RBW Strategy, LLC is a boutique independent consulting firm located in the Greater Washington, D.C. area. It is a woman-owned small business focused on supporting nonprofits and public sector organizations.


OWNER: Rachel Werner

ADDRESS:  5012 Tothill Drive, Olney, MD 20832

TELEPHONE NUMBER:  301-325-8552

EMAIL:  rachel@rbwstrategy.com

WEB SITE:  http://rbwstrategy.com

NAME OF MENTOR(S):  Mariann Zylstra

SUMMARY OF THE CLIENT’S COMPANY: RBW Strategy, LLC is a boutique independent consulting firm located in the Greater Washington, D.C. area. It is a woman-owned small business focused on supporting nonprofits and public sector organizations in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning and project management. Rachel Werner, Owner and CEO of RBW Strategy, has over 16 years of fundraising, communications, writing, planning, training, and project management experience and has raised nearly $35 million and managed over $2 billion in grant funding since the beginning of her career. She is considered a nationally recognized subject matter expert in grants and project management.


RBW Strategy provides project- and retainer-based support in the following areas:

  • Grant readiness to pursue funding
  • Prospect research on funders, programmatic partners and corporate sponsors
  • Proposal writing and reporting
  • Concept development and brainstorming
  • Document editing/review on previously written proposals
  • Grants management (in particular those new to grants)
  • Customized training on fundraising, project management and related topics
  • Strategic planning, primarily related to fundraising
  • Project management as it relates to business operations and fundraising seeking activities


I came to SCORE in winter 2018 because I began to feel overwhelmed running my business. While I continued to work and gain clients, I was not as thoughtful in my approach in how to run my business versus working in the business. I specifically chose Mariann as I reviewed her profile and in addition to her marketing and business experience, she also had nonprofit experience, so I felt she had a keen awareness of the issues I would face. In addition, I wanted someone to understand that as a mother of two young children, I needed to be flexible as 12-hour days are not an option for me. After our first meeting I was so grateful for taking the leap. Not only did I start to think through my business plan, but I also began to understand how to be more fiscally responsible and more strategic in my payment structure and ongoing review of financials. She provided some useful financial spreadsheets to gauge my monthly revenue and expenses, provided links to additional training opportunities, and offered to make business connections and recommendations as appropriate. Through Mariann’s help I am on track in 2019 to exceed my 2018 sales total. I have refocused my efforts on business development and client engagement activities while delegating more tasks to subcontractors. I have a better sense on how to grow my pipeline, become more streamlined in my operations, and develop more focused business proposals to pitch my business. Also, I strongly believe that through my work with Mariann I am able to develop a business that works for me and my life, and this has allowed me to maintain the work/life balance that I crave. I look forward to my continued work with her and recommend SCORE to any business owner seeking to build his/her business.


  • Year over Year Revenue Growth
  • Scaled the business through employment of additional subcontractors
  • Gained mastery of financial metrics and forecasting models
  • Clearly defined SMART goals and a process to monitor and achieve them
  • Established a new pricing model; moving from hourly billing to project deliverable billing