Orr Group partnered with Sightsavers to design and implement a fundraising strategy to expand existing and develop new relationships with US-based foundations, trusts, and corporations.

puzzle icon

In 2022, Sightsavers, a global organization dedicated to eliminating avoidable blindness and empowering people with disabilities in over 30 countries, received a substantial and transformative gift from MacKenzie Scott. This donation was pivotal, not only due to its size but also because it helped Sightsavers offset reductions in funding from the UK government. Additionally, it provided the organization with resources to invest in new programming, deepen strategic partnerships, and build physical resilience capacity. These initiatives were especially vital given the challenging security contexts in which Sightsavers operates in many countries. Inspired by the possibilities created by this generous gift, Sightsavers recognized the need to evaluate and enhance their US fundraising approach. To maximize the impact of the MacKenzie Scott gift and further their mission, they sought a strategic partner to navigate this unprecedented opportunity.

Puzzle icon

In response to this unique challenge, Sightsavers engaged Orr Group to develop a comprehensive strategy for strengthening their foundation, trust, and corporate fundraising efforts within the United States. Orr Group initiated a rigorous analysis phase, gathering insights from various stakeholders, including funders, employees, and board members. The analysis led to several key recommendations:

  • Activate the US Board: Orr Group proposed leveraging the expertise of Sightsavers’ US board to enhance fundraising efforts. This involved forging new relationships and recruiting dedicated board members committed to advancing the organization’s mission.
  • Augment messaging collateral: To broaden their appeal to US-based foundations, trusts, and corporations, Orr Group advised Sightsavers to enhance their messaging collateral, making it more compelling and impactful.
  • Increase staff capacity and resources: Recognizing the importance of prioritizing activities essential for expanded fundraising, Orr Group recommended expanding staff capacity and resources.
medal icon

These strategic initiatives began to yield results as Sightsavers entered a new phase of growth. The MacKenzie Scott gift, which had initially prompted the assessment of their US fundraising approach, played a pivotal role in this strategic expansion. Throughout the assessment phase and during the development of recommendations, Sightsavers started implementing new strategies related to organizational positioning, communications, and US relationship-building. After Orr Group presented their final report to the US Board of Trustees in the spring of 2023, the partnership continued into the implementation phase. As an embedded partner, Orr Group provided hands-on support, including prospecting, fundraising, moves management, and oversight of the transformation of Sightsavers’ US Board. This collaboration has not only helped Sightsavers navigate the challenges presented by the MacKenzie Scott gift but has also positioned them for sustained growth and impact in the United States.