider for their next steps as an organization. For example, one of MB Seminary’s priorities was to address donor reactivation. They already had a fantastic handle on securing large donors, so we wanted to cultivate that success while introducing a strategy for small donor acquisition and previous donor reactivation. To do this, we developed a possible schedule for communication and social media implementation for their potential donor population. This step addressed both MB Seminary’s original priorities and some of the new priorities that were discovered by the audit. Furthermore, the entire audit acts as a third party perspective that can be presented to the board and other planning committees in support of any new projects that grow out of recommendations like these.

“In every conversation, I have been impressed with the responsiveness of the CE team, and their willingness to work with us to figure out our unique needs, rather than attempt to force a CE “product” on us. The work that CE provided – a Development and Marketing Audit – was thorough, accessible, and practical.”
— Mark Wessner, PhD, President

Summary

Succeeding with a consulting firm requires a strong, trust-based relationship. That’s one of the things Charity Electric delivers. Jonathan builds that relationship with each client and is the accessible, go-to person for any questions that come up during the process. Our relationship with MB Seminary has been no different; we have built a relationship with them based on trust, communication, and quality results. Now not only are they excited about using many of the ideas we presented in the audit to shape their future, but they were so happy with the quality of service and the relationship we provided that they have asked us to continue in our partnership; MB Seminary has requested Charity Electric have a substantial involvement in their 2018 development activities based on our work together thus far. We are now starting to implement some of the recommendations outlined in the audit and will continue consulting on their overall communications strategy. Shifting into this role with them is easy for us to do, because Charity Electric is purposefully designed with a flexible structure and customizable service levels that allow us to adapt to the changing needs of each client.

We are honoured that MB Seminary has trusted us with this process, and we are excited to partner with them as they continue growing as an organization that is now better equipped to continue providing excellent education and ministry support across Canada for many years to come.