Advice

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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|

What Help Looks Like

By Mary Moss and Susan Ross. One week ago, we joined the nation in witnessing yet another atrocity -- the murder of an unarmed Black man captured on video. What happened that day has left another image burned in our memory of what systemic racism looks like. The image of George Floyd joins those of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. We grieve their unnecessary and untimely deaths, and we also grieve the violence that has erupted in response to these events. This is our home, and everyone who works with our moss+ross team loves it dearly. We grew up in Durham, went to college in Chapel Hill, raised our families in Durham and Raleigh, and built our company in the Triangle. Our mission statement: impact that matters in a place we love, is built on our stated core belief [...]

2020-08-11T20:15:26-04:00June 2nd, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners, Special Topics|

Working Through Transitions with m+r interim solutions

By Lizzy Mottern. As your organization adjusts and innovates to move successfully through the COVID-19 crisis, you will have opportunities to evaluate your needs and rethink how you do what you do. An m+r interim solutions contractor can provide specialized expertise as a temporary member of your team to help during the transition. At moss+ross, we view transitions – whether planned or unplanned - as opportunities to help clients navigate new challenges and emerge even stronger than they were before. For example, do not put off projects that will strengthen your nonprofit. See our website for a list of project ideas for which an experienced m+r interim solutions contractor can roll up his or her sleeves to work on with your nonprofit. When clients who are facing a transition contact us to explore the idea of staffing [...]

2020-05-22T16:00:16-04:00May 22nd, 2020|All Posts, Staffing, Team Expertise|

Phasing in Your Fundraising

By Susan Ross. Now that North Carolina has begun its phased reopening, you may be looking at how this applies to your fundraising efforts. The nonprofit community has responded in extraordinary ways during this time, with dedicated staff and volunteers doing all they could to serve clients, maintain programs, and raise money when able. In the process, nonprofits realized which services were most critical to clients, and many were able to pivot when they saw a service gap that they could fill. Going forward, this pandemic-induced clarity is an opportunity for change as nonprofits review missions, collaborations, and impact in the community. Importantly, whether or not you have been actively fundraising during the past few months, you need to start getting back up to speed soon. Like everything else in our lives, fundraising activity will fall into [...]

2020-05-21T20:19:03-04:00May 21st, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners, Fundraising Counsel|

Risk Management and Continuity Planning

By Chuck Fyfe and Jim Roberts. Many organizations are now asking themselves: Could we have been better prepared? As nonprofits look to the future, risk management and continuity planning is a high priority. Effective emergency and crisis management planning cannot foresee every possible scenario, but it can prepare organizations for addressing adversity from any quarter. Organizations need this type of planning to face the future realistically and avoid the optimistic bias of everyday operations. Checklist for Planning Your organization must systematically identify and prioritize risks, articulate prevention and mitigation strategies, develop contingency plans to ensure business continuity, and provide a framework for effectively managing through unavoidable emergencies. In addition, you should consider the possibility that some change may be permanent and require a modified business model. Addressing this whole spectrum is essential to prepare for what could [...]

2020-05-22T15:26:28-04:00May 21st, 2020|All Posts, Strategic Planning, Team Expertise|

Strengthening Our Abilities

By Mary Moss. For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.  African Proverb The past six weeks have tested all of our abilities – personally, professionally, and societally. By almost any measure, the blow of this virus has been mitigated by the selfless response of people and nonprofits that have stepped up in ways unthinkable two months ago. What have we learned? While we and our society have changed forever, we can be ready when the cloud lifts, as it surely will. Before you miss the moment, stop, think, document, and act on what you have learned. This new knowledge will make us stronger. Review the following five …abilities to assess what has happened and how you can be stronger in the future. Capability – You have now seen what you are capable of [...]

2020-04-22T16:17:44-04:00April 22nd, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners, Special Topics|

Do you have a campaign plan? by Brooke Jenkins

Here are seven key components of a campaign plan: Objectives – What you typically want out of a campaign are objectives like the following:  to raise a specific financial goal; to broaden awareness of your organization’s mission and impact; to develop the organization’s prospect base by attracting new donors and strengthening current donors’ support; and, ultimately, to complement and strengthen your annual operating/programmatic fundraising efforts. The Case for Support – Consider your audience, timing, content, and channels when communicating your organization’s urgent and compelling needs. You will use this messaging verbally and in written materials. Leadership Structure – Actively engaged staff and volunteers are essential! The plan should define structure and roles for everyone who will be directly involved, including administrators, development officers, board members and other campaign volunteers. Prospect Review – You must take a hard look at your [...]

2020-02-21T17:57:16-05:00October 27th, 2016|All Posts, Campaign Counsel, Team Expertise|

Making the best of unexpected circumstances by Mary Moss and Susan Ross

Perspectives on change and the unexpected from moss+ross co-founders and partners Mary Moss and Susan Ross... Over the course of our consulting careers, we have worked intimately with more than 100 organizations. Some embrace change, planned or not, while others grit their teeth and hope they make it through. Our perspective is that change can be a wonderful catalyst for leaders to step back and rethink, reorganize and restructure operations for the best. And in the 21st century, change is a given in almost every environment. An organization that is not changing is probably withering. Sometimes forced change offers opportunities that were not there before. Maybe you have an unspent salary to invest in strategic planning or an assessment you know you need. Perhaps you have been organizing your staff workload around a person’s strengths or weaknesses, and the change [...]

Grateful for our community partners

When we started moss+ross in 2009, we made a strategic decision to define the Triangle and surrounding region as our service area. As we thought about our ideal nonprofit clients and the difference we wanted to make, staying local made the most sense. On November 28, many of us will shop at our favorite local stores in support of Small Business Saturday. As one of these businesses, albeit without a storefront, moss+ross is grateful to you, our clients, for shopping locally for the best nonprofit strategic planning and development counsel. We couldn’t be happier with the result of our local focus. To date, we have partnered with 106 clients, many of whom have hired us multiple times. Our clients enrich the fabric of our community, and we are grateful for our partnership with you!

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