You’ve got this.

It’s been quite the week, hasn’t it? 

We appreciate everyone who joined us this afternoon for The New Normal. The conversation was honest, meaningful and exactly what we needed to hear. If you missed it or want to share with friends, you can access the recording here or join the conversation on Twitter using #NewNormalCLT.

Many of us are dealing with heavy questions without clear answers, but it is clear to us that our community’s organizations couldn’t be in better hands. We’d just like to pause a minute to say – 

You’ve got this. 

In the last week, you all have done superhuman things at superhuman speed. As Don, Banu and Shannon referenced in the call, nonprofits across our community are changing service models and getting our community’s most vulnerable residents what they need to make it through the crisis. You’re learning how to work and serve virtually. You’re making sure your staff have the resources they need. You’re rearranging events and sending out appeals. 

These projects aren’t easy. In normal times, we would build 6-12 month project plans, hire technology experts and fine tune every change – but these aren’t normal times. And you’re doing it all while learning to homeschool and taking care of your own families and friends and neighbors. 

Thank you for working hard on behalf of our community and neighbors. There is a lot to figure out, but we’re full of confidence that the organizations that serve our city will continue to thrive and serve people well. 

We can’t wait to talk to you again next week

 

3 Lessons from the Great Recession

By Josh Jacobson

Hello Charlotte, how is everyone doing? No, I mean it. Are you doing okay? I hope you are.

This post is meant to make you feel better, so I’m going to state that on the front end. All of us at Next Stage remain bullish on where our community is going long-term and want to shed some light on what is happening right now.

The downward trend of the stock market in recent weeks gave me a funny feeling in my stomach that reminded me of another time in my life. I moved to the Charlotte area and found myself working for a local consulting firm for nonprofits in my fourth month on the job when February 2009 hit. The stock market crash that month sent our community hurtling. By April of that year Wachvoia was acquired by Wells Fargo and it felt like the end of the Charlotte world. It was the start of the Great Recession, and it was my introduction to crisis management for nonprofits. My current career really started then.

The next few months were sort of crazy. Nonprofit organizations went into full-on freak out mode. Most organizations ceased any sort of strategic planning or capital campaign activity. Some moved quickly to lay off employees deemed non-essential. Others took a “wait-and-see” approach that included dramatically curtailing programming, operations and fundraising activities. As the Great Recession dragged on, many of us in the consulting space learned the basics of nonprofit mergers and integrations. I remember a local leader at the time predicting that fully one-third of nonprofits would need to merge with a stronger organization in order to survive.

Fast forward a few years and… what? Did nonprofits fold in record numbers? Did the Great Recession set Charlotte back from a social good perspective by a decade or more? Was it the bloodbath that was predicted?

No. None of those things happened. In fact, Charlotte’s system of nonprofits largely rebounded and quickly. And yet, there were still nonprofit leaders in 2011 and 2012 blaming the Great Recession for their organization’s lack of recent success. It became a convenient excuse years after the worst of the Recession had ended.

