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Helping Organizations Thrive 
September 2013 Edition
Welcome to my September 2013 email newsletter. 

The mission of Jonathan Poisner Strategic Consulting is to help 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 (mostly) 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

Most editions of this newsletter contains a section I call "What Works." 

Mostly "What Works" focuses on either Why Organizations Thrive  and Why Organizations Go Off Course, both of which 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.


I recently had the occasion to re-read a Monograph that I previously reviewed (in November 2010). Because my list has grown so much since then, I decided to repeat that review as this month's chief article.    


Good to Great and the Social Sectors  is a 40 page monograph by Jim Collins, who has published a series of books about the business world that have been widely read.  Among business authors, I find that Collins understands nonprofits more than most.  


In his short monograph, he identifies five key takeaways that nonprofits should focus on:


1. Define Great.  Pick something big to achieve and rigorously track your progress towards achieving it.


2. Find Level 5 Leadership.  Find a chief executive who combines a sense of personal humility with tremendous passion for the cause and a willingness to lead by making people part of a shared vision rather than by executive fiat.


3. First who.  Recruit a board and staff leadership that's top-notch.  Settling for mediocrity breeds more mediocrity.


4. Find your Hedgehog Concept - a single great idea that unifies your work, about which you can feel passionate, be the best at, and that carries with it the ability to raise the resources needed.


5. Turn the flywheel.  Pay attention to your brand and make sure you are communicating clearly so that potential supporters believe both in your mission and your ability to deliver on that mission.


You can read more about Good to Great and the Social Sectors in my book review.   


Download the review as a PDF. 


Or get Collins' monograph for yourself.   

Recent Success Stories and New Clients

More than 400 people have now downloaded my E-Book: Why Organizations Thrive: Lessons from the Front Lines for Nonprofit Executive Directors.  I'm always looking for feedback on the book, so please send it to me so I can take that feedback into account if I publish a second edition. 

I continue to work with the Central Coast Land Conservancy to upgrade the organization's fundraising and outreach capacity.  Their focus for September is a fundraiser to be held September 28th in Newport. 

I'm wrapping up a project advising the Wallowa Land Trust regarding their selection of a new fundraising/email outreach database. 

I'm in the latter stages of working with the Blue Mountains Conservancy to develop a fundraising plan,a communications strategy, and a business plan, as well as providing ongoing organizational development advice.

I spent the final weekend in August in Philadelphia facilitating a planning retreat for Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania.  I'm now in the final stages of working with the board and staff to adopt a new strategic plan.     

In early September, I facilitated a planning session for the Oregon Wild Conservation Leaders Fund.

In mid-September, I facilitated a planning workshop for the Northwest Marine Trades Association. 

On November 4th, I'll be presenting 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.
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. Interview

Creating a "Time" Budget

12 Tips for Getting Fundraising Meetings

Tips for Fundraising Letters

Making them Move

"I Was Waiting for" is Not a Valid Excuse

The Point Comes Before the Story

Quick Thoughts about E-Newsletters

Thinking about Triggers in Work Plans

What you Call it Doesn't Matter

A Riddle about Five Frogs

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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