NextStep Nonprofit's tools & services are customized for your use and are holistically focused on these areas:


  • Culture: How does your organization's development culture help or hurt your fundraising success?
  • Brand: How well aligned are your organization's full brand components for development success?
  • Impact: Are your output measurements S.M.A.R.T? Are you effectively communicating them to the world?
  • Resources: Do you have the development resources (e.g. staff, technology) in place to raise the funds you need?
  • Board: Is your board equipped and fully engaged to support your development efforts?
  • Revenue Portfolio: Is your revenue portfolio diverse, robust, and resilient? Are you tapping all the opportunities available to you?


Your organizational culture plays a big part in your development success. Does everyone in your organization have a well defined development role that they understand and consistently fulfill? Because it takes a full team effort for nonprofit development and marketing success. NextStep can help bring clarity to your team about what a healthy development culture involves and how your team can create it.

  • Holistic Development Model Presentation: We provide your team with a 1-3 hour informative and engaging presentation and workshop session so that you all have a shared, holistic framework to analyze your organization's development and marketing landscape.
  • Cultural Challenge Assessment & Recommendations: We assess your organization's development culture and make recommendations for improvements where needed.
  • Team Orientation on Development Roles: We help you prepare for needed conversations with your full team about changes needed to support a more healthy development culture.


Your development brand is much broader than just your logo. When a new funder looks at your organization, they are influenced by your full brand package which includes your organization's name and logo, your mission and vision statements, your tagline, your approach and your reputation. NextStep can help ensure that your full brand package is well aligned to support your development efforts.

  • Full Brand Package Analysis: We analyze your full brand for development effectiveness.
  • Design (Redesign) of Brand Components: We redesign your brand components as needed.
  • Affiliated Branding Assessment: We analyze your organization's affiliated branding issues (e.g. via your affiliation with your fiscal agent).
  • GuideStar (other database) profile development/update: We update your Guidestar profile to fully reflect your brand.
  • Social Media Usage Recommendations: We make social media recommendations for your development needs.


What you choose to measure says a lot about what your organization values and how well you understand how to translate your resources into your outcomes. NextStep can help you make S.M.A.R.T. choices about your measurements which support your approach and help you effectively communicate your impact to your funders and other stakeholders.

  • Theory of Change Development: We help you clarify how your organization achieves your mission with your approach.
  • Logic Model Development: We help you articulate your Theory of Change into a logical model from inputs to activities to outputs and outcomes.
  • Full Scope/Reach Assessment: We help you analyze the full reach of your efforts so that you don't sell yourself short.
  • Key Impact Measurement Identification: We help you boil down your impact measurements to their essentials and ensure that they are S.M.A.R.T. (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Relevant and Timely).
  • Related Research Search & Citation: We identify research that supports your approach for reference in your work.
  • Measurement Best Practices and Technology Recommendations: We recommend best practices for easy impact measurement and related technology solutions.
  • Impact Graphic Development: We help you design a simple graphic to communicate your impact.


There are a lot of components necessary to execute a nonprofit organization's development plan. NextStep helps you identify your resource needs and build your capacity.

  • Fundraising Plan Development: We develop a fundraising plan anchored in your revenue history and reflective of your development resources.
  • Staffing Needs Assessment: We recommend development staffing needs based on your revenue portfolio.
  • Development Team Best Practices & Training: We help train and align your development team on best practices.
  • Monthly Development Dashboard: We develop a dashboard to help keep your full development team on track every month.
  • Ask Coaching: We coach you for meetings with major donors so that you are best prepared to make an ask and maneuver a rejection.
  • Technology Recommendations & Training: We recommend the most appropriate technology solutions for your organization based on your particular needs. Then, we help you bring that system online and train you on how to use it. Technology solutions include:
    • Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) systems to track your donors, grant application cycles, appeals, tasks, volunteers, etc. Our approach to CRM System evaluations are based on the February 2017 Idealware CRM System Report which we are building upon. Contact us to request a CRM system assessment. CRM system recommendations currently include the following products:
      • Bloomerang
      • CiviCRM
      • DonorPerfect by Softerware
      • eTapestry by Blackbaud
      • Exceed Beyond by Telosa Software
      • Fundly CRM by Nonprofit Easy
      • giveeffect
      • HubSpot
      • Little Green Light
      • NeonCRM by Z2 Systems
      • Network for Good
      • Powerbase
      • Raisers Edge by Blackbaud
      • Salesforce
      • Salsa by Salsa Labs
      • Sumac
    • Event Management Systems...Coming in 2018
    • Impact Measurement Systems...Coming in 2018
    • Websites...Coming in 2018


Your board of directors is a key component in your ability to expand your networks and your funding base. However, most nonprofit board members feel uncomfortable with advocacy in general, and with direct asks for funds in particular. NextStep can help you educate and equip your board so that they feel ready and eager to fulfill their development responsibility.

  • Holistic Development Model Presentation: We provide your team with a 1-3 hour informative and engaging presentation and workshop session so that you all have a shared, holistic framework to analyze your organization's development and marketing landscape.
  • Annual Board Development Commitment Options Agreement: We develop an annual board commitment form that is tailored to your organization and which includes a list of commitment options for each board members to select. At the end of the year, your board can self-assess their success in fulfilling their commitments.
  • Development of Board Give/Get History & Goal: We put together a history of your board's full Give/Get contributions to your fundraising efforts that you can use for goal setting and board motivation. Get contributions often include soft credit donations, raffle item donations, gala guest tickets.
  • Monthly Development Dashboard: We develop a dashboard to keep your development team on track throughout the year and to alert you before targets are missed.
  • Board Elevator Pitch Workshop: We help your board and staff members develop a personalized elevator pitch that they can use to advocate for your organization.

Revenue Portfolio

Your revenue portfolio should be as diverse and robust as possible in order to weather the ever changing philanthropic landscape. NextStep helps you determine where growth is possible in your portfolio and we help you creatively engage funders and expand your prospect pipeline.

  • Funding Model Analysis: We ensure that you are seeking funds from the most promising revenue sectors and that your funding model, activities and staff are well aligned with your mission and approach.
  • Prospect Research: We fill your pipeline with specific and targeted prospects and integrate all related contact information, prospect information, application deadlines and tasks into your database.
  • Grant Application Template: We develop ready responses to standard application questions in order to reduce your application prep response time. These standard responses include all typically requested attachments. We also use these responses to update your GuideStar profile.
  • Earned Income Analysis: We suggest ways to reduce your fundraising burden by creating or expanding your earned income revenue stream, through which you get paid for your products or services, without incurring mission creep.
  • Financial Audit: We review the financials you submit with grant applications, identify any red flags that will alarm funders, and help you mitigate any potential concerns.
  • Grant Application Writing: Where appropriate, we write grant applications for you. These can include capacity building grants to help you pay for our services, or larger multi-partner grants that are beyond the scope of your organization alone.