Working for another firm at the time, I wanted to understand how we had survived such a rocky time in history. It was clear some organizations had fared better than others and my assumption was that innovation must have played a role. I called it the Charlotte Nonprofit Innovation Study, a grandiose completely unfunded and under-resourced investigation into WTF happened. We got some graduate students from UNCC Charlotte to help us and I enlisted my colleague Ally Yusuf to dig through the 990 forms of a representative sample of 150 local nonprofits. We studied 60 data points across five years of 990s (2007-2011) to identify organizations that fared best during the Great Recession and those that underperformed.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Charlotte kept giving. One of the bigger findings was that charitable giving in Charlotte did not take a very big hit in 2009. There was a modest dip in giving (less than .5%) in 2009 over 2008. But in 2010, there was more giving than in 2007, a year that was considered by most the gold standard for giving in our community. And by 2011, our representative sampling of organizations was raising millions more than they had in 2007.This was a particularly interesting data point as we deliberately included the United Way of Central Carolinas (UWCC) in our data set. For those who were not around then, UWCC had fared the worst as the Great Recession set in, raising 50% less than they had in their largest years. Having taken a $20 million loss into our assessment, it was amazing to see the generosity exhibited by our community.
  • The organizations that fared best were those with strong marketing and fundraising engines. The organizations that cut back on their resource development teams fared worst. The organizations that were still complaining about the Great Recession in 2012 tended to be the organizations that had temporarily laid off the only staff members focused on constituency growth and revenue development. And that trend included safety net and other organizations alike.
  • Best practices work. We hoped to find a smoking gun of innovation that suggested survivability was linked to fresh, new ideas that would lead to a set of dramatic new learnings for our community. I mean, we called it the Innovation Study for gosh sakes. And instead? Boring old best practices. The organizations that thrived invested in marketing and relational fundraising when others pulled back, fearful of being out-of-step with the community.

The data suggests that the organizations that thrived essentially took market share from the organizations that did not. While there was more charitable support put forward in the years after the Great Recession hit, the organizations that thrived grew substantially. It became a very clear “haves” and “have-nots” situation. The data was sort of stunning.

It is said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

So here we are in 2020 facing a similar and yet quite different event. Unlike the Great Recession, which took months to slowly reveal itself, we have all been dramatically introduced to the new normal in spectacular fashion. We are having a moment. Pundits suggest that the stock market will roar back to life once we tame this virus, and I certainly want to fan the flames of that sort of thinking. But while we hunker down in our homes, I see people struggling and in need. I’m observing people trying to figure out how this disruption will play out in real time. Main Street is struggling as Wall Street yo-yos. It’s that funny feeling in my stomach again.

As a firm, we have jumped in the deep end on community response because we feel it is our duty to do so. We want to be a stabilizing force, sharing our insights and working shoulder-to-shoulder with our partner organizations who were mid-stroke on moving forward ambitious agendas. We also understand the crisis leaders are struggling with and aim to make sense of the chaos with them.

Looking back to the Great Recession, we think there are some important learnings there. I hope we can learn from our past mistakes.

Image Copyright : solarseven

The New Normal

Early last week, life in Charlotte turned upside down as businesses, nonprofits and families rushed to adapt to home-based digital life. Many of us are homeschooling kids, figuring out how to have virtual board meetings (anyone else doing the ZoomMullet?), calculating our TP stock and working to make sure the most vulnerable among us have what they need to weather the crisis. 

By the middle of the week, we started receiving questions from local nonprofit leaders. What are grassroots organizations doing to stay engaged with their constituents? How do you host a virtual board meeting? Will funding be available to support nonprofits? How do we continue messaging our mission when everything is COVID-focused? 

We don’t have all the answers – we’re honestly not even sure what next week will bring. But we are certain that this community has the courage and fortitude to continue moving our missions forward, because they are more important than ever before. We also believe that our community needs time and space to gather, share ideas and learn what is working from our friends in the nonprofit community.  

Beginning this Friday, March 27, Next Stage is hosting a series of 30-minute, online roundtable discussions called The New Normal. Each roundtable will feature several local nonprofit leaders sharing what they are doing to navigate a specific area of the crisis, followed by time for questions and discussion. 

Our first roundtable topic will be “What’s on Your Mind?” featuring Don Jonas, Executive Director of Care Ring; Banu Valladares, Executive Director of Charlotte Bilingual Preschool; and Shannon Binns, Executive Director of Sustain Charlotte. They will discuss the questions and concerns that have been top of mind for them over the last week, as well as how they are navigating short term challenges and changes. 

Register for free and join Charlotte’s nonprofit community as we learn to navigate The New Normal. 

Kris Reid Cares About the Local Food System



The article below was published by The Biscuit as a part of Josh’s new series highlighting staff leaders in Charlotte’s nonprofit sector who are shaking things up and making an impact. You can find it, here.

