How Planned Parenthood Arizona’s development team continued to reach their ambitious goals during momentous change, with our leadership as interim Chief Development Officer

Planned Parenthood Arizona is the largest sexual health organization in the state, serving thousands of people each year. The organization promotes and protects every person’s freedom and right to enjoy sexual health and well-being, to make reproductive choices, and build healthy, strong families. Planned Parenthood Arizona has three core focuses:

Health Care: PP Arizona’s health centers are comfortable places to go for honest information and compassionate care.

Education: The organization offers unbiased, comprehensive programs for teens and parents – that convey accurate information from many different points of view – to increase positive health outcomes for young people.

Advocacy: Planned Parenthood has a strong tradition of protecting sexual health rights and defending the freedom of all people, particularly focusing on women, people of color and LGBTQ folks. PP Arizona is firm in its positions and fierce in its arguments, striving to always be respectful of all.

The Opportunity

In 2022, Planned Parenthood Arizona sought our partnership to provide remote interim management while the organization searched for a new Chief Development Officer. We were joining their team during a moment of change and transition, in numerous ways:

  • CEO Brittany Fonteno, our client, had accepted the position only six months prior, having previously been focused on the advocacy efforts of Planned Parenthood Southern New England. Additionally, numerous members of Senior Leadership and the development team had joined within the past year.
  • The organization had just completed their fiscal year and was focused on planning for the new one.
  • Within the first few days of our engagement with PP Arizona, the Supreme Court would make the historic decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, causing confusion and fear for both providers and patients nationwide.

Brittany was seeking our help to navigate these unusual and shifting circumstances while keeping the team focused on ambitious fundraising goals.

The Results of Our Partnership

Key to the successful completion of the search was…

By leading and integrating ourselves into PP Arizona’s development team, and by serving as a strategic partner to CEO Brittany Fonteno, we were able to achieve the following over the course of the engagement (which was extended from two months to a total of four months):

  • Provide oversight and guidance to development team members, with the majority of the team reporting directly to us – all while fully remote
    This included managing team members, prioritizing the professional development of staff, and hosting regular one-on-one meetings to ensure individual team members stayed engaged, supported, and motivated. By providing interim management remotely, we were regularly available and accessible for our client.
  • Strengthen donor strategies and capitalize on giving opportunities during a tumultuous time
    We acted as a sounding board for Brittany, collaborating with her to develop donor solicitation strategies, analyze prospect data, identify the unique philanthropic opportunities that the Supreme Court’s decision presented, and ensuring general best practices in overseeing the development team and program.
  • Assess the strength of Chief Development Officer candidates, prepare the team to successfully onboard their new hire, and assist in the transition of the new CDO
    Because of our deep executive search expertise, we were able to share insights with PP Arizona’s human resources department regarding designing an interview process that is inclusive of all internal stakeholders, creating effective interview questions, and assessing the strength of candidate applications and presentations. We also worked closely with current development staff to clarify roles and responsibilities, as well as how individual team members would work with and support the incoming CDO. When the new CDO was hired, we worked closely with her to ensure a productive transition into her new role.
  • Improve and standardize cross-departmental communications and processes
    As a result of our engagement, the development team was able to strengthen protocols, in partnership with the finance department. We also sought ways to facilitate better content sharing across the organization, particularly when it came to collaboration with new External Affairs department.

Looking Forward

With an effective and engaged development team in place, Planned Parenthood Arizona is deeply committed to securing the resources it needs to help ensure reproductive health and freedom in the state, now and in the future.  

I am so grateful for Development Guild’s partnership as our interim management. Their consultant became a true member of our development team right away. With minimal direction, they were able to form strong relationships with our staff, provide stability and guidance, and have a very positive impact. I really appreciated their ability to take note of what our team needed and offer help proactively. They made a time of transition much smoother for us all.

- Brittany Fonteno, President & CEO

Contact us to learn more about our interim management services.

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