Meet the Expert: Fundraising Coach

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Danielle Locke

Danielle Locke

Boards ask a lot of nonprofit executive directors.

It’s a 24/7 job. You are asked to successfully manage staffing, initiate and lead programming, oversee operations (sometimes including facilities), develop budgets, administer financials, foster an engaged board, write grants, and grant reports. You are constantly putting out fires, solving problems, and trying to fulfill the organization’s future. On top of all that, you are expected to produce fun and profitable fundraising events as well as skillfully cultivate individual donor relationships. 

Whew! I admire your commitment; I do not envy your burden. 

I have been there, and I love helping others as a confidant, sounding board, connector, and knowledge resource. 

I’ve been in the nonprofit sector for a long time. I have successfully navigated the bureaucracy of a major healthcare system. I have also worked for an organization so small I literally built my own desk out of an old door and two filing cabinets. Most recently I worked for a grant-making foundation, so I have seen behind the curtains. I am an expert in small to medium-sized nonprofits because I have had considerable success in organizations with small teams and limited resources.

I know you are tired of the fundraising grind and the constant worry if you will have enough funding to pay your staff and fix the copier, let alone launch that new program you have been dreaming of. I founded Locke Step Partners to work side by side with nonprofit organizations. A successful fundraising consultant should provide actionable advice, not a fancy plan printed on glossy paper. You need results and an effective relationship should include candid feedback and mutual accountability for agreed upon goals the goals. 

What does success look like? Directors who work with experienced consultants raise more money, are more confident, and achieve the results they seek. I helped a client close nearly $30,000 in gifts from a single lapsed donor, another to secure a $12,500 scholarship, and a third to discover more than 100 high-capacity donors, right in her own donor list (and create a plan for them). 

How do we do this? When I work with a nonprofit director, most often the Executive Director or Director of Development, we focus on three things:

1) Nurturing donor relationships
2) Developing custom fundraising strategies (and the infrastructure to support these activities) 
3) Boosting your confidence so you stand ready to ask for more. 

Why I do this. Nonprofits are a lifeline for our community, often replacing services provided by government. I saw that nonprofits needed someone to help them successfully fundraise, alleviating their dependency on grants and events. (It’s like I could see the future, right?!) 

I believe every nonprofit has the potential to create its own sustainable future through meaningful donor partnerships.

FREE information. 

I provide as much as I can for free because I know most Directors are just trying to keep the lights on. I have free tutorial videos on my YouTube channel and I post fundraising tips and tricks on my Facebook page. 

This month, I am offering nonprofits a free 15-day Challenge to radically transform your fundraising. The Love Your Donors Challenge takes you step by step through a simple process in which you will identify your top donor prospects, prepare to engage with them, build meaningful donor relationships and solicit 4, 5 and 6-figure gifts! Sign up through February 17 with this link. 


If you’re a nonprofit professional who needs guidance or help for a one-time or ongoing project, please fill out this form to tell us more about your needs. We have a variety of consultants who are eager to support your team. 

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