When a prospective funder asks you how to define success for your nonprofit, how do you answer? It seems like a straightforward question, but it usually leads to the more important question: how do you know if you've achieved it? These questions lead to a fascinating conversation with Charlie Elberson and Diane Gavarkavich about the funder perspective, the importance of measurement and outcomes, and the fundamentals of kinship that will help you make your ... [..] read more
On your path to nonprofit leadership, you will face difficult decisions about whether it is the right time to leave your organization. This decision can be even more difficult if you are the leader of your nonprofit and have dedicated countless hours to the cause and feel genuine concern for its well-being after your departure. Kathy Ridge, our guest on episode #97 of the Path Podcast has helped dozens of nonprofit leaders and their ... [..] read more
Still feeling a bit paralyzed in your strategic planning given the uncertainty that surrounds us? This is a perfect time to utilize the talents of a futurist, and that's exactly the skill Gail Bower brings to episode #96 of the Path Podcast. Gail provides a clear framework to activate your nonprofit's strategic planning in a way that's both practical and engaging for staff and board volunteers. Equally important to your strategic planning ... [..] read more
Are you open to new opportunities along the path to nonprofit leadership? None of us know exactly where our journey will take us, but advice from Bob Carter, the guest on episode #95 of the Path Podcast, will certainly help. Bob brings four decades of leadership experience in the charitable sector, and leads one of the top philanthropic consulting practices in the world at Carter Global. He shares many of the lessons he's learned ... [..] read more
Charlotte Speech & Hearing Center (CSHC) is seeking a new Director of Development to join its Leadership Team and lead all of the agency's philanthropic and marketing initiatives. This position will work closely with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors and manage ongoing donor stewardship and cultivation efforts, the solicitation of major gifts, branding and public relation strategies, board and volunteer engagement, and all levels of internal and external marketing. CSHC is ... [..] read more
Michelle C. Spreitzer, CFREDirector of Philanthropy at the Lotus Campaign
Michelle Spreitzer has been a successful nonprofit leader and fundraiser throughout her career at multiple organizations including LIFESPAN, Greensboro College, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and now at The Lotus Campaign. After participating in the inaugural cohort of PMA's Mastermind Program, Michelle had a one-on-one conversation with our colleague Charmain Lewis and reflected on her nonprofit journey and some of the keys to ... [..] read more
What is PMA's Mastermind Program?
The need for agile nonprofit leadership has never been greater. Unfortunately, individuals in the nonprofit sector so often do not receive the professional development they need to advance towards their leadership goals. PMA is committed to responding to this need for targeted leadership development coaching and training; as a result, we have launched PMA's Mastermind Leadership Development Program to accelerate Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership. ... [..] read more
Many nonprofit organizations are talking about equality, diversity and inclusion, but are they making genuine progress to support their stated goals? Making public statements is a start, but incorporating DEI into the fabric of your nonprofit organization requires an intentional strategic planning effort, and that's exactly how Anna Dewar Gully wants to help. Anna's use of the equity lens as a fundamental part of strategic planning is gaining traction worldwide, and her firm ... [..] read more
Women Leaders • March 2021
As part of Women's History Month, PMA salutes all of the outstanding women leaders in the nonprofit sector. While 2020 created a host of challenges, we were fortunate to feature this dynamic dozen who continue to elevate their nonprofits through the pandemic. Listen and learn from Katherine Lambert (episode #17), Tina Admans (episode #36), Kishshana Palmer (episode #38), Tina Postel (episode #42), Cheryl Richards (episode #46), Devlin McNeil (episode #48)... [..] read more
It's hard not to be impressed by an organization that has contributed over $4 billion in grants to nonprofit organizations since its inception, but that's exactly what The Duke Endowment has done, making it one of the largest 501(c)(3) private foundations in the United States. Equally impressive as the Endowment's impact on its four program priorities (higher education, health care, rural church and child care) is the thoughtful leadership that ... [..] read more
"Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork" by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin HardyIf you're looking for book recommendations in the productivity and professional development genre, Patton offers a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles from the PMA Library.
