Triangle

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Gettin’ Lucky: Not a wise strategy for securing major gifts

By Mary Moss, Founding Partner. In my experience, there is not much luck in major gifts work. I believe that you make your own luck. I have been in this business for four decades, as staff and consultant, and I have witnessed comments such as: “Wow, they just got lucky with that big gift. I work with that same donor and didn’t get that kind of gift,” or “That gift just came out of the clear blue” or “That donor had no history with that organization. Wonder why they left their estate there?” In most instances of “gettin’ lucky,” there is a solid connection with the donor and strategy behind the gift. I have had a handful of happy occasions where “true luck” happened, and have always wished for more (don't we all?). Nothing replaces a compelling [...]

2022-09-20T13:55:08-04:00September 20th, 2022|All Posts, From The Partners, Fundraising Counsel|

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 [...]

Tips for Retaining Talent

By Lizzy Mottern. Your search was successful, and you have hired an amazing new member of your team -- congratulations! Now you want them to stay. Retaining employees requires thought, planning, and creativity -- and has dramatic payoffs. One is financial: it costs about 33% of a new hire’s salary to replace an employee, and for highly skilled jobs, costs may be up to 150% of the annual salary (source: the Society for Human Resource Management). Finances are just one type of cost: employee turnover can mean lost momentum on projects, your organization’s inability to accept new work, and a toll on morale as other employees step in to cover duties of a vacant position. Once you find a person who makes your organization shine, take two proactive steps that help them choose to stay for a while: [...]

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|

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 [...]

Tips to Ease Future Staffing Transitions

By LisaCaitlin Perri. Often a staff transition means losing that person's institutional knowledge of documents, processes, and decision making. From our years of experience stepping into organizations as interim contractors, we see several key areas that can mitigate the turmoil of a turnover, improve internal efficiency, and streamline communication. Prioritize the following areas for up-to-date documentation that is readily accessible to the full team or at least to more than one staff member: Reports – For data reports or filters/queries that supported an appeal or event or board meeting, document how or why final decisions were made and the names of any final reports or filters. Be sure that the final criteria or lists are available in a secure shared location. This applies to financial and program reports to funders or other stakeholders, too. Examples: For your [...]

Mobilize with Temporary Staff Support

By Kathryn Williams. Clients often call us when they need interim staff to support temporary needs. I’ve been called on when a position becomes vacant, to assist with researching and writing grant proposals, to help prepare for a capital campaign, or to support volunteers with a project or event. When a client identifies a need, moss+ross develops a contract that spells out the scope of work, priorities, and fees, as well as the anticipated timeline for completion of the work. When a moss+ross person steps into a temporary role, the first meeting is to assess organizational needs, clarify expectations, and outline roles and responsibilities for everyone involved on the team. Whether on site or online, we communicate progress with the client through regular emails and weekly team meetings. The best way a client can support an interim [...]

Focus

By Mary Moss, Partner. Almost every day this month, as emotional headlines about rising Covid cases, the Afghan war departure, and historic weather events scrolled across my screen, I was inspired by the uninterrupted focus that comes from great nonprofit leadership. Featured below are three unstoppable moss+ross clients: Orange Habitat, Healing Transitions, and Trinity Academy. We could have featured many more who are equally focused on doing great work in our communities. The secret sauce of focus includes more than dedication to mission. Here are some tips: (1) make fundraising a weekly top priority (so you do not fall behind); (2) partner with capable volunteer and staff leaders who meet regularly (to infuse ideas and energy and share the work load); and (3) don’t forget the fun (plan agendas that highlight the work of others and recognize [...]

Expert Extra Hands

By Lizzy Mottern, Senior Associate. m+r interim solutions can fill gaps to make everyone’s life a little easier – especially during fundraising campaigns. Affiliate contractor Deborah Thompson has been working as a member of the North Carolina School of Science and Math development team to support their $50 million capital campaign. “Each member of the NCSSM team already has a very full workload,” says Deborah. “One of the most beneficial parts of my role is that the team knows they can rely on me to drive many of the moving parts and pieces of the campaign.” Deborah adds extra value by partnering with the moss+ross consulting team that was already on the project. The moss+ross counsel team develops strategy and focuses on long-term planning, and Deborah, the affiliate contractor on the ground, helps execute the plan. During [...]

2021-03-19T18:38:20-04:00March 19th, 2021|All Posts, Staffing, Team Expertise|
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