Global Expansion for Nonprofit Leaders (George Smith) December 2021

Regardless of where you are on Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, insight gained from today's episode with George Smith will no doubt up your game. Within the first few minutes, George will inspire you as he and Patton reminisce on shared experiences with Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the single most important leadership skill the entire Kennedy clan learned early on. George expands on his early leadership experiences as he transitioned to the global sector. ... [..] read more

What’s It Like to Be in a PMA Mastermind? December 2021

If you've been thinking about whether a Mastermind leadership experience might be right for you, you'll enjoy reading the highlights below from nonprofit leaders who were part of Cohorts One, Two and Three, who shared more about their experiences. If you think you're ready, apply now! The need for agile nonprofit leadership has never been greater. Unfortunately, individuals in the nonprofit sector often do not receive the professional development they need to ... [..] read more

Building A Strong Nonprofit Through Intentional Leadership (Teddy McDaniel) December 2021

Many for-profit leaders have followed their passion and transitioned to the nonprofit sector. Luckily for the Urban League of the Carolinas, Teddy McDaniel is one such leader who likes to say he doesn't have a job, he's on a mission. In episode #137 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Teddy discusses how being an intentional leader strengthens an organization. He and Patton discuss embracing the nonprofit competition with strategic networking which leads ... [..] read more

The Best of 2021: Patton's Picks from the PMA Library December 2021

If you're looking for book recommendations to enhance your nonprofit leadership, Patton McDowell offers a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles from the PMA Nonprofit Leadership Library .
Beginners by Tom Vanderbilt. Read our summary here

Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy. Read our summary here

Design Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Read our summary here

The Core Value Equation by by Darius Mirshahzadeh. Read ... [..] read more

Maximizing Volunteer Engagement as a Nonprofit Leader (Lauren Kaufman) December 2021

Are you utilizing the full abilities of your best volunteers? As the leader of an all-volunteer organization that has seen a 40% growth in the past six months, Lauren Kaufman discusses strategic actions to attract, activate, grow, and retain diverse young professional volunteer talent. Connecting the individual volunteer's skills and experiences with specific organizational roles and committee opportunities strengthens not only the individual's resume, but the relationship they have with the organization ... [..] read more

PMA Welcomes Sarah Trexler to the LIFESPAN Team December 2021

PMA is excited to welcome Sara Trexler to the LIFESPAN team as the new Chief Philanthropy Officer. "We were proud to partner with LIFESPAN through our Search Advisory services to help them find a talented nonprofit leader like Sara," noted PMA President Patton McDowell. She will support the important work at LIFESPAN as it empowers children and adults with disabilities by providing education, employment and enrichment opportunities to live, work, and play in their communities."I ... [..] read more

Sharpening Your Vision as a Nonprofit Leader (Pat Millen) December 2021

Most well-intentioned ideas never become a viable nonprofit organization. But after Pat Millen's daughter Franny raised the issue of the digital divide after school one day, the family decided to do something about it. Less than 10 years later, one family's inspiration has evolved into E2D (Eliminate the Digital Divide), and Pat has elevated the organization to state and national prominence. Not only is his story fascinating, but his thoughtful reflection about ... [..] read more

Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership: What is the Book About? December 2021

Everyone has a nonprofit cause they support. Perhaps it is the after-school program that first introduced you to youth sports and now provides an opportunity to serve as a volunteer coach. Maybe it is the children's museum that first sparked your interest in nature that continues through your weekend explorations of state and national parks. Or, sadly, maybe the loss of a loved one to cancer, Alzheimer's, or heart disease fuels your ... [..] read more

Why Corporations Should Look at Philanthropy in a New Way (Holly Welch Stubbing) December 2021

Nonprofit organizations worldwide study ways to capitalize on corporate relationships in their fundraising efforts. Having been on both sides of this equation, Holly Welch Stubbing, the President & CEO of E4E Relief, identifies specific challenges she sees as nonprofits try to connect with corporate leaders. She shares her thoughts on how corporations can look at philanthropy differently given the competing agendas they are constantly having to manage. In episode #134 of Your Path to Nonprofit ... [..] read more

How to Improve Your Nonprofit Leadership Experience (Patton McDowell) November 2021

Are you thankful for your current nonprofit leadership role? The sector should be thankful for talented individuals like you who are dedicated to a vital cause in your community, but I know you may not feel that gratitude as you do even more for an organization that needs your every contribution. In this special Thanksgiving Day episode, I offer some ideas that may help you be an even better leader, but more importantly, help you ... [..] read more

The Power of Donor Stewardship as a Nonprofit Leader (Caitlin Donley) November 2021