 

“You know what’s more contagious than [coronavirus] … Fear is way more contagious.” – Kris Reid

Calling it a crisis would be putting it mildly.

Kris Reid is fielding calls and e-mails from chefs, restaurant owners and farmers from across the Charlotte region. On Sunday, Mecklenburg County declared a state of emergency after two additional residents tested presumptively positive for COVID-19. Based on the empty seats in countless eateries over the weekend, this declaration was not a surprise to her.

As Executive Director of Piedmont Culinary Guild, Reid is committed to building the local food economy. Her nonprofit is a grassroots effort serving as a hub for professionals in the local food community, kind of like the organizational embodiment of “farm to fork.” By sharing resources, educating consumers and establishing regional recognition, Piedmont Culinary Guild aims to shine a deserving spotlight on Charlotte’s growing foodie scene and all of the people that help make it prosper.

Unfortunately, it is a scene under direct attack.

“We already have members seeing 50-80% drop in business [due to COVID-19],” Reid said. “This is catastrophic not just for businesses, but for the number of hourly wage earners that will be effected.”

FROM CHEF TO CHIEF EXECUTIVE

There is no better phrase than “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” to describe Reid’s approach to crisis management. She is a woman on a mission and she does not suffer fools.

PHOTO CREDIT: PIEDMONT CULINARY GUILD

“You know what’s more contagious than [coronavirus],” Reid posted on her Facebook wall. “Fear is way more contagious.”

Like the expeditor at an upscale restaurant, ensuring communication between the kitchen and servers, Reid has flexed into a role as a voice of common sense during a time of uncertainty for the Charlotte region. It is an advocacy role she has spent more than 15 years developing after tragedy nearly upended her life.

In June 2004, Reid was hit by a truck while walking to language class while living in Mexico. She had already left a career in accounting to pursue her passion for cooking. While recovering from that major injury, Reid applied to be in the inaugural class of students at Johnson & Wales University as it opened its Charlotte campus. A few years later, she had her culinary degree and walked the stage for graduation, a feat that doctors were not sure she would be able to do just a few years earlier.

Resiliency in the face of challenges is a big theme in Reid’s life. Following graduation, her thriving catering business had to close in less than 60 days due to the onset of the economic downturn in 2008. She founded Piedmont Culinary Guild four years later as a natural progression of volunteerism and engagement with local food system champions.

The organization now boasts 300+ professional members including chefs, farmers, food artisans, brewers, winemakers, food provisioners, culinary educators, and related full-time food professionals. The organization also features many business members as well as a supportive community of local food supporters called Tastemakers. Reid was able to take a salary as Executive Director for the first time in 2019 and the organization was on an upward swing in the first quarter of 2020 before COVID-19.

“OF COURSE, WE HAD AN EVENT”

PHOTO CREDIT: PIEDMONT CULINARY GUILD

Last Wednesday, March 11, Piedmont Culinary Guild shared the bad news with its constituents: its annual Food & Beverage Symposium scheduled for Sunday of this past weekend had been canceled. Host site Johnson & Wales University curtailed all events with attendance of 50 or more. Months of hard work and planning had gone into lining up compelling workshops, seminars and demonstrations for the daylong event.

While Reid admits she was “pretty bummed out,” she knows that wallowing in self-pity is no way to demonstrate leadership. She was out at farm stands over the weekend, encouraging people to “shop local” as social distancing to fight COVID-19 has the unintended consequence of harming the livelihoods of people who make the local food chain possible.

“We aren’t exactly novices at crisis management,” Reid notes. “The industry has seen countless viral outbreaks, the challenge of 9/11 and a Great Recession.”

Reid’s leadership is critical at this important time. She projects a chef’s confidence in making decisive moves on behalf of her colleagues while also channeling her passion as an advocate for the local food system. It is this mixture of heart and determination that sets her apart from other founder-led nonprofits in the Charlotte community. One walks away from a conversation with Reid knowing that she will do everything she can to overcome any challenge.