We are often limited by our thinking and our educational system by focusing on how to do something instead of considering the possibilities of WHO might ... [..] read more
Where do you fall within the different stages of nonprofit leadership? Our guest in episode #92 of the Path Podcast offers a fascinating view of career development in the charitable sector by breaking it into four distinct stages. Ben Mohler brings extensive experience in higher education leadership as well as his distinction as an ACFRE within the fundraising community. We had a great discussion about the different stages of nonprofit professional development including Learning, Doing... [..] read more
UNCC's MPA Program Offers Nonprofit Management Academy
Spots remain for the fully online spring offering of the MPA Public & Nonprofit Management Academy, which offers professional development to government and nonprofit practitioners covering a range of key management topics fundamental to success. Presentations include MPA faculty as well as dialogue with experienced local government and nonprofit practitioners each day. Terrific opportunity for current leaders but also "up and coming" staff with management potential!... [..] read more
Right Moves For Youth Seeking New Development Director
Right Moves For Youth, located in Charlotte NC, is currently seeking a Development Director to lead all philanthropic efforts for this 27-year old nonprofit. RMFY has provided services to more than 30,000 students, many of whom come from underserved communities in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. Its life-skills based curriculum helps engage students in topics such as personal development, health and wellness, education (college and ... [..] read more
Have you contemplated whether your for-profit experience might translate into effective leadership in the charitable sector? Many nonprofit leaders bring invaluable skills from their for-profit days, but sometimes face barriers in effectively translating those experiences into current nonprofit practice. Laryn Weaver proved to be the perfect guest to talk about that exact topic (and much more!). She is a former business owner, speaker, trainer and author, and now leads the Greenville Area Parkinson ... [..] read more
One of the key challenges in nonprofit management is the identification, recruitment and retention of top-tier talent. This challenge is compounded by budgetary realities that limit your ability to secure individuals with the skills and experience your organization needs, and as a result, critical hiring offers are often made to "B players" or emerging talent that can (hopefully) grow into the role. Are there other ways to approach this dilemma? That's exactly what ... [..] read more
How do you combine a diverse set of skills, talents and experiences to best position yourself for nonprofit leadership? In episode #89 of the Path Podcast, I explored that exact question with Men Tchaas Ari, who successfully engineered a career path that positioned him for his current role as President & CEO of Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, one of the largest CIS affiliates in the United States. Men Tchaas shares much about his ... [..] read more
Will you be ready for your next opportunity to be a nonprofit leader? Often the best opportunities occur when you're least expecting them, and you must rely on past experience, great mentors, and simply gut instinct, before you make the move. This type of opportunity occurred for Mary Ward, our guest in episode #88 of the Path Podcast, when she had the opportunity to lead the McLeod Center. She offers fantastic advice for nonprofit ... [..] read more
Black History Month
PMA salutes all of the outstanding Black leaders in the nonprofit sector. We're very grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with several of these incredible leaders through our Path Podcast. Listen and learn from Tiffany Capers (episode #19), Angela Woods (episode #30), David Malloy (episode #45), Curtis Drafton (episode #50), Lisa Baxter (episode #57), Sabrina Dawson (episode #66) and Karen Lee (episode #83).
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Nonprofit leadership requires a wide range of skills and experiences to be successful, but no single leader can manage all of the technical aspects of a growing enterprise without help. For nonprofit professionals who advance through the program, marketing or fund development side of the organization, the thought of also managing the finance and accounting part of the business is uncomfortable at best and downright intimidating at worst. If you are new in your leadership ... [..] read more
"Range: Why Generalists Triumph in A Specialized World" by David EpsteinIf you're looking for book recommendations in the productivity and professional development genre, Patton offers a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles from the PMA Library. Much has been written about the "10,000 hour rule" popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers and the supposed benefits of a hyper-focused specialization that led athletes like Tiger Woods ... [..] read more
There is much to be learned between the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, and many nonprofit leaders are elevating their organizations through creative and entrepreneurial tactics. Matt Larson is a wonderful resource on exactly that type of mindset, as he's been wildly successful in both the tech and software industry but also translated his success into nonprofit development and leadership. In Episode #86 of the Path Podcast, Matt shares three key entrepreneurial fundamentals that ... [..] read more
PMA is delighted to welcome another talented group of nonprofit leaders to its signature Mastermind program. The Spring Cohort kicked off in January, 2021, and will continue with six additional sessions through April, 2021. Applications are being accepted for the Summer and Fall Cohorts, but space is limited!
Learn More & Apply [..] read more
Podcasts provide a great source of professional development content and are delivered in the perfect format to consume knowledge on the go. Curating effective podcast resources will help you on your path to nonprofit leadership, and quite possibly position you for your next nonprofit job!
