Impact Stories

APOPO – Antwerp, Belgium and Morogoro, Tanzania 
Selby Abbey


APOPO, a Belgian-Tanzanian nonprofit organization, trains rats to save lives in two vital areas.  “HeroRATs” utilize their highly developed olfactory senses to locate landmines in Africa.  In addition, these specially trained rats help scientists fight the spread of tuberculosis.  Acting as a diagnostic tool in medical laboratories, they are able to identify tuberculosis in human sputum samples.

We researched U.S. foundation prospects and provided hands-on coaching for building a high-level U.S. network and undertaking their first fundraising visits to the U.S.  Within 18 months, Bart Weetjens received a $1 million “Social Entrepreneur” award from the California-based Skoll Foundation; and the Schwab Foundation recognized him as a “Social Entrepreneur” at the World Economic Forum in Davos.  We were able to advise APOPO on how to leverage their U.S. successes, from a fundraising and communication perspective, to gain global recognition and credibility.  APOPO is now attracting financial support from around the world.

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven – Leuven, Belgium
woman at computer


The University of Leuven (K.U.Leuven) has been a leading education and research institution for over 600 years.  We tailored a private U.S. fundraising strategy for a highly innovative medical research program.  It included a U.S. foundation component, on-site training and working step-by-step through the major giving process with a small university team, headed by the lead professor.  The systematic approach resulted in the first-ever memorial gift for the university from a private U.S. donor. This model can now be replicated across various departments.

Read more: Campuskrant article

Selby Abbey – Yorkshire, England

Selby AbbeySelby Abbey in North Yorkshire (northeastern England) was founded by William the Conqueror in 1069. It is a World Monument site, located in a small, agricultural community. Funding a multi-year, EUR 9 million restoration program was a great challenge. The Trustees wanted to engage U.S. donors.

stained glass windowWe created a plan to use Selby’s unique connection to Americans: a 15th century medieval stained glass window, containing a family coat of arms donated in honor of John Wessington. In time, the name became “Washington” and their most famous descendant was christened “George.” The window became the model, 400 years later, for the American flag’s famous “stars and bars” design.

The U.S. fundraising effort included foundation, corporate, and individual components. It was implemented by Selby’s volunteers and staff. This small, tightly focused effort aimed at Americans had a return on investment of 8:1.

The Trust for Public Land/Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community

– Maine, U.S.

Shaker Village roomThe Trust for Public Land is a U.S. national non-profit that conserves land in order to ensure livable communities for generations to come. In alliance with other public and private agencies, TPL’s office in Maine undertook a $3.7 million capital campaign to preserve the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, home to the last active group of this remarkable religious community that began in 1783.

We designed the campaign strategy. It was implemented by the staff and volunteers of the collaborating agencies – not least being the Shakers themselves! In July 2007, the campaign was concluded successfully. The Shakers’ 1,700 acres will remain in agricultural use and the 19 buildings will be preserved in perpetuity, reflecting the community’s unique combination of self-sufficiency, spirituality, communal life, and practicality.

The Quebec-Labrador Foundation – Quebec, Canada


OceanThe Quebec-Labrador Foundation is a Canadian/U.S. binational charity that supports the rural communities and environment of eastern Canada and New England. Over the course of 15 years, our advice and implementation assistance helped to raise over USD 15 million in operating funds and USD 4 million in permanent endowment.

Working with Quebec-Labrador Foundation required approaches to individuals, foundations, and corporations in different countries served by separate boards of directors. In addition, the fundraising program had to accommodate the distinct cultural diversity between Anglophones and Francophones in Quebec and other parts of eastern Canada.

World Population Foundation – Hilversum, The Netherlands

Now part of Rutgers International

woman at computerWPF, headquartered in Utrecht, The Netherlands, exists to encourage sexual and reproductive health and rights throughout the world. WPF is presently the top recipient of U.S. foundation funds among all NGOs in the Benelux countries, having received millions of dollars in grant awards. The organization requested our advice on how to expand its U.S. funding for programs in Asia and Africa.

We designed an expansion plan, which WPF is now implementing. Three of the plan’s highlights were recommendations to engage existing funders as a method to obtain introductions to new donor prospects; internationalizing the Board to broaden its representation of the public interest; and supplementing staff work with volunteer and friends’ participation in the fundraising program.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – The Netherlands

“The Rijksmuseum was eager to develop an international friends group, building on a unique, initial event opportunity in New York City with a tight deadline.  Your focused strategic plan and implementation advice, coupled with your energetic and hands-on delivery, enabled us to launch our international philanthropic program quickly and efficiently. You addressed organizational and institutional issues, such as how to effectively engage the Museum leadership, as well as practical questions regarding how to respond to American donor prospects.  Board, leadership and staff members enjoyed and benefited from our cooperation. Our understanding and access to the U.S. market are thus much enhanced in the past seven months.”

Wim PijbesDirector General l Hendrikje Crebolder – Director of Development

Read more: Wall Street Journal article

Village Forward – Sudbury, MA, USA

“You have been critical to re-launching this young nonprofit in a very big way. Your high-level strategy regarding donor prospects, the new case statement and other fundraising tools will help to guide our upcoming year of strategic planning.  You are our nonprofit voice-of-reason and we are forever glad to have consulted you before further expansion of Solutions Benefiting Life into India and Nepal.”

Brett JulianoExecutive Director l David Eliott – Founder

The Netherlands Maritime Museum
– Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“We wish to thank you for the superb advice we received over the last three years while launching the Netherlands Maritime Museum’s global giving campaign.

You helped us create a path unique for our Museum, combining strategic vision with practical, step-by-step implementation.  You worked with staff at all levels.  Your understanding of our museum helped articulate our case from an international perspective. We were especially pleased with the guidance in creating and organizing the Museum’s own network of supporters in the U.S.

We look forward to working with you again in the future.  In the meantime, we want to express our gratitude for a consulting job well done!”

Willem BijleveldDirector  l Anja Haver – Head, Marketing, Communication & Fundraising