Since launching its iconic “Principal for Day” program in 1995, PENCIL has been a leader in creating innovative and high impact models of collaboration between the business and education communities. PENCIL was at the forefront of forging cross sector collaboration to benefit students which has become a hallmark of the education reform movement.

PENCIL’s initial explosive growth was fueled by significant philanthropic investment; the pace of this investment slowed as opportunities to invest in public education in New York City grew. When PENCIL approached Orr Group, it was also suffering from turnover in the development function and at the Chief Executive level. The appointment of a new President provided an opportunity to strategically focus on PENCIL’s next phase of growth and sharpen its approach to attracting philanthropic investment.

Orr Group partnered with PENCIL over four months to develop a strategic and well-disciplined approach to fundraising in the context of an overall revenue model. We also managed the development department, serving as the Interim Vice President of Development, while PENCIL hired for this position.

The fundraising road map we developed, and our embedded team model, allowed PENCIL to effectively leverage its staffing budgets. In addition to filling the short-term development leadership vacuum, we put in place plans, processes and disciplines to set up the new VP, Development for success, once hired.

Over the course of our partnership:

  • PENCIL raised 10% of its annual fundraising budget during the quarter in which we were embedded leaders of its fundraising efforts. This outpaced the prior year during the same period by 45%
  • Orr Group developed key performance indicators for staff, which dramatically increased their activity interacting with prospects and donors
  • The total value of the donor pipeline built by PENCIL during the four-month partnership with us exceeded PENCIL’s annual fundraising goal, and
  • We helped PENCIL successfully recruit three new board members.

The total value of the donor pipeline built by PENCIL during its four-month partnership with Orr Group exceeded PENCIL’s annual fundraising goal.