Our Firm is Expanding

By Mary Moss and Susan Ross, Co-founders. moss+ross celebrated its 13th anniversary just a few days ago. Our firm has grown tremendously over these years, fueled by the increased demand for our extensive suite of services. In response, as of January 1, we named three longtime senior associates as partners. Joining us as senior managers will be Kim Glenn, President; Lizzy Mottern, Vice President of Talent; and Kate Hearne, Vice President of Corporate Services. Please join us in congratulating them on these new roles. We set a goal when we founded the firm to focus on relationships, not jobs. This deep caring for our community in which we both were born has been rewarded with continued year-over-year growth. As we look toward the future, we reflect on how moss+ross has grown its footprint in many important ways. 220 [...]

Talent Makes it Happen

By Susan Ross, Partner. The media is calling it a “resignation revolution,” but when it happens in your shop it’s just painful. Executive Directors, Directors of Development, and other nonprofit staff leaders play an integral role in a team’s ability to deliver the services clients expect, and stay true to the promises made to donors. In both large and small environments, a vacancy or two can wreak havoc on the remaining staff’s ability to perform as they scramble to keep up with an increased workload. We have seen a huge uptick in clients needing executive search services this fall, and no signs of it slowing down. Whether or not this is related to the pandemic, the need for experienced, mission-focused leaders is very real. At moss+ross, we are poised to help with interim professional placement to keep [...]

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 [...]

Building Great Partnerships

By Susan Ross, Partner. Last month I loved being a volunteer faculty member for AFP’s three-day intensive Fundamentals of Fundraising course. My portion of the training used 46 slides and two hours to reinforce one critical point: “Building and maintaining relationships is at the core of successful fundraising.” What does that mean for you and your nonprofit? Based on a dozen years leading moss+ross and three decades of fundraising for Duke, my experience says that building great working relationships with good people interested in your cause starts with valuing them beyond their gifts. Take time to hear their stories and learn from them. Seek their input and make sure they hear important information directly from you. As you bring them closer to the work you are doing, you may see them invest in a bigger way and become your organization’s biggest [...]

Time to Put it in DRIVE!

By Susan Ross. Now that Election Day has passed, the calendar shows just eight weeks left to hit your year-end goals. Now is the time to get your message out and bring in the gifts you need for your nonprofit. Here is where to start: 1)   Set a goal and get to work. Analyze your data and budget - how much money do you need by 12/31? Look up what you usually raise this time of year. You may have some catching up to do -- you need to get out there and ask. Enlist your colleagues and Board members to help you bring in gifts. 2)   Get your 2020 message right. Last year’s recycled message points just won’t do it. Take the time to uncover and tell new stories that are relevant to donors making a 2020 decision. Donors want [...]

2020-11-11T03:39:41-05:00November 11th, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners, Fundraising Counsel|

What Help Looks Like

By Mary Moss and Susan Ross. One week ago, we joined the nation in witnessing yet another atrocity -- the murder of an unarmed Black man captured on video. What happened that day has left another image burned in our memory of what systemic racism looks like. The image of George Floyd joins those of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. We grieve their unnecessary and untimely deaths, and we also grieve the violence that has erupted in response to these events. This is our home, and everyone who works with our moss+ross team loves it dearly. We grew up in Durham, went to college in Chapel Hill, raised our families in Durham and Raleigh, and built our company in the Triangle. Our mission statement: impact that matters in a place we love, is built on our stated core belief [...]

2020-08-11T20:15:26-04:00June 2nd, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners, Special Topics|

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|

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|

Messaging in Today’s World

By Susan Ross. We’ve shared one piece of advice consistently since the pandemic started: Stay in touch with your donors and key volunteers. Mary called it Extreme Stewardship in a recent newsletter, and we know many of you are working hard to do this. The moss+ross team has had many great conversations with clients over the last few weeks, all of whom want to communicate but are sensitive to the need to get the message “right.” These nonprofits fall into three basic groups: Front-Line Providers:  Nonprofits that provide food, shelter, health care and education are clearly needed more than ever. The strain on your budgets is very real because of increased demand, and you are working long hours. You must make time to share your message, and you can ask colleagues, volunteers and partner organizations to help [...]

Real-Time Choices that Matter

By Susan Ross. With clients, we often talk about making critical decisions in real time.  Every one of us is living this challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic. The world says STOP but some can’t, particularly those working directly with at-risk populations like seniors or cancer patients.  And those who provide food and shelter face increased demand now. Even those who could take a “pause” know it comes with huge financial risk to already tight nonprofit budgets. These real-time decisions about fundraising mailings and events could lead to service interruptions and unmet payroll in the coming months. moss+ross has always been a virtual office environment, so we are just as available to you as ever.  Call any of us if you need a thinking partner for your real-time decisions. Here is our best advice for how to navigate: [...]

2020-03-30T20:53:01-04:00March 18th, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners, Special Topics|
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