We Must Do Better: Resources for Fighting Racism June 2020

We are heartbroken by the recent events that show ongoing, systematic mistreatment of our black community in this country. We recognize that words are not enough - we must hold ourselves and our systems accountable by actively listening, learning, and speaking out against racism of all kinds. We can and must do better.

At PMA Consulting, we echo our friends at Safe Alliance, and stand in solidarity with everyone working to address racism and intersecting oppressions. ... [..] read more

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: Atomic Habits May 2020

"Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results" by James Clear

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.
"Many people think that they lack motivation, but what they really lack is clarity."

James Clear's Atomic Habits is a guide to eliminating bad habits and effectively replacing them with good ones. In an ... [..] read more

Six Steps to Help you Transition from Corporate to Nonprofit  May 2020

Thinking about leaving your corporate career and taking a job at a nonprofit? While working in the nonprofit sector is immensely rewarding, it comes with a unique set of challenges. Recent interviews on the Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership podcast have allowed us to learn about three nonprofit leaders who have successfully made the leap between these sectors and benefit from their experiences and insights.

We interviewed Kristin Beck, Executive Director of Social Venture Partners ... [..] read more

The Secret Lives of Nonprofit Leaders (Kishshana Palmer) May 2020

Kishshana Palmer is not afraid tell us what we need to hear, even if we're not sure we're ready for it! She's the kind of truth-teller our sector needs, and our conversation on the Path provided all kinds of valuable insight for nonprofit leaders and fundraisers that can be put into practice right now. Kishshana shared a candid view of her journey into nonprofit leadership, and the challenges she's overcome ... [..] read more

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: The Obstacle is the Way May 2020

"The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph" by Ryan Holiday

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.
Holiday brings to life the wisdom of the Stoics in his book "The Obstacle is the Way," championing the practical value of their advice. The key to upholding ... [..] read more

Maintaining Strategic Focus as a Nonprofit Leader (Brian Maness) May 2020

What do you do to stay organized in an ever-changing environment with children and families from across the state depending on you? Like many nonprofit CEO's right now, Brian Maness has had to navigate both the personal and professional demands of nonprofit leadership despite an uncertain landscape around him. Brian is the President & CEO of Children's Home Society of North Carolina, providing services ranging from adoption and foster care to parent ... [..] read more

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: Deep Work May 2020

"Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" by Cal Newport

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.

Inspired by Carl Jung's isolated and incredibly productive Swiss retreats, Cal Newport's "Deep Work" emphasizes the importance of performing focused and effortful tasks for extended periods of time, all ... [..] read more

5 Ways to Adapt Your Nonprofit in Times of Change May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented challenge for nonprofits. Demands are high, resources are low, and everything feels uncertain. Your organization can still survive--and even thrive--when we don't know exactly what the future has in store by adapting the right strategy and actions. We sat down with Dr. Michael Marsicano, President & CEO of the Foundation For The Carolinas , to discuss how nonprofits can adapt to the changing and unusual ... [..] read more

Vital Resources from BoardSource (Jim Taylor) May 2020

How can a nonprofit leader take advantage of the resources BoardSource has to offer, especially in a time of uncertainty and strategic challenge? The answers come from Jim Taylor, who not only highlights the tools available from BoardSource for nonprofit leaders everywhere, but also leans on his personal and professional experience to add even greater value for listeners of this episode of the Path. A pandemic certainly highlights vulnerabilities within the nonprofit sector, and Jim ... [..] read more

Fortune 500 to Nonprofit Founder & CEO (Tina Admans) May 2020

It's quite possible that you (or someone you know) have contemplated leaving the for-profit world to pursue an opportunity in the nonprofit sector. That's exactly what Tina Admans did after moving to Los Angeles over a decade ago. She could very well have stayed on a successful corporate track that included senior positions at Panavision, GE and NBC Universal, but she knew something was missing and nonprofit leadership was calling her. In ... [..] read more

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team May 2020

"The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni

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.
Lencioni's engaging book walks readers through five interconnected characteristics present in dysfunctional teams, and explains actionable techniques to dismantle them. Written as an engaging fictitious story of the executive board of a struggling tech ... [..] read more

The War for Fundraising Talent (Jason Lewis) May 2020

Fundraising is on every nonprofit leader's mind right now, and perhaps there is no one better to talk about that topic than Jason Lewis, who literally wrote a book about the topic, The War for Fundraising Talent. As Jason and I discuss, many of the topics he raised in the book are even more relevant right now. Why do so many organizations rely on "arms-length" fundraising tactics, and what can they do about ... [..] read more

Top 5 Books for a Positive State of Mind May 2020

It can be challenging to stay happy and focused while we all adjust to the uncertainty of our "new normal ." An optimistic mindset, however, is a powerful tool in times of adversity. Using the extra time on your hands to read a book from the PMA library is a great way to get inspired to refocus and keep working towards your personal and professional goals.

