Delivering value and outcomes through tailored Advancement strategies and solutions:

ZAC’s services are designed to help non-profit organizations of any size discover the untapped financial resources necessary to fund their growing missions.


ZAC’s capital campaign approach is based on the philosophy that capacity giving comes as a result of high-quality decisions. Quality decisions come from a commitment to discovering donors’ passions and interests and connecting them with the campaign vision. ZAC will guide you through these core principles for a successful volunteer-driven fundraising campaign.

Core Principles

Building and communicating a well-defined and urgent Case for Support
Engaging, enlisting and preparing committed leadership
Creating an environment for capacity giving
Developing and managing a campaign timetable that allows for success while maintaining discipline and building momentum
Developing a clear financial path to your objectives

Annual Fundraising

In most cases, the primary function of an annual fund program is to provide unrestricted and budget relief to help fund ongoing operations. However, by addressing the interests of donors in your annual fund, they become engaged in your mission and build enthusiasm for your future. ZAC’s development counsel will guide your growth by helping you develop and execute a strategic annual fundraising plan that creates separate and appropriate strategies for donors at all levels.


Does your annual giving program consistently provide opportunities and inspire donors to give at or near capacity?
Do your outreach programs actively engage supporters in your mission?
Do you keep donors well informed about accomplishments?
Do you effectively track when, how, and why a donor gives?
Do you use that information to better understand your donors and build relationships?

Strategic Planning Facilitation

Organizations that have clarity and alignment around mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities operate at the highest levels of efficiency. ZAC’s approach to the strategic planning process ensures that the organization not only achieves a written strategic blueprint that guides organizational and advancement priorities and plans, but also energizes stakeholders for action and support of the plan’s outcomes.


Does your organization have a clear strategic plan in place, with a dynamic vision, mission, values statement, strategic prioritization, and key initiatives that guide the development of the case for support?
Is your mission, vision, and plans “owned” by the stakeholders whose support is critical to accomplishing the plan?
Do key internal and external constituents understand and align with the strategic priorities and plans?

Advancement Assessment/Diagnostic:

An Advancement Assessment/Diagnostic evaluates all areas of your advancement operation, with the primary goals of identifying opportunities for growth, as well as obstacles to overcome. We recommend specific actions to achieve sustainable growth through a strategic development plan.
Successful development programs result from the careful coordination and integration of four essential functions.

Four Essential Functions

1. Committed leadership at all levels of the organization with a dedication to planning and supporting an effective development operation
2. Compelling communication tools and donor opportunities that are responsive to the needs of the donor base
3. A well-managed and aligned organization that employs strategic planning at all levels
4. A broad understanding and execution of best practices in the field of advancement

Campaign Readiness Studies

Our Campaign Readiness Studies are designed to understand the positions, views and motivations among your top supporters. Through the study process, our primary goal is to plan a successful campaign, while mitigating risks to the organization.

A planning study with ZAC is designed to assess:

The internal and external perception of your organization
The strengths and weaknesses of a compelling and credible Case for Support
The priority assigned to the proposed project by constituents
The availability of leaders who demonstrate commitment and enthusiasm
The financial feasibility of the proposed objective
Pre-campaign preparations that can strengthen your capital campaign planning.

Board Development

Committed board leadership is an integral piece of a healthy nonprofit, not to mention a thriving development operation. Recruiting and retaining the right board members for your organization directly impacts effectiveness at all levels. ZAC’s team members bring vast experience with boards in all types and sizes of nonprofit organizations. We can customize a short- or long-term plan to evaluate your current board structure, train board members through workshops or retreats, and recommend specific courses of action for building the optimal group to meet your specific organizational needs.


How many Board members do you need to be most effective?
How often should your Board meet?
What roles/responsibilities do Board members have, and how well do they understand those roles? Do you have Board job descriptions?
Do you need an Advisory Board, and if so, what is its specific purpose?
Do you strategically recruit Board members based on the needs of your organization?
Do your Board members believe that they make a significant contribution to the organization? Do they feel valued?
Do Board members have or need term limits?
Is your current structure working effectively?

Enrollment Campaigns

The most common challenge of private schools across the country is ensuring a steady stream of students each year. Retaining existing school families and recruiting new ones is an ongoing process that often works hand-in-hand with your development operation. ZAC’s experience counseling schools across the country in their fundraising efforts has led to this unique service that focuses on developing an enrollment plan to address not only the need to retain and recruit families, but also to create synergy between the enrollment and development functions.

