With Marts & Lundy’s acquisition of Raybin Associates this month, the clients of both firms will benefit from the blending of the talent and experience of two well-established consulting practices.
Although similar in philosophy to Marts & Lundy, the smaller New York firm offers a background and a “set of skills that complement and expand on Marts & Lundy’s work,” said Nancy Raybin, former managing partner of Raybin Associates and now senior consultant and principal with Marts & Lundy.
The Raybin firm has primarily focused on clients in the New York metropolitan area, including top tier arts and cultural organizations, human services organizations, and independent schools. Kim Hawkins, also a former partner at Raybin Associates and now with Marts & Lundy, and Nancy Raybin will continue working with their existing clients, but are excited to be able to offer them additional resources through their access to colleagues at Marts & Lundy who specialize in services such as data analysis and communications.
They will also have more resources and a broader range of expertise for larger assignments. “We’ve been constrained because we are a small firm and so have not always been able to take on the totality of the needs of our bigger clients,” said Hawkins.
Marts & Lundy looks forward to expanding its experience with New York City-based clients. The firm’s senior consulting staff brings a wealth of strategic fundraising experience, both nationally and internationally, to its existing clients, with experts in data analysis and management; planned giving; prospect research; communications (including social media execution; website design; video production; and writing services); among many other specialties. Current client assignments range from “small projects to very long multiple engagements that last, in some cases, over decades,” said Don Fellows, President and CEO of Marts & Lundy. “A typical client relationship might start with an organizational assessment, a campaign planning study, and analytics, then develop into ongoing counseling with the organization’s leadership.”
"Nancy and Kim have done very effective strategic consulting work with organizations in the New York metro area, where so many leading philanthropies and foundations are based, and they really understand that market,” said Fellows. “They also have a strong background in advising non-profits on governance issues as well as strategic planning. These skills will benefit all Marts & Lundy clients, regardless of geography.”
Both firms have seen a sharply increased demand in recent years for strategic planning, a process of self-evaluation – usually consultant-guided – through which an organization defines and articulates its core values and vision, and maps its course for the future. Consultants play an important role in the process because they can draw upon their experience with a broad range of other non-profits. And their ability to hear all perspectives, to put challenging issues on the table, and to maintain objectivity is equally important. Strategic plans they help craft usually form the basis of future capital campaigns and other major fundraising ventures.
“Organizations have to compete a lot harder these days because the funds are not as available as they were even a few years ago,” said Raybin. “The recession makes everybody think more carefully about who they are, what they’re doing, and why they deserve the support of the public.”
“By integrating the assets of the two firms, we will bring to the New York non-profit market the best of both worlds – a New York perspective combined with broad national and international experience and all the niche specialists needed to meet the challenges that nonprofits are facing in today’s highly competitive market for philanthropic dollars,” said Raybin.