Each week. Patton provides a weekly summary of the most ... [..] read more

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: The Power of Full Engagement May 2020

"The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal" By Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

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.
Based on an athletic training concept, "The Power of Full Engagement" explains that only by taking breaks of equal and ... [..] read more

Adapting to Short-Term Challenges with Long-Term Benefits (Carrie Bhada) April 2020

Carrie Bhada's journey in nonprofit leadership has led her to outstanding higher education and healthcare institutions, but it has also given her the experience of dealing with internal and external challenges. While nothing compares to the unique complexities of the COVID-19 situation, she has utilized previous experiences to adapt and lead her team at North Carolina State University as they navigate this uncharted territory. Carrie provided great insight into change management strategies all ... [..] read more

Community Leadership in the Philanthropic Sector (Michael Marsicano) April 2020

Michael Marsicano leads one of the largest community foundations in the United States. He is passionate about bringing communities together to maximize philanthropy and improve all aspects of society. Like nonprofit leaders around the world, he was faced with an unprecedented challenge and opportunity with the arrival of COVID-19. What did he do? In partnership with the United Way of Central Carolinas, he mobilized his team and other collaborative partners throughout the region to ... [..] read more

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: Eat That Frog April 2020

"Eat That Frog: 21 Ways To Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time" by Brian Tracy

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.
Eat That Frog boils down to one significant lifestyle change: doing your hardest, most important task FIRST, even if that task happens to be "eating a ... [..] read more

Making the Jump: Corporate America to Nonprofit Executive (Kristin Beck) April 2020

After twenty years of success in the for-profit arena, Kristin Beck could have easily continued on her upward trajectory. But her inner voice confirmed something was missing and she knew a change might be warranted. She then began a thoughtful process to evaluate her options and make sure she was prepared for the eventual nonprofit leadership opportunity that could take advantage of the skills and experiences she brought from the corporate world. What emerged ... [..] read more

Personal Branding for the Nonprofit Professional April 2020

Developing, defining, and promoting your personal brand is important for any career, but is especially crucial for nonprofit professionals. Although it may feel a little uncomfortable or too self serving for some of us to think of "branding" ourselves, managing your personal brand will allow you to make a strong positive impact in your career and community.

"Personal brand is a person's perception of another person, primarily in a business context," says Yvonne Levine... [..] read more

Patton's Pick from the PMA Library: "Essentialism" April 2020

"Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown

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. This is also a recommendation of Angela Woods, the guest on Episode 30 of The Path Podcast.

An exercise in prioritization, Greg McKeown's "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" provides readers with a great ... [..] read more

Nonprofit Leadership in Uncertain Times (Angela Woods) April 2020

As the COVID-19 situation descended on her organization with stunning speed, Angela Woods, JD MBA knew she would have to make critical strategic decisions without the luxury of time to thoroughly evaluate options or wait for additional data. Like so many nonprofit leaders right now, she had to rely on her instincts and experience to best "triage" an evolving situation. How she's managed these circumstances so far is a great study in leadership ... [..] read more

Agile Nonprofit Leadership During the COVID-19 Crisis (Mike Blackwelder) April 2020

Uncertainty abounds in the charitable sector, but leadership is needed now more than ever. My colleague Mike Blackwelder and I tackle five critical areas of leadership, and lift up examples, suggestions and resources to better address each of them in episode 29 of The Path Podcast. Whether you're a current nonprofit leader or aspire to be one, these are the types of circumstances you must be ready to manage. How do you work with ... [..] read more

Patton's Pick from the PMA Library: "Grit" April 2020

"Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela Duckworth

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.

Angela Duckworth's "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" calls out the biased celebration of "talent," and makes a compelling case for the superior effectiveness of passion and continued efforts.


Talent x ... [..] read more

5 Questions to Answer Before Using A Nonprofit Consultant (Heather Yandow) April 2020

As you move into senior leadership in the nonprofit sector, the opportunity to explore external contractors and consultants will likely present itself. How do you evaluate such an option? What are the factors you should consider before engaging such a resource? These are exactly the questions Heather Yandow and I explore in episode #28 of the Path. Through her experience founding, she is the perfect person to help you evaluate any type of ... [..] read more

Patton's Pick from the PMA Library: "10% Happier" April 2020

"10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story" By Dan Harris

I f 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.
In his journey of demystifying meditation and discovering how to put it to use... [..] read more

