Is Philanthropy in a State of Crisis? (Nathan Chappell & Brain Crimmins) May 2023

Is philanthropy in a state of crisis? In episode #211 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Nathan Chappell and Brian Crimmins, co-authors of the book, The Generosity Crisis: The Case for Radical Connection to Solve Humanity's Greatest Challenges, offer a wake-up call to nonprofit leaders everywhere, but also suggest solutions to the downturn they see, and will help you re-establish the interconnection that drives generosity. Learn from the fascinating research they ... [..] read more

How to Attack All 5 Phases of Your Fundraising Cycle May 2023

Fundraising is more than just asking for money--it's developing long-term relationships with supporters to carry out your mission. Rather than thinking of fundraising as a series of steps to be completed, view it as a cycle where there is no start and finish. PMA advises and supports our partners as they build increased fundraising capacity and attack all elements of the "Fundraising Cycle."


No matter how long your organization has existed ... [..] read more

Need a Good Summer Read? 5 Book Recommendations for Nonprofit Leaders May 2023

One of the things we love about the Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership podcast is the excellent book recommendations we receive from every guest. Of course, many of them are authors themselves, so they bring fantastic built-in suggestions! Looking to build knowledge around key topics in the philanthropic sector? Check out some recent guest publications:

Leah Kral's Innovation for Social Change (Episode #204)

Leah's book explores the transformative power of innovation in ... [..] read more

Leading Through Failure as a Nonprofit Leader (Amy Burkett) May 2023

Do failures knock you back more than they should? Failure shouldn't be debilitating and Amy Burkett says it's actually the secret to your success! In episode #210 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, two-time author, executive, and leadership expert Amy Burkett shares why you shouldn't fear failure, and instead make it your friend. She shares how you can weave the lessons from failures into success and not become paralyzed with the ... [..] read more

Five Keys to Nonprofit Excellence: Unlocking Your Organization's Full Potential May 2023

Are you ready to propel your nonprofit organization to new heights of success and impact? In the dynamic landscape of the nonprofit sector, it's essential for leaders like you to seize every opportunity to excel. Whether you're an established multimillion-dollar organization or just starting out, there are five essential keys that the best nonprofit organizations focus on to achieve excellence. By embracing these keys, you can unlock your organization's full potential ... [..] read more

Looking for Leadership as a Nonprofit Funder (Robb Webb) May 2023

Does your nonprofit embody the leadership qualities for which major funders are looking? Nonprofit leaders who are best prepared when applying for funding can save themselves precious time and set their organization up for success if they seek to understand what philanthropic leaders are evaluating. But how do you know what funders are actually looking for? In episode #209 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Robb Webb, Director of Rural Church at The Duke Endowment... [..] read more

Managing People Problems as a Nonprofit Leader (Beth Napleton) May 2023

How do you manage your toughest people problems? A good leader solves problems. A great one anticipates them. In episode #208 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Beth Napleton shares why managing and leading people is one of the biggest and most important responsibilities nonprofit leaders have, but it's also the hardest. She explains why earning trust is an essential component to building an environment where people can feel nurtured, supported, and mentored while ... [..] read more

Embracing the Art & Science of a Capital Campaign (Bob Pierce) April 2023

Will you be ready when it's time to conduct a fundraising campaign at your organization? Nearly every nonprofit is in some stage of campaign planning: thinking about one, implementing one or recovering from one! As a leader, you will likely have to manage a campaign at some point in your career. In episode #207 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, we turned to the leader of the University of Alabama's highly successful Rising ... [..] read more

5 Ways to Lead Effective Nonprofit Board Retreats April 2023

As a nonprofit leader, you've probably been told ad nauseam about the advantages of holding annual retreats for your board of directors, but perhaps you've never gotten around to making concrete preparations for such a retreat in the future. Given the stressors of the past few years, as well as the general burdens of being overworked in the nonprofit sector, it is understandable that leaders might decline to prioritize retreats if they do ... [..] read more

