As part of Prosal’s Respondent Spotlight, we highlight the diversity of agencies, firms, and consultants using Prosal to access RFP opportunities easily. This week, we’re sharing about Corporate Giving Connection, a full-service development, marketing, and fundraising consulting firm that loves the nonprofit sector as much as you do.
Chris Hammond is as warm and welcoming in person as he is over email. In the two months we’ve known each other, he has been quick to share feedback and even quicker to respond to RFPs that align with his services and mission.
On a hot summer day in 2014, Chris sat with his cousin at a Capitol Hill restaurant and swapped stories about their current jobs. Chris was a Development Director for an international nonprofit organization, and his cousin was a congressional staffer. They were both growing tired of their roles and feeling powerless to create sustainable change in their respective fields. He asked Chris what the most significant challenge he had faced was, and the answer was simple: “Corporations. I can never speak to the right person, and when I finally do, they have already decided they are not interested.”
Chris explained to him that all he needed was a meeting. An honest discussion where he could explain how a nonprofit organization could strategically provide value to a corporation’s marketing, employees, and ROI. He asked his cousin, “Have you heard of the dating service called It’s Just Lunch?” He continued, “Well, we could name this company It’s Just a Meeting, and our job would be to serve as a matchmaking service to develop strategic partnerships for nonprofits and corporations and ultimately maximize their impact.” His cousin laughed. Chris didn’t.
In the upcoming months, Chris became obsessed with the idea of It’s Just a Meeting. However, due to his workload, the idea remained dormant. Chris found himself increasingly busy in roles that he wasn’t great at performing. With the end of the year rapidly approaching, Chris found himself balancing event management, individual giving, corporate giving, public relations, social media, board management, and grant writing. He could barely keep his head above water. Chris was letting his team down by not dedicating the proper amount of time to each role. It was clear he needed help.
After months of reflection, it became evident that there was one clear challenge both nonprofits and socially responsible corporations faced: bandwidth. For most corporations, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was just another role balanced by the HR department. Rather than thinking strategically, CSR was often viewed as a task that needed to be completed, with limited focus on the marketing and business development opportunities that could result when executed properly. Nonprofit organizations were no different. Their lean approach left them struggling for support, where they were often forced to fill marketing and development roles with underqualified staff members. It was finally clear that we all need bandwidth, whether you were a nonprofit or a corporation. Now Chris just needed a name.
Chris founded Corporate Giving Connection (CGC) in 2015 by Chris. CGC was built on the idea of providing support and bandwidth for both corporations and nonprofit organizations so that they could finally be both strategic and effective in their charitable work.
Today, CGC offers a robust list of communications and fundraising services that let nonprofits direct their time and talent to the areas where they’re needed most. CGC believes they are more than just “strategy people.” They execute strategy and take on those “other duties as assigned” so you and your staff can focus on what you do best.
CGC’s team of five dedicated staff members works remotely across Los Angeles and New York City. By managing 10-20 clients at any given time, they can focus on one specific project- like a slick new annual report- or become a full-service marketing team. Your goals become their goals. Your successes, their new passions.
Each client approach is built and catered 100 percent, so they can choose from their diversified team of innovative experts and scale accordingly depending on the size of the company and the desired outcome. CGC uses a Four Phase approach with clients:
Seven years later, Chris doesn’t want to be doing anything else. He and his team have had the opportunity to work with incredible organizations that have taken them all around the world. They love their clients, their team, and the work. And he believes that the best is yet to come.
Chris joined Prosal in July 2022. He wrote, “Simply put, Prosal has simplified the RFP process for CGC. We love finding new opportunities that align with our core values. Prosal makes it easier than ever before.”
He still has to face some of the organizational challenges from before Prosal. Namely, he believes Nonprofits should think strategically like any other successful business. This means they should be consistently looking to innovate the implementation of their mission and involve their donor base in ways that drive engagement. The most common mistake is that nonprofits don’t always seek the help they need, so they require valuable internal team members to wear too many hats, which can slow down their growth and the impact of their mission.
But he has come a long way from swapping stories on Capitol Hill, and we hope Prosal can help him get there.
To learn more about Chris and Corporate Giving Connection, visit his website.