Fundraising is more than simply communicating your mission effectively to your donors and asking for support. The real magic happens after the gift is received, and doing more than just saying "thank you" means a nonprofit leader has an intentional strategic plan around donor stewardship. In episode #132 of The Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Caitlin Donley introduces us to three distinct categories nonprofit leaders need to consider as they maximize the potential for donor stewardship. ... [..] read more

Paying it Forward as a Nonprofit Leader (Michael DeVaul) November 2021

Passion is often found in young leaders, while wisdom and experience are words associated with successful senior nonprofit leaders. Where are you on your journey of nonprofit leadership? Do you realize the value of self-assessment? Michael DeVaul has been on both sides of that bridge for more than three decades in the nonprofit sector and reflects on leading by example through action. In episode #131 of The Path Podcast, Michael shares his five steps ... [..] read more

Congratulations to Charlotte's National Philanthropy Day Winners November 2021

PMA is proud to be a Heart of Bronze sponsor for this year's National Philanthropy Day celebration, orchestrated locally by AFP Charlotte on November 18, 2021. The nine honorees are great examples of the power of philanthropy and nonprofit leadership in our communities. Learn more about this year's winners!2021 National Philanthropy Honorees

Outstanding Champion of Diversity | Justin L. Perry, MSW, LCSW, LCAS
Outstanding Emerging Philanthropist | Lauren Harkey
Outstanding Fundraising Executive | Donna Canzano ... [..] read more

How Do You Prepare for Nonprofit Leadership? (Manuel Campbell) November 2021

When funders approach you and ask, "why do we need this organization?" are you able to answer with more than just passion? Seasoned nonprofit leader Manuel Campbell shares what it takes to go from a passion project to a strategic case for support to benefit your community and maintain a sustainable, upwardly mobile, and fully-funded nonprofit organization. In episode #130 of the Path Podcast, we discuss key steps to organizational success, from recognizing an ... [..] read more

PMA's Charmain Lewis joins Queens as Associate Director of Digital Engagement October 2021

PMA's Charmain Lewis has joined Queens University of Charlotte as the Associate Director of Digital Engagement, beginning October 25, 2021. "Charmain will be a fantastic addition to the Queens' Advancement team, as she brings both marketing and communications talent as well as a genuine enthusiasm for the university as a proud alumna" noted PMA President Patton McDowell. "We will miss her, but have truly benefited from her talents as she's helped the firm ... [..] read more

​​​​​​​Congratulations to Cohort 9 of Leadership Gift School  October 2021

What a great group! Patton enjoyed facilitating a fantastic Fall series for this group of talented nonprofit Executives and Chief Development Officers, who culminated their sessions with final presentations and a discussion with The Duke Endowment's President Rhett Mabry. Want to be part of Leadership Gift School's Cohort 10 in the Spring of 2022? Go here to learn more about the next LGS cohort, or email for more information! About ... [..] read more

How to Retain Talent Through a Dynamic Nonprofit Organization (Keith Fishburne) October 2021

Are you struggling as a nonprofit leader to retain your best talent? Keith Fishburne, whose career spans over 30 years at Special Olympics North Carolina, shares his best practices to recognize, develop, and ultimately retain quality employees. Many of Keith's senior staff have been with him for over a decade, unheard of in the nonprofit sector. The experiences we discuss in episode #129 of the Path Podcast will help you build and maintain stronger ... [..] read more

Leading Your Organization Through Strategic Execution (Logan Herring) October 2021

Should you stop calling your organization a nonprofit? That was one of many intriguing topics Logan Herring and I discussed during our conversation in episode #128 of the Path Podcast. Logan is the dynamic leader of The WRK Group in Wilmington, Delaware, and is not only transforming his community, but also offers a unique organizational model for communities around the world to consider. We discuss the key tenets of his leadership, from strategic planning (he ... [..] read more

PMA Welcomes Cohort 6 of the New Development Professionals Program October 2021

About the New Development Professionals Program
The New Development Professionals program prepares aspiring nonprofit leaders to excel in the fundraising, management and organizational planning skills required in the philanthropic sector. To date, 93 professionals from 58 organizations have attended this program. Click here to see the graduate list.The target audience for this program is new or aspiring professionals to the nonprofit sector whose responsibility features fundraising. The program consists of four monthly (3-hour) ... [..] read more

