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Jane Doe: Empowering Generations through Major Gifts and Board Training by Wright Collective

Empowering Generations through Major Gifts

Executive Director

Debra Robbin

Founded in





Launched a Young Philanthropist giving circle that raised $10,000 and ignited a movement for more individual giving across generations within the organizations

  • Development audit and analysis focused on major gifts

  • Board training


Bringing together organizations and people committed to ending sexual assault and domestic violence and creating a more just and equitable world.

  • Promoting awareness and prevention, and work to improve the responses and options for survivors

  • Developing viable solutions and provide leadership for meeting the needs of all Massachusetts survivors and communities

  • Complementing and supporting the expertise and leadership of their members

  • Tackle the systematic issues that foster and perpetuate violence

  • Advocating, Collaborating, Innovating

  • Having a member-centric, victim focused approach


Before our training with JDI, the organization was facing multiple barriers to be a successful fundraising entity. JDI struggled with figuring out how to target more individual donors and unrestricted funders, given the majority of their funding came from government and foundation entities. 


Board and Staff had: 

  • Fear and hesitation in fundraising as well as a variety of professional potential 'conflicts of interest' to navigate in seeking funds 

  • Difficulty in breaking down and sharing JDI’s compelling yet complex story, mission, and values in simple, straightforward terms 

  • Struggles in developing new and exciting fundraising language about JDI when the work of domestic violence itself is often very technical, sensitive, and grief-filled 

The existing fundraising and development strategy: 

  • Needed to evaluate and expand individual donors, particularly to connect to the next generation (Millennials) of workers in Massachusetts 

  • Lacked a structure to engage major donors and capacity to identify new grant sources.

  • Needed a process for smartly leveraging the existing development structure and ensuring a structure for meeting that resulted in growth and financial outcomes 

  • Needed to move from transactional to relational 


Once the top barriers were identified, Wright Collective came up with a highly customized list of priorities and mini-action plans to face and solve these challenges.

Designed a series of Board and staff trainings in the form of: 

  • Ongoing meetings with Board Members during which we discussed their roles and developed their fundraising strategies/skills

  • Ongoing meetings with the Executive Director and Development Committee during which we  consistently evaluated the team's mindset and approach to various donor relationships 

  • Mini-strategy sessions that created tactical plans for more effective outreach and fundraising around all events-based activities 

  • Clear, focused, and timely communications materials that strengthened JDI's identity in the landscape and led to new connections 

Offered ongoing one-on-one and group support in the form of: 

  • Weekly coaching calls during which we planned and refocused our priorities to achieve by the end of each week 

  • Storytelling sessions and content creation that respectfully shared survivors stories, sector data, and the need for philanthropy to begin to fund an end to domestice violence in Massachusetts, not simply fund programs that serve the direct needs 

  • Designed a Young Philanthropist Giving ImPACT by and for people under 40 years old as they engaged in new donor messages. Engaged the group to financially contribute but also seek to educate and cultivate awareness around domestic and sexual violence throughout the Commonwealth by way of their personal and professional networks. 

  • Each member of the group made a monthly commitment of $50 with a goal of raising $10,000 over 12 months. They met and exceeded that goal in a year by also engaging their companies as event sponsors and major donors. 

  • The group met four times per year plus JDI offered engagement throughout the year on current issues and with other donors in their network

Abundance Breakthrough:

The Board and Staff’s Growing Confidence in Fundraising

  • Through storytelling and relationship building shifted from transactional to relational fundraising and recognized that it is part of their role to use their privileges and advantages to access funds for survivors, especially those from historically marginalized groups 

  • Built their confidence in fundraising by sharing group wins and creating clear goals between each development committee meeting 


Board Chair, Development Comittee member 

“Jane Doe Inc. has made a significant shift in our approach to development thanks to the insight, creativity, and gumption that Alyssa brings to our particular challenges and opportunities." 


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