“We will come back from this, but the brakes aren’t just being pumped, they are being slammed-on in terms of how quickly our culinary scene was growing,” Reid said. “I think it depends on how long this goes on.”

GET ACTIONABLE

Reid’s advice for how you can help:

  • “People need to support these local businesses in any way they can, buy buying gift cards or ordering food to-go from their favorite restaurants.”
  • “Becoming a Tastemaker is one way to support PCG as it works with its membership to build and execute a recovery plan. A modest monthly commitment makes a big difference.”

A Formula for Fundraising Success During COVID-19

By Josh Jacobson

One upside to the coronavirus (did I really just type that?) is reconnecting with current and past clients. I’ve enjoyed the check-in calls with friends new and old over the last few days. Most have had a theme. Can you guess it?

Yes, fundraising is on the mind of the leaders of nonprofits across the country. Some organizations had to cancel their most important fundraising event. Others worry that their missions will be forgotten as we turn our attention to the human need all around us.

Over the weeks to come, the Next Stage team will be sharing practical insights on many aspects of the nonprofit business model with a particular emphasis on fundraising tactics. But if I had to boil effective fundraising in the era of COVID-19 down to three essential steps that any organization could implement, it would be these:

Establish Your Narrative
We all spent last week and this sending out communication to our constituencies outlining how coronavirus was disrupting our operations. So now what?

It is essential your organization find a way to interpret the state of the world through the lens of your mission. Health and human service organizations certainly have an easier time of this as their missions are directly impacting people in need as a result of the pandemic. But all sorts of organizations can tell stories that illuminate the vitality of their missions. It might just take some creativity.

Getting contemporary to the world as it is will be essential to maintaining relationships with constituents and building value. So yes, that might mean shelving the podcasts that were recorded before the outbreak or limiting the canned social media posts that seem disconnected from reality. Our own post just a week ago with ten tips for springing forward feels way out of step with current realities.

Tens of thousands of local people are sheltering in place right now. What do you have to say to them? What is your organization’s coronavirus narrative? If you don’t have one, you better get one.

Find Your Voice
The most important component to successful fundraising during a crisis is having courage and conviction. Period. Full stop.

I’ve heard from a number of people this week who have stated something like “no one will want to give to us with all of this going on,” and I can state unequivocally, “not with that attitude they won’t!”

Do you believe your mission is worth funding? That isn’t a rhetorical question. I’m seriously asking. Because if the answer is yes, then I wonder what has changed about your case for support from last week, last month or last year.

COVID-19 and an economic slowdown shouldn’t shake you (and your staff, and especially your board) from a fundamental belief that your mission is deserving of support, even now. Philanthropy needn’t be so binary. Supporting the safety net is critical, but so too is advancing your efforts, whatever they are. Now is the time to turn on that confidence. Donors can sense win you don’t.

I am working on a post for Monday that will shed a light on this topic pulling from research conducted about the five years from 2007 to 2011 in Charlotte. Stay tuned for that.

Execute Your Plan (And You Need a New One)
If you were quiet earlier this week, you could hear the sound of development professionals across the country shredding what was left of their fundraising plans for the rest of the fiscal year. For organizations that end on June 30, that means you have 3.5 months to meet goal.

You need a new plan. And not just minor edits to what you were already planning to do. You likely need to rethink everything including the message, delivery vehicle, solicitation construct and method of acknowledgement. Your team of staff and volunteers needs to be on the same page and working collaboratively to make it happen.

No one expects that this plan was already in place. Messaging this week has been fairly light and with good reason. People have been adjusting to the new normal and have been distracted. But it won’t be like that forever. Hours spent sheltering in place should be an opportunity for building a new and different resource development plan to sustain your organization through the next 3-6 months at least.

Yes, a three-step process, but not so easy. Let us know if you need our help to realize any or all of them.

