Talent Makes it Happen

By Susan Ross, Partner. The media is calling it a “resignation revolution,” but when it happens in your shop it’s just painful. Executive Directors, Directors of Development, and other nonprofit staff leaders play an integral role in a team’s ability to deliver the services clients expect, and stay true to the promises made to donors. In both large and small environments, a vacancy or two can wreak havoc on the remaining staff’s ability to perform as they scramble to keep up with an increased workload. We have seen a huge uptick in clients needing executive search services this fall, and no signs of it slowing down. Whether or not this is related to the pandemic, the need for experienced, mission-focused leaders is very real. At moss+ross, we are poised to help with interim professional placement to keep [...]

Tips to Ease Future Staffing Transitions

By LisaCaitlin Perri. Often a staff transition means losing that person's institutional knowledge of documents, processes, and decision making. From our years of experience stepping into organizations as interim contractors, we see several key areas that can mitigate the turmoil of a turnover, improve internal efficiency, and streamline communication. Prioritize the following areas for up-to-date documentation that is readily accessible to the full team or at least to more than one staff member: Reports – For data reports or filters/queries that supported an appeal or event or board meeting, document how or why final decisions were made and the names of any final reports or filters. Be sure that the final criteria or lists are available in a secure shared location. This applies to financial and program reports to funders or other stakeholders, too. Examples: For your [...]

Mobilize with Temporary Staff Support

By Kathryn Williams. Clients often call us when they need interim staff to support temporary needs. I’ve been called on when a position becomes vacant, to assist with researching and writing grant proposals, to help prepare for a capital campaign, or to support volunteers with a project or event. When a client identifies a need, moss+ross develops a contract that spells out the scope of work, priorities, and fees, as well as the anticipated timeline for completion of the work. When a moss+ross person steps into a temporary role, the first meeting is to assess organizational needs, clarify expectations, and outline roles and responsibilities for everyone involved on the team. Whether on site or online, we communicate progress with the client through regular emails and weekly team meetings. The best way a client can support an interim [...]

Focus

By Mary Moss, Partner. Almost every day this month, as emotional headlines about rising Covid cases, the Afghan war departure, and historic weather events scrolled across my screen, I was inspired by the uninterrupted focus that comes from great nonprofit leadership. Featured below are three unstoppable moss+ross clients: Orange Habitat, Healing Transitions, and Trinity Academy. We could have featured many more who are equally focused on doing great work in our communities. The secret sauce of focus includes more than dedication to mission. Here are some tips: (1) make fundraising a weekly top priority (so you do not fall behind); (2) partner with capable volunteer and staff leaders who meet regularly (to infuse ideas and energy and share the work load); and (3) don’t forget the fun (plan agendas that highlight the work of others and recognize [...]

Advancing Equitable Fundraising

By Jeanne Murray. What does it mean to approach fundraising in an equitable way? We see many examples of organizations, foundations, boards, and nonprofit leaders taking action to be more equitable and inclusive in fundraising. Some examples: Collaboration among nonprofits, from advocacy, to grant applications, to mergers Intentionally inclusive fundraising, for example, fundraising events with tiered pricing Partnering with communities for strategic planning and program development Strengths-based framing in storytelling and messaging Stewardship efforts that ask donors and participants “how do you want to be engaged?” In the past year we have all felt the urgency to do better and be better, especially in partnering with communities to achieve results. moss+ross seeks to understand how we as individuals and as a firm can advance this conversation, and continue working with clients to help them promote deeper change. [...]

A Buoy for the Turnover Tsunami

By Lizzy Mottern. The statistics are staggering: The Achievers’ Employee Engagement and Retention Report found that 52% of workers plan on looking for new jobs in 2021. A study from Nonprofit HR revealed that 45% of responding nonprofit employees indicated that they would seek new or different employment by 2025. Some are calling this the “turnover tsunami.” moss+ross interim solutions helps organizations navigate these transitions.  It typically takes 6-9 months of salary to find, hire, and onboard a new employee.  If someone leaves a job with a $40,000 salary, it could cost anywhere between $20,000-$30,000 to hire and onboard a new staff member. Typically, these are unanticipated costs – and loss in productivity can drive expenses even higher. That’s where we can help. moss+ross affiliate contractors join your team to keep daily operations moving as you work [...]

Welcome Normal Days

By Susan Ross, Partner. I’ve kept a newspaper column for many years called “Learning to be grateful for life’s normal days.” Encouraging us not to overlook their beauty, Donna Britt writes in the Washington Post of their “magnificent mediocrity” and says “those are days worth loving.” Never was that more true than during the 2020-21 pandemic-related upheaval of our normalcy. Nonprofits did what they could. Some hunkered down while others geared up, and most of those who continued fundraising just closed one of their best years ever. Our advice, shared through every Zoom call and e-newsletter over the last year, was not to wait it out but instead to continue to do the hard work of asking people to support the mission. So now as you begin to plan your 2021-22 fiscal year, how do you account [...]

The Five W’s of Development Planning

By Elizabeth Hopkins, Brooke Jenkins, and Lizzy Mottern. The summer months are a good time to refresh and renew our enthusiasm for the important work we do – and to create a Development Plan for the year ahead. The Five W’s of Development Planning will help you focus on the important elements of your plan. Why Plan? A plan provides common understanding of what is being done, who is doing it, and by when. Development plans: Secure resources for your organization Keep donors connected, informed, and feeling appreciated Ensure the development team works efficiently and effectively. When to Plan? For many organizations, the summer marks the end of one fiscal year and the beginning of another, making this an ideal time to assess what worked well last year and plan for the year ahead. Start early and [...]

Leadership Lessons

By moss+ross staff. moss+ross has offered Executive Search services since 2010, and has helped Triangle nonprofits place more than 70 executive-level and development professionals since then. We asked several to share their perspective on nonprofit leadership in today’s environment. Each has led with resilience to revamp services, operate without volunteers, and respond to changing conditions in this past year. Urban Ministries of Durham offers food, shelter and a future to end homelessness and fight poverty in Durham. “You try to stay focused on the things you can control while understanding the need to stay flexible and adaptable. For example, during the pandemic, we had to shift our focus from providing food, housing and other services to keeping people healthy.  That became our first priority.” Sheldon Mitchell, Executive Director (moss+ross search placement in 2016) United Way of the [...]

Invest Now, or Regret Later

By Mary Moss, Partner. The Dow Jones all-time high of 34,811 happened on May 7, 2021. Given the year we have had, I have been astonished at U.S. economic performance amid the disruption of the pandemic, the calls for justice, and political polarization. Yet, experts continue to promote economic optimism this year and in the coming years, some saying that the best is yet to come. Of course, all of that is subject to opinion and evolving data. The economy and philanthropy are partners for life, and when the former does well, so does the latter. In 2020, depending on which report you read, overall giving increased slightly, or increased in some sectors, or decreased. In 2021 so far, we are seeing donors give generously, respond faster with pledges and payments, and volunteer more freely. Every capital campaign moss+ross is supporting is finding success. [...]

Go to Top