Our Work

Can Philanthropy Address Financial Solvency?

A renowned research university’s press, known for its early digital innovation and outstanding books from authors with topic-specific expertise, had  five different business lines that were not all financially viable.  Yet, each business line is critical  to advancing knowledge and contributing to the larger good.  Is a fundraising program viable for a university press? What is its potential?

  • Assessed its past attempts to establish a fundraising program. 
  • BenchMarked against other renowned academic presses.
  • Reviewed its major gift and annual giving potential.
  • Identified a pipeline of prospective donors.
  • Built a prospective fundraising program. 
  • Outlined:
  1. An annual workplan with metrics  and calendar; 
  2. How to monitor progress; 
  3. Developed job descriptions, 
  4. Created future board, volunteer, affiliated and non-affiliated engagement activities.


Made recommendations based on the current context of the press, economic environment, and potential to raise funds with a concentrated effort and an actionable plan.

Jessica, (of Cedarcroft) is a senior-level seasoned professional who I enjoyed working with on a full assessment of Johns Hopkins University Press’s potential to start a new development program. She spent time better understanding our mission and interviewing so many others in the publishing industry to deliver a truly useful road map for us to use to stand up a program. She developed an authentic and inspiring case statement and a full financial plan including realistic projections and ways in which to meet those projections efficiently. My advisory board was impressed with her work as well. I only wish I had the budget and didn’t have a hiring freeze so that I could hire her to run a full-scale development program here.

Barbara Pope
Director of Johns Hopkins University Press

Can an intergenerational service organization increase its financial resources to  meet the changing needs of its audience?

  1. Transferred Institutional Knowledge of JCA Development Team, Leadership & Key Stakeholders
  2. Stewarded, Sustained, and Advanced Donor and Board Relationships
  3. Overaw Advancement and Execution of Annual Workplan and Day-to-Day Operations
  4. Assessed current annual plans and made recommendations, including benchmarkingfuture board, volunteer, affiliated and non-affiliated engagement activities.


Increased knowledge for new leadership and all participants in JCA’s development operations through comprehensive documentation of JCA’s development practices, protocols, current expectations, including job descriptions for development team members and board members and intersection with other volunteers, and internal staff members


Made fundraising practice recommendations taking into leadership transitions, consideration of the current pandemic, the economic environment and its impact on the organization’s services. Established an actionable fundraising plan for the CEO, Development Team and engagement opportunities for the development committee and volunteers.

To facilitate a transition between a long-serving development director, the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington turned to Jessica Lunken to capture the knowledge and experience of the outgoing director, examine the current development practices and procedures, and make recommendations to the new CEO and incoming development leader. Jessica was highly professional, collaborative and communicative in her work. Her deliverables exceeded our expectations, and have been instrumental in helping JCA’s new Senior Director of Development in transitioning quickly and effectively into her new role. Jessica is outstanding in her knowledge, her work ethic, and her clear and comprehensive communication. She is wonderful to work with, and we cannot recommend her more highly.

Shane Rock
CEO of Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington

University in Pennsylvania


University leadership wanted to work better as a team. With new members and challenges from the COVID Pandemic, the past year had created some concerns around burn out, improving communication and paving a path for the future.  Improving communication and engagement was critical to their ongoing success.


We used the Predictive Index Team Discover series of workshops to identify their team type and alignment with their strategies. Through a facilitated process we identified strengths, blind spots and areas of alignment and gaps. The team was energized, developed awareness of self and others and developed an action plan for improving communication and interactions.

I think we all walked away with an increased awareness of our blindspots as well as a validation that our team is very much a high performing, pathfinding team. I know I speak for everyone when I thank you for your extremely enjoyable and effective engagement with us.

University President
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