The Thread Story

We all have stories to tell about ourselves – stories define us and help us get to know each other. At Thread we believe our best work happens when we form sincere relationships with our clients to work as true partners – which all begins with understanding each other’s story. Let us share Thread’s story so we can start to get to know each other.

The first strings of today’s firm were tied together in 2008, when founder Loree Lipstein was working as a Senior Campaign Manager for the DC-chapter of a large, national voluntary health organization. Working for an organization with elevated fundraising techniques and a talented staff, Loree became acutely aware of how often other organizations were failing to maximize all their fundraising potential as she interacted with them in various voluntary roles. What started as a simple observation to a colleague about the type of support and training many nonprofits needed in order to raise the bar on their fundraising, quickly became a serious conversation. Once Loree began to view her various interactions with nonprofits through a development lens, a pattern of real need emerged. As Loree pursued development roles with other organizations, she continued to work with talented development professionals who joined the conversation, further confirming just how often many nonprofits, especially small to mid-sized, local organizations, struggle to bring in enough revenue to grow and scale their programs.

Loree further researched the topic of nonprofit revenue generation and growth as a CASE Scholar at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Through her coursework at Fuqua, Loree explored the field of nonprofit consulting in an effort to better understand what options for support are available to nonprofits. As she began to understand the industry, she identified a gap between the needs of small organizations and the services offered by large consulting firms. Loree realized that, along with needing a tailored development strategy, many organizations need help with the next step of implementing that strategy, as small staffs often already wear many hats and are stretched thin. Small organizations are further disadvantaged by the shortage of development professionals in the marketplace. Talent comes at a premium and it is difficult for smaller nonprofits to attract, and retain, the caliber of development talent needed for growth and advancement of their mission.

Thinking through these challenges facing many nonprofits and social enterprises, Loree realized her past work and experience put her in a unique position to develop a solution. Throughout her career at powerhouse fundraising nonprofits, she worked with many highly talented development professionals who could solve the talent problem. By bringing these seasoned professionals together at Thread, Loree sought to build a team that can work across various missions to make a greater impact with their talents. The Thread team supports nonprofits not just by helping to develop a strategy, but also partnering together to implement and support that strategy. By relieving over-stretched program staff of development activities, the high-functioning Thread team can more efficiently assist with bringing in funds so organizations can grow, advance their mission and become more attractive to development talent in the future.

The Thread vision is that great ideas and practices for solving social issues will never be held back by a lack of the necessary funds to realize their full potential. We do what we’re good at – fundraising – so our partners can do what they’re good at – changing the world.