Content Marketing Strategy

Community Connections

Engage unaffiliated individuals within the community to turn them into regular donors and put them on a path toward making planned and major gifts. Doing so sets the stage for the creation of an ever-expanding Friends organization that generates ongoing financial support for your programs. 

Anyone connected to your college understands the value you create by enriching individual lives and, in turn, the community at large. Unfortunately, relatively few people are close enough to your organization to recognize this impact. There are, however, countless neighbors who would become committed supporters if only there were a way to effectively reach them. Rich Gross Solutions’ Community Connections Program helps you do just that by engaging unaffiliated individuals, turning them into regular donors, and putting them on a path toward making planned and major gifts.

We start with a customized market study to uncover prevailing perceptions and attitudes of community and business leaders and seek their input regarding key issues facing your students. We then use this information to help you develop a case for support and share impactful student success stories. The final step is to guide you in leveraging these resources to expand your circle of donors committed to investing in the students your serve and, thereby, the future of your community.

Market Study

Rich Gross Solutions will work with foundation board and staff to produce a list of community influencers, including donors, religious leaders, service club members, philanthropists, seniors and members of women’s organizations. We'll conduct and analyze interviews and focus groups with key community influencers and  identify funding objectives related to the information uncovered through the market study.


We work with staff to create a case for support library that can be drawn upon for news releases, collateral, web content and remarks at outreach events and assist staff in developing an Up Close feature for traditional and digital media highlighting the impact the college has had on a student, alumnus or community member. We'll then work with staff to develop a marketing plan.


Our team will work with your foundation board, president and staff to identify and recruit community leaders to serve on the Friends steering committee and develop membership benefits based on information gained from the market study. We'll work with the president and foundation to set priorities and goals  for the Friends organization and help develop a Friends brochure and web page.


Finally, we'll work with your staff to organize a free event introducing community members to the Friends and inform them about the impact the college has on the community’s quality of life and the lives of its individual residents. We'll assist your staff in mobilizing an team of Community Connection Ambassadors to personally invite their friends and neighbors to the introductory event, where they will be invited to join the Friends.

Community Connections Will Deliver

An expanded donor base

New prospects for planned and major gifts

A market study focused on community influencers  

Cultivation of community influencers 

A comprehensive case for support library    

A marketing plan to engage unaffiliated individuals    

Increased visibility in the community 

Revenue from Friends recruitment event

A continuing revenue stream 

Increased major gifts donations

"Very few colleges, two-year or four-year, have found a way to secure significant gifts from unaffiliated individuals in their communities. In two places, however (Ithaca, NY and Geneva, NY) residents have built scholarship endowments totaling more than $1,000,000. There is no reason this result could not be accomplished in communities across the country."

Scott Lyons - VP, Stewardship & Individual Giving

Higher Education Downloads

Through our association with many community and technical colleges throughout the nation, we've gained unique insight into the internal challenges, opportunities and visions common to our nation's higher education programs. Take advantage of our experience and learn how your organization or college can achieve success through leadership, workforce and resource development efforts.