Handing young writers the microphone.

With our help, InsideOut Literary Arts Project created a more robust and sustainable fund development program, giving more children access to the power of self-expression.

The situation.

InsideOut Literary Arts Project (iO) inspires children to create and share their voices with the world. The program places professional writers in schools to work side-by-side with students and help them them to create poems, stories, artwork, and stage-ready performance pieces. Often, their services fill the vital gap created when funding for the arts in schools is cut. Recognizing that private philanthropy would need to play an increasingly important role for the growth of the organization, iO sought R+R’s guidance in creating a more robust and sustainable fund development program.

They definitely have the personal touch. They have the ability to set people at ease and touch on what some people are closed off to.

The process.

R+R guided iO through a comprehensive process that first analyzed the resources and efforts of its philanthropy program. We then worked closely with staff, board members, and volunteers to create customized cultivation and solicitation strategies. This strategic element included development of specific approaches, role playing, and coaching before each prospective donor meeting or cultivation event, and debriefing sessions following each meeting.

The engagement highlighted opportunities for iO to more firmly establish its desired culture of philanthropy, and position itself as a worthy recipient of support from the community. R+R’s partnership in the implementation counsel phase supported the organization in taking tangible steps to achieve its desired outcomes and ultimately grow its reach.

Last year, iO served approximately 4,000 K-12 students in more than 30 schools and community sites. The compelling poetry and original performances of iO’s students have garnered national awards and accolades. Over the course of its history, the program has helped thousands of metro Detroit students learn the craft of writing and experience the satisfaction of becoming published authors.