A Guide to Social Distancing for Nonprofit Program Staff

By Caylin Haldeman

Now that we’re all on board with social distancing, many of us are starting to settle into a new routine (can we call it a routine yet?) of working from home. Here at Next Stage, we are hosting conference calls, navigating technical challenges and connectivity problems on Google Hangouts, and trying to manage the competing demands of our coworkers and families.

But there are so many people still at work out in the community: grocery store employees, healthcare providers, police officers and firefighters, just to name a few. Many companies aren’t structurally able to transition to remote work – and others simply can’t afford to.

Nonprofits vary widely in their ability to operate remotely, and we know that many are working hard this week to restructure programs and augment activities during this time of transition. In the midst of all of these changes – economic instability, growing unemployment rates, increased home education and childcare needs – we know that our nonprofits are often the frontline of support.

So in the age of social distancing, how should local organizations think about shifting their programmatic priorities to meet the changing needs of our community?

We are in the thick of it ourselves, anticipating the changes we will need to make over the next few weeks to ensure CULTIVATE can pivot to meet the immediate needs of our cohort while still achieving our goal of helping them build long-range strategic business plans. Here’s how we are approaching changes to program implementation in the age of social distancing:

1.    Protect Your People

As of today, the general consensus is to follow Mecklenburg County guidelines: gatherings of more than 50 people have been prohibited, a State of Emergency has been declared, and residents are expected to follow everyday prevention practices to avoid getting sick. Our first priority should always be our people – our colleagues, our volunteers, our families and our communities. It is in everyone’s best interest to follow recommendations related to social distancing until we are able to reduce chances for community transmission of COVID-19.

We have seen organizations and businesses postpone in-person programs and volunteer opportunities and pivot to services that accommodate social distance – using drop-off or pick-up methods to provide resources while reducing in-person interaction, transitioning to virtual meetings for human services support, and creating new online platforms for engagement.

Before anything else, we recommend taking a step back to ensure that your organization is doing everything it can to protect your people. We know it can be tempting to run at the big challenges right away, but our community will be stronger and better off if we give ourselves the chance to breathe, adjust to our new reality and make sure we are taking care of one another. Once policies and procedures are in place that help volunteers, staff and participants stay safe and healthy, nonprofit leaders can start to think creatively about the future.

2.    Assess Changing Community Needs 

As this situation evolves, it will be critical to understand how your constituents have been impacted by economic and community shifts. When appropriate, reach out and ask for feedback to understand what has changed and where new priorities have surfaced.

The CULTIVATE curriculum introduces our cohort to the Community Needs Assessment – an exercise meant to help leaders understand the scope of need within their mission focus area and where they fit within a broad system of resources. It is safe to assume that community needs within most focus areas have changed since just one month ago, and regular checkpoints should be established to keep your nonprofit’s programming informed and responsive

3.    Adjust Accordingly

We’re in uncharted territory right now, with the perfect storm of the Coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn looming on the horizon – and the reality is that there are not really any established best practices on which to rely. Next Stage is here to remind you of the intrinsic strength that exists within the individuals on your team – your volunteers, your leadership staff, and the people who are served by your programs. Tap into that strength to understand how to pivot and give yourself the grace of time to figure out what comes next. We are here to help. 

For additional support, please check out the following groups who are coordinating resources to help nonprofits continue to provide needed programs in the community: 

Apparo – Local IT nonprofit Apparo is hosting a free webinar to help nonprofits adjust to remote work. More info can be found here: Ensuring Nonprofit Remote Work Success (A Virtual Q&A)

Charlotte Community ToolBankThe Charlotte Community ToolBank will happily provide tables, chairs, tents, and other equipment free of charge to those responding and directly supporting the COVID-19 pandemic. If your organization is providing free lunches, sorting food for families practicing self-isolation, staging pop-up testing sites, etc., and has a need for our equipment, please call us at 704.469.5800. We are here to help!

