New to Nonprofit?  5 Ways to Hit the Ground Running (Mike Blackwelder)

November 2019

One of the challenges of starting a job in the nonprofit sector is the volume of information, skills and experiences you're trying to learn and manage, often without adequate on-boarding support from your organization.  If that challenge is one you're facing, or you want to do a better job helping develop your staff talent, this episode is for you.  On Episode 5 of The Path Podcast, Mike and I explore five ways you can accelerate your journey on the nonprofit path with practical tips, ideas and resources.


Mike Blackwelder is a nonprofit and fundraising professional who has been on the leadership path for over a decade. Mike serves as the Chief Advancement Officer at Smart Start of Mecklenburg County. Before that, he served as Managing Director for PMA Consulting, and has extensive experience in fundraising, management, strategic planning, communications, and nonprofit administration. His nonprofit career includes positions at United Way of Central Carolinas, Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County, and Safe Alliance. In his most recent position as Chief Advancement Officer at Safe Alliance, Mike managed a team of development staff and led the agency's fundraising, marketing, volunteer, and advocacy efforts.  Mike received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Campbell University, a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and an MBA from UNC-Charlotte, and recently became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). Mike is also very involved with the Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), where he currently serves as Board President.


·      What questions should you ask in your first 90 days on the job?

·      The First 90 Days (Michael Watkins)  

·      Identifying key goals and challenges of the organization 

·      Mike's keys to staying organized; to-do list and email management 

·      Strategic networking: comparable and aspirational peers

·      What skills and experiences should you master?

·      Importance of self-care

·      Creating of personal development plan

·      Maximizing professional development organizations like AFP

·      Mike's Pick: Donor Centered Fundraising (Penelope Burk)

·      Mike's Pick:  Achieving Excellence In Fundraising (Hank Rosso)