The Secret Lives of Nonprofit Leaders (Kishshana Palmer)

May 2020

Kishshana Palmer is not afraid to 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 and the lessons she's learned that she now shares with the aspiring leaders she coaches and trains.  Not only is she speaking about issues of diversity and inclusion, but she's doing something about it by founding the Rooted Collaborative for women of color in the fundraising profession.  What are some of the creative initiatives she's seeing as a result of COVID-19?  How does she help an organization maneuver through a lack of board engagement?  What are the most important questions one should answer before considering the nonprofit profession?  Find out these answers and much more in episode 39 of the Path.

"Understand what your genius is and push to strengthen that you are operating at a capacity that demonstrates your excellence."


Kishshana leads Kishshana & Co., and is a national speaker, trainer, and coach with a 17-year background in fundraising, marketing, and talent management.  She's a supernova on any stage thanks to her charismatic and candid delivery. She's founder of The Rooted Collaborative -- a global online community for Women of Color in Fundraising. She's the author of "Hey, I'm New Here", the host of the podcast A Shot of Vitamin K, an adjunct professor at Baruch College, a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer (CGT) and an AFP Master Trainer.  When an organization wants to grow, find and retain people on their team, and raise money, she is the philanthropic fairy godmother they have on speed dial. Her work isn't limited to organizations, she also coaches social good professionals. Kishshana is a NYC girl and mother of one wonderful teenage daughter. She describes herself as "the epitome of your classic 90's Queens homegirl and quintessential corner office executive."