CLT COVID-19 Resource List – A grassroot coalition of community leaders, including Stefania Arteaga and Comunidad Collectiva, Tyler Miller and For Charlotte, Tina Marshall, Kass Ottley, Gemini Boyd and others have created a living document of resources and ways to help. To add resources to this list, contact us and we will put you in touch with its editors.

SHARE Charlotte – SHARE Charlotte is launching #SHAREFromHome, a new platform that empowers the community to do good while practicing social distance. For more information and ways to get involved with local nonprofits, check out the SHARE From Home website.

Congratulations Sherrill Hampton, Supportive Housing Committee’s New CEO

At the start of a week that will be a challenge for many, we want to take a moment to reflect on a bright spot. Next Stage is proud to have partnered with Supportive Housing Communities (SHC) on the placement of Sherrill Hampton as CEO.

She becomes the new CEO on March 16, 2020, succeeding Pamela Jefsen who has retired after 10 years as the organization’s leader. Sherrill is an accomplished nonprofit executive with deep experience in affordable housing and community development. She will lead SHC in meeting the needs of the community by assisting residents in obtaining and remaining in permanent housing and supporting recovery and wellness.

Supportive Housing Communities is a leader in Charlotte for ending homelessness by providing permanent supportive housing to homeless people with disabilities. The organization prides itself on a 97% success rate of keeping our residents in stable housing.

“The board selected Next Stage because their services precisely matched up with what we intended to focus on – search and transition preparedness,” said Tonya Bruce, Board Chair for SHC. “Josh and his team have been part of the nonprofit fabric of Charlotte for many years. They understand the makeup of organizations big and small, best practices and their stakeholder and referral network is quite extensive. Our candidate pool was full of high-caliber, highly-skilled executives who could take our organization to the next level.”

 

Read more about Sherrill Hampton and her role with Supportive Housing Communities, here.

We’ve Got Your Back

You’ve received a ton of emails and read a number of blog posts informing you of the many ways companies plan on handling COVID-19.

This is not one of those blog posts.

This communication is about you. As a champion of social good, you are an incredibly important cog in a great big machine that ensures our community does not fall apart amidst a crisis. And make no mistake, we are in crisis. We need you now more than ever.

At Next Stage, we believe in the power of people to come together in meaningful ways, of our empathy and compassion for each other. It is the basis of the nonprofit construct. It is during times like these, when we are most tested as a people, that we can rally together in pursuit of shared goals. It is easy to be pro-community when times are good. We prove our mettle by what we do when times are less certain.

Over the next few weeks, we will be creating and channeling content on our blog and via social media (FacebookLinkedInInstagramTwitter) to help our community formulate strategies and put them into action. Our team is mobilized to serve as a resource and we encourage you to reach out to us. We are here for you.

Times may be tough, but we can overcome this together. Our thoughts are with you.

Spring Forward: Top 10 To-Dos

by Josh Jacobson

Is it really going to be 76 degrees today? And yes, I still put on a sweater vest this morning. It will remain winter if only in my mind.

In truth, March is early spring – there’s no getting around it. And as such, it is a time for us to consider springing forward for the ~80% of nonprofits with a June 30 fiscal year. Here are Next Stage’s top ten suggestions for making the most of the next few months:

