Case Study


Music That Makes Community

A non-profit organization working with ecumenical communities and leaders, MMC empowers and liberates communities’ spiritual life through singing.


Music that Makes Community helps people connect and learn through singing. They do that by developing and teaching a practice of paperless song-leading grounded in a theology of welcome and generosity.

When Music That Makes Community came to the Vandersall Collective, they had recently transitioned into the leadership of Paul Vasile, their new Executive Director. They urgently and quickly needed  to raise funds. What they did have, however, was a small but engaged and energetic board, in addition to the organizational skills and larger vision of their Executive Director.

When we began our work together, the organization had the support of a few major donors and even fewer small donors. We jumped head-first into this challenge and together we took their limited donor list and extensive list of those who had received their services and created a grassroots and major donor program.

First we wrote and designed donor collateral materials, and then culling the connections with the board, we created a major donor tracking system, organizing, strategizing and training board members to make significant asks.

We then conceptualized, wrote, designed and launched a fall campaign, telling the story of the organization through the testimonies of those who had received MMC’s services and requesting support. We seized this opportunity to increase the grassroots supporters and also to increase the number of larger donors in concert with the new collateral materials. A side benefit of this campaign were multiple conversations with several prospective board members and conversations with the Collective about board expectations and training. Our financial and infrastructure goals weren’t only met but were exceeded.

In addition, we brainstormed all of the ways to engage the participants in MMC’s workshops as new potential donors, and then created systems and structures including the designing of eblast templates to reflect the verbal and creative brand identity of the organization.

Through these organizational structures, training and encouragement, we are so proud we were able to raise money and raise it fast, all with an eye towards a long-term sustainability.

MMC continues as a client. Together we work on fundraising appeals, both writing and design. 

In Short

Major Donor Campaigns, Stewardship and Annual Fund Campaigns, Crowdsourcing Campaigns, Board Training

Organization Type



“On our own, we would not be able to navigate these waters. We’re grateful for the partnership we feel with Mieke and her team.”

— Donald Schell, Board President


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