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Helping Organizations Thrive 

June 2011 Edition
Welcome to my June 2011 email newsletter. 

The mission of Jonathan Poisner Strategic Consulting is to help progressive organizations thrive.  I do that by assisting my clients with strategic planning, campaign planning, coalition building, fundraising, communications, and other organizational development challenges.

To keep people informed about my work, I set up this monthly e-newsletter.  If you want to unsubscribe, just look for the link at the bottom.   My May edition can be read in my archive.

For a complete lists of the consulting services I offer, check out my website.
What Works

Each edition of this newsletter contains a section I call "What Works." 

I'm in the process of writing a long article entitled: Why Organizations Thrive.  The article details fifteen lessons I learned while growing the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV), buttressed by my observations of dozens of other groups both in Oregon and across the country.   

Collectively, I believe these lessons are a very useful set of principles that any Executive Director can use to improve their organization's capacity to fulfill its mission.


These lessons include topics such as November 2010's lesson:  Plan, Plan, Plan   and September 2010's lesson:  Know and Tell Your Stories.  


You can view all of the lessons so far on my website.   


Lesson 12 is:  Focus on Mission-Driven, not Mercenary Donors.


The dictionary defines a "mercenary" as somebody who fights or kills for money.  It is meant to contrast with citizen soldiers who, at least in theory, are primarily motivated by patriotism or a desire to protect one's family and home. 


So what do I mean by "mercenary donors."   In the narrowest sense, mercenary donors are secured primarily by some motivation other than belief in the organization's mission. 


I'm not talking about the motivation of the person raising the money.  An article about the dangers of mercenary fundraisers is an entirely separate topic. 


But what about the donor's motivation?  Does it matter as long as the money flows?


In the short run, the answer is no.   That's why election campaigns often rely on mercenary donations.  But for an organization that aims to thrive over 3, 5, 10 years or longer, I believe the answer is yes.


Why does the motivation of the donor matter?


Continue reading the full article

Or download the PDF 
Recent Success Stories and New Clients

I've wrapped up my work development planning and training work with Portland's Leadership & Entrepeneurship High School, a public charter school. 

In late May, I spent 2 days in Lander, Wyoming, where I facilitated a strategic planning retreat for Wyoming Conservation Voters.  WCV and WCV Education Fund are now deliberating over draft strategic plans.

On June 10th, the Coalition for a Livable Future held its Laugh for Livability  In addition to my work helping them plan for this fundraiser, my wife Suzan and I performed a Weekend News Update sketch complete with a Point-Counterpoint segment.  Think Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin.  Too much fun.

Last week I spent 36 hours in New Mexico working with Conservation Voters of New Mexico on fiscal management.  By mid-July, we hope to have completed navigating them to a more robust fiscal management system.

My work with Colorado Conservation Voters and CCV Education Fund has moved onto its next phase.  With strategic plans now substantially complete, I'm now working with them to develop a first annual Work Plan to cover the first year of the strategic plans. 

In the next week I'll be traveling to Orlando to facilitate the planning retreat for the Florida Conservation Alliance and to Nashville to work on administrative systems and fundraising for Tennessee Conservation Voters.

In early July, I'll be headed to Philadelphia to work on strategic planning for Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania.

In late July, I'll be conducting a training entitled "Strategic Planning in the Real World" for Western States Center at their annual Community Strategic Training Initiative in Portland.

In August, I'll be working with Recycling Advocates on some board governance issues related to departing board members. 
Lastly, for State LCVers: A reminder that the LCV "State LCV members only" website now contains two manuals I created:  How to Start a State LCV and How to Run a State LCV.  There's a wealth of info that folks should find useful. 

Check out my website for a complete list of all my clients.

Contact Information
Jonathan Poisner Strategic Consulting
phone: 503-490-1234

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