  1. Staff Assessment & One-on-One Meetings – We all know that April and May bring a lot of staff turnover, but we wonder if it has to be that way. Sit down with your staff member before the onset of the human resources musical chairs to discuss their career, their pathway with the organization and how to help them reach their potential. It can make a huge difference toward retaining talent.
  2. Complete the Audit & 990 Submission – Ugh, we know. No one particularly loves the audit process and/or the effort to submit the 990 Form to the IRS. Rather than see it as a hateful exercise, use it as an opportunity to reflect on the previous year and get familiar with your stats. Analyzing financial performance is a critical component of nonprofit strengthening.
  3. Review the List of LYBUNTs – Of course, we all know the term LYBUNT, so I hardly need to define it, right? No? It stands for Last Year But Unfortunately Not This, and it refers to past donors who for whatever reason have not yet made a gift during your current fiscal year. Do you know who is on this list? If not, we recommend that you do.
  4. Ensure Sponsorship Fulfillment – Our sponsors care about mission – it is part of why they sponsor you. But make no mistake, sponsorship is earned revenue. Your organization earns it by fulfilling the expectations contained in the sponsorship agreement. It might be time to dust those off and make sure you are on track.
  5. Make Your Top-10 List for Coffee – The clock is ticking and pretty soon it will be too late to try to get people to meet for coffee. I heard it call “June-tober” – the idea that if you don’t have it on the calendar by the start of June, it will likely take until October to get it back on the calendar. Tempus fugit! Reach out and get that meeting locked down.
  6. Prepare for Summer Projects – Too many nonprofit leaders wake up on July 1 and have no idea how they are going to leverage a two-month respite before the fiscal year starts picking up again with the arrival of fall. Don’t be one of them. Make your summer plan now and get folks ready to run when the time comes.
  7. Clean Up the Database – “Garbage in, garbage out.” It is a truism for a reason. The messy constituent relationship management (CRM) database will never do what you need it to do if it is full of mislabeled and poorly-entered data. Make a commitment, set a deadline and get your team focused on a spring data cleaning.
  8. Review Your Marketing Plan – Did we reach the population segments we hoped to reach this year? If so, what made us successful? If not, is it too late the figure that out? (here’s a hint: it is not too late) The beautiful marketing plan you built last summer has suffered the slings and arrows of practicality all fiscal year long. It’s time to level set, fill gaps and double-down on successes.
  9. Prepare Storytelling Content – Spring is event season, which also means it is storytelling season. Every organization should be building a new set of stories to share that illuminate the pursuit of mission. Who are the people your organization has engaged or served over the last 9 months? It is time to capture those testimonials and share those stories.
  10. Schedule a Happy Hour to Celebrate – Amiright? We here at Next Stage always encourage the proper and appropriate imbibing of alcohol to celebrate the year that was. After you’ve made it through our top ten list, you deserve as frosty beverage of your choice. But only one… okay, maybe two.

What are your must-happen activities before June 30? Share them on our social pages!

Spring Into Action with Next Stage

by Josh Jacobson

Alright everyone, it’s March already. Does it feel like 2020 is flying by? It sure does for us!

As we plan to spring forward this Sunday (don’t forget about daylight saving time), the team at Next Stage pondered some of the items we see prioritized at the start of the fiscal year for so many nonprofits that tend to fall off as time goes on.

We want to help you keep your resolutions. A couple of the topics we’re covering this month include:

  • Building a spring cleaning checklist – Since time seems to be moving at such a rapid pace for so many social do-gooders, we probably need to be extra intentional about our to-do lists. What aren’t we doing is probably the best question a nonprofit leader can ask at this time of year. We’ll unpack some thoughts.
  • Where are the young nonprofit professionals? – Before too long, the end of the fiscal year will be upon us for so many June 30’ers out there, and that will come with it the annual musical chairs of staff turnover. Sourcing emerging professionals likely to stick around for a while is a subject our team will be tackling.
  • Making the best of event season – FFTC’s annual meeting on March 25 is the unofficial start of nonprofit event season (yay?), so we ask ourselves – can our events do more than raise money? If you’re wondering how to keep your organization’s case for support front and center at your next event, we’ve got some thoughts.
  • Living your values everyday – Do your constituents believe what you’re saying? Oof! Did a shiver just run down your spine? Yes, it’s a real question we need to be considering at a time when facts can sometimes be a little fuzzy for so many. Our value-centered consultants will share some best practices for putting values into practice.

Tempus fugit, people! Let’s maximize our time and be as effective as we can be. I believe in you!