Year One: ONE HUNDRED and the dawn of a new era in philanthropy

April 28, 2017

What a year it has been!

When we launched ONE HUNDRED a year ago, the mission was simple–and profound. To provide nonprofits with one single source for integrated marketing, branding and fundraising.

The drive to change the world that fuels our nonprofit partners requires a partner that changes the game. Typically, nonprofits work with a host of different agencies for the services ONE HUNDRED provides. I felt it necessary to create a one-stop shop, streamlining information flow, integrating strategies and maximizing impact.

We bring together award-winning professionals in advertising, branding, digital, fundraising, marketing, public relations, and research and analysis. All in one seamless solution. The size, scale and capabilities of which did not previously exist.

In some ways, we found what we expected during Year One at ONE HUNDRED.

●  Opportunities to work with leading philanthropic organizations anxious to tap into the power of our dynamically integrated approach.

●  Organizations looking to build a stronger brand, to create the most compelling narrative and rise above the din.

●  Leaders willing to do the not-so-glamorous groundwork of integrating previously disconnected disciplines within their organizations.

●  Experts across our agencies who are passionate about integrating our work to enhance the impact for our clients.

●  Inspired efforts to reconnect donors to mission. Enlisting an entire organization in the essential task of engaging the donor community–personally and consistently–as today’s marketplace demands.

Current challenges and future trends in philanthropy.

We have encountered all this, and much more. Most of all, we’ve had the honor to work with organizations willing to do the serious work that’s essential to remain vibrant and thriving in an ever-crowded, noise-filled universe.

For some, this has meant breaking down walls. Eliminating silo mentalities. Finally compelling a direct mail team to coordinate with major gifts staff. Moving from a transactional approach of fundraising to one that focuses on the donor journey. Bringing together development and marketing teams under a unified strategy. Even fixing the disconnect between outside agencies and front-line efforts.

By uniting services, ONE HUNDRED models alignment and disrupts the nonprofit sector. You might ask, how is a drive for internal unity a disruption to the nonprofit sector? In year one, when clients prepared to meet with a team from ONE HUNDRED, they had to gather members of different departments – individuals responsible for branding, marketing and fundraising. This may seem simple, but it was a big deal. There were people across these disciplines who had never even met before, let alone strategized together. ONE HUNDRED is disrupting how the organizations themselves operate, driving greater internal alignment, designing strategies that are more efficient, more effecting and more engaging. Enabling our clients to have a greater impact.

Our work with some of the largest, most complex nonprofits has provided us with a unique vantage point. A front row seat with leading philanthropic organizations, working with them to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing new landscape. Here’s some of what we’ve found:

 Change: fear it or embrace it. Effective philanthropy has always demanded vision and moral courage. Now more than ever, leading organizations are refocusing on their mission and how that mission is best served. For many, this means the unsettling task of departing from tried and true–and perhaps tired–ways of operating. Adapting to new realities, mastering new resources and unearthing new opportunities.

 The primacy of the Donor Journey. Technology has fueled a highly informed audience of donors and potential givers. A new generation of donors demands ever greater transparency, clarity of mission and one-to-one engagement. Never has it been more critical for organizations to have a clear identity and compelling narrative – in short, a powerful brand.

 Leadership matters. Passionate leadership has always been a critical factor in the success of philanthropic organizations large and small. We’re privileged to work with many of the innovators and leading voices in philanthropy. This puts us at the forefront of the next phase of successful philanthropy as we work with these leaders to build stronger, more resilient organizations.

 The dynamic role of data evolves and escalates. It’s no secret that mastering data offers a tremendous opportunity to raise our effectiveness–whether in fundraising, tracking efficacy of programs or scouring the landscape for new vulnerabilities and populations at risk. Together we’ve worked with organizations to successfully mine that data–much of it is information already on hand that has remained untapped for far too long.

ONE HUNDRED Influencers in Philanthropy: Landmark study launched.

As an innovator and thought leader in philanthropy, ONE HUNDRED continuously searches for best in class solutions for the current challenges that nonprofits confront, with an eye toward the new dynamics ahead. As part of this commitment, we are wrapping up a groundbreaking study, tapping into the insight and unique perspective from some of the leading figures in philanthropy: our ONE HUNDRED Influencers in Philanthropy study.

Driving social impact requires inspiration and influential leadership. It requires leaders who embrace change; leaders who recognize the need to evolve programs and business practices as the social and philanthropic landscape changes around us; and, leaders who inspire others to take action.

Through this series, we’ve spoken to the heads of some of the largest nonprofits, leaders among the top private foundations, mega philanthropists and corporate executives with exceptional initiatives in corporate social responsibility.

I, personally, have left these interviews inspired. Energized by discussions around the trends, disruptions, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. These leaders tell us, in their own words, what keeps them up at night, what they admire, and where they’re focusing their vision and effort.

The results provide extraordinary insight into the philanthropic landscape we face currently and a rare look into what leaders see ahead in the near and distant future. We look forward to sharing with you the final report later this spring.

For a brief introduction to the powerful partnership that is ONE HUNDRED, I invite you to view this one minute video on our launch and mission.

Year One at ONE HUNDRED has been busy, exciting, informative and incredibly exhilarating as we work with leading nonprofits that are quite literally changing the world. It is our privilege to work with them to help revolutionize the way they work, expanding their impact. And we’re just getting started.

In closing, I would like to thank my ONE HUNDRED colleagues. To be surrounded by the caliber of talent that exists around our table is humbling. We understand that at the core, nonprofit organizations are about the passions of real people aligning to make our world a better place. We know this passion well – it drives us in our work every day.

Our best wishes for your own endeavors to change the planet,


Brian Crimmins

Managing Partner

Chief Executive Officer 
Changing Our World, Inc.


P.S.  What trends and new challenges are you seeing in philanthropy? I’d love to hear your perspective. Simply email me at [email protected] and we’ll add your voice to the conversation.