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Welcome to moss+ross. Please enjoy reviewing this archive of newsletters with relevant updates and examples from our expert associates and partners.

Messaging in Today’s World

By Susan Ross. We’ve shared one piece of advice consistently since the pandemic started: Stay in touch with your donors and key volunteers. Mary called it Extreme Stewardship in a recent newsletter, and we know many of you are working hard to do this. The moss+ross team has had many great conversations with clients over the last few weeks, all of whom want to communicate but are sensitive to the need to get the message “right.” These nonprofits fall into three basic groups: Front-Line Providers:  Nonprofits that provide food, shelter, health care and education are clearly needed more than ever. The strain on your budgets is very real because of increased demand, and you are working long hours. You must make time to share your message, and you can ask colleagues, volunteers and partner organizations to help [...]

Building Trust with Donors

By Susan Ross. Successful nonprofit leadership demands fundraising capability. Subject matter expertise and passion for the cause remain important parts of the nonprofit skill set, but leaders know it takes money to live into an ambitious mission. The best professionals build relationships that make clients, donors, staff, and others value and trust your role in their lives. We see this expectation in our searches for executive directors and development officers, where Boards are clearly looking for a proven record of fundraising success. What does that really mean? More than an impressive dollar total, it should recognize a pattern of actions and related results that meet the agreed upon goals. Certainly, a bit of luck may make an unexpected gift land in your lap, but more often the luckiest people are the ones who work the hardest, as [...]

2020-03-30T21:28:55+00:00March 2nd, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners|

Staffing Services

Did you know there are 3.1 million temporary and contract employees in the staffing industry on any given day? m+r interim solutions is proud to match highly skilled nonprofit professionals with clients across the Triangle. Our affiliate contractors are highly qualified, experienced nonprofit professionals who work as interim members of a client’s staff. moss+ross develops the general scope of work and contract with the client, manages the client relationship, and supports the affiliate’s work. Current clients include: Community Music School, Event Support Compass Center for Women & Families, Campaign Support Durham Collaborative to End Family Homelessness, Grant Writing Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, Database Support Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, CEO Local Start Dental, Development Officer MedServe, Managing Director Musical Empowerment, Development Officer North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Development Officer North Carolina Medical Society, Database Support North Carolina School [...]

2020-03-30T21:31:03+00:00March 2nd, 2020|All Posts, Staffing|

Welcome to Our New Website!

By Jeanne Murray. moss+ross has served nearly 200 clients, grown to 20+ associates, and offers a suite of services to nonprofits, including temporary staffing through m+r interim solutions. As we begin our second decade, we have launched a robust new website commensurate with the powerful services offered by the firm. Beyond excitedly announcing “hey, look what we did!” we also want to share our process. We used the same approach to our internal project that we do in communications counsel with clients. In our consulting engagements, we advise clients on goal setting, strategic messaging, and integrated communications planning. We followed our own advice as we revised the website: Setting Goals: The impetus for the upgrade was, frankly, modernity! The previous site was seven years old, which is light years in web technology, and as we took a [...]

2020-03-30T21:32:13+00:00March 2nd, 2020|All Posts, Team Expertise|

Five Ways to Become a More Effective Major Gifts Officer

By Elizabeth Hopkins.  For many major gift officers, summer is the opportunity to take stock of the success and challenges of the previous fiscal year and make resolutions for the new year. The most successful gift officers embrace prospect planning to ensure they are getting out of the office to find, cultivate and solicit the best prospects. If you are at your desk more than you are out, you are missing opportunities. Meetings, database entry deadlines, reports, and proposal writing can tie you down to your desk, preventing you from your primary responsibility of engaging prospects and donors in major gift conversations. Here are five suggestions to help you focus your work to become a more efficient, effective, and productive major gifts officer. 1. Create a personal annual development plan that includes both fiscal-year fundraising goals and engagement goals. Include [...]

The Room Where It Happens

By Mary Moss. If you’ve seen Hamilton, you know that the “Room Where it Happens” means more than just clever lyrics and melody. History is made by having the right people in the room, people whose actions and commitment will change everything. Alexander Hamilton was in the room, and as they say, the rest is history. Who is in your room? As staff, do you have the right people in your room? As board or committee members, do you have the right volunteers in your room? This past month has been an extraordinary one for some moss+ross clients. To name only a few:  * SECU Family House and Oak City Cares celebrated successful campaign conclusions * Healing Transitions and Durham Tech met huge milestones in their campaigns * Voices Together hired a Director of Development and Eno [...]

Engaging Your Board in Foundation Grant Seeking

By Kathryn Williams. Family foundations comprise the largest segment of the private foundation sector, a sector that grew by an estimated 7.3% to $75.86 billion last year, according to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018. Foundation giving represented 18% of all 2018 charitable dollars, which is unprecedented, both for the dollar amount and for the share of total giving. Approaching a family foundation requires a personal connection. You can’t just send in an unsolicited letter of inquiry or grant request; no one will read it. Your Board may have the ability to positively influence the grant process. Identify connections among your Board members. Someone on your Board may have a relationship with a funder that can open doors. Gather as much information as you can about the foundation and its staff [...]

Communicating the Message by Susan Ross

I am a communicator as well as a fundraiser – two very important aspects of our profession. Telling stories of how the work you do changes people’s lives, and how your donors’ gifts make a difference, helps your fundraising. Once you have painted a picture of what could happen if donors invest with you, the solicitation part is much easier (and more likely to be successful). My father was a career public relations professional.  One of his favorite definitions of the field was: DO A GOOD JOB AND GET CREDIT FOR IT.  That is sound advice for those of us trying to effect change in our corner of the world. As a proud graduate of the UNC School of Media and Journalism, I take very seriously the fundamentals of good communications: clear messaging, accuracy, audience awareness, and correct grammar. moss+ross has always included communications in our development and [...]

Three Steps to Great Messaging by Jeanne Murray

Your organization communicates purpose and inspires support through your messaging. While a good starting point is crafting a great mission statement, the day-in/day-out communication of your organization’s message doesn’t end with a declaration of mission. Continual messaging conveys the impact, energy, and needs of your organization – and, importantly, supports your development efforts. How do you know good messaging from the kind that needs improvement? Good messaging communicates value, encourages consistency, and identifies clear action. Good messaging communicates value. Messaging that communicates value is less about what you do, and more about what gets done with donor support. Words and images that bring impact to life tell donors that your organization is a worthy investment of time, money, and attention. Do your communications identify a donor’s role in achieving the mission? For example, I’m on the board of a Durham [...]

Dream Big, Plan Well, Execute to Perfection by Mary Moss

Those are three phrases that I use to guide many facets of my personal and professional life.  I did not grow up knowing how to do any of these things with respect to advancement (or much of anything else).  It is through 35 years of practice that I have become more seasoned in these areas. With respect to planning (i.e., the focus of this issue), in my very first development position, I was asked to write a plan on how to increase totals aggressively in a relatively new phonathon program.  Terrified does not even begin to describe what 25-year old me felt. I had no clue what the vice president of this university wanted to see or how to begin or why I had to do it.  My first step was to ask my peers what they thought should be in [...]

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