Case Studies

Case Studies

CASE STUDIES

Washington Area Women’s Foundation

The Background
In 2010, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation (WAWF) had hired its third CEO in four years and the staff and board were keen to immerse themselves in a planning and "reboot" period. Sustainability and fundraising were a challenge.

The Solution
WAWF hired Imagine Philanthropy to finalize the strategic plan where we shared our expertise in planning and thinking through the complexities of how to move forward and the structures we needed to be successful. In addition to defining audience and the value exchange, measurable objectives and goals, we conducted a Board retreat on sustainability and a session on “Living the Values”. Learning about trends and opportunities in the larger women's funding community was invaluable in helping WAWF complete its strategic planning process.

The Outcome
A strategic plan with staff action plans became the basis for the organization’s programmatic work as well as development, communications, and rebranding work. This went on to support a strong fundraising effort for three straight years. A positive, energetic, upbeat approach reoriented the work and culture and ultimately empowered the staff to believe that it was possible to grow and thrive. Finally, the Washington Area Women's Foundation benefitted from a restructured staff team and internal promotions in key positions including the CEO and COO.  

"We truly believe we would not have turned the corner the way we did as an organization and as a staff without Tuti Scott's leadership at that time. You have an amazing way of helping us to see who we can be and then providing the tools, motivation, and support needed to get us there." 

-Nicole Cozier, Jennifer Lockwood Shabat, Nicky Goren, WAWF

The Women’s Fund of Mississippi


The Background
Carol Penick served as the executive director of the Women’s Fund of Mississippi since 2007-2017.  In 2011, Penick turned to Imagine Philanthropy for help in creating a bold fundraising organization and getting “campaign ready.” The organization was seeking additional resources and capacity to expand its ability to provide sex education, youth-friendly health services, and leadership development programs for young women as well as job training and financial education for low-income women.

The Solution
Imagine Philanthropy offered a series of in person workshops to the Board and donor community on topics such as “Building a Culture of Philanthropy” and “Power Philanthropy” as well as ongoing coaching sessions for Penick and key team members to help define, build, and execute a successful fundraising campaign. In addition, we worked to create a case statement with campaign goals and outcomes.  

The Outcome
In 2012, the Women's Fund of Mississippi launched a successful “It Takes You” Campaign which increased the number of multi-year pledges it received and led to a $322,000 donor advised fund, a $150,000 endowed gift, a $1.2 million in-kind for marketing a new educational web site FactNotFiction.com, and a $500,000 corporate foundation grant. Grantmaking was expanded statewide, national media was secured, and policies were adopted in 71 school districts to support healthy sex education.   

"Tuti Scott offers a mix of enthusiasm, practical advice, and cheerleading as she encourages you to think big." – Carol Penick

The Jewish Women’s Foundation of Chicago

The Background
Emily Sweet was the Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Chicago from 2008-2016. She led the organization through a successful growth period of membership and knew the organization could use some guidance as its members sought to align their giving and social change advocacy work. On a professional level, Emily had also been contacted by headhunters for consideration for positions at larger institutions.  

The Solution
Emily hired Tuti Scott to speak at the annual meeting of the membership on two occasions. At the first session in 2012, Tuti spoke on “Donor Activism: Making a difference with your Time, Talent and Treasure.” In 2014, she spoke on “Collective Impact and Influence.” In each session, Q&A sessions brought forth topics around using one’s leadership voice, confidence, and power in the work. Emily realized after listening and working with Tuti that she could personally seek out coaching support to build her own voice as she navigated the talent recruitment process.  

The Outcome
A confident updated resume and cover letter, several mock interview conversations, and coaching on phrasing of talents and skills allowed Emily to secure a senior position where she now oversees all of the public policy work of the entire Jewish Federation of Chicago as the Executive Director of Policy.  

"Hiring you to coach me through the interview process was one of the smartest decisions I made. You helped me truly and effectively articulate my vision and accomplishments." -Emily Sweet