Parrish Consulting and our clients enjoyed a very successful 2013.  Following are a few reflections as we begin our 8th year of service.  As always, we continue to focus on our client partners’ achievements, and think about ways to continue improving our mutual success.

1.      Client Successes: Overall, our clients raised more money in 2013!  Annual fund clients enhanced their Boards and improved their fundraising infrastructures.  They also upgraded their philanthropic practices to bring in new donors, renew current donors and cultivate donors to larger gifts. Our capital and endowment clients completed projects, implemented campaigns and initiated Feasibility Studies to determine community interest in their new projects.  Special congratulations to Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University for completing the Federal Building renovation.  This $23 million project, including a $7 million philanthropic portion, was recognized by Governor Snyder for its excellence.

2.      2013 Top Women-Owned Business: Parrish Consulting was named one of the 35 Top Women-Owned Businesses in West Michigan by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

3.      Continuing Clients: Parrish Consulting is blessed to have many continuing clients, including several from our very early years. These clients are committed to continuous improvement and excellence, and they continue to help our staff better understand the needs of the nonprofit sector.

4.      New Clients:  Parrish Consulting welcomed several nonprofit organizations from Western and Northern Michigan as new clients in 2013.  Our new clients bring energy, fresh ideas and enthusiasm into our practice.  They also enrich our pool of knowledge about philanthropic practices, social media tools and donor communication techniques.

5.      New Services:  We introduced a new planned giving program at the end of 2013. With many millions of dollars changing generational hands over the next 20-30 years, we’re committed to helping our clients maximize their opportunities in planned giving.  Watch for more about this in 2014!

We also focused on internal growth to ensure that our capacity matches the needs of our clients.

6.      Staffing:  We increased staff capacity in virtually every area of our practice.   We will be adding another seasoned professional in February to augment strategic fundraising, Board development and training, capital campaigns and endowment building.

7.      Interns: Parrish Consulting places high value on professional development in philanthropy. We believe it is part of our responsibility to build professionals for our ever-changing field.  We greatly appreciate the work of our two fantastic interns: Madeline Sagorski and Jeanna Miedema.

8.      We Moved…. Again! Parrish Consulting moved into a larger space in the Masonic Temple in downtown Grand Rapids to accommodate our growing team and to facilitate client meetings.

9.      Round Tables: We host monthly client roundtables to facilitate professional development and to share successes.  We choose the monthly topics based on client input and by trends we see “on the ground.”  In 2013, we started hosting a two-track series, selecting topics for both senior and executive professionals as well as line professionals.  We look forward to another lively, well-attended and successful roundtable series in 2014

10.   Strategic Direction and Vision:  Parrish Consulting began a strategic direction and vision process in May 2013 to determine how we can best serve the nonprofit sector with our message of mission-based fundraising.  Our new hires and staff reallocation reflect this thinking. Our internal processes and practices also have been re-imagined to ensure that we meet our client’s expectations so that they achieve successful fundraising outcomes.

What lies ahead in this new year?  Ongoing commitment to excellence in mission-based fundraising and providing our clients with processes, practices and counsel that will lead to sustainable success in fundraising. Here’s to a successful 2014!