Staffing Your Grants Program: Employee or Consultant? (Holly Rustick) April 2023

Grant writing is more than just a process, it's a skill. And like any skill, we must perfect it with time and practice. So how do you evaluate if you should outsource this aspect of your fundraising program or invest internally? In episode #206 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, we speak with funding and grant writing expert Holly Rustick to help determine which is worth more to your organization the time you'll ... [..] read more

4 Ways to Embrace Organizational Resilience and Learning April 2023

Over the past three years, nonprofits have been tested in unprecedented ways by the impacts of the disruptive COVID-19 pandemic and all of the challenges that have accompanied it. Nonprofits have had to drastically adjust their operations in the hope of staying solvent, a goal that has unfortunately failed for countless organizations. Furthermore, these new burdens have only exacerbated long-standing vulnerabilities in the sector such as difficulty planning for growth, fundraising, and making ... [..] read more

What Issues Will You Face as a New Nonprofit Leader? (Tom O’Toole) April 2023

Are you on the path to nonprofit leadership? How prepared are you for the challenges you'll face? In episode #205 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, we speak with Tom O'Toole, Executive Director for MPA Programs at Cornell University's Brooks School of Public Policy about what skills aspiring leaders need to efficiently and effectively run a nonprofit organization. Tom shares serious concerns of burnout - not just work/life balance - but losing the ... [..] read more

How Can Nonprofit Leaders Bring Innovation to Their Organization? (Leah Kral) April 2023

How can you foster sustainable innovation within your nonprofit? Between the pandemic and workforce shortages, many nonprofit leaders today are likely exhausted and running out of actionable ideas. It's said that adversity drives innovation, but for many, that well is drying up too soon. So where are all the good ideas? In episode #204 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, nonprofit strategist and author, Leah Kral, explains that as leaders of nonprofits, we have ... [..] read more

Finding Success as a New Nonprofit Leader (Aaron Randolph) March 2023

How do you find success as a new nonprofit leader? Starting any new business is difficult, and while similar, starting a nonprofit has a whole host of unique complexities. In Episode #203 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Aaron Randolph shares his best advice for others looking to start, fund and run a successful nonprofit organization. Aaron navigated the "big three" - new leader, new organization, new community and thoughtfully recounts the lessons learned that can ... [..] read more

Three Key Fundraising Trends March 2023

Three Key Fundraising Trends Nonprofit fundraisers have been forced to adjust to an unending series of changes and trends over the past three years of a disruptive pandemic, during which received wisdom about philanthropic giving has often been turned on its head. While economic conditions will probably continue to change in unexpected ways for the foreseeable future, fundraisers can capitalize on recent trends to bolster their organization's fundraising operations and increase their resiliency to ... [..] read more

Turning Your Financials into a Nonprofit Leadership Tool (Melisa Galasso) March 2023

Are you and your board members confident when it comes to the financials? Many nonprofit leaders - staff and board - are not. In Episode #202 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Melisa Galasso brings two decades of experience making complex accounting topics easy to understand, and will empower you with the financial acumen to better lead your nonprofit. She breaks down the sometimes complex world of accounting so that you and your board of directors will ... [..] read more

The Book is One Year Old! Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership Celebrates Anniversary March 2023

Many thanks to everyone who has supported the book, "Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership: Seven Keys to Advancing Your Career in the Philanthropic Sector," which was released on March 8th, 2022. "The response has far exceeded my expectations when I began writing it," noted author Patton McDowell. "Thanks to the overwhelming support and widespread distribution, many nonprofit leaders have benefited from what I hope is a practical guide to defining their career goals and guidance ... [..] read more

