Leadership

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The Room Where It Happens

By Mary Moss. If you’ve seen Hamilton, you know that the “Room Where it Happens” means more than just clever lyrics and melody. History is made by having the right people in the room, people whose actions and commitment will change everything. Alexander Hamilton was in the room, and as they say, the rest is history. Who is in your room? As staff, do you have the right people in your room? As board or committee members, do you have the right volunteers in your room? This past month has been an extraordinary one for some moss+ross clients. To name only a few:  * SECU Family House and Oak City Cares celebrated successful campaign conclusions * Healing Transitions and Durham Tech met huge milestones in their campaigns * Voices Together hired a Director of Development and Eno [...]

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|

The Importance of Strategic Planning by Mary Moss and Susan Ross

April Fools’ Day is not the only time reality can be hard to see clearly. Just ask any nonprofit executive, and you will get an earful of examples. Smart nonprofits do all they can to prepare themselves, though, and this means taking precious time from service delivery to plan for the future. Does your organization have a strategic plan? How is it used? When was it last updated? Strategic plans provide a framework for decisions about a variety of key issues and help you focus on what matters most. Susan Ross and Mary Moss In our experience, developing a plan is a critical step to strong fundraising. Savvy donors want not only to know how you will use their funds, but how you will change the world by what you are doing. Change the world?  Yes, indeed. We all want [...]

2020-02-21T19:18:44-05:00March 30th, 2016|All Posts, Strategic Planning|

UMD Board Announces New Executive Director

DURHAM – Durham’s emergency homeless shelter and free meal provider has hired a new executive director with more than 20 years of experience leading human services agencies, the board announced Wednesday. The Urban Ministries of Durham board unanimously selected Sheldon Mitchell, previously at Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. He will take charge March 14. Board Chair David Sotolongo said the seasoned nonprofit executive stood out among the dozens of qualified candidates attracted by the national search. Mitchell succeeds outgoing Executive Director Patrice Nelson, who last summer announced that she would be ending her nearly 7-year tenure leading the nonprofit. UMD helps 6,000 homeless and poor residents of Durham each year using a cash and in-kind budget of $3 million. Mitchell said that UMD’s core values of respect, accountability and collaboration speak to his own deep belief in treating everyone [...]

2016-03-30T12:30:24-04:00March 30th, 2016|All Posts, Client Highlights, Staffing|

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|

Show your board some love

At this year’s AFP Philanthropy Forecast, held January 26, Mary Moss led a roundtable where participants discussed the importance of strong board leadership. As part of the conversation, Mary asked participants what was on their minds. The issue most cited was that board members did not have a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and therefore had unclear expectations for the staff, and vice versa. Suggestions to address this issue include the following: Present a written and up-to-date job description to each potential board member before joining the board so expectations are clear from the beginning; Plan a board orientation in the first months of a new board member’s tenure that involves staff and key board members; Ask the board chair to have one-on-one meetings annually with all board members as a way to check in to see what [...]

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|

National Philanthropy Day in the Triangle

Mary and Susan were honored to host Barker French and David Reese from East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) at our table for AFP’s National Philanthropy Day on November 12. Barker represents the very best qualities in a fundraising volunteer, and we were proud to nominate him for the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser recognition. Barker has a passion for working with the poorest children in Durham. In 2008 he envisioned a community partnership similar to the Harlem Children's Zone with the goal of preparing East Durham's children for college or a career. As a result of his hard work and vision EDCI was launched in 2009 with a mission to create a pipeline of quality services for children and families in a 120 block area of East Durham. For more information about EDCI, please go to: http://edci.org/

2020-02-21T18:22:54-05:00December 4th, 2014|All Posts, Client Highlights|
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