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. [...]

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 [...]

Expert Extra Hands

By Lizzy Mottern, Senior Associate. m+r interim solutions can fill gaps to make everyone’s life a little easier – especially during fundraising campaigns. Affiliate contractor Deborah Thompson has been working as a member of the North Carolina School of Science and Math development team to support their $50 million capital campaign. “Each member of the NCSSM team already has a very full workload,” says Deborah. “One of the most beneficial parts of my role is that the team knows they can rely on me to drive many of the moving parts and pieces of the campaign.” Deborah adds extra value by partnering with the moss+ross consulting team that was already on the project. The moss+ross counsel team develops strategy and focuses on long-term planning, and Deborah, the affiliate contractor on the ground, helps execute the plan. During [...]

2021-03-19T18:38:20+00:00March 19th, 2021|All Posts, Staffing, Team Expertise|

Building Great Partnerships

By Susan Ross, Partner. Last month I loved being a volunteer faculty member for AFP’s three-day intensive Fundamentals of Fundraising course. My portion of the training used 46 slides and two hours to reinforce one critical point: “Building and maintaining relationships is at the core of successful fundraising.” What does that mean for you and your nonprofit? Based on a dozen years leading moss+ross and three decades of fundraising for Duke, my experience says that building great working relationships with good people interested in your cause starts with valuing them beyond their gifts. Take time to hear their stories and learn from them. Seek their input and make sure they hear important information directly from you. As you bring them closer to the work you are doing, you may see them invest in a bigger way and become your organization’s biggest [...]

Partnering with Corporations

By Emily Bruce, Senior Associate. Local corporate partnerships are often part of the funding mix for many nonprofits, though typically a small proportion (only 5% of overall philanthropic giving, according to Giving USA.) Developing a win-win partnership that aligns your mission with the philanthropic priorities of a local corporation has benefits for both parties. How do you build a relationship with a company? Begin building relationships within a local company by getting to know its people. 1.     Employee Volunteerism. Local companies invest where their employees are investing their time. Many corporations provide paid hours for their employees to volunteer, and even better, several also provide matching gifts for every hour an employee volunteers. Recent trends also reflect companies’ willingness to provide grants or reimburse nonprofits for the expenses they incur for hosting volunteers. 2.     Community Affairs/Corporate Social Responsibility. Many corporations invest in [...]

2021-03-19T17:41:37+00:00March 19th, 2021|All Posts, Fundraising Counsel, Team Expertise|

Practical Advice for the New Year

By moss+ross team. The moss+ross team gathered virtually last week to kick off the new year, and exchanged advice for approaching the opportunities and challenges ahead. Be Intentional Use virtual meetings to your advantage by emphasizing the interaction and inclusiveness that this medium offers. Don’t just present a webinar - engage and inspire. Introduce some fun - be creative in how you’re engaging with people, whether that’s through Google Meet or from behind your mask. Reach out for help, or find and lift up the voices of others who have done the work that can be helpful. Do things to plant possibility for the future – like a gardener plants a seed. Be present Connect personally. Pick up the phone. Plan ahead, but don’t get too far ahead. Sometimes opportunity comes in working with what you have [...]

2021-07-26T20:59:53+00:00January 19th, 2021|All Posts, Team Expertise|

m+r interim solutions: Temporary Help to Set the Tone

By Anne Wein, Associate. Does your nonprofit need help meeting communications goals and telling your story? m+r interim solutions matches highly skilled professionals with your temporary staffing needs. Communications and marketing professionals can support your goals for: - Year-long plans for communications and marketing deliverables - Development and production of collateral such as annual reports, mailings, newsletters and brochures - Strategies and execution for digital outreach in web and social media How it works: m+r interim solutions develops the scope of work and contract with the client, manages the client relationship, and provides support to the affiliate contractor. Affiliates are guided by moss+ross best practices and understand our expectations to deliver high-value service. Much of this work can be done remotely, and we work with nonprofits in the Triangle area and beyond. Virtual check-ins and meetings will maximize efficiency [...]

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