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Helping Organizations Thrive 
January 2014 Edition
Welcome to my January 2014 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.


Why Organizations Go Off Course Lesson Ten is:  Identify a Theory of Change.


Organizations that fail to identify their theory of change are more likely to go off course.


What is a Theory of Change?


In plain language, a theory of change explains how the activities of the organization lead to accomplishment of the programmatic goal(s) an organization is seeking.


Sometimes the theory is a series of logical statements (because we do A, therefore B happens; because B happens, and we do C, therefore D happens; until one of these statements leads to the "goal" being achieved).


Sometimes the theory can be inserted into a flow chart or other graphical diagram that helps visually explain the way different activities come together in ways that a logic chain or written statements can't easily handle.


Other theories of change I've seen are simply a series of "Strategic Assumptions" written down that collectively embody the theory.


What format makes sense for any particular organization is highly dependent on the circumstances - the nature of the goal being sought, the types of activities pursued, and the complexity of the  



Why are theories of change important?  And how do you create them?   

Read the rest of the article. 

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

More than 450 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'm in the latter stages of a project assisting the Coalition for a Livable Future with a combination of coaching, training, and planning for future fundraising.  In early February, we'll finalize a new Development Plan.  

I'm in the middle of a 6 month project with the Oregon Center for Public Policy to develop a new strategic plan, along with the fundraising strategies to support it.   Last week, I facilitated a board and staff planning retreat. 

Last weekened, I facilitated a planning retreat for Solar Oregon. 

I'm continuing to provide ongoing assistance to the Blue Mountains Conservancy aimed at generating new leadership and funding for the organization.   

I am in the final stages of working with the Northwest Marine Trade Association on a new four-year political plan. 

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.

One big Idea and Three Takeaways

Invest in Professional Development

Building your Donor Prospect List

Don't Make this Membership Fundraising Mistake

Outcomes Schmoutcomes Interview

Creating a "Time" Budget

12 Tips for Getting Fundraising Meetings

Tips for Fundraising Letters

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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