5 Priorities of the Best Nonprofit Leaders (Patton McDowell) October 2021

Ever wonder what the best nonprofit leaders are focused on? After working with nearly 250 nonprofit organizations, and having interviewed over 120 talented nonprofit leaders from around the world on the podcast, Patton has narrowed his list to these five priorities which distinguish the best leaders from the rest in episode #127 of the Path Podcast. Are you able to articulate a clear vision for your organization? What specific methods are you utilizing to develop ... [..] read more

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: A World Without Email October 2021

"A World Without Email: Reimagining Work In An Age Of Information Overload" by Cal Newport

If you're looking for book recommendations to enhance your nonprofit leadership, Patton McDowell offers a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles from the PMA Nonprofit Leadership Library . As Cal Newport explains, email represents the culprit in our "hyperactive hive mind" workflow. We've become addicted to constant asynchronous communication under the false belief that low-friction ... [..] read more

Finding the Resources You Need as a Nonprofit Leader (Stephanie Minor) October 2021

Do you have the resources you need as a nonprofit leader? The best nonprofit leaders embrace the concept of life-long learning because they know they must stay on top of the issues that face their organization and the sector in which it operates. Managing issues of fundraising and philanthropy, human resources, mental health, diversity, equity & inclusion, strategic planning, finance, human resources and countless other topics can easily become overwhelming for a nonprofit leader. ... [..] read more

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: Designing Your Life October 2021

If you're looking for book recommendations to enhance your nonprofit leadership, Patton McDowell offers a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles from the PMA Nonprofit Leadership Library . Searching for a creative, energizing guide to asses the life you're living, and take charge of the one you want to live?Authors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans offer a designer's approach to life planning, and dispel many of the approaches ... [..] read more

PMA Seeks Digital Marketing Associate  September 2021

PMA Consulting is seeking a talented part-time associate to support its growing digital media platform and expanding project work with nonprofit leaders throughout the Carolinas and across the United States. The work will be virtual and can start immediately. The Digital Marketing Associate will develop valuable content for PMA's nonprofit leadership community in a dynamic learning environment and deliver it across the firm's media platforms including its website, podcast, and various social ... [..] read more

The Surprising Gift of Doubt for Nonprofit Leaders (Marc Pitman) September 2021

As a nonprofit leader, you constantly face new challenges for which none of your training and previous experience can prepare you. Under such circumstances, it's easy to lose confidence and succumb to those feelings of doubt, and wonder where leadership solutions might come from. As a long-time leadership coach and fundraiser in the nonprofit sector, Marc Pitman understands these feelings of insecurity, and has written a fascinating book called The Surprising Gift of ... [..] read more

Nonprofit Leaders Join Fall Mastermind Diamond Group September 2021

PMA Nonprofit Leadership was delighted to welcome another talented group of nonprofit leaders to our Fall Cohort of the Mastermind Program. Now in its fourth season, the program has expanded into two groups this Fall, including the "Diamond Group" pictured above, and the "Gold Group" featured previously. "I could not be happier with the national perspective these groups bring to the program, as well as their genuine desire to help each other get better in ... [..] read more

Leadership Gift School Focuses on the Nonprofit Board & Staff Partnership September 2021

12 nonprofit organizations assembled for Cohort 9's fourth session on September 17th, 2021. The session featured outstanding guest speakers, including Foundation For The Carolinas President & CEO Michael Marsicano, Crisis Assistance Ministry CEO Carol Hardison and Senior VP for University Advancement at Wingate University James Bullock. About Leadership Gift School

Leadership Gift School brings together a cohort of nonprofit CEOs and development directors who work together to build their organization's capacity for leadership ... [..] read more

How to Make Yourself an Outstanding Candidate for Nonprofit Leadership (Shana Plott) September 2021

As a nonprofit leader, you've likely encountered both sides of the talent development equation: seeking a new opportunity for yourself, or finding the perfect person to fill your nonprofit's most important vacancy. Regardless of whether you're looking yourself or trying to hire a rock star, Shana Plott is the perfect guest to help you on your quest. Shana has spent most of her career helping organizations find talented leaders, and she's ... [..] read more

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: Why Buddhism is True September 2021

If you're looking for book recommendations to enhance your nonprofit leadership, Patton McDowell offers a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles from the PMA Nonprofit Leadership Library. Some of the central tenets of practicing Buddhism - mindfulness and meditation - have become self-care staples in an era of isolation and heightened stress. Have you considered meditation but are not sure how to start, or maybe doubtful of the benefits? Wright's ... [..] read more

Nonprofit Leaders Join Fall Mastermind Gold Group September 2021

PMA Nonprofit Leadership was delighted to welcome another talented group of nonprofit leaders to our Fall Cohort of the Mastermind Program. Now in its fourth season, the program has expanded into two groups this Fall, including the "Gold Group" pictured above, and the "Diamond Group". "I could not be happier given the national perspective this group brings to the program, as well as their genuine desire to help each other get better in their roles ... [..] read more