As PMA approaches 100 episodes this Spring of its podcast Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, we have also benefitted from great resources and knowledge shared by other top podcasters in ... [..] read more
Fundraising is one of the most important - but often dreaded - functions you have to contemplate as a nonprofit leader. You clearly believe in the mission of your organization, yet fundraising often feels disconnected and transactional. How do you get more comfortable assuring your nonprofit has the funding it needs to achieve its core purpose, and feel good about it at the same time? Well, Jennifer Harris is the perfect person to address this dilemma, and ... [..] read more
Are you pondering nonprofit leadership among multiple career options? That's exactly what Elizabeth Hausler considered before she started the global nonprofit Build Change in 2004, and she offers a fascinating review of her leadership journey and the many lessons learned on Episode #84 of the Path Podcast. These lessons, of course, offer great insight for others considering a similar nonprofit career. Elizabeth reflects on what she would do differently if she were starting over ... [..] read more
Cain Center for the Arts, located in the Lake Norman Region near Charlotte NC, is currently seeking a Director of Development to start prior to the Groundbreaking of its new Performing Arts Center in April of 2021. This senior fundraising professional will lead the organization's key philanthropic strategies, which include the completion of a $25 million Capital Campaign launched in 2018. To date, the community has contributed $18 million towards the campaign goal. Equally ... [..] read more
"The Core Value Equation: A Framework to Drive Results, Create Limitless Scale and Win the War for Talent"by Darius Mirshahzadeh If you're looking for book recommendations in the productivity and professional development genre, Patton offers a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles from the PMA Library. The author struggled understanding the value of "soft skills" in his business with things like core values. he'd composed poetic phrases that ... [..] read more
Managing a nonprofit organization requires a variety of skills and experiences to succeed, and a leader can certainly be consumed by simply keeping their organization in motion. The best nonprofits, however, commit to a vision the exceeds the direct impact of their programs and services but also seeks to positively influence their communities at large. Karen Lee is a great example of a nonprofit leader just like that, as she manages one of the largest ... [..] read more
How do you look at profitability as a nonprofit leader? Our sector's leadership often grapples with conflicted emotions about running their nonprofit "more like a business" despite the fact it is a business and needs to employ critical revenue-generating practices to assure long-term sustainability. In episode #82 of the Path Podcast, Martyn Drake brings a global perspective to this topic and offers great insight and ideas about how nonprofit leaders can come ... [..] read more
As a nonprofit leader, you have multiple responsibilities to manage and often limited time to adjust to changing circumstances (case in point: 2020!). Complicating this leadership challenge are often self-imposed barriers that nonprofit leaders need to understand and avoid. In episode #81 of the Path Podcast, Kris Putnam-Walkerly helps not only identify ways nonprofit leaders stop themselves, but offers solutions as to how to avoid them. Kris also illustrates some of the mistakes ... [..] read more
Situated on the pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined East Morehead Street, resides a sanctuary that has worked with more than 2000 Charlotte- based breast cancer survivors. It is known as The Pink House and happens to be home to Carolina Breast Friends where Executive Director Lynn Erdman spends her days building partnerships and programs while simultaneously supporting survivors.
"The opportunities and experiences I've had have helped me expand Carolina Breast Friends," she says. This makes ... [..] read more
As more young professionals look to the nonprofit sector as an attractive option for their career path, Executive Directors and other senior leaders are eager to recruit and retain the best and brightest to join their organizations. In episode #80 of the Path Podcast, I had a great conversation with Kamber Parker, who not only serves as the Development Director for the nonprofit Greenville Area Parkinson Society, but she has also created a platform for ... [..] read more
What is Co-Leadership and how could it elevate your nonprofit to the proverbial next level? In Episode #79 of the Path Podcast, I had a great conversation with Alicia Winckler and Alan Mather, two talented individual leaders who have embarked on a co-leadership model for the Chicago-based Golden Apple Foundation. By combining forces, they have not only strengthened a great organization addressing teacher shortages across their state, but are poised to expand ... [..] read more
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement If you're looking for book recommendations in the productivity and professional development genre, Patton offers a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles from the PMA Library. Eli Goldratt's The Goal has been a business school favorite since its initial publication in 1984, and employs a similar "business fable" design akin to Patrick Lencioni's work such as The 5 Dysfunctions of a ... [..] read more