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 achievements). Without the fun part, I would not have stayed in this business for 40 years!
Orange Habitat recently hosted one of the most inspiring Zoom meetings ever. The agenda did not mention their Covid challenges, but focused on the upcoming public announcement of a $5 million campaign to create a new kind of mixed income Habitat community, Weavers Grove. Each of the 20 leaders on the call was engaged: they had made an ask, hosted an event, or provided an idea, all of which will contribute to an early grand announcement next month. Campaign Co-chairs Mimi Hock and Betsy Blackwell, standout community volunteers, and staff leaders including President/CEO Jennifer Player and Vice President of Advancement Dianne Pledger never miss a meeting or a deadline. They are squarely focused on doing all they can to solve the housing crisis.
Healing Transitions is a peer-led recovery program in Raleigh. Covid is a daily threat to its vulnerable population more so now than in 2020. Yet the leadership throughout the organization is laser focused on one thing: expanding the facilities to help more people suffering from addiction. Covid has actually propelled this team to do more faster, because Covid has hit this community hard. Campaign Chairs Carol and Bob Bilbro and a host of volunteers are focused on one thing: exceeding the $16.75 million goal to double the capacity of its program. Amid it all, Executive Director Chris Budnick has provided creative leadership centered on ensuring the plans meet evolving needs. He never loses his focus on mission.
Trinity Academy in Raleigh opened school for the second year during a pandemic. Schools rule the daily headlines as each tries to overcome Covid barriers. Yet, this school is attracting historic giving toward a $5 million goal, so that it can offer its classical Christian education to more families in a new academic building. The Head of School Dr. Timothy Bridges and Development Director Courtney Woodfin, supported by stellar board chair Matt Young and other dedicated leaders, have not let Covid divert them from their mission. Focus is the only word that can describe how they have exceeded their fundraising milestones each quarter, given many competing demands. On September 18th, they went public with their campaign announcing $3.8 million pledged to date.
Like multiple laser beams shining in a dark sky from a single point, leadership is no one thing and it lives in no one place; leadership comprises a host of bright beams. Today’s nonprofit leaders are living proof that despite the unimaginable daily challenges, focus is the one single laser beam shining brighter and propelling unparalleled success.
If you need help with focus or structure, give us a call. Fundraising success is our business.