Email newsletter banner
Helping Organizations Thrive 
April 2014 Edition
Welcome to my April 2014 email newsletter. 

The mission of Jonathan Poisner Strategic Consulting is to make the world a better place by helping mission-driven 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.
Why Organizations Thrive Book Cover Why Organizations Thrive: One Year Later

A year ago this week, I published my first E-Book: Why Organizations Thrive.  Lessons from the Front Lines for Nonprofit Executive Directors.  In this month's e-newsletter, I reflect on what brought me to write it and a set of questions Executive Directors can use as a "self-assessment" tool based on the lessons.



On January 2, 1997, I showed up for my first day of work as the Executive Director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (Oregon LCV).


The Board shouldn't have hired me.


I was only 30.  I had zero fundraising experience, virtually no personnel supervision experience, and had only been involved previously with one other nonprofit organization.


A few weeks into the job, I had the good fortune of attending a four-day boot camp designed for nonprofit Executive Directors.   The boot camp was very valuable - almost a lifesaver as I struggled to learn new skills.  The boot camp covered traditional areas of responsibility for an Executive Director, such as fundraising, financial management, personnel management, strategic planning, and board development.


But even with its value, there was something missing from that boot camp and from other nonprofit trainings I attended over the years.


What I rarely encountered was training that identified the patterns of behavior that separate Executive Directors who make their organizations thrive from those that merely do well.


Of course, part of what separates thriving nonprofits from others will always be better performance at the discrete skills that go into being an Executive Director.  All things being equal, the better fundraiser will raise more money.  More money allows organizations to do more good.


But in my own experience over a dozen years as Oregon LCV Executive Director, and in collaborating with, volunteering with, and consulting for dozens of nonprofits, I've come away convinced it's not primarily about the skill set.


It's about how those skills are applied, with what emphasis, and with what mind-set.


Read the rest of the article. 


Download the E-Book itself as a PDF, Kindle, or other formats.    

Recent Success Stories and New Clients

I'm in the final stages of a 6 month project working with the Oregon Center for Public Policy.   The Center recently adopted a new strategic plan.  I'm now working with staff on a development plan and new fundraising case statement.   

I am in the early stages of a strategic planning and development planning process for the Montana Budget and Policy Center.   I'll be in Missoula in late April to facilitate a planning retreat.

I'm continuing to provide ongoing assistance to the Blue Mountains Conservancy aimed at generating new leadership and funding for the organization.   In early April, I led an effective board governance workshop.  In May, I'm scheduled to lead a fundraising training for the board.

At the end of April, I'll be in Denver for the annual conference of State LCVs. 

I've now wrapped up a 6 month project assisting the Coalition for a Livable Future with a combination of coaching, training, and planning for future fundraising.

In late May, I will be in Pittsburgh (PA) presenting a workshop entitled Major Donor Fundraising 201 at the annual River Rally, co-hosted by the River Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance.

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.

Ideas for Donor Involvement

Guest Blog:  Five Questions to Ask when Marketing to Grow your Nonprofit

Have you Sharpened your Axe Lately?

Evaluating on Two Levels

One big Idea and Three Takeaways

Invest in Professional Development

Building your Donor Prospect List

Don't Make this Membership Fundraising Mistake

Outcomes Schmoutcomes

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

Follow me on Twitter

Find me on Facebook
Join Our Mailing List