Founded in 1990, The Steppingstone Foundation develops and implements programs that prepare underserved students for educational opportunities that lead to college success. Based on the premise that, regardless of circumstance, children can achieve at high levels with effective preparation and support, Steppingstone programs emphasize rigorous standards and achieve meaningful results.
Twenty-five years after its founding, The Steppingstone Foundation’s board and operations had barely budged. No governance mechanisms ensured that the board was following term limits. Fundraising was stagnant, as were staff salaries. Without plans for growth — including annual increases in board giving expectations — and an implementation strategy, Steppingstone was at risk of petering out.
Starting with professional coaching, Kelly worked with Steppingstone’s new board chair to set expectations and follow governance protocols. A new fundraising campaign, called “10 by 20,” challenges existing donors of $1,000 and more to pledge an increase of 10% by 2020. Kelly rolled up her sleeves and dug into the ins and outs of Steppingstone to set a pace for growth by developing the systems the organization needed to succeed.
For the first time, Steppingstone has begun to operate like a well-oiled machine. The board is now modernized; half of its membership is now women. And development efforts are showing signs of success in the lead-up to the organization’s first capital campaign.
“I have been in fundraising for nearly 30 years, and I learn something new from Kelly every time we meet. She brings incredible expertise, emotional intelligence, and strategy to her work and has been an invaluable resource to Steppingstone as we have sought to take our development program to the next level.”
—Kelly Glew, President, The Steppingstone Foundation
“Kelly has helped us to create thoughtful and organized systems for all of our development activities and communications. For certain, these systems have helped to increase our fundraising success. Kelly’s worked with us closely on exactly how to design and implement systems that are specific to the needs of our organization and make our development function significantly more efficient and effective. I’ve even shared the systems with board members who have commented on how useful they are!”
—Kate Wood, Executive Vice President of Advancement, The Steppingstone Foundation
December 23, 2018