communication

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Transitions Create Opportunities

By Lizzy Mottern, VP of Talent. Transitions are part of every organization’s life cycle. The good news is they are incredible opportunities to rethink, adjust, and become even stronger. We join clients in times of transition in multiple ways: providing interim contractors through m+r interim solutions, helping boards find their next great leader through our Executive Search services, and providing counsel during succession planning, assessments, and strategic planning work. Specific to staffing needs, moss+ross has provided temporary placements since our founding in 2009, and we formalized this service as our m+r interim solutions division in 2018. Our contractor database has a strong pool of 200+ highly-qualified, local nonprofit professionals who understand the Triangle and take great pride in adding value to the important work of nonprofits. These hand-picked contractors work side-by-side with clients, offering their professional experience [...]

It’s Year-End: Pick up the Phone and Smile!

By Mary Moss, Founding Partner. Are you worried that you have not reached your year-end goals, that you have not talked to the people you thought you should, and that no one is returning your emails? It’s not too late. Pick up the Phone and Smile! In front of you, have the information you need: (1) their names and family names; (2) past giving amounts and patterns of what they usually support; (3) materials that will give you language about the impact of their gift and other details, and (4) how much you are going to ask for. If they have been a past supporter, thank them at least twice during your call. If they have not, make sure they know the impact their gift will have and how they will be recognized, if that’s important to them. Wish [...]

Living Lived Experiences

By Carolyn Rhodes, Senior Associate. As a Black woman gaining momentum in the non-profit sector, I used to begin every new interaction with my lived/living experiences. It was something I felt like I had to do in order to be connected to mission-driven work. I have grown to understand that my lived/living experiences do not have to be my identity and only need to be shared as I choose to disclose them. My lived/living experiences can help organizations see or do things differently in the communities they serve, but it is my skills and experiences that will help make long-lasting change in the organization. I believe you need both. And I recently sat down with some amazing leaders who felt the same way. At the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits Conference earlier this month, my colleague Jeanne [...]

Fresh Eyes from Trusted Partners

By Kate Hearne, VP Corporate Services Many of you count yourselves among our more than 230 clients, some with 10-12 different contracts (THANK YOU!) At moss+ross, we begin each client relationship with a base of mutual trust and respect, and through our expertise, bring fresh eyes to each and every engagement. How do we bring fresh eyes after consulting on thousands (literally!) of projects over the past 14 years? The answer is simple: each client is an opportunity to make a difference. As I speak to prospective clients and develop proposals for partnering with them, I look for ways our team approach can be fully customized to each new project. It is exciting to match a client’s needs to what we bring, namely: Creative thinking - With each engagement, we challenge ourselves to think beyond traditional approaches, consider [...]

Local Firm, National Reach

By Susan Ross, Founding Partner. “Shopping local” doesn’t exactly mean the mom-and-pop store on the corner when it comes to choosing strategic counsel. moss+ross takes a community-centric approach to meeting the needs of nonprofits in our region of North Carolina. Clients tell us that the extensive community knowledge and context we bring to our work equip their teams to compete for philanthropic dollars and hire great talent from national as well as local sources. We regularly compete with national fundraising consulting and executive search firms, and we believe moss+ross is a better choice for most nonprofits. Being your local firm is a distinct business advantage – for all of us. Our clients see the impact of our work across sectors and the region. They appreciate having us nearby and nimble, and they are happy not to pay [...]

Servant Leadership and the Usher Protocol

By Kimberly Moore. My first experience with servant leadership was watching my grandmother serve as an usher in our small rural Baptist church in Gibsland, Louisiana. I am reminded of that usher protocol through moss+ross’ work in executive search, strategic planning, and fundraising counsel as well as my service on nonprofit boards. Through my grandmother’s example as a servant leader, I witnessed her preparation, setting of the tone, and anticipation, and can trace it through all the stages of organization engagement. Preparation My grandmother spent a few hours each Saturday washing and ironing her uniform – a starched white dress with matching stockings, shoes and gloves. This first step in her process was a labor of love to meet the crisp uniform standard. Similarly, when the moss+ross team assists an organization with executive search they come to [...]

2022-05-25T10:46:19-04:00May 25th, 2022|All Posts, Team Expertise|

What We CAN Do

By Susan Ross. We are confident that a new normal is ahead – we just don’t know what it looks like yet. In the past six weeks, we have posted weekly newsletters focused on what we CAN do, in the context of the hourly, daily and weekly shifts in news. Given where we are now, today’s best advice is to take action to shape your future using the lens of COVID-19… literally: C –    Carry on by focusing on what you can do, not what you can’t. Your mission remains important and you need to keep moving forward. O –    Optimism is a good thing. Make a best-case/mid-case/worst-case fundraising plan so you and your team are ready to take action when the medical and economic cloud lifts. V –    Visit with donors and volunteers by phone each [...]

2020-04-20T21:15:58-04:00April 15th, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners, Special Topics|

The Black Swan: Practical Advice In Uncertain Times

By Mary Moss. Do you know the phrase “black swan” – a rare, unpredicted occurrence with widespread consequences? It was popularized in a book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, published around the time Susan and I started our business just before the recession of 2008. Our firm has faced extreme uncertainty in nonprofit management and fundraising before, and 12 years later we can offer advice and experience to help you navigate the rough waters of today’s black swan: coronavirus. Clients are implementing this advice already, and we believe it is helping. Nonprofit Management 1.  Stay calm and be flexible. As a nonprofit leader, you need to instill confidence in others that your next steps are thoughtful and informed. This is an evolving situation; listen to the news, stay informed, and do the next right thing. Be ready to [...]

2020-08-11T20:11:30-04:00March 12th, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners, Special Topics|

How Much Can You Do in an Hour?

By Mary Moss. It turns out, a lot! Have you ever been in a meeting and caught yourself yawning without opening your mouth where your nostrils expand, and you pray no one is watching? This is a dead give-away that the meeting has gone on too long. I am a keen observer of how different leaders run meetings. Some people process aloud, some don’t say a word, and some insist that everyone say something.  Some prefer to set a time limit; others intentionally do not. Some prepare ahead of time and follow an agenda; others cannot be constrained to an agenda. I have become a huge proponent of the one-hour meeting. Strong meeting management values other people’s time. For example, my Rotary runs a tight ship – meetings are one hour, although people can come earlier to eat [...]

Communicating the Message by Susan Ross

I am a communicator as well as a fundraiser – two very important aspects of our profession. Telling stories of how the work you do changes people’s lives, and how your donors’ gifts make a difference, helps your fundraising. Once you have painted a picture of what could happen if donors invest with you, the solicitation part is much easier (and more likely to be successful). My father was a career public relations professional.  One of his favorite definitions of the field was: DO A GOOD JOB AND GET CREDIT FOR IT.  That is sound advice for those of us trying to effect change in our corner of the world. As a proud graduate of the UNC School of Media and Journalism, I take very seriously the fundamentals of good communications: clear messaging, accuracy, audience awareness, and correct grammar. moss+ross has always included communications in our development and [...]

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