World Resources Institute

Orr Group partnered with World Resources Institute to grow its major gifts program and, most recently, assess the feasibility of a $200M capital campaign as well as a $1B comprehensive campaign.

Situation

Founded in 1982, World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global environmental think tank that goes beyond research to put ideas into action. Through partnerships with governments, companies, and civil society, WRI worlds to build solutions to urgent environmental challenges. WRI’s transformative ideas protect the earth and promote development because sustainability is essential to meeting human needs and fulfilling human aspirations in the future.

WRI initially partnered with Orr Group to assist in developing a more robust major gifts program focused on unrestricted giving. Orr Group developed and tested a compelling case for support and recommended a strategy to expand and fully capitalize on giving opportunities. Specifically, we recommended that WRI engage a full-time major gifts officer to ensure the organization would generate a sufficient ROI on investment from major gifts over the next three to five years.

Challenge

Building upon our previous work, WRI re-engaged Orr Group in the beginning of 2022. With only 10% of its $165M operating budget in FY21 counted as institutionally flexible revenue, WRI partnered with Orr Group to assess the feasibility of a capital campaign to raise significant funds, potentially $200M, to allow the organization to invest in the urgent innovation and infrastructure required to pivot WRI to a more flexible funding model. In addition, WRI sought support in testing the potential of a comprehensive, $1B campaign to meet its short- and long-term fundraising goals and increase impact.

Solution

Orr Group is currently working alongside WRI to assess the feasibility of these goals. As a part of this work, we are reviewing and analyzing WRI’s current state, infrastructure, and case for support. In addition, we are conducting an environmental scan of the global sustainability funding landscape, analyzing WRI’s donor database, and conducting interviews with key internal and external stakeholders. 

Following the delivery of our mid-term progress report of preliminary findings to WRI’s Campaign Steering Committee and then to WRI’s board in April of 2022, Orr Group is preparing a final road map of the recommendations, infrastructure, timeline, budget, and assets necessary to successfully implement the campaign plans.