Online giving represents only 7%-8% of all giving each year. The majority of fundraising still happens primarily through offline channels, relationships and networking. So as an independent or local organization, how do you achieve the reach and efficiencies that online strategies offer with the effectiveness of offline fundraising? Enter Cogeo.us.
Cogeo is a non-profit consultancy group that helps its partners think nationally and connect locally. Whether you need support with fundraising, organizational structure or operational goals, Cogeo is dedicated to helping its partners achieve their objectives while creating a self-sustaining infrastructure to ensure success, long after their departure.
“Our goal at any given time is to put ourselves out of business. We want to leave our clients with a self-sustaining existence, to say to them, ‘You’re ready for this now. You don’t need us anymore.’ ” – Patrick Sampson, CEO
The Cogeo management team has more than 40 years of development and organizational management experience and has raised over $600 million for more than 100 non-profit organizations. That is no small feat. So how did they get their start?
Cogeo originated as a crowd-funding social media tool for non-profits. The idea was to match user profiles with organizations based on affinities and interests. They were eager to help educate the public on fundraising processes and bring more awareness to non-profit organizations. What Cogeo quickly discovered was a disconnect between fundraising and the online marketplace. While online giving was growing at a rate of 12% a year, it still represented a very small portion of the overall donor pool.
To better serve the needs of the marketplace, Cogeo pivoted its identity in 2013 to be a full-service non-profit consultancy group. Its competitive difference lies in the assets, tools and resources it provides. Outside of strategy and direction, Cogeo supports efforts from ideation to conception, all the way through to execution. This includes foundation and corporate outreach, on-the-ground resources, as well as organizational strategy and direction.
However, if you ask Cogeo, its greatest asset is the carefully curated team of people it has assembled across the country.
“Our advantage is quality over quantity. We are diligent in our hiring practices and only hire those people who we trust will do the work that is required, and then empower them to execute on those jobs. We are not thousands of people, and that is by design.” – Rob Kusel, Managing Director of Consulting Services
At the core of its brand is a foundation of connectivity. Connection to the non-profits they support, to their local communities and to the general public.
“Cogeo’s success was, and always will be, built exclusively on the success of our clients. We frame our conversations with clients as entering a partnership. We are building relationships with these people and their organizations.” – Rob Kusel
Cogeo specializes in “connecting the dots,” by leveraging its industry expertise and knowledge of human connection to build “a world together.” To give people a sense of what it is like to work with Cogeo, in-depth research and design went into developing its website – cogeo.us. The message and brand were designed to resonate on a personal level with development and fundraising groups. The goal was to communicate the work the company does, why it does it, and to celebrate its success stories.
As part of the website, Cogeo looked for a domain that would represent the ethos of its brand, or “us.”
“Our website reflects our Cogeo culture. We want people to know what it is like to work with us before they even pick up the phone.” – Patrick Sampson
The non-profit industry is a resilient one that deserves a lot of credit for the tremendous work everyone does to support every facet of our society. Whether it is directing a successful capital campaign to building a facility that feeds 2,500 hungry people daily, or implementing an endowment fund to ensure equity access to education, Cogeo’s commodity is people and community — it’s all connected.
By serving these agencies, Cogeo’s energy and passion is exponentially amplified into the programming that its clients deliver to those it serves each and every day.
“We want to make our clients’ goals a reality.” – Rob Kusel
Connect your cause to the larger community. Learn more at cogeo.us