claire_axelrad_026Consulting is a bit like coaching on steroids. We’ll take a holistic view of your challenges and develop a practical plan of attack to help you sleep easier. It begins with fact finding as we figure out key projects you need to take on (or eliminate) and what resources and tools you’ll need to make these projects come to fruition. It then moves on to plan development and implementation.  I can be involved as much or as little as you wish once it comes to the implementation phase.  Sometimes folks just want me to coach the implementers; then come back and help with the evaluation phase and next steps for planning.

Sometimes you already have a specific project in mind. In that case it makes sense to clearly define the scope of the project, outline your objectives and work together to build a project plan that meets your needs. Our underlying goal, of course, will be to help you sustain and grow the philanthropic support that will make it possible for your organization to continue to play its essential role in your community, both today and in the future.

Before we chat, give some thought to what keeps you up at night.

  • Are you the best kept secret in town?
  • Worry that folks don’t really understand the depth and breadth of what you do?
  • Want to attract and retain more donors?
  • Want to rev up your board’s enthusiasm to help you raise funds?
  • Want to raise big money from major or legacy gifts?
  • Want to develop a robust online presence that integrates with your offline marketing?
  • Need an actionable plan that keeps you on track and holds folks accountable for results?
  • Unsure about the appropriate development and marketing infrastructure required to get you to your goals?
  • Need some help with copywriting and/or editing (e.g., website copy, blogs, newsletters, annual appeals, case statements, elevator pitches, thank you letters, policies and procedures)?
  • Stressed out by recruitment, hiring, training and mentorin?

Consulting can help:

  • Energize your board.
  • Invigorate your staff.
  • Figure out why what you’re doing isn’t working.
  • Discover what you really want/need to accomplish, and how to get there.
  • Audit your existing development and communications infrastructure, staffing, plans and materials and suggest improvements.
  • Integrate your business, marketing and fundraising strategic plans.
  • Revitalize and modernize your annual giving program.
  • Build an actionable major gifts and/or legacy giving program.
  • Develop kick-ass fundraising pitches and case statements.
  • Improve your donor retention program to put you on the road to long-term sustainability.
  • Rejuvenate your branding and identity strategy.
  • Review your social media strategy and management.
  • Write and edit copy for website, e-news, online and offline appeals.
  • Recruit, hire, train and mentor development and marketing staff.

If consulting may be right for you, the best thing is for us to talk. There’s no obligation, and we may figure out that all you need is some coaching or a quick package of hourly phone calls.  We don’t always end up where we start out, because I definitely don’t want to waste your time or resources.  If I can help, I’ll let you know.  If I think someone else can help you better, I’ll let you know. Let’s find out! You can contact me to explain your needs or grab a time for a free 15-minute exploratory phone call.


Claire helped us take our board to an entirely new level in terms of their commitment to raising funds, etc. Her feedback and words of encouragement kept us inspired, thinking strategically, and energized to keep improving! And it’s working!  Our Board ask advance letters went out last week – board members are starting to make their contacts this week – and already one donor (brand new last year) doubled his gift  –because he feels connected and trusts us.  What an HONOR it is to receive those kinds of gifts – it really is a privilege to be in relationship with folks who care about the work and trust us to make a real difference.  Amazing – and all because of YOU!!!!!!  Thank you – because it makes the whole fundraising thing so darn FUN.

Julia Wilson, Executive Director, One Justice

You have been absolutely terrific to work with. Your roadmap and assessment of where we are and where we can go has been so instrumental in having the LAFLA board stop and think about our future.  Your audit is allowing us to move forward in tangible ways to improve our work so that we may help more clients in need of our services. I will count you among my many blessings throughout the year.

— Silvia Argueta, E.D., Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation

Claire is an amazing thinker, strategist and collaborator. I consider her a guru of development, with expertise in all aspects of fund raising and marketing. She is forward thinking, an amazing planner, and extraordinarily knowledgeable about what works and doesn’t. In summary, she is the best!

– Amy Rassen, Principal, Rassen and Associates

She is an incisive thinker and strategist, with a great ability to cull best practices in fundraising to reach hard-won goals. She is a strong writer and story-teller, as well, with an uncanny ability to touch people’s hearts and minds in the interest of a cause.

–     Victoria Cooper, Principal, Cooper Communications

Claire gets the importance of fundraising technology and the value that it brings to fundraising operations. She’s committed to having it and seeing that it’s done right and well. As our society, donors, and fundraising support technology get increasingly more sophisticated, it’s important that fundraisers embrace technology as Claire does.

–     Bill Connors, CFRE, Independent Consultant/Trainer on The Raiser’s Edge

Claire is extraordinarily intelligent, providing the overall vision of philanthropy as a partnership with the community that has set the foundation for remarkable fundraising success. She sets a high bar for herself and her team, and her results are the best indicator of her contributions to the field and to whatever organization she is working for.

–    Judy Schwartz, Administrator, City of Fremont, CA