Key Fundraising Trends Nonprofit Leaders Need to Know (Matt Nash) March 2023

As a nonprofit leader, are you aware of the unique motivations many Donor Advised Fund (DAF) givers share? Do you target stewardship efforts to this group of individuals specifically? In episode #201 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Matt Nash, who has been on the cutting edge of recent key fundraising trends in the philanthropic sector shares his extensive knowledge about the rise of this donor group. Learn more about the psychology and intent behind ... [..] read more

Nonprofit Leaders: Which Trends Should You Follow? (Becky Endicott & Jon McCoy) March 2023

What key trends are you following as a leader in 2023? For the enterprising nonprofit executive, one of the best sources of cutting-edge information in the sector is We Are For Good, and that's why we waited until the #200th episode of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership to speak with Becky Endicott and Jon McCoy, two thought leaders in our sector who will zero in on some of the key trends that will ... [..] read more

Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership Podcast Celebrates 200th Episode! March 2023

PMA Nonprofit Leadership is proud to celebrate the 200th episode of "Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership," the weekly podcast which has featured the voices of countless leaders in the nonprofit sector over the past four years. "It's hard to believe we've made it to this milestone episode," said PMA President and Founder Patton McDowell. "We weren't sure if we'd make it past 10 episodes when Lauren McDowell first designed the show!" ... [..] read more

PMA Celebrates 14 Years Serving Nonprofit Leaders March 2023

PMA Nonprofit Leadership is proud to have served over 275 nonprofit organizations in North Carolina and beyond. What began simply as Patton McDowell & Associates in 2009 evolved into PMA three years later, and in 2019 embraced the current PMA Nonprofit Leadership title.

"We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the individuals and organizations across the globe that have engaged with our leadership development work this past year," said PMA President and Founder ... [..] read more

Finding Your Passion as a Nonprofit Leader (Helena Scott) March 2023

How do you find and keep - your passion as a nonprofit leader? In episode #199 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Helena Scott, who serves as a Regional Advancement Director, shares her remarkable two-decade journey with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and what sustains her energy and motivation. She discusses challenges, benefits and unique opportunities inherent to being a part of a national chapter organization and her leadership approach to such things as fundraising... [..] read more

Dirty Little Secrets of Direct Response Fundraising (Andrew Olsen) February 2023

What is direct response fundraising? Is it part of your overall fundraising plan and are you getting the returns you expect? In episode #198 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Andrew Olsen returns to the podcast and explains why you need a better way to fundraise. Many nonprofits coming out of Covid are achieving their highest levels in giving. However, Andrew explains why giving patterns over the last decades don't match the trends of ... [..] read more

Building a New Community as a Nonprofit Leader (Sherri Chisholm) February 2023

Stepping into a new leadership role is an exciting challenge, but doing it in a new community can create new complexities. In episode #197 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, seasoned nonprofit leader Sherri Chisholm shares how she navigated a new community while maintaining her personal and professional connection to the cause. She shares the steps she took to hone the organization's vision and message, and how each of her colleagues plays a role ... [..] read more

Key Strategies for Becoming an Exceptional Nonprofit Leader (Denver Frederick) February 2023

As a nonprofit leader, you're committed to achieving greater impact, yet recent challenges could hinder the effective implementation of your mission. In episode #196 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, we are joined by Denver Frederick, a pioneer in the philanthropic sector who has been on the cutting edge of many fundraising principles used today. As someone who created the model for corporate sponsorships, he shares his opinions on the state of corporate giving ... [..] read more

Nonprofit CEO’s Discuss Strategy & Self-Care February 2023

Thanks to all the forward-looking nonprofit leaders who attended the virtual Nonprofit CEO Summit hosted by the Society for the Advancement of Consulting last Thursday. Over 50 professionals from around the world gathered to learn about the future of strategy in the nonprofit sector and the changing role of executive leaders. PMA's Patton McDowell moderated the summit, which welcomed attendees and leadership experts from England, Wales, Canada, and throughout the United States. ... [..] read more

Leading a Nonprofit in a Post-Pandemic Environment (Katherine Lambert) February 2023

