FUSE Corps

To meet FUSE’s ambitious growth goals, Orr Group helped to identify, cultivate, and successfully solicit significant new funders, including securing a $7.6M gift for the organization’s Equitable Recovery Fellows effort. 


FUSE Corps employees laughing in a meeting
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FUSE Corps is a national nonprofit that partners with local governments to help urban communities thrive. Through its executive fellowship program, FUSE works with cities and counties on a range of issues, including economic and workforce development, healthcare, public safety, climate change, and education. With aggressive growth goals in place, FUSE recognized that increased need and fatigue from long standing philanthropic supports necessitated a concerted effort to  identify, cultivate, and successfully solicit significant new funders.

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To help diversify its philanthropic pipeline, FUSE first partnered with Orr Group to achieve its growth goals by:  

  • Identifying the elements of FUSE that will be most philanthropically attractive and crafting an effective case for support.
  • Identifying prospects capable of and with an inclination to make a transformational philanthropic investment in their work.
  • Developing the specific strategies for each prospect and then partnering with FUSE’s leadership to execute the strategies ultimately leading to successful solicitation of new gifts.

Following our initial engagement, FUSE looked to Orr Group to help guide its next phase of growth. At that time, the COVID-19 pandemic was escalating and the United States was also facing a broader reckoning around racial justice. During this time of challenge and change, FUSE recognized its opportunity to accelerate systemic change. In partnership with cities across the country and philanthropies like the Ford Foundation and Walton Family Foundation, FUSE was interested in establishing its “Equitable Recovery Initiative” to create opportunities and reduce disparities of those most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and the country’s long history of injustice. 

To help develop and launch this effort, Orr Group expanded its scope of work to provide a surge of strategic and “back-office” capacity to ensure that FUSE’s aggressive $24M fundraising goal was achieved. To do this, our team focused on identifying national and regional funding prospects interested in racial equity work, building a pipeline of regional funders to support FUSE Corps city partnerships, and establishing a development strategy for sustainable fundraising growth to ensure momentum was maintained and to allow the FUSE Corps team to be most effective on the frontlines.

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In partnership with Orr Group, FUSE identified and qualified a pipeline of 243 prospects, totaling $92,552,500. Most recently, we helped FUSE secure a $7.6M gift from Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, and the founder and CEO of Square.