Advice

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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!

Succession planning: What can you do now?

While the departure of an executive director is not something that can always be planned, there are things that can be done along the way to ensure the organization is not crippled when this happens, because sooner or later, it will. Executive directors play such key roles representing an organization to all of its constituents. Often, he or she really is the face of what you do, so it’s not surprising that a departure can send waves of anxiety through an organization’s staff and board. Succession planning applies also to boards of directors. Many boards have a founding board chair who has become the driving force of the organization, functioning almost as staff. It is just as critical that the board members have a plan for what happens when that person wants to step down or cannot serve any longer [...]

2015-08-20T01:45:31-04:00August 20th, 2015|All Posts, Staffing, Strategic Planning|

Why you can’t afford to wait: The benefits of interim staffing by Kim Glenn

Your organization is planning a 30th anniversary gala, and hundreds of donors, board members, and honored guests will be invited to attend. It's a flagship moment in your history, an incredible opportunity to highlight your mission, boost sponsorships, and engage new donors. The event is only three months away when your development director suddenly gives you a two-week notice. Kim Glenn, Senior Associate at moss+ross Or worse still, your organization hasn't had a development director for more than a year. The position has been allowed to remain vacant to "save" money. The strategy worked at first, but a year later, your budget is shrinking as grant deadlines are missed, annual appeals go out late or not at all, and donors are overlooked. Whether you are a small, medium or even large non-profit, you most likely don't have the [...]

2020-02-21T19:30:34-05:00August 20th, 2015|All Posts, Staffing|

How are you nurturing your donors?

When was the last time you sat down with your best donors, or potential donors, and invested your time and energy in them by listening to their ideas and truly matching their interests with the goals of your organization? Did you develop a meaningful plan to engage them fully? moss+ross has always emphasized that major gifts – "investments" – typically follow involvement and engagement. Here's an example from Susan Ross of how that can play out. A woman we know was interested in volunteering with an organization that addressed poverty issues. She approached one nonprofit that had a good reputation in the area, but found its particular approach was not a strong match for her. In a casual conversation she shared her experience with me, and I encouraged her to check out a nonprofit I had been supporting, and invited [...]

Nonprofit Communications and Marketing Trends in 2015 by Denise Tolley

Curious about what the other guys are doing? How they are communicating with their supporters? What is most important to them? A recent report on nonprofit trends notes that, of the Communications Goals nonprofit companies set for each year, Donor Retention has jumped from 4th to 2nd place, while Acquiring New Donors fell from 1st place to 4th. Community Engagement came in as the most important goal. This shift in priorities shows a subtle emphasis on a more personal touch with donors and getting to know your donor base more intimately to increase effective communication. The Kivi 2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, a survey of more than 1,500 nonprofit participants across North America, offers this information and much more, and is available to download through this link. You will see some interesting results and comparisons, some of which are highlighted [...]

When you are ready for a new relationship by Fred Stang

moss+ross senior associate Fred Stang has read hundreds of cover letters and resumes as he and the executive search team work hard to match exceptional professionals with nonprofit organizations in the Triangle. We think he's the right person to share a few things to think about when you are considering a professional move. At moss+ross we’ve read hundreds upon hundreds of cover letters and resumes reflecting some of the best and worst writing imaginable. The ones that stand out are well written, interesting to read and show us the applicant has done his or her research. 1. Show us you care by proving you have read the job description and done your research on the organization. Your understanding of both should be clear in your cover letter, resume and in the references you choose. The more your resume parallels the priorities for the [...]

2020-02-21T19:37:14-05:00February 10th, 2015|All Posts, Staffing, Team Expertise|

Top 3 for 2015

When you set your New Year's resolutions, be sure to set some aspirational goals for your organization, as well.  Mary and Susan have three suggestions that you and your Board can discuss early in 2015 to be sure it is a stellar year. Define your value proposition - What is it that makes you special, and why should anyone care enough to support you?  A short, simple, and memorable answer to this question is critical.  Think about what you could say in an impactful 140 character tweet, not an elevator speech. Build a cadre of messengers - Are enough people talking about you?  Your good news needs to be spread by more people than the Executive Director and the Director of Development.  Help your Board and donors know how to help by sharing real life stories with them along the [...]

moss+ross at the 10th Annual NC Philanthropy Conference

The 2014 NC Philanthropy Conference gathered hundreds of development professionals last week at the Durham Convention Center. moss+ross co-founders Mary Moss and Susan Ross, and senior associate Chuck Fyfe gave a presentation that promised to make everyone’s life more organized – and who doesn’t need that?! Susan said she and Mary were happy to be part of the conference and have a chance to welcome the rest of the state to our part of the world.  “We have benefited from career-long associations with AFP and were proud to present on a topic we consider essential to good fundraising: good planning.” One feature of the session was adaptation of the Critical Path Method (CPM), used frequently in the mainstream business world, to the demands and nuances of nonprofit work. “These methodologies can be scaled and customized to greatly benefit nonprofit work, [...]

2020-02-21T18:22:01-05:00August 19th, 2014|All Posts, Team Expertise|
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