Artivate, Inc.

This performance-based arts nonprofit serves youth in the Maryland, DC and Virginia areas. We work with them to provide monthly coaching on fundraising efforts, created a fundraising plan, and trained board members in fundraising best practices.

“Ayda is a dynamic trainer. She showed us how anyone can fundraise even without prior experience. The training was engaging and fun. We role-played and it broke the ice and fear.” – Rouane Itani, Board member

Unity Point Health – Meriter

Created and delivered a customized training session entitled, “Is Your Board On Board – How To Ensure Accountability and Appropriate Nonprofit Governance” for the organization’s board members and 60 members of partner nonprofits in the region. This interactive presentation included group breakout discussions and brainstorming concerning challenges faced by nonprofit boards of directors.


Court Watch Montgomery

The founder of Court Watch Montgomery needed coaching about messaging ideas for her nonprofit, prioritizing tasks in time for year end giving, and general advice in a “pick Ayda’s brain” session. (See description of this service under Services on this web site.)


The Nonprofit Village

Participation as a speaker at their Master Series training for nonprofit organizations in Maryland, in June 2015 and June 2016 on the topics of special events, major donor stewardship, and corporate sponsorships. More recently, participated as a panelist in the “Duck Pond” event, where start-up nonprofit participants got to “pitch” their program concept in front of an expert panel and receive instant feedback from program development experts, nonprofit leaders, fundraising professionals, marketing consultants and more.


Phenomenal I Am

Phenomenal I am is a nonprofit organization located in New Haven, CT. Their mission is to address the emotional, social, and overall student engagement needs of “at-risk” female youth of New Haven, CT.  They accomplish this through empowerment and enrichment workshops, coupled with the organization’s ability to match adult female mentors with young women to help them see just how phenomenal they are.

I facilitated a day-long board retreat to help the Founder, Executive Director, and board members understand board member roles, learn fundraising skills, recruit new board members, form board and volunteer committees, and create a plan of action items to implement in the upcoming fiscal year.

“As a newly developed nonprofit organization, our board of directors needed an expert to guide us, provide insight as to what we were doing wrong and what we needed to do right. Ayda Sanver traveled from Maryland to Connecticut to help strengthen our board and organization. We went in clueless as to what the outcomes would be of our board retreat but we also went in optimistic with the reality that we needed help. Thank you so much to Ayda Sanver for helping us leave the board retreat with confidence, excitement, motivation, strategies, advice and a list of action items to increase the quality of Phenomenal I Am, Inc. (PIA). As the Executive Director of PIA I highly recommend the services of Ayda Sanver.” – Brittany Baines, Founder and Executive Director


Family Services, Inc.

Family Services, Inc. of Gaithersburg, Maryland, has been providing a variety of human services in Maryland for over 100 years, ranging from mental health services, domestic abuse assistance, substance abuse and early childhood services. This large organization serves 20,000+ children and adults in Montgomery County, Maryland. The executive director reached out to this firm seeking a board fundraising training session. I provided a 3-hour board fundraising training session during their annual retreat and ongoing staff training for greater fundraising effectiveness.

“The thought of fundraising for any Board is scary! During our Board Retreat, Ayda was able to take that discussion and make it fun, give direction, and show all of us that this task can be easy! We were able to walk out with tactics and samples to use and make fundraising a positive and successful task.” – Kylie McCleaf, MA, CPRP, Chief Executive Officer, Family Services, Inc.

Note: The FSI Board was challenged during the training to raise $20,000 or more in one month. Three months after the training, FSI staff informed me that the board raised $35,000+!


Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless

MCCH is a highly reputable and a long-standing provider of emergency men’s and women’s homeless shelters and permanent supportive housing programs in Montgomery County, Maryland.  The Director of Development and Communications reached out to this firm to have their website redesigned, both in content, navigation, and overall Web design.

Our firm worked with their team and a Web developer to redesign and rewrite their web site along with a Web developer to meet new standards of nonprofit web site best practices and greater ease of visitor navigation. The new web site launched in March, 2017.

“Redesigning a new website is always a challenge, but this was especially the case for MCCH because our previous site was created about 10 years ago. Ayda deftly guided us to re-imagine our site, how to create a site map that was intuitive, and writing compelling copy to engage our community in our work. She also brought the right web developer into the project to execute our vision and then helped us manage the project through completion. I’m grateful for all of her hard work to make sure our new site truly represents the professionalism of our organization and the impact we are making in the community.” – Debbie Ezrin, Director of Development and Communications. 


The Tree House Child Assessment Center of Montgomery County, Maryland

Needed ongoing advice regarding donor stewardship and new donor cultivation, as well as assistance with various projects including sponsorship opportunities and ways to approach local potential sponsors as well as expertise for marketing strategies for their annual Tour de Cookie bicycle race and “Giving Day” campaigns.

