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Helping Organizations Thrive 
September 2012 Edition
Welcome to my September 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 most recent 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 month's lesson is: Don't let the urgent become the enemy of the important.


Organizations that develop a culture of focusing on the urgent often wind up failing to tackle important tasks.

This language is taken directly from Stephen Covey's book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Covey's Third Habit is to "Put First Things First."  In explaining that in terms of time management, he divides the world into four quadrants based on two continuums.  One continuum is whether an activity is important or unimportant.  The second continuum is whether the activity is urgent or not urgent, with urgency about its time-sensitivity, not its importance.

Covey's central point:  most people are good at focusing on those things that are both urgent and important.  But, what sets apart highly functioning people is they are also good at focusing on those things that are important, but not urgent.  In contrast, less effective people get caught up in urgent, but unimportant tasks.

How does this apply to nonprofit organizations instead of people?

Read the rest of the article.

Download the article as a PDF. 
Recent Success Stories and New Clients

I spent a day in Denver mid-September providing fundraising and coaching services to the development team at the Matthew Shepard Foundation, as an early step in a six month project.

We have completed a draft strategic plan for the  Denver Region Mobility and Access Council, which coordinates the Denver-region effort to provide transit options for people seniors, people with disabilities, and others with mobility challenges.  DRMAC is now seeking feedback from its member organizations, which we will take into account before developing a second draft.  

This upcoming weekend, I will facilitate a strategic planning retreat for Recycling Advocates, a Portland-based group focused on the three pillars of waste reduction: reduce, reuse, and recycle.  

I will be traveling to Denver mid-October to work further with the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado on final adoption of their strategic plan, as well as working with staff on turning the strategic plan into annual work plans. 

On October 17th, I will be presenting a workshop entitled Major Donor Fundraising 201 at the annual conference of the Nonprofit Network of Southwest Washington. 

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

Looking for a presentation for your organization or coalition's conference, workshop, or event? 

I've recently updated my website to more fully describe presentations I've delivered or am prepared to deliver.  Contact me directly for more information.  
Recent Blog Entries

Note: I am actively looking for Guest Blog submissions.  If you have some thoughts to share on any aspect of organizational development, shoot me an email and we can discuss length, timing, etc.

Thoughts on the Growing Importance of Peer to Peer Fundraising - Guest Blog on The

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Clarifying the Why when Doing Strategic Planning

Get it Done

Nonprofit Leadership Traits

Tips for Being Innovative

Don't Take Board Relationships for Granted

Some Opening Thoughts on Leadership

Time is your Most Precious Commodity

Effective New Board Member Orientation Meetings

Looking for one of my past blog entries on a particular topic?   I have now categorized my past blog entries.  Just go to my website and hover over the "blog" link on the navigation bar and you can see the topics and choose from among them. 
Contact Information
Jonathan Poisner Strategic Consulting
phone: 503-490-1234

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