Building A Culture of Philanthropy at Your Nonprofit (Stamie Despo) April 2020

Despite her successful fundraising experience, Stamie Despo knew as a new Executive Director she would need the entire organization to embrace philanthropy for it to achieve the kind of mission success she knew was possible. That's exactly what Stamie and I discussed during episode 27 of The Path Podcast. What exactly is a culture of philanthropy? What did she find when she began her role as Executive Director at the Susan G. Komen affiliate in ... [..] read more

3 Essential Skills for Nonprofit Leadership (Hal Lewis) March 2020

Dr. Hal Lewis was the perfect person to illustrate three critical skills nonprofit leaders must develop. As a nonprofit executive himself, a scholar published on a variety of leadership topics, and a consultant working with leaders across the country, he was well-positioned to provide the practical advice and resources you need on your nonprofit path. In episode #26 of The Path Podcast, Hal and I discussed the ability to attract and retain top-notch ... [..] read more

3 Things Nonprofit Leaders Can Do Now March 2020

"I don't know where to start," confided a nonprofit Executive Director I was speaking with last week. Like so many of our colleagues in the charitable sector, she was trying to triage the nearly overwhelming number of issues in front of her, facing more questions than answers. We worked through her situation, and came up with a plan that has been reinforced by conversations we're having with each of our nonprofit partners. As ... [..] read more

Three Writing Practices for Nonprofit Success March 2020

Sharpen your communication skills, monitor your productivity and meet your professional development goals in minutes a day with these three simple writing exercises.

No matter where you are in your nonprofit career, being able to communicate effectively is critical to your success. Honing your communications skills will help you build relationships, broaden your network, collaborate effectively with colleagues and coworkers, and improve your fundraising results. Effective written communication skills are especially critical in today's ... [..] read more

Utilizing A Coach to Strengthen Your Nonprofit Leadership (Nancy Beard) March 2020

Nancy Beard offers great perspectives on the value of finding good mentors as well as the potential a coach can have on your personal and professional journey on Episode #25 of The Path Podcast. Her path to nonprofit leadership was shaped by early volunteer roles, both as a board member and a volunteer, and she continued to hear a calling for social justice causes that began during her childhood. We had a great conversation about ... [..] read more

New to the Nonprofit World? Here are 5 Ways to Hit the Ground Running March 2020

A career in the nonprofit sector can be highly rewarding for motivated and mission-driven individuals, but that doesn't mean it's easy. It can get pretty overwhelming trying to manage different types of advice and information, understand all of the varied roles around you, and learn new skills, especially without much support from your organization. For someone adjusting to a career change or recently entering the nonprofit sector, it can feel next to ... [..] read more

Patton's Pick from the PMA Library: "Mindset" March 2020

"Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" by Carol S. Dweck

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.

In her great book Mindset, Stanford psychologist Carol S. Dweck explains the differences between fixed and growth mindsets, and the implication of both on personal development, teaching, and parenting.

The two mindsets outlined by ... [..] read more

Patton's Pick from the PMA Library: "Never Eat Alone" March 2020

"Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship At A Time" by Keith Ferrazzi

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.

Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone" offers practical tips on professional success through effective networking. For some, the term "networking" conjures dreaded images of awkward small talk and ... [..] read more

Leadership Development for the 3 Phases of Your Nonprofit Career (Chris Delisio) March 2020

Chris Delisio's career in higher education has led him to a leadership role in one of the largest comprehensive campaigns in the country, as the Time and Change Campaign at Ohio State targets one million donors and a fundraising goal of $4.5 billion. While justifiably proud of his current leadership position, Chris is quick to point to the resources and advice that helped him move along the path to nonprofit success. In Episode ... [..] read more

Patton's Pick from the PMA Library: "Quiet" March 2020

"Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain

While your travel and activities are likely curtailed in this coronavirus environment, take advantage of the opportunity to catch up on your reading! If you're looking for recommendations in the professional development genre, Patton will offer a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles in the professional development and leadership space from the PMA Library. ... [..] read more

Driving from the Backseat: Nonprofit Leadership Lessons  (Ronnie Bryant) March 2020

The title of Ronnie Bryant's nonprofit leadership book says it all: Driving from the Backseat. It's a wonderful illustration of the skill and finesse required by nonprofit Executive Directors as they steer their organization along but allow a whole group of board members to sit in the front seat and "drive." In Episode 23 of The Path Podcast, my conversation with Ronnie was just as enjoyable as reading his book, full of insight... [..] read more

Essential Skills for Nonprofit Fundraising Success (Joanne Beam) February 2020

Like many of us, Joanne O'Brien Beam did not aspire to nonprofit leadership following her undergraduate days, but the lure of her alma mater and the skills she developed in the for-profit sector combined to make her a very successful fundraiser and a highly sought-after consultant and coach. In Episode 22 of The Path, Joanne and I had a great conversation about the wonderfully practical advice she received during her journey along ... [..] read more

