The Thread Story
The first strings of today’s firm were tied together in 2008, when founder Loree Lipstein was working as a development team member at a large, national 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 their fundraising potential as she interacted with them in various voluntary roles.
What started as a simple observation to a colleague about options small nonprofits have for support and training to elevate their fundraising strategies 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 fundraising 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, much less retain, the caliber of development talent needed for growth and advancement of their mission.
Thinking through these challenges, Loree realized that the many highly talented development professionals who she had worked with thus far in her career 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 experience and expertise. The Thread team supports nonprofits not just by helping to develop a strategy, but by partnering together to implement and support that strategy as well. By relieving over-stretched program staff of development activities, the 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.