Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

Based on our assessment findings, Orr Group partnered with DRIF to provide interim leadership, recruitment services, and fundraising management assistance to support its major gifts program and to help the organization achieve its fundraising goals.

DRIF scientists working together
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The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) was founded in 1971 by parents of children with diabetes to provide philanthropic support to the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), the largest and most comprehensive research center in the world dedicated to curing diabetes. Respected as one of the leading fundraising organizations driving the search for a cure for diabetes, DRIF has garnered substantial attention and financial support in the form of individual and corporate donations, special events, sponsorship, and cause-related marketing relationships.

DRIF came to Orr Group looking to undertake a thorough assessment of the organization and its operations and fundraising infrastructure. DRIF’s goal was to determine whether its current development operations and structure provided the optimal resources to achieve its growing development goals. With staffing transitions imminent, DRIF wished to move quickly to ensure that all relevant insights and knowledge were incorporated into the assessment. DRIF was also interested in exploring innovative and cost-effective alternatives to hiring, either on a short-term basis or as a longer-term solution.

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Orr Group prepared a practical road map to strengthen and grow DRIF’s development program over the next two years, identifying major gifts as the best opportunity for increasing ROI. We recommended the fundraising approaches and resources needed to run a successful major gifts program and expand fundraising operations. Following the assessment, we worked with DRIF to build a more robust major gifts effort: helping to develop DRIF’s prospect pipeline, increase its understanding of prospects’ needs and interests through research, manage moves, develop proposals, and solicit and steward donors. We also put in place dashboards to track key performance indicators across the organization.

Additionally, based on the recommendations in our assessment, DRIF’s Board asked Orr Group to provide interim leadership and fundraising management assistance as it drove towards increased fundraising targets. As a result, we provided DRIF with an interim executive team that took responsibility for the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Human Resources Director and Chief Development Officer functions, plus management of major gifts and events.

As part of our outsourced human resources support, we provided restructuring and recruitment services to DRIF. We began this process by identifying organizational needs, developing appropriate job descriptions and creating a strategy to effectively recruit a diverse range of candidates. Once the strategy was agreed up and in place, we partnered with DRIF to lead the search for several C-suite, Director- and Officer-level positions based in South Florida and the Northeast. Over the course of our engagement, we successfully filled seven open positions.