Overview

A U.S.-based non-profit organization, well-known in Sub-Saharan Africa but seeking greater visibility domestically, engaged Blue Star Strategies to help expand its connections within the D.C. policy, international funding and development communities. For decades, the non-profit has provided workforce development services to at-risk populations across Sub-Saharan Africa. They specifically aimed to increase funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as to diversify their programming to become more eligible for funding from private sector donors and foundations.

Challenges

The non-profit sought our firm’s guidance to help them source funding from diverse parties and introductions to members of the U.S. Government, multilateral organizations such as the International Labor Organization, International Finance Corporation and World Bank; Washington D.C.-based think tanks; African embassies; foundations and potential private donors. Because the majority of their contacts were in Africa, our firm helped break new ground through our U.S. introductions, support for their grant applications and collateral needed, and strategically, differentiate our non-profit client from others working in the region, given so many organizations were often vying for the same funds.

Strategic Recommendation

Blue Star Strategies provided the non-profit with strategic counsel to expand their network, support new funding sources, and make critical introductions in Washington D.C. Our firm enabled the client to apply for new funding, form connections they had not considered previously, and assisted them with fine-tuning their message and materials to attract new grantors and be better aligned with current funding priorities.

Program Elements

Blue Star’s approach focused on identifying strategic opportunities for the client, providing guidance from start-to-finish: from introductions; to grant application, preparation, and presentation processes; to providing information and analysis on potential grantors. We also facilitated introductions to persons who could impact grantor decisions and assist with the client’s board outreach.

Results

In addition to expanding their visibility and network of contacts, Blue Star Strategies successfully facilitated multi-year funding from a major U.S.-based multinational retailer to offer new training programs in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya. Additionally, we were able to ensure one of the client’s programs was endorsed by a leading foundation. Through Blue Star efforts, the non-profit also became eligible for future U.S. government grants across the Executive Branch agencies.