Position Opening: President and CEO, Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter

Next Stage Consulting is pleased to be managing the search for the President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter, which has its headquarters in Charlotte, NC.

Position Description: President & CEO

Client: The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter
Location: 4530 Park Rd Suite 302, Charlotte, NC 28209
Founded: 1988
Direct Reports: 2 full-time, 1 contractor
Reports To:  Board of Directors

The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter — Organizational Description

The LFANC is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people affected by lupus through programs of research, education, support, and advocacy.

The LFANC is an independent 501(c)3 headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina from where it serves the entire state of North Carolina.  The LFANC is the center of excellence for those affected by lupus, bridging patients, their families, caregivers, and the medical community.

Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood chronic autoimmune disease that can ravage any organ of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with, and a challenge to treat. Lupus is a cruel mystery because it is hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, comes out of nowhere, and has no known cause and no known cure. Lupus is debilitating and destructive, and can be fatal, yet research on lupus remains underfunded relative to its scope and devastation. The LFANC works to accelerate the pace of medical research on lupus and find new means for managing the disease. It is estimated that 1.5 million people in the United States live with lupus, with approximately 45,000 living in North Carolina alone.  The impact of lupus on our nation is profound; therefore, our efforts to mitigate its impact must be meaningful, ongoing and strategic.

Recent Milestones
Founded in 1988, the Lupus Foundation of America, Piedmont Chapter served Charlotte and the surrounding region for 25 years before merging with the Lupus Foundation of America, Winston-Triad Chapter to form the North Carolina Chapter.   The LFANC is the only statewide lupus organization in North Carolina.

In late 2015, the LFANC completed a strategic plan with the help of Lee Institute.  The chapter’s vision is to be a center of excellence for those affected by lupus, bridging patients, their families, caregivers and the medical community.  LFANC’s leadership has embraced the Chapter’s role as the leader in patient and caregiver support, services and education.  This commitment forms an exciting framework to guide the development of new programs and supports into the future.

The Role
The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter (LFANC) is seeking an energetic, experienced nonprofit professional to serve as its President & CEO.  The organization’s board of directors is seeking an entrepreneurial spirit with an established and successful track record as a senior member of an organization with similar scope, complexity and size.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Management & Leadership

  • Serves as the face of the Chapter, compellingly articulating the Chapter’s vision to various audiences
  • Provides leadership and internal direction to ensure effective Chapter management
  • Defines the organization’s long-term goals and strategic focus in partnership with the Board of Directors, and implements strategic plans and annual operating plans
  • Works in partnership with the Board to set and accomplish the organization’s mission and vision

Human Resources (Paid and Volunteer)

  • Creates an organizational environment of distributed leadership in which staff and volunteers are empowered, feel valued and are regularly recognized for their contributions
  • Provides overall management of the human resources (paid and volunteer) function, including supervision and a performance appraisal system
  • Incorporates volunteers in human resources and program planning

 Fiscal Management

  • Prepares a balanced annual budget, monitors revenue and expenses, and reports regularly to the Board of Directors
  • Ensures that fiscal management complies with all legal and grant requirements, and is in keeping with sound financial practices of the nonprofit community

Fund Development

  • Provides overall leadership in fund development and all categories of fundraising, including grants, individual contributions, foundation and corporate giving, special events, and in-kind donations
  • Establishes and implements an annual fund development plan with fundraising goals, strategies, action items, timelines, and assigned responsibilities
  • Participates directly in fundraising activities, including identifying and meeting with donors and prospective donors to generate support.
  • Provides direction and supports board member involvement in fund development

Program Oversight

  • Assesses the needs of the organization, its clients and other constituencies, and develops new services, programs or projects that will meet those needs
  • Develops and implements methods for program evaluation, reporting on progress to key audiences

Community Relations

  • Provides leadership to build and maintain strong and positive relationships with community groups, government agencies, and other stakeholders
  • Is sensitive and responsive to the increasing cultural diversity of the state and the unique attributes of the patient population served

Marketing and Communications

  • Provides overall staff leadership in the areas of market research, market planning, program development, promotion, and public relations
  • Develops and maintains positive relationship with the media
  • Oversees preparation and creation of all collateral materials with input from the national office.

The ideal candidate would have the following capabilities and qualities:

  • Demonstrated experience in identifying, soliciting, and cultivating funding from individuals, corporations and foundations.
  • Significant fundraising experience and accomplishments (particularly in the areas of corporate giving and special events).
  • Knowledge and experience in program oversight.
  • Proven ability to provide leadership and inspiration to staff and volunteers.
  • Demonstrated excellence in communications and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated track record in financial management.
  • Experience in a disease-related nonprofit and/ or knowledge of lupus is a significant asset but not a requirement.
  • Bachelor’s degree required (Certified Fund Raising Executive – CFRE preferred).

Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Health and retirement benefits offered.

To Apply
The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in its work and staff. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law. The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter encourages candidates of all groups and communities to apply for this position.

Beginning March 21, 2017, all inquiries, nominations and applications are to be directed via email to Next Stage Consulting: search@nextstage-consulting.com.  Applications should include a cover letter and CV.  Please indicate in the subject line of your email the position and organization to which you are applying and where you learned of the opportunity. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

Please note that only those candidates invited for screening will be contacted.

Mooresville Soup Kitchen Welcomes Lara Ingram as Executive Director

Next Stage Consulting is pleased to announced that Lara Ingram, MSW, LCSW has been hired by Mooresville Soup Kitchen as Executive Director.

Lara brings a strong nonprofit background in service organizations, having most recently served as Central Social Work Manager over a large multi-state team at Advanced Home Care, and previously as Executive Director of Quest Farm, a Kentucky residential facility serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“This is the second executive search Josh Jacobson has led for us and we couldn’t be happier,” Mooresville Soup Kitchen’s Board Chair Lisa Qualls said. “We are so pleased to add someone with Lara Ingram’s talent and expertise to lead our staff into the future.”

Lara holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Cincinnati and a B.A. in Social Work from the University of Kentucky. She is a licensed clinical social worker in North Carolina.  She assumed her role at Mooresville Soup Kitchen on Monday, January 30, 2017.

Mooresville Soup Kitchen is a faith-based, Christian organization established in 1987 to provide nourishing meals, fellowship, and encouragement to those in need. Mooresville Soup Kitchen offers a free hot lunch, as well as Bible studies, computer training, ESL classes, health and well-being workshops, hot showers, and laundry facilities at 275 South Broad Street in Mooresville. Open every weekday from 8 AM to noon, everyone is welcome. To volunteer, donate, and learn more about Mooresville Soup Kitchen, visit www.MooresvilleSoupKitchen.com.

Next Stage Consulting is a strategy and implementation firm serving nonprofit organizations throughout the Carolinas. In addition to providing best-in-class  organizational development consulting, the firm also conducts executive and development searches.  To learn more about the firm’s search services, contact Josh Jacobson at 704-998-1767 or via e-mail at josh@nextstage-consulting.org.

Caylin Viales Joins Next Stage Consulting

cvheadshotNext Stage is pleased to announce that Caylin Viales has joined the firm as Associate.

In December 2016, Next Stage Consulting launched a search for an Associate to support the firm’s client services including strategic planning, resource development and organizational development. After a search process that yielded more than 80 applicant submissions, it was clear to Next Stage’s Managing Director Josh Jacobson that Caylin Viales was the right person for the job.

“Caylin brings to Next Stage an intellectual curiosity and understanding of nonprofit best practices that will serve the firm’s clients well,” said Jacobson. “She possesses a great combination of project management experience with a desire to strengthen the nonprofit sector.”

Before relocating to Charlotte, Caylin worked as a Program Associate with the GreenLight Fund, a philanthropic organization with roots in the venture capital community. Over a three year tenure, she supported the selection and launch of five high-performing national organizations in Philadelphia.

Prior to GreenLight, Caylin spent six months as a fellow at the national consulting firm Frontline Solutions, working with the Philadelphia office in their efforts to enhance the impact of nonprofit and public sector programs.

Caylin received her BA in Urban Studies from Bryn Mawr College and spent her freshman year in Costa Rica, where she researched the role of gender in community development while working for the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring Charlotte with her husband, Jean, and their dog, Nacho.

Next Stage is Hiring!

EDIT: This position has been filled! Thanks to all who applied. Look for the announcement soon.

The Good News: Next Stage is seeking an exceptional individual to serve in a contracted Associate position. This 30-hour per week contract position will give someone with an interest in nonprofit organizational development an opportunity to work on behalf of dynamic, primarily founder-led organizations throughout the Carolinas (with a primary focus on the Charlotte region).

The Less Good News: This work is hard, and it requires someone with a unique disposition. It is a virtual position, meaning you must be comfortable (and capable) working from home. It is a project management role, meaning it is a good fit for someone who enjoys facilitating a process-focused effort. It also means taking initiative and feeling confident despite limited oversight.

Does this sound like you? I hope so!

