Your fundraising performance depends on the strength of your strategy and your team's ability to execute.
Whether you need responsive short-term guidance to navigate change, or a comprehensive long-term strategy, Aspen Leadership Group offers consulting services that foster organizational alignment, leadership development, and the creation of a truly effective culture of philanthropy, in order to maximize fundraising effectiveness. Our services are rooted in the belief that the best accelerator of performance in any advancement organization is expansion of its human capacity—increasing the ability of each and every member of the staff to achieve their best for the institution.

Alignment of effort and energy across the organization is critical to achieving high performance. Support your team in converting your strategic vision into measurable annual results and increased performance. A disciplined annual planning process, with clear objectives, metrics and assignment of accountability, provides the infrastructure for successful delegation of effort, allocation of resources, and higher levels of achievement.

The ALG Approach:

Without a clear set of measurable goals at every level of the organization, critical strategies may fail to be executed. Every staff member must understand how his or her efforts contribute directly to achieving your organization’s goals.

Aspen Leadership Group’s approach to operational planning is based on a strong commitment to staff engagement and a rigorous attention to transparency and accountability. We work with you to design a planning process that engages the knowledge and experience of staff members at all levels, providing structure and training as needed to help you build an organization that understands the principles and practice of ongoing planning. Depending upon your needs, Operational Planning may be developed on its own, or in combination with Core Values Workshops and/or Strategic Planning for Advancement Organizations to complete a more comprehensive planning program.

Outcomes you can expect:
  • An operational plan with specific metrics, goals, timelines and clear accountability
  • A specific process for ongoing progress reporting and plan renewal across the organization
  • Tools, templates, and techniques that enable your organization to successfully plan for future years of success
  • Increased staff engagement and performance across all levels of the organization

There is no more powerful method for focusing the energy, talent and resources of an organization than a well-developed strategic planning process.

Aspen Leadership Group’s approach to Strategic Planning is based on a strong commitment to staff engagement, the creation of a values-based foundation, and the implementation of proven change management strategies to transform your culture. We work closely with you to define your unique objectives, and we provide the facilitation, strategies, training, and tools to help you launch a strategic effort that will motivate and align your team for years to come. The strategic planning process is specifically crafted for your organization’s culture, strengths and opportunities. The process can take as little as three months, or as long as a year, depending on the complexity of your organization and the amount of time you and your team have available to dedicate to the project. Strategic Planning may be executed on its own, or may serve as one part of a comprehensive planning program that includes Core Values Workshops and/or annual Operational Planning for Advancement Organizations.

Outcomes you can expect:
  • A multi-year strategic plan for advancement that integrates with your institution’s overall strategic plan and mission OR provides critical direction for advancement in the absence of a formal institution-level plan
  • Recommendations for regular reporting against progress, ongoing internal and external communications in support of your plan and a process for review and renewal, to ensure effective implementation over time
  • Increased alignment across your organization, including better cross-team working relationships
  • Increased ability to make a case with your CEO and board for increased investment to achieve your mission and goals

“Strong belief and confidence, combined with deep engagement, create the possibility of philanthropic partnership…The largest gifts then spring naturally from a mutual desire—on the part of the organization and the philanthropist—to combine resources to get something done.” from “Belief and Confidence: Donors Talk About Successful Philanthropic Partnership,” by Ronald J. Schiller

Strengthening your organization’s culture of philanthropy by increasing belief and confidence among your staff and stakeholders deepens donor commitment and raises levels of philanthropic support. ALG’s Belief and Confidence Leadership Retreats build understanding and consensus across your organization about the commitment required of everyone—especially those in leadership positions—to create and sustain a culture in which philanthropic partnership can truly thrive. Retreats can be customized for boards, executive teams, and advancement teams.

Customized Design

Prior to your retreat, our experienced consultants work with you and your retreat planners to gather information on current levels of belief and confidence in the organization, across internal and external constituent groups. We identify areas of strength upon which the organization and its leaders can capitalize, and we identify areas of weakness that the organization and its leaders need to address. During the retreat, we discuss sixteen characteristics of belief and confidence that are high in organizations with a thriving culture of philanthropic partnership, and we build consensus around plans to move the organization to a position of strength in all areas.

