The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy (the Academy) was founded in 2013 with one goal: to use the sports of baseball and softball as vehicles to foster positive character development, academic achievement and improved health among youth from underserved communities in Washington, D.C.

With initial support from the Washington Nationals, Major League Baseball, and the District of Columbia, the Academy grew rapidly. By 2017, the Academy recognized it was ready for an evolution – moving beyond its start-up phase to scale its staff, programs, and impact across D.C.

To execute on this next phase of growth, the Academy partnered with Orr Group to develop and implement a long-term and strategic fundraising plan. Our partnership began with a comprehensive assessment of the Academy’s development department. Orr Group staff interviewed key stakeholders and major funders, analyzed the Academy’s donor base, assessed development systems and databases, and benchmarked the Academy against peer organizations.

This research process resulted in a high-level development road map, charting actionable steps toward increased and diversified philanthropic revenue, alignment of major stakeholders around key Academy initiatives, and recommendations for transforming donor data collection and analytics.

Following the completion of the assessment phase, Orr Group continued its relationship with the Academy to help execute the strategies outlined in the road map. We provided overall data collection, analysis, and systems support for the Academy’s development department, including managing the Academy’s Salesforce database and regularly produced dashboards to plot progress towards end of year goals.

We also oversaw and drove the moves management process for the Academy’s prospect pipeline, consisting of four staff portfolios, by providing cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship counsel and support. Our strategies instilled a data-driven approach to moves management through realistic assessments of ask amounts, probabilities for closing gifts, and expected close dates. Orr Group additionally assisted with proposal writing and other solicitation and marketing efforts.

The Academy, with support from Orr Group, also launched a board development campaign focused on identifying and recruiting a pipeline of future board prospects. In this role, Orr Group created and refined key governance documents, assisted with board leadership transitions, and managed the overall process to identify, research, cultivate and recruit the next generation of Academy board leadership.

Orr Group partnered with the Academy to drive its moves management process for the organization’s prospect pipeline, including providing cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship counsel and support.