Core Principles

Do you have a strategic plan to retain and/or increase enrollment?
Have you assessed the history of your enrollment practices?
Have you analyzed your current enrollment practices for effectiveness and efficiency?
Have you initiated a focused effort utilizing existing networks to impact enrollment?
Have you adequately utilized volunteers to facilitate advancement efforts?
Have you created a culture where every faculty member, parent, grandparent, and student feels a part of the advancement effort?


“When I arrived at Murray State as a new president, and Alan had already been engaged by our Foundation Board to lay the groundwork for what would ultimately be the largest campaign in the University’s history. He’s been with us all the way through! In working with me—beyond breaking down into manageable, workable steps what seemed at the outset to be a Herculean task—Alan became a key mentor in my presidential role and a valued professional colleague. Half of our fundraising in the recent campaign is supporting student scholarships, so Alan’s dedication and leadership to MSU is truly leaving a legacy for our institution.”

Dr. Randy Dunn
President, Murray State University

“AZA develops the donor leadership that is most critical to meeting campaign goals while also making sure systems are in place for effective, long-term fundraising success. He’s a true professional!”

Fred A. Bleeke
Senior Vice President for Seminary Advancement (Interim), Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

I have had the opportunity to work with many fundraising consultants during my career; many look at their clients as simply another job, Alan looks at how he can make you and your organization successful – to him it is personal. I greatly appreciated his wise counsel, experience, and steady hand throughout our record-setting campaign.

Dr. Robert (Bob)Jackson
Associate Vice President – Institutional Advancement & Campaign Director, Murray State University

“As a school for young Christians, we want all of our leaders, teachers, administrators and staff to not only understand our mission, but to ­live it. We work with Alan Zacharias Associates because they model that attitude as they work with us to help fund this dynamic vision.”

Bob Kasten
Executive Director, Living Word Lutheran High School

” I appreciate how Alan Zacharias Associates uses small steps to greatly expand the achievement of great goals. During Alan’s tenure our institution received the “Most Improved Advancement Program” Award by the Council for the Advancement and Support (CASE). We also completed the largest campaign in our history based on funds raised and stakeholders engaged. We consider AZA a valued member of our team.”

Dr. Dale Meyer
President, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri

“Alan is simply the best when it comes to crafting effective strategies and plans for fund raising success. He is strategic minded, superb with boards and donors, and always finds a way to produce top results no matter the challenges!”

Thomas Bakewell
Bakewell & Associates

“Alan Zacharias isn’t a typical consultant. He has worked in the trenches. He has walked the walk. That makes him that much more credible to your staff, management, and board when he talks the talk, and transforms your advancement efforts in the process.”

John Burgess
President (ret.), Family & Children’s Center, La Crosse, WI

“Alan provides a very collegial atmosphere while constantly pushing us to push ourselves. He is an important partner in ministry”

Dr. Marshall R. Gillam
Executive Director, Lutheran Bible Translators

“Concordia College Alabama, like many 501 (C) 3 organizations is cautious when engaging a consultant. Consultants are expensive and sometimes do not perform as anticipated. Fortunately we have been blessed through our engagement of Alan Zacharias of AZA Consulting. He not only brought tremendous help to our ministry in terms of Mission, Vision, Strategic Initiatives and Comprehensive Campaign – but – he helped bring organization to the development shop, helped us identify professional leadership for the Advancement Office and implanted a system that has helped us identify new prospects and add many new major gift donors.”“Concordia College Alabama has been blessed through its engagement of Alan Zacharias Associates because of his knowledge, work ethic, abilities, and passion. What he has brought to our ministry in the past two years has more than paid for the cost of his services.”

Lloyd Probasco
Chairman, Board of Regents, Concordia College Alabama

“Alan Zacharias Associates LLC is the secret behind Concordia Alabama’s Financial Success. Alan Zacharias and his team developed strategy and programs to reconnect to our donors, identify qualified prospects, and develop new, generous avenues of support. Alan Zacharias Associates’ business ethos is about more than securing funds…it is about ensuring a bright, sustainable future.”

Dr. Tilahun Mekonnen Mendedo