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Unlocking Growth for Organizations and Idealists Like You

Pushing The Button

I look at St. Patty’s Day 2008 as one of the defining moments of my life.

It was the day Jeff Shuck hired me at Event 360 to lead the new fundraising event consulting service line. To many I may not have been a likely candidate. I’d worked in several disparate industries including marine shipping, oil and gas, health care technology, and hospitality. Much of those 14 years were spent in a sales capacity or a role with a sales component. Nowhere in there was there any nonprofit experience.

However, among the skills that did come with that odd list of roles on my resume were an ability to convey a concept, to talk with people at any level, to become a trusted advisor, to set growth strategies, to outline short and long-term investment plans, and to manage teams, budgets, and forecasts. Luckily, being the visionary he is, Jeff saw they were skills that could be translated and leveraged to meet the needs of his clients. He was open to new talent, regardless of how unconventional my background seemed to be, a topic that Lea talked about in her recent blog. As for me, I was more than ready to leave the cutthroat world of sales and I knew I was capable of learning something new. Most importantly, I wanted to do more meaningful work.

Topics: Inspiration

The Biggest Opportunity In Nonprofit Data

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reflecting quite a bit on our experience at this year’s Do Good Data Conference in Chicago. Now in its third year, Do Good Data is the brainchild of Andrew Means, an analyst, entrepreneur, teacher, and friend of Plenty who is Associate Director of the Center for Data Science & Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Andrew saw a need in the space for a conference focused on the applications (and implications) of data on social impact – so he created it.

Topics: Funding Leadership Strategy

Get Your Nonprofit Board "On Board" With Your P2P Development

I’ve had a surprising number of conversations recently with nonprofit leaders who are lamenting the fact that their nonprofit board members don’t support their peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. These are just a few of the assertions I have heard:

“They’re too busy.”

“They don’t want to fundraise.”

“They think it’s a good idea for the organization, but not for them personally." 

As a member of the peer-to-peer consultancy driving the “start with your core” fundraising philosophy, I wanted to get up on my soapbox and shout, “What do you mean your board isn’t fundraising? Who do they think is going to do it if they don’t? You need to focus on our core!”

Topics: Funding Leadership

Four Behavioral Psychology Lessons For Nonprofit Web Design

Think about the last time you spent money online. Maybe you were buying a new swimsuit, or you found a book on Amazon that looked intriguing, or maybe you donated to a friend’s fundraising campaign so that she could run a marathon for her favorite charity. Was your purchase impulsive or pre-planned? How did you decide to spend that particular amount of money? What factors were important to you in making your decision?

We talked about choices in our e-book "The Participant Gears: Understanding Why People Participate in Peer-to-Peer", and discussed the three different factors that influence people to participate in a peer-to-peer fundraising program. But let’s take a deeper look at some of the behavioral principles surrounding how your audience makes choices online, so that you can apply these principles in a way that helps you and your constituents make a greater difference in the world.

Topics: Strategy

The #1 Nonprofit Branding Issue Impacting Organizations Today

Over the years we have helped many nonprofits think through, plan, and launch new peer-to-peer fundraising events and programs. Each conversation is exciting, creative, and challenging in its own way. And as we brainstorm, strategize, and help breathe life into a newly formed concept, one thing inevitably happens - the dialogue turns to branding.

The critical questions surrounding nonprofit branding have evolved over time as the industry, players, and tools have changed. Yet there are always commonalities among the questions and concerns we hear from organizations. Currently, one specific dilemma seems to have a majority of groups stumped, and unsure of how to move forward in a strategic way.

Topics: Leadership Strategy

Being Big

This probably doesn't need to be said, but here goes: Being big is not the same thing as being great.

Topics: Inspiration Leadership

The Unexpected Nonprofit Job Candidate You Need

Have you ever been the new guy? Of course you have. Maybe you were new to a company, a weekend softball team, an activity for one of your kids, or a neighborhood. Let your mind travel back to that time for a second. 

Think past the part where you’re wondering if you’ll fit in and are nervous about whether you’ll eventually be a critical part of this new group like you were in the last one. Fast forward to when you’re in the group, you’re acclimating, and you’re taking it all in. 

Do you remember that moment when something obvious and important happens and a thought occurs to you? You are waiting for someone more senior in the group to point it out, but time passes and still no one says anything. You can’t seem to figure out why everyone doesn’t see or acknowledge, what for you, is the three-ton elephant in the room. You start thinking to yourself, “Am I crazy or…”

Topics: Leadership Strategy

On Carpool, Cell Phones, And Client Meetings

As a mom of three kids, I drive a lot of carpools. Between daily pilgrimages to school, soccer, ballet, and sleepovers, the car is often full of kids, the radio is turned up, and the conversation is lively. I look forward to my shift as chauffeur: there’s something about interaction in the car that I find refreshing. There are fewer distractions, so everyone is engaged and enjoying each other’s company.

Topics: Leadership Strategy