Highlights from the Latest Newsletter

Cultivate Gratitude Throughout the Year

By Anna White Hosea. Gratitude and philanthropy go hand in hand. As we enter this season of giving and giving back, many nonprofits are thinking about Giving Tuesday campaigns. Now a firmly entrenched part of the shopping and spending days that follow Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday on November 28 provides nonprofits with a messaging opportunity not to be missed. Donors and community members are primed to respond to messages asking for support on that day. But what about the rest of the year? Successful nonprofits cultivate gratitude year-round, not just as the holidays approach. Our clients’ mission-focused work requires patience and long-term planning. Through strategic planning, annual fundraising, and capital projects, our clients envision the future while mapping a clear pathway to get there. Nurturing a spirit of gratitude among donors, staff, and volunteers helps animate the work [...]

An Investment Worth Its Weight in Gold

By Dave Monaco, Subject Matter Expert. Want to raise the anxiety level of nonprofit executives or board members? Engage them in yet another conversation about how to do a lot with a little! Indeed, discussions about how best to allocate an organization’s ever-finite resources of time and dollars dominate many a meeting agenda. Even with a laser-like focus on mission, nonprofit leaders regularly confront difficult budgetary choices and have to cut critical non-programmatic areas. Employee professional development is one such cost-saver that can prove to be a short-sighted decision. Research from corporate and nonprofit sectors shows that organizations who invest in their people promote healthier workplace cultures, improve employee retention, and steel themselves for the inevitable departure of key leaders. When wrestling with knotty budgetary decisions and evaluating their professional development programming, nonprofit board members and executives should [...]

Creating Great Chemistry

By Susan Ross, Founding Partner. Maybe it is because Lessons in Chemistry is on nearly every book list this year (and it is a great read), but I have been thinking lately about CHEMISTRY and how it plays a role in successful relationships of all kinds. It is not AP Chem I am thinking about, but what is defined as “the complex emotional or psychological interactions among people.” This goes beyond marriages and friendships and includes other kinds of associations, like those between nonprofits and their volunteers and donors or Executive Directors and their staffs. At moss+ross, we take very seriously the chemistry involved in our professional relationships with clients. We work with all kinds of nonprofits and all kinds of people. Well over half of our 257 clients have hired us for multiple engagements over the past [...]

Planning For Legacy

By Wes Brown, Senior Associate. August is National Make-a-Will Month—a timely reminder to the nearly 67% of American adults who do not have a legal will in place. Wills and other estate planning documents such as health care power of attorney are on the to-do list, but many people simply don’t get around to the review, reflection, division, and designation of cash, property, and other assets accumulated over a lifetime. At death there are heirs by default of course. But responsible stewardship—the ultimate sharing of our resources with people and causes we care deeply about—requires plans, decisions, and documents. Philanthropic giving is often part of an estate plan and can be a tax-wise strategy to leave a legacy beyond one's lifetime. I have known many families who have felt gratification knowing the impact of their gift will [...]

Asking Powerful Questions

By Lizzy Mottern, VP of Talent. A transition is a chance to think creatively, consider different perspectives, address challenges and opportunities, and celebrate successes. When moss+ross gets a call to assist with temporary staffing through moss+ross interim solutionsTM or an Executive Search, we ask many, many questions to gather input and feedback, build trust, nurture relationships, and explore various solutions with a client. The questions we ask, how we ask them, and whom we ask have a huge impact on our ability to understand a situation and develop meaningful, results-oriented approaches that allow clients to navigate a transition and maximize their investment in the staffing and search support we provide. Asking the right follow-up questions is another important way to dig in and fully explore challenging situations. Here's how we work to gain an understanding of an [...]

Four tips for building a fundraising plan.

By Mary Moss, Founding Partner. “I just want to stay the same”…said no nonprofit leader ever. I have never worked with a nonprofit leader who said, “We just want to stay the same. Can you help us do that?” Every nonprofit leader I have known in this business is here because of their passion to want to be better, improve, serve, and engage more people. It’s who we are. The issue is HOW to improve. That is when moss+ross gets the call to help. Progress is measured on a three-legged stool that has withstood the test of time: annual, capital, and planned development programs. All three should be front and center and tracked annually. The most important program is the unrestricted annual fund. Leaders need money to operate, period. Capital campaigns catapult an organization’s mission and programs [...]

Raising Mental Health Awareness

By Kate Hearne, Vice President, Corporate Services. Mental Health Awareness month acknowledges the importance of mental health and reducing the stigma of mental illness. moss+ross is proud to support the following clients whose nonprofit missions are dedicated to mental health support. Camp Corral offers summer camp for children of wounded or fallen military personnel. At camp, children have the opportunity to connect with peers and non-parent role models - social connections that are critical to mental health. Parents of campers report positive impact on their child’s mental health and noticeable improvement in their child’s confidence. moss+ross has provided strategic and fundraising planning, interim staffing, and led executive searches for a new CDO and CEO. Durham Public Schools Foundation is teaming up with Duke Health and Durham Public Schools to launch the WHOLE Schools Movement - a multi-year [...]

Executive Search: Toward a More Inclusive Process

By Emily Bruce, Senior Associate A successful search for your next nonprofit Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director, or development professional is a meticulous process with inevitable twists and turns. moss+ross guides search committees and nonprofit leaders based on our experience conducting more than 90 searches since 2010. As a firm, we have a core value to embrace diversity and inclusion through our hands-on work with community partners and clients. In our search work we strive to use an inclusive lens in every step of our process. For a typical search we: Commit to an inclusive process: Working with clients to ensure their search committees include members with diverse backgrounds and perspectives and are committed to an inclusive process Seek multiple viewpoints: Conducting constituent interviews to understand multiple viewpoints of what the organization needs and what essential skills are needed for [...]

Prioritizing Pay Equity

By Carolyn Rhodes, Senior Associate. Prioritizing pay equity may seem like an additional task for nonprofit leaders and board members to tackle, but it can have significant benefits for both the organization and society. By promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, nonprofit leaders can create a positive impact on their employees, stakeholders, and the community they serve. Pay equity ensures that all employees are compensated fairly and equally, regardless of their position within the organization, gender, race, age, or ethnicity. Prioritizing pay equity can foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, which can attract and retain talent, improve employee morale, and advance the organization's mission. Additionally, pay equity is a critical component of social justice, promoting equality and fairness in society. To ensure pay equity, nonprofit leaders and board members can take the following steps: Establish clear and [...]

Keep Doing The Work.

By moss+ross Team. moss+ross approaches each client engagement as an opportunity to ask: are we doing the work that recognizes diversity and builds inclusivity and equity? What does this look like in our day-to-day work, in our strategic visioning, and in our reflections on current events as well as history? We only get better as we work together – and keep doing the work. Our clients are doing the work, day in and day out. The moss+ross team works alongside our clients, learning from one another, guiding strategy based on our experiences, and understanding what it means to be accountable. We support our clients as they do the work, including these examples: Many nonprofits are lifting up Black History in ways that are authentic to their missions, including the Durham Sports Commission and UNC Athletics which are [...]

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