Developing the participation of Black philanthropists in the economic and social development of the Black community | May 2018 DSO Update

Developing the participation of Black philanthropists in the economic and social development of the Black community | May 2018 DSO Update


The DSO Team wishes a very happy Mother’s Day to Moms around the world! So much of what we do stems from their nurturing and courageous presence in our lives - a spirit that carries through in caring and championing each other. Thanks, Moms!

It has been a challenging and fulfilling year for us with amazing partners around the world, continuing local community initiatives with our empathy based approach, and doing focused and tactical work overall to provide maximum value.  

By the end of Summer 2018, DSO is on track to complete 6 projects with partners working locally and globally. Some examples include developing international program management support for country programs to better enable people with mental illness or epilepsy and their families to live and work successfully in their communities (Basic Needs) and strengthening a business to business approach that will inclusively increase the number of social entrepreneur teams around the world effectively implementing their projects (Bridge for Billions).

In this report, we feature a case competition with POISE Foundation.

Thanks for your support as we aspire to continue and improve our impactful work and retain our community of great people.

Featured Initiative

The POISE Foundation is a public charitable foundation based in Pittsburgh, PA, whose purpose is to develop and enhance the participation of Black philanthropists in the economic and social development of the Black community. For 36 years, the Foundation has been supporting programs that add value to the quality of life of the Black population in Pittsburgh and its surrounding regions; and has expanded its services to impact Black families and their communities across the US. POISE employs collective giving to enable donors to realize their philanthropic goals, pooling resources to provide funding to worthy organizations and causes.

Our partnership with the POISE Foundation focused on increasing the percentage of and amount given by individual donors using actionable targeted fundraising and marketing strategies, thereby expanding their donor reach through low-cost and low-effort resources. After building a strong business case for the problem, we organized a competition at Carnegie Mellon University to engage students’ creativity, problem-solving, and passion. As a result, students formed thoughtful action plans for the POISE Foundation to reach individual donors in their target age group. Some of the highlights were centered around building partnerships with student organizations, more empathetic communication towards impacted individuals, and utilizing various social media channels. Using our independent research and outcomes from the case competition, POISE was presented with actionable recommendations to leverage technology, partnerships, and a communication strategy in reaching a more diversified individual donor base.  

A Testimonial from POISE Foundation

“We had been struggling with marketing towards and engagement of younger donors. DSO’s unique approach combined student and professional Recommendations that were well thought-out and thorough. Their work was invaluable; we had not been able to address this marketing issue with our limited resources and capacity. The team was very professional and we would high recommend their services” - Shirrell Burton, Director, Fund Development, POISE Foundation

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