3 Keys to Maximizing Your Nonprofit Leadership Opportunities (Justin Dionne) February 2020

Justin Dionne knew he had a great opportunity on his hands when he arrived at the Cain Center for the Arts. As a relatively new executive director, he also knew he needed to maximize all of his productivity and professional development resources to get this new organization off the ground as well as navigate its very aspirational campaign of $25 million to build a new performing arts center. Justin and I had a great conversation ... [..] read more

A Dozen Resources for the Nonprofit Professional (Leighton Fogan) February 2020

Leighton Fogan has not only enjoyed a successful career in the nonprofit sector, but she's also a dedicated student of professional development resources! Her career path includes hands-on experience at several nonprofits, many successful consulting engagements, and coursework through Columbia University and Duke's Nonprofit Management program. Episode #20 of The Path features our conversation on three categories of career-enhancing resources, and is a gold mine for current and aspiring nonprofit leaders. ... [..] read more

Hiring Talent and Sharpening Your Nonprofit Leadership Skills (Tiffany Capers) February 2020

Tiffany Capers did not plan to go into nonprofit leadership, and in fact, she thought her graduate degree would take her into a corporate environment. But after opportunities in government and in a community foundation, she found a calling that led to leadership in our sector. She now serves as the Executive Director of the CrossRoads Corporation, which creatively partners with the residents of the Grier Heights neighborhood in Charlotte and numerous other stakeholders to ... [..] read more

How Do You Blend For-Profit and Nonprofit Leadership Lessons? (Will Jones) February 2020

Like many in the nonprofit sector, Will Jones gained leadership experience from other arenas, including the social service and for-profit sectors. He now serves as the President and CEO of Thompson, a leading provider of clinical and prevention services for children and families across the Carolinas. In Episode 18 of The Path Podcast, Will and I dive into many topics related to the blend of best practices he's gained from his experience, and ... [..] read more

How Do You Move from Manager to Senior Leader at Your Nonprofit? (Katherine Lambert) January 2020

Katherine Lambert is passionate about professional development in the nonprofit sector and is a champion for internal candidates who can serve as senior leaders. Her advice provides great insight for other senior leaders who want to better develop their talent, but also provides many clues for those pursuing a new job in the charitable sector. On episode 17 of the Path Podcast, Katherine talks about how she allocates professional development funds in her organization, and ... [..] read more

7 Nonprofit Podcasts You Should Listen to in 2020 January 2020

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!

While the rise of the podcast is a professional development opportunity for you, it's also a medium that your nonprofit will likely explore just as Don Jonas, the Executive ... [..] read more

IPL Welcomes Cohort 8 of Leadership Gift School January 2020

The Institute of Philanthropic Leadership welcomed nine nonprofits to its 8th Cohort of Leadership Gift School beginning this Spring, hosted by the Foundation For The Carolinas. These outstanding organizations join 165 nonprofit leaders from 76 nonprofits that have graduated from this highly acclaimed program.
Anuvia. Valerie Kopetzky, CEO; Abigail Lord-Ramsey, Director of Fund Development

Arts & Science Council. Jeep Bryant, President & CEO; Robert Touchstone, Director of Development

Augustine Literacy Project. Alison Houser, Executive ... [..] read more

4 Writing Practices for Nonprofit Success (Clay Hodges) January 2020

The concept of writing might not be an activity that brings back pleasant memories (late-night term papers anyone?), but as attorney Clay Hodges illustrates, it is a powerful tool to activate in your productivity toolbox. In episode 16 of the Path, Clay and I explore four different writing rituals and routines that can help you build skills for professional development and more effective communication. How can you utilize journaling to monitor personal and professional ... [..] read more

Personal Branding for the Nonprofit Professional (Yvonne Levine) January 2020

What is Personal Branding, and why is it important for you as a nonprofit professional? That's exactly what Yvonne Levine and I discussed in episode #15 of the Path. Yvonne's great coaching and consulting experience with different organizations - and their senior leaders - provides many useful take-aways for current and aspiring nonprofit leaders who want to engage in genuine activities to build their positive brand. Among other things, we talk about when to ... [..] read more

Finding Your Nonprofit Leadership Shadow (Will Sparks) January 2020

What is your leadership shadow, and why should you worry about it? That's exactly what Dr. Will Sparks and I discuss in episode #14 of the Path. He's spent 20 years researching the characteristics of great leaders, and also the "shadow" side of their leadership styles which often hold them back in ways they're not even aware. Will and I explore the practical aspects of his studies, and how nonprofit leaders can ... [..] read more

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