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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

2021-03-19T18:38:20-04:00March 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 [...]

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 [...]

2021-07-26T20:59:53-04:00January 19th, 2021|All Posts, Team Expertise|
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