Dallas-based Dala Communications is expanding its agency services with the launch of a new nonprofit practice group, aimed at providing fundraising services to small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations. The firm has hired Stuart Williams as its vice president of operations and senior fundraising consultant, to lead the new endeavor.
With more than 17 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, Williams brings a wealth of expertise to his new role, Dala said. He’s been responsible for securing substantial donations, having raised five and six-figure gifts.
Fundraising is a delicate balance between art and science, according to Williams. He looks forward to helping nonprofits achieve their fundraising goals and long-term success at Dala.
“Today the opportunity exists for small to mid-sized nonprofits to implement highly effective fundraising initiatives at an affordable price by outsourcing some of their development responsibilities,” he said in a statement. “I am excited to work alongside development staff, acting as an extension of their team to build awareness among their current donor base and prospects, utilizing the latest technology and time-tested fundraising methods to help nonprofits exceed campaign goals and further the sustainability of their organization.”
Williams will be responsible for leading Dala’s work with nonprofits by providing a variety of high-impact fundraising and consulting services.
Acting as ‘an extension of a development team’
Dala Communications said the new nonprofit practice group will have fractional fundraising services such as full-service grant writing and management, direct response fundraising campaigns, and major gift program development.
Traditionally, nonprofits have utilized in-house fundraisers often called development associates to implement an array of fundraising capabilities including grant writing. By using the expertise of Williams and the Dala team, nonprofits can save the cost of hiring a full-time fundraiser while still executing all the necessary fundraising functions that drive revenue, the agency said.
“Stuart’s proven track record in the fundraising community and his varied experience in the nonprofit industry makes him the perfect partner to lead and build Dala’s new nonprofit consulting practice group,” Leah Ekmark Williams, president and CEO at Dala Communications, said in a statement. “With more professional services moving to the fractional model, we recognized the opportunity for Dala’s team to act as an extension of a development team much like our agency already does with our clients’ in-house PR and marketing teams.”
According to Ekmark Williams, the new VP’s ability to lead development teams and his expertise in researching and managing private and public grants makes him a suitable fit for nonprofit organizations looking to enhance their development capabilities.
Veteran nonprofit fundraising leader
Prior to Dala, Stuart Williams led fundraising departments at various Dallas nonprofits in early childhood education, community health, homelessness and addiction recovery. He combines proven fundraising principles with modern communication and technology tools to connect nonprofits with supporters who share that same desire for change, Dala said.
The agency said Williams’ knowledge of the Dallas-Fort Worth philanthropy landscape has enabled him to create and execute fundraising campaigns that demonstrate community impact and drive revenue growth.
Dala said that among William’s accomplishments are increasing donor retention by 20% and exceeding an annual revenue goal by 35%.
Williams earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation in 2021. That equips professionals with knowledge in philanthropic planning, taxation, finance, and family dynamics to assist donors in fulfilling their philanthropic goals.
Dala Communications is a results-based, full-service public relations/marketing communications agency that creates impactful, content marketing formulas and fundraising campaigns.
A gallop to success
While Dala Communications expands its services to the nonprofit sector, Ekmark Williams, the agency’s founder, continues to be inspired by her Swedish heritage and the legacy of her family’s entrepreneurship and hard work. The agency’s name, taken from the traditional Swedish Dala horse, serves as a symbol of this legacy and the personalized, one-of-a-kind service that Dala Communications provides to its clients.
The Dala horse, or Dalecarlian horse, is a traditional wooden statue that originated in Sweden’s Dalarna region. The statues are usually painted red with white detailing, and each one is unique due to its hand-carved design. In Sweden, the Dala horse symbolizes strength and independence.
For Williams, the Dala horse represents much more than just a cultural symbol. It’s a reminder of her family’s legacy of entrepreneurship and hard work, which started with her grandfather, Carl J. Ekmark, who immigrated to the United States from Sweden in 1903.
“Dala represents a legacy of entrepreneurship, integrity, and a time-proven work ethic that began with Leah’s grandfather, Carl J. Ekmark, who was also an entrepreneur himself,” said a spokesperson for Dala Communications.
Williams was inspired by the Dala horse’s symbolism and decided to name her agency after it. For her, the Dala horse represents the stories upon which legacies are built. It’s a perfect symbol for Dala Communications, an agency that prides itself on providing personalized, one-of-a-kind service to its clients, the spokesperson says.
Through the Dala horse, Ekmark Williams honors her family’s Swedish heritage and carries on their legacy of hard work and entrepreneurship while building a bright future for her agency.
Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.
Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.