How do you get the millennial generation to engage in your nonprofit's cause? That's just the first question Derrick Feldmann and I explored during our conversation on episode #47 of the Path Podcast. Perhaps there is no one more qualified to answer that question, given his research has focused on the millennial generation for over a decade. While Derrick provided a fascinating look at that demographic, we were also able to follow his ... [..] read more
As a nonprofit leader, how do you know when it's the right time to make a change? That's exactly where Dr. Cheryl Richards and I started our conversation in Episode #46 of the Path, as she was only two weeks into her new role as the first female President of Johnson & Wales University's Charlotte Campus. After great success in her previous leadership role as the CEO & Founding Regional Dean at ... [..] read more
"White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin DiAngelo
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.White Fragility is a fascinating, instructive, and sometimes unsettling explanation as to why we white people are so easily angered and confused while talking about racism. After ... [..] read more
Can we rely on the good news from the latest Giving USA 2020 Annual Report ? It was just released in June, and the data shows several positive trends in the fundraising world, albeit pre-COVID. This report, released annually by The Giving Institute, analyzes national-level giving data and provides econometric-based estimates from leading industry experts. Keep reading to learn about the biggest news from this year's findings and learn unique insights into ... [..] read more
Making a job transition is challenging enough under any circumstance, but how about adding a pandemic, cross-country logistics, and a new baby to the family?!?!?! That's exactly what David Malloy had to maneuver as he assumed his new role as Executive Director of the California-Nevada United Methodist Foundation. David and I had great discussion in episode #45 of the Path podcast in which he shares many lessons learned from his national search ... [..] read more
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
By Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, and Ron McMillan
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.Sometimes ideas must be conveyed and understood urgently by multiple parties, but the discussion itself can be difficult or messy, with certain parties growing angry or leaving ... [..] read more
How do you best engage your board members as a nonprofit leader, especially given the challenges the sector is facing right now? This episode of the Path poses that question to someone who literally wrote a book about the topic, called Successful Nonprofits Build Supercharged Boards. Dolph Goldenburg and I certainly discuss board development in episode #44 of the podcast, but also talk about specific fundraising tactics you can incorporate into your development plan, as ... [..] read more
PMA is excited to welcome Jake House as the new CEO of Smart Start of Mecklenburg County. Jake has been in Charlotte since 2013 and developed a passion for education - and inequity in education - early in his career through his experience with the Harlem Children's Zone. Jake holds an undergraduate degree in marketing, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and completed a prestigious 2-yr Broad Fellowship in Educational Leadership which takes outstanding ... [..] read more
These are challenging times for all kinds of reasons, given the isolation of the pandemic, the obvious disparities of race and privilege we're seeing up close, and the economic uncertainties that affect our personal and professional livelihoods. These existential questions don't have easy answers, but nonprofit leaders are looking for guidance as they get their heads around them and evaluate what it means for their career journey. This Bonus Episode of the Path ... [..] read more
What should you put in place at your nonprofit organization before you encounter challenges like those we're facing right now? That's one of the many topics Tina Postel and I discuss in episode #42 of the Path podcast, and fortunately you're not too late to implement many of her great ideas. Families struggling with food insecurities have enough barriers to overcome, and she knew her organization, Loaves & Fishes, had to be ... [..] read more
"How to be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi
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.Kendi's premise is that "not being a racist" is insufficient to truly create positive change, and being a more proactive Antiracist is the way to do so. As a white ally listening, learning and ... [..] read more
It's easy to celebrate successes when things are going well for you as a nonprofit leader, but what about when things don't go so well? Michael Ward has had some fantastic successes as a fundraiser and nonprofit leader, but what made our conversation so powerful was his willingness to share some of the adversity he's faced. His thoughtful and proactive approach to dealing with personal and professional challenges offers great insight for ... [..] read more
"Good To Great and the Social Sectors" by Jim Collins
This title is a personal recommendation, but also a favorite of Podcast Guests Tiffany Capers (#19) and Hal Lewis (#26).Last week we recommended Jim Collins' business classic Good to Great which illustrated how ... [..] read more
Given the great uncertainty nonprofit leaders are facing right now, it's no wonder many are dismissing their long-range strategic plans as practically useless. However, Andrew Hollo brings a much needed and fresh perspective to this strategic planning dilemma and demonstrates the work he has done across Australia is very much applicable to nonprofit leaders anywhere in the world. He not only describes three planning phases on which you should be focusing going forward... [..] read more
"Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap.. and Others Don't" by Jim Collins
This title is a personal recommendation, but also a favorite of Podcast Guests Carrie Bhada (#33) and Brian Maness (#37).Jim Collins' Good to Great is the result ... [..] read more
What's it like to lead a healthcare foundation in the midst of a pandemic? How do you stay organized when all of your events are pushed off the calendar and everyone you speak with has a new idea? Adam Cook has great insight and perspective on these questions and many more in episode #39 of the Path. He has served multiple health care foundations over the course of his nonprofit career, and we talk ... [..] read more
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
"Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results" by James ClearIf 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
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
A mastery of fundraising demands much more than the ability to ask for money. Use the five steps of the Funding Cycle below to map out your fundraising strategy, help your organization define the tasks and actions needed to build your donor base, and strengthen relationships to effectively increase your fundraising capacity.
The first step of the funding cycle is identifying potential donors and prospects.Start by analyzing your existing relationships and building up ... [..] read more
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 ... [..] read more
"The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph" by Ryan HolidayIf 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
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
"Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" by Cal NewportIf 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
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
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
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
"The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick LencioniIf 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
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
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
"The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal" By Jim Loehr and Tony SchwartzIf 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
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
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
"Eat That Frog: 21 Ways To Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time" by Brian TracyIf 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
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
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
"Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeownIf 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
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
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
"Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela DuckworthIf 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
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 Nonprofit.ist, she is the perfect person to help you evaluate any type of ... [..] read more
"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 HarrisI 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
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 ... [..] read more
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
"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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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
"Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan CainWhile 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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