Servant Leadership and the Usher Protocol

By Kimberly Moore. My first experience with servant leadership was watching my grandmother serve as an usher in our small rural Baptist church in Gibsland, Louisiana. I am reminded of that usher protocol through moss+ross’ work in executive search, strategic planning, and fundraising counsel as well as my service on nonprofit boards. Through my grandmother’s example as a servant leader, I witnessed her preparation, setting of the tone, and anticipation, and can trace it through all the stages of organization engagement. Preparation My grandmother spent a few hours each Saturday washing and ironing her uniform – a starched white dress with matching stockings, shoes and gloves. This first step in her process was a labor of love to meet the crisp uniform standard. Similarly, when the moss+ross team assists an organization with executive search they come to [...]

2022-05-25T10:46:19-04:00May 25th, 2022|All Posts, Team Expertise|

Volunteers Bring Magic to the Mission

By Mary Moss, Founding Partner. April is National Volunteer Month, and we are celebrating the strengths and talents of volunteers with our clients and in our social media. Volunteers are not supplemental, or nice to have; they are essential and foundational to a nonprofit’s mission delivery. In 1981, my first fundraising job was to recruit student volunteers at Duke University to fill 18 slots a night throughout the year for the first Dialing for Duke telethons. Duke’s Annual Fund grew exponentially from this personal touch from students to alumni. Four decades later, I can report that every effort I have led as a staff member or volunteer, or guided as a consultant, has found its success through committed volunteers. The real magic happens when you build a strong staff-volunteer partnership with shared goals resulting in a cadre [...]

Help Us Help You: Three Tips for RFPs

By Kate Hearne, VP for Corporate Services. Like many of you, our team is feeling the pace of business activity approach pre-pandemic levels. At moss+ross, this means we are seeing multiple Request for Proposals (RFPs) each week. Campaigns that were being considered in early 2020 are being revived; strategic plans and development plans need adjustments to incorporate new ways of delivering programs and engaging with donors; and clients are assessing staffing needs for an increased level of activity. As we determine our capacity for responding to campaigns, searches, assessments, or other consulting projects, the quality of the RFP helps guide those decisions. The best RFPs have three things in common: A deadline date. RFPs with defined deadlines for submission and selection will help your organization get to your real goal – starting the project! We have seen RFPs with [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

m+r interim solutions: Navigating Leadership Transitions

By Lizzy Mottern, Senior Associate. Executive director turnover at nonprofit organizations was between 18% and 22% in 2019. Every five years your organization could be facing a transition, expected or not. m+r interim solutions can support you with an experienced temporary affiliate contractor who can set your next executive leader up for success. m+r interim solutions considers the kind of support you will need and provides flexible, customized staffing solutions when you are facing a transition. We gain an understanding of your unique circumstances, pair an exceptionally qualified interim person to lead your organization, and support that person with the expertise of the moss+ross team. As your organization plans for a departure and a new hire, m+r interim solutions can work with your team to examine opportunities for change. We can help you objectively assess processes and make adjustments, or focus on a special [...]

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