4 Steps to Breakthrough Marketing for Nonprofit Leaders (Cheryl Williams) September 2021

In an environment when the term "hybrid" represents a new layer of complexity for nonprofit programming, fundraising and communications, it's easy to get lost in a flurry of activity without effectively marketing your nonprofit organization. As a nonprofit leader, how do you best determine what effective marketing and communication even looks like for your organization? Fortunately, Cheryl Hudgins Williams brings a career of for-profit and nonprofit experience to help you elevate your organization's ... [..] read more

New Chief Philanthropy Officer Opportunity at LIFESPAN Services Inc. September 2021

LIFESPAN SERVICES, INC. , is seeking a talented nonprofit leader to serve as its new Chief Philanthropy Officer. If you are ready to make a lasting difference in someone's life, if being part of something greater than yourself is a priority, and if your career goals include having a job you can be passionate about and serving the greater good, LIFESPAN invites you to be part of its Leadership team. LIFESPAN is searching for an ... [..] read more

New Executive Director Opportunity at Carolina Breast Friends September 2021

Charlotte-based Carolina Breast Friends is seeking a dynamic nonprofit leader to serve as the new Executive Director to succeed the retiring Lynn Erdman. The Executive Director is the key management leader of this health-care nonprofit, and Carolina Breast Friends mission is to support, encourage, and empower those in our community who are affected by breast cancer. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, operations, programs, and strategic plan of the organization. ... [..] read more

PMA’s Penny Hawkins Joins Charlotte as Senior Director of Development - Strategic Planning & Gifts September 2021

PMA Senior Consultant Penny Hawkins has joined the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as the Senior Director of Development - Strategic Planning & Gifts, beginning September 7, 2021. In this role, Penny will be responsible for managing the processes, metrics, and reporting that will lead to successful fundraising and capital campaign planning. She will also manage a portfolio of major gift prospects and donors. "Penny has been a fantastic colleague and a wonderful resource to ... [..] read more

How Nonprofit Leaders Can Jumpstart the Funder Partnership (Kelly Chopus) September 2021

The partnership between nonprofit leaders and their counterparts at grant-making organizations is a critical one, and Kelly Chopus understands both sides of this collaborative dynamic. Kelly is the President & CEO of the Robins Foundation, and in episode #122 of the Path Podcast, we discuss what makes a nonprofit more attractive to funders, and what nonprofit leaders can do to better demonstrate their ability to maximize investments in their communities. Kelly offers specific advice ... [..] read more

A Conversation with BoardSource's Jim Taylor September 2021

PMA's Charmain Lewis interviewed Jim Taylor, the VP of Leadership Initiatives and Education at BoardSource, the nonprofit whose mission is "to inspire and support excellence in nonprofit governance and board and staff leadership." Jim is a friend of the firm and two-time podcast guest on Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership.

Jim TaylorVice President,Leadership Initiatives and EducationBoardSourceWashington DC

Tell me about your journey into the nonprofit world and the work you are doing ... [..] read more

Is Your Nonprofit Board Leading with Intent? (Jim Taylor) August 2021

As Jim Taylor shared on episode #35 of the Path Podcast, conversations around race and inclusion are more prevalent than ever in nonprofit meeting rooms around the world. But are these discussions leading to significant change in the recruitment, make-up and leadership style for these same board leaders? That's exactly what BoardSource's latest Leading With Intent report set out to explore, and the results are fascinating. Jim returns to episode #120 of ... [..] read more

Building A Career in Nonprofit Leadership (Elizabeth Abel) August 2021

As more talented professionals enter the nonprofit sector, they are looking for ways to develop their skills, find the best professional development opportunities, and better navigate the personal and professional challenges that can inhibit success. Elizabeth Abel not only works with nonprofit leaders across the country as they manage all of these issues, she's also teaching the next generation of talent through her work at the Nonprofit Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania. ... [..] read more

PMA Congratulates Emily Chuma and Amanda Schneider August 2021

PMA is excited to welcome Emily J. Chuma, MBA, CFRE, to the Charlotte Speech & Hearing Center team as the new Director of Development, and Amanda G. Schneider as the new Development Director for Right Moves for Youth. We were proud to partner with both of these organizations to find talented nonprofit leaders who will support of the important work both CSHC and RMFY are doing in their communities. About PMA Nonprofit Leadership As a ... [..] read more