The pandemic put a unique pressure on nonprofit organizations and its leaders to do more with less, and adapt to new technologies and structures. As we usher in a post Covid-19 future, what will the new normal in the nonprofit sector look like? In episode #195 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, we speak with veteran philanthropic leader, Katherine Lambert, about finding balance post-pandemic and moving from surviving to thriving. While the sector ... [..] read more

Cohort 11 Begins Leadership Gift School January 2023

PMA is delighted to welcome an outstanding group of nonprofit professionals to Cohort 11 of the Institute of Philanthropic Leadership's Leadership Gift School. "This program continues to excel," said IPL Board Chair Jim Kelley, who welcomed the cohort and gave them a preview of the program. "Leadership Gift School brings together a cohort of nonprofit CEOs and development directors who work together to build their organization's capacity for leadership giving. "Since it began ... [..] read more

3 Essential Characteristics for Nonprofit Leaders (Jama Campbell) January 2023

As a nonprofit leader looking for funding, are you clear about what potential funders are looking for when evaluating an investment? In episode #194 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, we talk with SECU Foundation Executive Director Jama Campbell about key leadership attributes her foundation looks for when choosing projects and programs to fund. She highlights the importance of projects which can be replicated, and the impact they have on both their community and the ... [..] read more

PMA Welcomes the Gold Group of Spring 2023 Mastermind! January 2023

PMA Nonprofit Leadership is delighted to welcome another talented group of leaders to our Spring Cohort of the Mastermind Program. The program has expanded into two groups this Spring, including the "Gold Group" pictured above, and the "Diamond Group," which began last week. "I could not be happier given the range of perspectives this group brings to the program, as well as their genuine desire to help each other get better in their roles as ... [..] read more

Social Impact Strategies for Nonprofit Leaders (Jacob Harold) January 2023

Many nonprofit leaders have social impact amongst their chief objectives, but do you know what social impact truly means and how to measure the impact you're having? In episode #193 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, social change strategist Jacob Harold shares his tools to help you transform your corner of the world. A former GuideStar and Candid executive, Jacob talks about the importance of collaboration, transparency, communication and comprehensive storytelling to assure a ... [..] read more

PMA Welcomes the Diamond Group of Spring 2023 Mastermind! January 2023

PMA Nonprofit Leadership is delighted to welcome another talented group of nonprofit leaders to our Fall Cohort of the Mastermind Program. The program has expanded into two groups this Fall, including the "Diamond Group" pictured above, and the "Gold Group," which begins next week. "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 as ... [..] read more

5 Keys to Balancing Passion and Impact in Charitable Work January 2023

5 Keys to Balancing Passion and Impact in Charitable Work

Philanthropists often engage in long and spirited debates about whether their donations should go to causes for which they have a personal passion or those that purportedly create the most impact for beneficiaries. Of course, these two goals are not mutually exclusive, but the topic quickly gets complicated, especially since nonprofits must court donors with complex motivations for giving. One trend that has gained steam ... [..] read more

Everything You Think About Board Development Is Wrong (Sabrina Walker Hernandez) January 2023

What is the biggest misconception about board development that many nonprofit leaders face? Do you have the right members on your board and do they know exactly why they've been invited to join? Sabrina Walker Hernandez, who has over 25 years' experience in nonprofit management, answers these questions and more in episode #192 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership. She shares key advice for effective board engagement from recruitment and orientation through development and ... [..] read more

Managing Turnover as a Nonprofit Leader (Bert Armstrong) January 2023

As turnover affects every level of our nonprofit organizations, leaders are asking themselves "how do I attract and retain the talented people we need?" In episode #191 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, we speak with Bert Armstrong, who has served more than three decades in the philanthropic sector, about navigating turnover. He discusses how to avoid turnover in the first place, the best approach to a search process when it's necessary, and how ... [..] read more

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