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 [...]

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 [...]

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|

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 [...]

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