Embracing the Power of Philanthropy as a Nonprofit Leader (Charles Thomas) August 2021

Philanthropy is the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations, but the acquisition of charitable dollars can be a motivational barrier for many nonprofit leaders. We all have hang-ups about money, and that can hurt our enthusiasm to actually ask for funds for the causes we care deeply about. Charles Thomas has been on both sides of philanthropy, as an executive director of two organizations, and now the Program Director for a national foundation making investments in ... [..] read more

3 Keys to Effective Nonprofit Leadership (John Bennett) August 2021

The study of nonprofit leadership requires the review of a wide array of topics, skills and experiences, especially as you try to identify the keys to success in the philanthropic sector. Where can you turn for advice on ways to improve your leadership skills? Well, to assure a deeper dive into these sometimes intangible leadership factors, John Bennett proved to be the perfect guest on episode #117 of the Path Podcast to offer practical advice ... [..] read more

Is It Time for a Capital Campaign? (Cindy Clark) July 2021

As we move through the pandemic, numerous factors are influencing nonprofit leaders to consider whether now is the time to launch a capital campaign. Pent up demand, relatively good economic conditions, competition from other nonprofits - and just a restlessness from staff and board - may all be pushing you to what feels like an inevitable fundraising effort. But are you and your nonprofit really ready? My colleague Cindy Clark is the perfect one to answer this ... [..] read more

Need to Recharge Your Nonprofit Career Plan? (Patton McDowell) July 2021

While the new year gets most of the attention as the time for personal resolutions and career planning, the summer may be an even better time for personal and professional reflection, and a great time to re-evaluate your path to nonprofit leadership. In episode #115 of the Path Podcast, Patton offers a solo summary of two key planning instruments that can help with your nonprofit career planning. You'll be able to assess where ... [..] read more

Fall 2021 Mastermind Contest July 2021

Are you ready to join PMA's Mastermind Leadership Development Program to accelerate your nonprofit leadership journey? Go to this link to enter your email address and a chance to win a FREE REGISTRATION (a $1150 value) in the Fall 2021 cohort (you will also receive a free leadership assessment tool as a thanks for entering)! Applicants must be qualified nonprofit professionals with at least five years of experience. Click here to enter the Mastermind ... [..] read more

Leadership, Track Record & Sustainability: How Does Your Nonprofit Stack Up? (Tom Lawrence) July 2021

It's common for a nonprofit leader to wonder what a prospective funder is thinking as he or she evaluates your organization for a potential investment. Fortunately, Tom Lawrence is happy to share the framework The Leon Levine Foundation uses to evaluate hundreds of grant applications it receives every year. Tom serves as the President of the Foundation, and he and his team use a framework for evaluation that you'll find valuable to prep ... [..] read more

Partner Spotlight: Cain Center's Perry Mixter July 2021

PMA's Charmain Lewis had the opportunity to speak with the new Development Director at the Cain Center for the Arts, Perry Mixter. Mixter has followed his passion for the arts from an early age, and his journey has brought him to the Cain Center at an exciting time in its development, and allows him to partner with the Center's Executive Director Justin Dionne. With an extensive background in nonprofit management in the arts ... [..] read more

PMA Team Member Spotlight: Penny Hawkins July 2021

Penny HawkinsSenior Consultant
Penny Hawkins brings nearly twenty years of professional experience from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors to her work as a Senior Consultant at PMA over the last four years. She sat down with colleague Charmain Lewis to talk about her professional journey, what she's learned, and the advice she now offers others considering the path to nonprofit leadership.

Penny began her career in Private Equity with BlackHawk Capital Management where ... [..] read more

How to Balance the Mission and the Business as a Nonprofit Leader (Jim Warren) July 2021

Many nonprofit leaders struggle to maintain their passion for the organization's mission as they grapple with the management realities required to run a complex nonprofit business. If you're wrestling with that "mission versus business" tug-of-war, Jim Warren is the perfect person to know. Jim is the Executive Director of the Carolina Raptor Center, and brings his energy and wisdom from 40 years in the nonprofit sector to episode #113 of the ... [..] read more

How to Shift the Nonprofit Narrative on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (Samara Hakim) July 2021

Most nonprofit leaders are saying the right things about their approach to diversity, equity and inclusion, but making genuine progress on difficult issues of difference is easier said than done. Samara Hakim proved to be the perfect guest to discuss these challenges - and opportunities - as she equips leaders to better work with those different than themselves. Samara leads an international consulting practice called CulturGrit, and has worked across countries, languages and countless differences. She will ... [..] read more

