I interviewed 6 different grant writers and fundraising firms and Elevate stood out. From the moment that we started working with Elevate, I was impressed. They quickly came up to speed on our organization and were able to jump right in. Alayna and her team were able to help us to respond to 5 funding requests, prepare reports for foundations large and small, identify two new funding opportunities and formulate development materials to articulate the direction of the organization under its new leadership, all in less than three months. I feel that almost any other organization – local, national, small, large, start-up or established – could benefit from working with Elevate.
Elevate has changed my life as an Executive Director, who was the organization’s principal fundraiser for decades. We experienced continual turnover in the development department, and I was always picking up the pieces. Now, Elevate has helped us cultivate numerous new sources of funding, making it possible for me to focus on securing deep-pocket individual donors.
Having been responsible for overseeing the development operations of The Theatre Lab since we founded it 24 years ago, I can say unequivocally that teaming up with Elevate is the best decision I ever made. The easiest measure of success, of course, is the increase in contributed revenue that Elevate has leveraged (33% increase in foundation and government grants in the past 12 months). But, if that’s all you focus on, you miss the big story. With Elevate, you get a crew of dedicated, incredibly knowledgeable professionals who become a high level strategy team for your organization. My conversations with our Elevate team have resulted not only in winning proposals, but also in re-envisioning some of the work that we do in the community to better fit with our own strategic objectives. They are also excellent prospectors with savvy approaches to opening previously closed doors and, perhaps most important to small and mid-sized organizations with limited development teams, they clearly delineate which tasks they will execute and what follow-up is required on our end—so the whole process is impeccably driven by Elevate’s timelines and tracking systems. A full-time in-house Development Director couldn’t do what Elevate does—and they do it at a fraction of the cost. And, yes, they are terrific grant writers who really take the time to make sure they have mined all the potential of your organization’s unique story and they give a lot of thought to ways in which that story fits with funders’ priorities. Even if you are an organization that has been grant writing for years, the Elevate team can open your eyes to new possibilities. I have recommended Elevate to just about every non-profit leader I know; those who have taken the plunge (and many have) are as thrilled as I am.
Engaging with Elevate is one of the best business decisions I’ve made. I was a little skeptical at first, wondering just how it would work to have our organizations’ grant manager at such a distance. But with Elevate, we get a team of talented professionals, and a structure that has us more strategic, focused, and organized than we ever were before with our own in-house staff. Working with Elevate has been a wise investment that is paying for itself!
Energy Action Coalition decided to work with Elevate after learning that we would be working with a team of highly skilled individuals. I have admired their professionalism, their flawless project management skills, and their ability to streamline a rather complicated and ambitious fundraising project. I appreciate that they are responsive to our requests and are constantly looking for ways to make the work easier for our staff. As an executive director, it is challenging to keep track of all the moving pieces. Elevate makes it so that fundraising is one less thing that I have to worry about it. They ensure we are constantly moving forward.
Elevate has really helped the YWCA be more strategic, and therefore more successful with our foundation and corporate grant program. The writing is highly effective at telling our story, and clearly defining our intended outcomes and impact. Alayna and her team took the time to really get to know us - to understand our programs, our people, and what we are trying to do in our community. They also take the time to carefully craft each proposal - not just put together a template and change out the names and dates. Additionally, Alayna works closely with me to do the follow up work and cultivation when we win, or lose a grant; both are extremely important and she has taken the mystery out of it.
The Elevate team is a pleasure to work with! They are professional, dedicated and fantastic writers. The team goes above and beyond to understand our organization and how we impact students and truly care about our work. Having three people working on our behalf is more bandwidth than we could ever have in house, and the hours they put into writing stellar proposals is more than we could do on our own. The Elevate team has found us new grants and helps cultivate funders that we already have.
When I became the ED of our organization almost three years ago, one of the first decisions I made was to hire Elevate. Our grant writer at that time was retiring and relocating, so I had to find someone to replace the grant writer. I spent time researching and vetting grant writers and services. Elevate was not only the most responsive and engaging, but they also proved to be the most economical. The Elevate team has helped us apply for more grants than we have ever done before. The grant team is very knowledgeable, and has also helped me become a better ED with their thoughtful insight.
Elevate is a life-saver! We hired them to help with a staff transition, but continued working with them because they are just too invaluable to let go. They are incredibly fast, do high quality work, and make sure you'll never miss a deadline. Working with Elevate has done wonders to free up my capacity to build new fundraising strategies and hold the big picture of development for our organization, rather than always being narrowly focused on the funder deadline in front of my nose.
The decision to hire and consult with ELEVATE was one of the best decisions we could have made. ELEVATE immediately introduced us to software and systems to keep us organized and focused. In addition, they immediately assigned a team to us that has been a true pleasure to work with. Not only are they skilled, experienced, and strategic thinking grant writers but they are warm, agreeable and a pleasure to work beside. I have no doubt that together we have the right ingredients to position this organization for growth and continued success.
Elevate has helped The Literacy Lab build its capacity to reach more funders that can support our work. The Elevate team has been responsive and have proven to be true partners as we work to achieve our mission.
Elevate is an enthusiastic partner with leadership that is responsive, organized and strategic. Even during times of transition, they make sure our grants program doesn’t miss a beat, and we have seen substantial growth in our funding and prospects. We're proud to work with progressive, sincere and hard-working forces for good!
Elevate greatly helped us add capacity when we needed it the most. As the fundraising environment around the ACA shifted, we relied on Elevate to help us continue to prospect local foundations where we had a local presence and produce proposals as our Development team focused on cultivation. Even though they were only part-time support, they were able to understand, organize and leverage key details of our program and operation to turn around written products in a short time frame. Additionally, Elevate's team almost always says "yes," even when we are asked for something complex/very quickly/without a ton of guidance. That "can do" attitude is one of my favorite parts of doing business with them.
Finding experienced and long-term grant-writing staff is certainly a challenge, and one that often interferes with an organization’s sustainability efforts. The Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) hired Elevate about a year ago to proactively overcome that challenge. And it has been a wonderful experience. Elevate’s team of strategists continue to exceed our expectations. They are talented and experienced researchers, writers, and thought partners. They have helped DWC secure new sources of funding and sustain continued sources. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Elevate into the future.
Elevate has been an incredible asset to our organization. We initially hired them to help with the transition between two development directors, but they've been so helpful that we've continued to work with them. Our Elevate team is effective, engaged, organized, and a pleasure to work with.