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Helping Organizations Thrive 

January 2012 Edition
Welcome to my January 2012 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 November 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." 

Most editions include sections from one of two longer articles I'm writing.  Why Organizations Thrive  and Why Organizations Go Off Course detail 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.


This edition, however, contains a book review of Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant.         

I'm a big fan of Jim Collins and his business writings.  His book Good to Great wasn't a standard book by an academic with musings about why some businesses succeed.  Instead, it was the culmination of years of research that generated key lessons about why some businesses made the transition to great.


And more importantly for me, Collins wrote a 40 page monograph, Good to Great and the Social Sector, which did a great job teasing out what lessons there are in Good to Great for nonprofits.   


Unlike many business writers who just want nonprofits to act like businesses, Collins gets that you can't equate the two for various reasons.  Yet, he doesn't throw up his hands and walk away - instead he thoughtfully identifies which of the Good to Great lessons should still apply and how.


I was excited therefore to read that two long-time students of the nonprofit sector had decided to do a similar research project that would generate conclusions about why some nonprofits thrive.  After all, helping nonprofits thrive is my personal mission! 


The resulting book, Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant, doesn't live up to its pedigree.  It's not, in my mind, a "must read."   


However, I'm glad I read it and did come away chock full of ideas, some of which I've outlined below.


Read the full article.  


Download the PDF from my website.   
Recent Success Stories and New Clients

I'm in the final stages of working with Texas LCV on a new strategic plan.

I continue working with the Wild Salmon Center in coalition with three other conservation groups to develop effective communications for a 2012 campaign aimed at improved conservation in Oregon state forests.

I'm providing assistance to Georgia Conservation Voters and the Tennessee Conservation Voters regarding budgeting for 2012.  In both cases, the work follows up on summer 2011 site visits at which I worked with the respective organizations on administrative systems and governance issues.

I'm beginning work with the Oregon Chapter, Sierra Club, on board development and fundraising.

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


I recently posted three presentations I've made on my website.

Check them out:

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

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