New Opportunity: Gantt Center VP for Philanthropy June 2021

Organizational Overview

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture ('Gantt Center' or 'Center') has celebrated the contributions of Africans and African-Americans to American culture for more than 47 years. The Gantt Center, located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, serves as a community source for music, dance, theater, visual art, film, arts education, literature, and community outreach. October 2009 marked the opening of the current 46,500-square-foot building as ... [..] read more

Cohort 9 Begins Leadership Gift School June 2021

PMA's Patton McDowell helped welcome one of the largest cohorts in LGS history, as 12 nonprofit organizations assembled for Cohort 9's first session on June 25th, 2021. The session featured outstanding guest speakers, led by IPL Board Chair Jim Kelley, who welcomed the cohort and gave them a preview of the program and highlighted the LGS community that now includes 182 individuals who have participated from 85 nonprofit organizations. Devire' Robinson and Whitney ... [..] read more

Partner Spotlight: Kathy Rogers June 2021

Dealing with the pandemic over the past year hasn't been easy. In fact, for many it has been a profound struggle. Stressors such as social distancing, fear of COVID-19 infections, loss of family members/friends and rethinking family life, school and business were enough to have anyone reach out for professional help. Kathy Rogers, Executive Director at Mental Health America of Central Carolinas (MHA), understands these challenges all too well and was able ... [..] read more

The Importance of Strategic Visioning as a Nonprofit Leader (Chris Jackson) June 2021

There are many essential elements to successful nonprofit leadership, but perhaps none more important than an ability to conceive and implement a strategic vision. Chris Jackson has demonstrated that exact skill, and shares it with our listeners on episode #111 of the Path Podcast. Chris leads Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, one of the largest nonprofits in the Southeastern United States. He talks about how he's incorporated different experiences throughout his leadership journey... [..] read more

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: Beginners June 2021

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. Beginners offers a compelling study of the science of learning, and particularly, the value of life-long learning. Many of the skills we practice early in life, especially those requiring manual dexterity and physical skills, are often left behind as our learning becomes almost ... [..] read more

 3 Challenges All Nonprofit Leaders Will Face (Sheryl Aikman) June 2021

While moving out of the pandemic provides a sigh of relief for nonprofit leaders everywhere - as well as a host of strategic opportunities - there are also some key challenges that must be addressed. Fortunately, the national perspective Sheryl Aikman brings to episode #110 of the Path Podcast will help you identify these potential challenges that could inhibit your nonprofit's success. In particular, Sheryl and I discuss the potential blind spots about which nonprofit leaders ... [..] read more

Next Generation Talent: Does Your Nonprofit Have a Plan? (Righteous Keitt) June 2021

Success as a nonprofit leader does not necessarily require years of experience. Inspiration can occur at any age, and the question simply becomes doing something about it. In episode #109 of the Path Podcast, I was fortunate to speak with exactly the kind of young nonprofit leader that has much to offer our sector, and someone who did not "wait for his turn" to make a difference. Righteous Keitt was drawn to philanthropy at an ... [..] read more

PMA Welcomes Cohort 9 of Leadership Gift School June 2021

PMA is delighted to welcome Cohort 9 of the Institute of Philanthropic Leadership's Leadership Gift School . The program kicks off this month, and will continue through October, 2021. For more information, check out the link below.

About Leadership Gift SchoolLeadership Gift School brings together a cohort of nonprofit CEOs and development directors who work together to build their organization's capacity for leadership giving. The program includes five 5-hour sessions, including two that ... [..] read more

What is Giving Done Right? (Phil Buchanan) June 2021

What are the critical issues facing nonprofit leaders right now, and how do they impact the funders that support their efforts? That's exactly the question I posed in this bonus episode #108 of the Path to Phil Buchanan, who has led the Center for Effective Philanthropy for nearly 20 years. CEP has studied many of the key issues facing our sector, and Phil is uniquely qualified to identify the key trends that will affect ... [..] read more

How To Engage The 3 Distinct Types of Funders (Sybil Ackerman-Munson) June 2021

Every nonprofit leader rehearses their perfect case for support in anticipation of a donor meeting. And while the ability to deliver a clear and compelling vision for your organization is critical, an often-overlooked part of your preparation is considering exactly what type of major donor you are about to encounter. Sybil Ackerman-Munson offers a fascinating assessment of the three types of donors you're likely to face in episode #107 the Path, and ... [..] read more

Failure is What It’s All About (Steven Lavine) May 2021

When Steven Lavine took the role of President at CalArts in 1988, the school - an experimental arts institution located just north of Los Angeles - was in danger of going bankrupt. In 1994, the Northridge earthquake rendered the campus uninhabitable. But Lavine piloted the school through those stormy waters, and today CalArts is thriving, with an endowment of $152 million and a ranking that places it among the top 10 fine arts schools in the country... [..] read more