“The Tree House was desperately in need of fundraising and development expertise. We asked Ayda for her help. She spent several hours with us reviewing what we had done in the past and how we could get the word out about our non-profit organization in a more effective manner. She had an incredible insight and many, many great ideas. We are currently in the process of implementing many of those ideas and look forward to seeing the results and working with Ayda in the future!” – Nina Blecher, Outreach Coordinator 


Arts on the Block

This organization had a tight timeline to raise funds for a summer internship workshop for underserved youth in Maryland and the District of Columbia for their signature program combining artistic expression, business acumen and transferable life skills entitled “Pour Your ART Out.” We worked with the staff to prioritize outreach to their current major donors and prospects, and wrote telephone and email scripts to enable staff and board members to make asks for gifts and sponsorships. We kept the team on task and tracked outcomes.


Family and Nursing Care Foundation

Reviewed and edited donor solicitation letters for greater effectiveness, advised Founder concerning growing her board of directors, and improving the organization’s marketing through a combination of e-mail and mailed solicitation letters.


Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council, Inc.

Provided general advice regarding ways to grow the organization, including board member recruitment ideas, board member roles and responsibilities, avoiding conflicts of interest, and coaching the Executive Director on setting priorities for the upcoming calendar year. Also facilitated a phone conference between the ED, Board President and Treasurer about nonprofit best practices and action items needing completion moving forward.


National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development

Coached development staff in the areas of creating a development calendar, reviewed solicitation materials, created a development work plan, and reviewed sponsorship information for their annual conference.


Disaster Accountability Project

Created a case for support, donor cultivation plan, and staff coaching in fundraising and e-mail solicitation efforts and coordinated a team for grant writing along with outside vendor and staff.


Alex Popeck Never Back Down Foundation

Provided prospect research to find potential corporate partners for upcoming events and gave them a targeted list for the staff, board, and volunteers to approach for partnerships. Designed and facilitated a social event, a “donor information session,” where donors and prospects were invited to learn more about the organization and invited to complete pledge cards at the event to raise funds for their upcoming annual running event.


Girls On The Run of Montgomery County 

The Executive Director asked us to review their sponsorship piece for their annual 5k run. The mission of the organization is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Their sponsorship piece needed to demonstrate that mission and convince potential corporate sponsors to come on board. We reworded their sponsorship piece and tightened the content to be more effective in their efforts, recommending adding more photos of girls and using their own words demonstrating impact with captions under photos, and shortened text for more impact using less words for improved readability.


The Livability Project 

The founder requested a review their two websites. At the time, he and his co-founder had two sites running simultaneously, and asked us to review their branding, content, and messaging to improve their image of promoting sustainable communities.

“Ayda is a rock star. She provided both high level strategic insight and tactical guidance to my company Livability Project as we launched our website and workshops. Her commitment to excellence and personal touch were extremely valuable in building our brand.” – Dave Feldman, Principal, Co-founder Livability Project, Founding Executive Director of Bethesda Green


Food Recovery Network

The Executive Director needed advice on general fundraising principles to move the mission forward. After hearing Ben’s concerns, a course of action was recommended for donor development.

 “Ayda is really talented and gave us a clear roadmap to develop our fundraising operation.” – Ben Simon, Executive Director


The Deborah Amoi Foundation

The founder needed advice on ways to take her foundation to the next level – advice included finding ways to recruit new board members, strengthening her current board of directors, and donor outreach techniques.

 “I would like to recommend Ayda Sanver for her expert advice to our foundation. She not only recognized our challenges, but was able to teach and guide on how to effectively use our website and social media, and donor development. I am so inspired that I’m looking forward to reading her book. I certainly would recommend her for any training on these topics.” –Anne Lwenya, Founder


Women in Philanthropy of Western Massachusetts

Invited to participate in their March, 2016 conference as a speaker on the topic of “Fundraising for the Small Shop.”


Raffa Learning Community

Regular presenter to nonprofits as part of Raffa, P.C.’s learning community on a variety of topics. Check the tab under “Training” on this web site for upcoming seminars.


Eastern Kentucky Child Care Coalition

As a Fundraising Coach for Network for Good, I’m working with the Executive Director to craft a fundraising plan that includes corporate partnerships and individual donor outreach.


WRC Senior Services

As a Fundraising Coach for Network for Good, I’m working with the Development and Marketing staff at this provider of senior living and in-home senior services to diversify theirrevenue streams through individual donor outreach and events.


Montgomery County Knights Children of Hope

This growing nonprofit’s mission is “to teach, mentor, and challenge our youth throughout the community through football and cheer programs by promoting the ideals of good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty, courage, and respect.” Their board of directors reached out asking for a facilitated board retreat and fundraising training session. As a team, we were able to help prioritized action items that must be accomplished to move their mission forward, gain more visibility, and find team sponsors.


George Leventhal for County Executive

Long-time Montgomery County Council member George Leventhal needed a new website with new content to announce he is running for County Executive and to showcase his accomplishments and his stance on a variety of issues. Working with their web developer, I wrote the text content for this website.


Montgomery Hospice

Montgomery Hospice has a reputation of excellence in providing in-home hospice and site-based hospice services at Casey House in Rockville, Maryland. Montgomery Hospice needed a consultant to speak to their board about the value of their work and their evolution in a changing nonprofit landscape.