Philosophy

Maximizing Excellence believes organizational sustainability is about more than fundraising. Instead, we believe successful fundraising is simply a by-product of an organization’s ability to show its relevancy and provide meaningful programming that has measurable impact.

Resource Development Sustainability Pyramid


In psychology, sociology, and human services, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is discussed at great length. In the Hierarchy, an individual’s basic life needs—such as food and shelter—have to be met in order for the person to advance to more sophisticated needs. As each need of the pyramid is met, the person advances up the pyramid in hopes of reaching the top level of self-actualization, or personal growth and fulfillment.

Just as individuals look to become more, organizations strive to be more. They seek ways to raise more dollars, foster more volunteers, and serve more people. Click on each piece of the pyramid for more details and to see how they all work together.

Maximizing Excellence uses an organization’s measured results to engage donors, volunteers, staff, program recipients, and the community through intentional touchpoints. Building a strategic, year-round effort produces loyal support—the key to sustainability!

Evaluation equals trust. Here, processes and programs are measured to identify effectiveness. Tracking systems for donors and volunteers are created. Outcomes for programs are designed. The results are analyzed for opportunity.

Implementation is where planning and preparation reap rewards. Maximizing Excellence mentors organizations in managing timelines, coordinating the moving pieces, and training staff and board members.

With internal components secure, this is about effectively “selling” the organization to prospective donors, volunteers, and partners. NVD is how an organization creates common language to explain, educate, and involve others.

This is about resources—what there is and what is needed. We evaluate what it takes to meet program and service goals. We then analyze current staffing, volunteer, board, and monetary capacity ... and compare. The gap becomes the target.

With purpose and identity in place, we solidify who is being served and if an organization is program or service based. From there we ensure the programs or services align with mission and customer values.

Purpose is an organization’s response to an identified need. What need is the organization trying to meet? How does the mission and vision explain how an organization meets that need? We hone an organization’s identity and ensure staff and board members buy in.


Why We Use This Assessment Tool

Maximizing Excellence’s proven solution to facilitating this process for organizations is our Resource Development Sustainability Pyramid. Without putting the pieces together in the right sequence, new strategies only produce short-term gains.

Through a simple assessment, Maximizing Excellence is able to identify each organization’s current position on the pyramid. Then, using the organization’s existing strengths, Maximizing Excellence customizes and facilitates a manageable plan to achieve their desired goals.

We have an unmatched ability to take an organization’s strengths and maximize its effectiveness. Our goal in using this pyramid model is to:

  • Build a resource development plan (capital campaign, annual campaign or fundraising campaign) specific to your organization’s strengths and goals.
  • Partner with your organization to creatively solve problems.
  • Develop effective strategies for facilitating organizational change.
  • Mentor your organization to maximize the potential of your volunteers, leadership, community partners, and communication tools.
  • Partner with you to provide expertise and consultation that positions you for success.


“Maximizing Excellence has been an exceptional asset to our organization. Active Generations has had the privilege of working with Cindy and her team in various strategic planning management and fundraising strategy functions. Without question it was very productive, professional, and organized. The outcomes were educational and provided great insight into our future. Cindy is very knowledgeable and perceptive, but yet is a personable, caring, and enthusiastic individual. Her skills are exceptional in stimulating meaningful discussion, accomplishing goals, and ensuring the organization is equipped with the tools needed to be successful.”

- Gerald Beninga
Active Generations