PMA Welcomes the Summer 2021 Mastermind Cohort May 2021

PMA is delighted to welcome another talented group of nonprofit leaders to its signature Mastermind program. The Summer Cohort kicked off in May, 2021, and will continue with six additional sessions through August, 2021. Applications are being accepted for the Fall Cohort, but space is limited! Learn More & Apply [..] read more

The Nonprofit Leader’s Guide to Demystifying Donor Advised Funds (Catherine Warfield) May 2021

While the knowledge required for successful nonprofit leadership is extensive, one area that can be challenging - and even intimidating - is legacy or planned giving . Complicating this subject are the various philanthropic vehicles many donors are using, especially the increasingly popular Donor Advised Funds . What are they? How do they work? How can your nonprofit better engage the donors who use them? These are exactly the questions Catherine Warfield and I discuss in episode #105 the ... [..] read more

The 3 Dimensions of All Nonprofit Board Challenges (Dr. Mary Hiland) May 2021

Maximizing the talent of your board of directors is an ongoing objective for a nonprofit executive, but creating a healthy engagement with the board is difficult if you are facing any number of issues, from micromanagement to apathy. What are the underlying issues that create challenges for you and your board, and how do you address them? That's exactly what Dr. Mary Hiland and I discuss in episode #104 the Path, and she brings ... [..] read more

Effective Nonprofit Leadership in a Virtual World (Heather Burright) May 2021

While nonprofit leaders are welcoming a gradual return to in-person meetings and events, the virtual access required during the pandemic will remain an operational reality going forward. For many leaders, the prospect of more online meetings and trainings is frustrating, but how can you make the best of this reality and in fact leverage the technology to improve the effectiveness of your virtual platforms to increase the engagement of staff, board and volunteers? That's ... [..] read more

PMA Partner Spotlight: Smart Start of Mecklenburg County May 2021

Creating Solutions To Accelerate Early Childhood Learning

By Charmain Lewis

In today's world, children are expected to come to school ready to learn by age five. Depending on the family situation and environment, not every child is fully prepared. This was the catalyst for the creation of Smart Start back in 1993, a nationally recognized early childhood initiative to expand and improve services for children ages birth to five and their families. It is ... [..] read more

Partners In Ministry Celebrates Million Dollar Grant from the SECU Foundation May 2021

Congratulations to Partners In Ministry (PIM), a nonprofit instilling and empowering change to the next generation of children and youth, for securing a State Employees Credit Union (SECU) Foundation grant of $1,000,000. The grant will support the construction of a Community Education Center on the organization's East Laurinburg campus.

"This new facility will greatly expand PIM's programmatic opportunities beyond the 70-year-old classroom buildings that currently serve in-school and ... [..] read more

Leading A Nonprofit Through Dramatic Growth (Rob Harter) May 2021

It seems obvious that most nonprofit leaders hope to grow their impact and increase the numbers they serve, but are they really ready for dramatic growth? Growth without planning can create all kinds of problems, which makes the thoughtful leadership of Dr. Rob Harter even more helpful as a guide to program growth and strategic expansion. Rob serves as the Executive Director of the Christian Center of Park City in Utah, and is active in ... [..] read more

How to Energize Your Nonprofit’s Social Media (Dana Snyder) April 2021

Do you find your nonprofit's digital marketing strategy is simply reacting to the latest social media craze? As a nonprofit leader, you're not alone, and you don't have the time or resources to flounder around in a space that is increasingly important to the engagement of critical friends and donors to your organization. Fortunately, Dana Snyder is the perfect person to talk about this dilemma, and brings a much-needed focus to ... [..] read more

PMA Team Member Spotlight: Cindy Clark April 2021

Cindy Clark has dedicated more than 35 years of her professional experience to nonprofit leadership, strategic planning, management, development, and marketing. Her extensive nonprofit background includes work in healthcare, higher education, and the independent school sectors. Before joining PMA, Cindy served for nine years as a member of the Senior Leadership Team and Vice President for Development with Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, where she managed a successful $10 million capital campaign to build ... [..] read more

Win A Free Spot in the Next Mastermind Cohort! April 2021

Are you ready to join PMA's Mastermind Leadership Development Program to accelerate your nonprofit leadership journey? Go to this link to enter your email address and a chance to win a FREE REGISTRATION (a $1000 value) in the 2021 Summer or Fall cohort (you will also receive a free leadership assessment tool as a thanks for entering)! Applicants must be qualified nonprofit professionals with at least five years of experience. The Summer cohort winner ... [..] read more

