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|

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|

Challenging Times Bring Solutions and Hope

By Mary Moss, Partner. It’s 2021. The hope for a bright and shiny new year was dashed with images from January 6th at the U.S Capitol. An already beleaguered nation that is dealing with issues of life and death – the pandemic, racial inequity, and economic insecurity – is struggling to come to terms with how the first week in January affects the rest of this year and beyond. At moss+ross, we hold fast to our mission to support nonprofits in their missions, amid growing crises. Hope lives brightly on the horizon. Working together, through the toughest of times, we will find ways to get there. Phase I-B for vaccine distribution has been announced, and we are better positioned to address open festering wounds in racial justice and democracy. We will be stronger working together on these issues. For [...]

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|

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|

Salute to the Helpers

moss+ross is proud to work with nonprofit partners who are on the ground in Florence's wake. Our work with clients in the nonprofit sector inspires us every day, and never more so than in the past week as Hurricane Florence has affected our region. We appreciate the expertise and dedication of the agencies involved in relief efforts, and the compassion and caring of the staff and volunteers who step up in times of need.  As Mr. Rogers said, when you see scary things in the news, look for the helpers. This special post highlights a few of our current clients who serve multiple counties in Eastern NC and are on the front lines of relief and support. We know many of our clients are marshalling resources, setting up collections and planning ways to provide ongoing support to the long term [...]

2018-09-21T09:18:20-04:00September 21st, 2018|All Posts, Client Highlights|

Who Are Your People? Find out in eight easy steps.

By Mary Moss. When growing up, this was one of the most often heard questions coming from the generations above.  I can remember not having a good answer for it.  I didn’t have “people” that I thought were description-worthy.  Frankly, I had no idea who “my people” were:  they were just a sister, grandparents and some distant cousins, so why did people keep asking me “who were my people”?  A few times I answered “Criminals who came over from Ireland” to much laughter.  As it turns out, once I got older and more comfortable with this question, I realized that those asking just wanted to know more about me; the question was not meant to be intrusive but a friendly colloquialism that invited conversation and connection.  In a nostalgic moment now and then, I wish I knew my [...]

Six Questions to Consider in Hiring a Nonprofit Consultant

By Kate Hearne. 1. Do we need a consultant? Look at your strategic plan or annual fundraising plan. What are your goals and how do you plan to move the needle toward those goals? Will you just work longer and harder? Maybe. Or maybe some of those goals would benefit from the outside perspective, strategy, and accountability that a consultant can bring. 2. How can a consultant help?  If you are meeting your fundraising and operational goals, a consultant can help you reach goals above and beyond the day-to-day responsibilities like a capital campaign or launching a major gifts program. If you’re not reaching your targets, a consultant can recommend new strategies and give an unbiased assessment of how you can strengthen your program. The benefit of a consultant is the additional support, creative thinking and extensive experience that will add value to [...]

Three Steps to Great Messaging by Jeanne Murray

Your organization communicates purpose and inspires support through your messaging. While a good starting point is crafting a great mission statement, the day-in/day-out communication of your organization’s message doesn’t end with a declaration of mission. Continual messaging conveys the impact, energy, and needs of your organization – and, importantly, supports your development efforts. How do you know good messaging from the kind that needs improvement? Good messaging communicates value, encourages consistency, and identifies clear action. Good messaging communicates value. Messaging that communicates value is less about what you do, and more about what gets done with donor support. Words and images that bring impact to life tell donors that your organization is a worthy investment of time, money, and attention. Do your communications identify a donor’s role in achieving the mission? For example, I’m on the board of a Durham [...]

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