By Susan Ross.
Mary and I are thrilled that moss+ross is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, and we just have to take a few minutes to reminisce about the journey.
Over 10 years we have helped build shelters, schools, cathedrals, synagogues and museums; stabilized reserve funds and helped nonprofits merge; conducted assessments and written strategic plans; launched new initiatives and helped others reboot; managed dozens and dozens of searches and placed many interim staff members along the way. We have worked on campaigns from $600,000 to $4.2 billion, and we still get excited when our clients get a big gift or cut a ribbon or hit their goals.
moss+ross grew out of a shared vision to strengthen the capacity of our nonprofit community. We felt we could make a difference in this region with an expanded use of the skills honed as development professionals for respected educational institutions we loved.
Mary and I wanted to keep our hands in education, both higher ed and independent schools, but we also felt we could contribute to the growth of the community in which we’ve lived all our lives – specifically, the nonprofit and faith communities in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, on whose boards and committees we had served over the years. We understood how hard their staff and boards work, and how difficult it is to take on something bigger or different, particularly fundraising campaigns. And we knew how important it was to get it right.
Looking back, we had a nontraditional start. We had made the decision to go out on our own as an LLC just before the economy tanked in 2008. There we were: ready to run the campaigns that no one was conducting. However, we employed what would turn out to be our firm’s core values: creating opportunity, staying flexible and investing in each client’s success. We found other roles to play in strengthening the skills and operations of area nonprofits during those early years.
Along the way we built our team of 18 associates — talented professionals who have joined us from a variety of career paths and who share our commitment to creative and resourceful service to clients. Plus, we have had a lot of fun along the way! Over time, as the economy recovered and the pent-up need for funding meant the campaigns did eventually get underway, we were ready to roll with a larger team and broader consulting experience.
As we start our second decade, we have done our own strategic planning and will be rolling out our plans in future newsletters. For now, we just want to say thank you to our 169 clients, our 18 associates (plus a handful that have retired or moved on), and the affiliate contractors involved in our newest venture, m+r interim solutions. It has been a wonderful journey, with many more chapters to come.
“We are grateful for the ways the community has embraced us with a hug so strong
that we were inspired to grow and continue hiring our talented team of associates,
one by one, to meet the needs of the nonprofit sector.” – Mary Moss