A U.S.-based international nonprofit organization—well-known in Sub-Saharan Africa but seeking greater visibility domestically—engaged Blue Star Strategies to help expand its connections within the U.S. foreign policy establishment and international funding and development communities. For decades, the organization had provided workforce development services to at-risk populations across Sub-Saharan Africa. The group specifically aimed to increase funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as to diversify its programming to become more eligible for funding from private sector donors and foundations.


The organization ought our firm’s guidance to help source funding from diverse parties and with introductions to a variety of stakeholder, including: the U.S. Government; multilateral organizations such as the International Labour Organization, International Finance Corporation, and the World Bank; Washington DC-based think tanks and public policy institutions; African embassies; foundations; and potential private sector donors. Because the majority of the group's contacts were in Africa, Blue Star Strategies helped it break new ground in the United States, including support for its grant applications and desired collateral and to help differentiate it from others working in the region and seeking access to similar funding sources.

Strategic Recommendation

Blue Star Strategies provided the organization with strategic counsel to expand its network, support new funding sources, and identify and facilitate targeted introductions in Washington DC. We enabled the client to apply for new funding, form connections they had not previously considered, and assisted it with fine-tuning its message and materials to attract new grantors and aligned itself better with current funding priorities.

Program Elements

Our approach focused on identifying strategic opportunities for the client and providing guidance from start-to-finish, including introductions, grant preparation, presentation, and application, and providing information and analysis on potential grantors. We also facilitated introductions to persons who could impact grantor decision-making and assisted with the client’s board outreach and cultivation.


In addition to expanding its visibility and network of contacts, Blue Star Strategies successfully facilitated multi-year funding from a major U.S.-based multinational retailer to offer new training programs in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya. Additionally, we were able to ensure that one of the client’s programs was endorsed by a leading foundation. Through our extensive and persistent efforts, the nonprofit organization also became eligible to receive future U.S. government grants from across the breadth of relevant Executive branch agencies.