Depending upon your needs and objectives, retreats can be designed as ½ day or full-day events.  We’ll then support you in the creation of concrete action plans for change and future evaluation following the retreat, so you have the tools to build and sustain a robust culture of philanthropy over time.

Outcomes you can expect:
  • An action plan, based on proven change management methodologies, to allow you to capitalize on your strengths and shore up areas of weakness
  • Deeper organizational understanding of the attributes of a healthy culture of philanthropy and of the leadership strategies required to sustain and strengthen your culture of philanthropy over time
  • Stronger engagement of key internal and external constituencies in working to achieve your goals

Are your frontline fundraisers getting the most out of the professional development dollars you spend? When every dollar matters, you need a program that will maximize actionable learning for all members of your team, produce real fundraising benefits, and demonstrate your commitment to the professional growth of your employees.

Our expert facilitators come to you, allowing you to also include your other organizational leaders, board members and volunteers in the training. Together you will acquire skills and develop a shared understanding of the type of philanthropic culture that will drive the greatest fundraising results in today’s landscape.

ALG’s team of experts have held senior leadership positions in advancement programs across the country. Drawing on industry experience, recent research, and top-selling books authored by ALG leaders, we will lead your team through a curriculum tailored to your organizational needs. Day-long, half-day, and a variety of schedules and formats are available.


  • Optimize your professional development budget
  • Provide on-site training tailored to your team
  • Engage other stakeholders across your organization
  • Complete the day with fresh insight and new fundraising tools

When an organization is underperforming, the first step to increased performance is a thorough understanding of the existing team’s strengths and true capacities. Hiring and training plans are then rooted in this broader understanding of team potential.

Executive Appraisal

Leaders utilize this service to gain expert advice and perspective as they come into a new organization or to address and overcome newly emerging team challenges. The Executive Appraisal typically involves a one-two day site visit.

Outcomes you can expect:
  • A summary appraisal of the team’s greatest strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth;
  • Actionable recommendations to drive immediate improvement.

This Executive Appraisal of the fundraising team and program may be combined with more general Executive Coaching services.

Comprehensive Appraisal

Leaders utilize this service to drive transformational growth. Our ALG Senior Consultant conducts a comprehensive assessment of the fundraising team and provides a detailed appraisal, along with multi-year recommendations for improvement to support substantial growth in fundraising results.

Outcomes you can expect:
  • A clear and comprehensive understanding of existing team strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities;
  • Recommendations for team strengthening and/or growth, informed by your organizational culture and goals;
  • A design for team structure, hiring, and training that supports alignment at all levels as well as effective and efficient communication, talent management, planning, and decision-making;
  • Diversity goals for the team informed by your organization’s overall goals, objectives, and constituencies; and
  • An assessment of the culture of philanthropy that surrounds and supports the advancement team, and recommendations for strengthening that culture.

If you wish to spur new achievement and energy in your fundraising program, invest in creating or renewing your core values, mission, and vision, through a process that engages and builds a shared sense of purpose and commitment across the entire team.

Core Values Workshops are designed specifically to achieve your objectives and based on an understanding of your current organizational culture and challenges. Aspen Leadership Group consultants—experienced leaders of advancement organizations large and small—facilitate a series of workshops that engage, energize, and inspire your team while also working with you to put in place processes that ensure lasting organizational change. Depending upon the size and complexity of your organization, workshops may be focused solely on core values, or we can work with you to engage in a full-fledged process to create or renew your mission, vision, and values. This work may also serve as the first phase of a comprehensive planning program that includes Strategic Planning and Operational Planning for Advancement Organizations.

Outcomes you can expect:
  • A set of core values that motivate and strengthen your team
  • A focused and distinctive statement of your team’s mission
  • A compelling vision statement to align your team for future success
  • A plan for ongoing implementation, review and renewal, ensuring you and your team will “live” your values and keep mission and vision top of mind
  • Significantly higher levels of commitment, satisfaction and achievement

What Our Partners Are Saying

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Align Your Team,
Leadership, & Stakeholders

Expand your team’s capacity and empower all of your stakeholders – from staff and leadership to board members and volunteers – to achieve their best for the institution. We offer consulting services that foster leadership development, organizational alignment, and the creation of a truly effective culture of philanthropy, in order to maximize fundraising effectiveness.

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