Leadership Lessons from the First 100 Episodes (Patton McDowell) April 2021

Reaching the 100-episode milestone on Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership was a wonderful journey thanks to incredible nonprofit leaders who were willing to share their wisdom and experiences with our listeners. Chris Delisio, our guest on episode #24 on the Path, offered to rejoin the show and interview me about the experience since the inaugural episode was published on National Philanthropy Day, November 21, 2019. Our discussion lifted up several dozen fantastic episodes and ... [..] read more

Moving Through the Pandemic: What Do We Do Now? (Michael Marsicano) April 2021

As one of the most popular guests on Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, it seems only fitting to bring back Michael Marsicano as the podcast completes its first 100 episodes. On his first visit to the Path (episode #32), Michael raised important questions - and offered key insight - on the role of philanthropy as nonprofit leaders grappled with a global pandemic in April of 2020. A year later, he continues to address many of the important ... [..] read more

Embracing Kinship as a Nonprofit Leader (Charlie Elberson, Diane Gavarkavich, Whitney Feld) April 2021

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

Nonprofit Leaders: When is it Time to Leave? (Kathy Ridge) April 2021

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

Getting a Grip on Uncertainty as a Nonprofit Leader (Gail Bower) April 2021

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

Adapting Your Plan to Nonprofit Leadership (Bob Carter) April 2021

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

Q&A with Michelle Spreitzer, CFRE March 2021

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

Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center Seeks New Director of Development March 2021

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

FAQs for PMA’s Mastermind Program March 2021

Apply Now!
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

Can Nonprofit Leaders Bring An Equity Lens to their Strategic Planning? (Anna Dewar Gully)  March 2021

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

Leadership Lessons from The Duke Endowment (Rhett Mabry) March 2021

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

PMA Celebrates Outstanding Women Leaders March 2021

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

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: Who Not How March 2021

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.
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 help us achieve our goals and multiply our output and success. Dan Sullivan is a successful coach and ... [..] read more

Right Moves For Youth Seeking New Development Director March 2021

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 career exploration), decision making/organization, relationships and finances. ... [..] read more

UNCC’s MPA Program Offers Nonprofit Management Academy March 2021

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!

The dates this spring are April 9, April 21 ... [..] read more

The 4 Stages of Nonprofit Leadership (Ben Mohler) March 2021

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

Bringing A Business Perspective to Nonprofit Leadership (Laryn Weaver)   March 2021

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

Can Fractional Leadership Transform Your Nonprofit? (Rocky Cabagnot)   March 2021

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 to Accelerate Your Nonprofit Leadership (Men Tchaas Ari) March 2021

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

PMA Celebrates Outstanding Black Nonprofit Leaders February 2021

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).

[..] read more

How Do You Create a Dynamic Culture as a Nonprofit Leader? (Mary Ward)   February 2021

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

What Questions Should Nonprofit Leaders Be Asking? (Tosha Anderson) February 2021

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

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: Range February 2021

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. 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 to the elite status of their sport. But David Epstein's ... [..] read more

3 Entrepreneurial Skills Nonprofit Leaders Must Learn (Matt Larson)   February 2021

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 Welcomes Spring 2021 Mastermind Cohort February 2021

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

Looking for a Great Nonprofit Podcast? Meet 7 of PMA's Favorite Hosts February 2021

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

How Can Nonprofit Leaders be More Authentic Fundraisers? (Jennifer Harris)   February 2021

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

4 Keys to Building A Global Nonprofit (Elizabeth Hausler)   January 2021

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 Seeking New Director of Development January 2021

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

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: The Core Value Equation January 2021

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 to understand the value of "soft skills" in his business with things like core values. He'd composed poetic phrases that he believed would check the box but soon realized there was much more to the concept of core values and ... [..] read more

Maximizing Advocacy to Fulfill Your Mission (Karen Lee)   January 2021

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

4 Things They Don’t Teach You About Nonprofit Leadership (Martyn Drake)   January 2021

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

Partner Spotlight: Lynn Erdman and Carolina Breast Friends January 2021

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

3 Ways Nonprofit Leaders Get in Their Own Way (Kris Putnam-Walkerly) January 2021

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

How to Attract Young Professional Talent to Your Nonprofit (Kamber Parker) January 2021

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

Is Co-Leadership Right for Your Nonprofit? (Alicia Winckler & Alan Mather)   January 2021

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

Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: The Goal January 2021

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

News Archive