Specific position requirements include:

— Coordinating stakeholder interviews, which includes scheduling and e-mail communication
— Participating in stakeholder interviews and compiling notes
— Conducting comparative and trend research, and compiling research into usable narrative
— Engaging in prospect research on behalf of clients
— Brainstorming solutions to nonprofit challenges
— Constructing new business proposals
— Publishing content for social media and the Next Stage blog
— Engaging in new business opportunities via networking and event participation

The ideal applicant will have some experience with nonprofit organizations (2+ year ideal) and a willingness to undertake a 30-hour position, with the following traits:

— Desire to take on administrative duties
— Strong (I mean it, STRONG) writing and editing capabilities (if this isn’t a big strength, please don’t apply)
— A flair for project management, which includes the ability to “manage up”
— A desire to make Charlotte nonprofits the best they can be

There are advancement opportunities for the right candidate. To apply, send a CV and a really special cover letter (or email cover) to josh@nextstage-consulting.com.

About Next Stage Consulting
Next Stage is a Charlotte, NC-based consultancy that works with nonprofits to set visions, establish goals and develop strategies for all aspects of operations, implementing organizational and fund development efforts with an eye toward efficiency and effectiveness.  The firm has partnered with 50+ nonprofits in the Carolinas since it was founded in 2014. Next Stage works with nonprofit organizations authentically interested in assessing current operations and desiring to “get to the next level.” This includes founder-led nonprofits in their first 10 years of existence, as well as established organizations interested in increasing impact and addressing sustainability.

The Hyper-Local Local

I attended a terrific gathering of new and less-new friends last night, cooking together and learning about the two-degree nature of our lives.  Charlotte is wonderful in that way – we are all just slightly apart by one or two degrees.

I’ve found myself ruminating (Cece!) on the phase “hyper-local” of late, a term that conjures up a series of seemingly disconnected concepts. It is certainly the energy powering #WeLoveCLT and the Charlotte Agenda. It can be found on a plate at Heirloom and in a glass at NoDa Brewing. It is the main attraction at the Charlotte Art League’s local artist booths and the discovery at any of the many pop-up retail events throughout the city.  It is revealed in a bike ride through Freedom Park, a hike at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve and in a canoe on the Catawba River. It is often accompanied by a sense of connection and an appreciation for our unique assets.

Shameless plug inserted here for the Queen City Brewers Festival, the proceeds of which supports Aceing Autism

Shameless plug here for the Queen City Brewers Festival, which supports ACEing Autism, and tickets are on sale now.

Charlotte is in the midst of a hyper-local movement that I’d argue is really just a new way of approaching the concept of community.  It is a movement often characterized by the Millennial generation, but in some ways is too easily dismissed as a tag for a sub-segment of the population.  If you see yourself in the activities listed above, congratulations, you are a part of it regardless of your age or whether you would self-identify yourself that way.

I perceive this movement as alive and vital to the future of Charlotte, and yet it is one where the nonprofit community is under-represented. This is disconcerting because there is nothing more hyper-local than the ambition of our region’s nonprofits, which are so often laser focused on improving the experience of living here.

There are certainly exceptions.  An organization like Sustain Charlotte exists to educate, engage and unite citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges, and they are doing a very good job of it.  Participants can sign the 2030 Vision and then join the Community Corps to help make it a reality.  When I think of hyper-local, I often think of Sustain Charlotte as a model of community engagement.

Another nonprofit embracing the movement is The Red Boot Coalition, with its aim to provide safe places where people can engage in honest sharing and compassionate listening.  Frustrated by the us-versus-them rhetoric that dominates discourse these days, Founder and VisionGiver Molly Barker set about bringing together those who are polarized to find common ground. Just an utterly beautiful expression of hyper-localness – in our neighbors we can find our humanity.

But what of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s other 3,500 tax-exempt charities?  How are they embracing an increasing focus on hyper-local that shows up in the many varied choices we make as residents on a daily basis?  Some are right in the white-hot center of the action while others are off to the side wondering how anyone finds the time to do any of it.

Increasingly, there are two Charlottes; one comprised of people who just exist here, and another of those who truly live here.  The former is highlighted by a well-worn path between a holy trinity of one’s workplace, children’s school and house of worship.  But as was mentioned last night, you can find that in any city in America.  What is the difference between Charlotte and Atlanta if those are the primary destinations in your weekly travels?  The traffic?  Is that all that separates us?

I’m of the opinion that real status as a local resident requires engagement in the hyper-local movement in some way – that you don’t really live here until you actually live here.  If we hold ourselves and those we meet to this standard, we engender a community of people who actually care about one another.  It is too easy to just exist in Charlotte and never fully embrace the opportunity, engage in the civic life and care about a fellow neighbor.  For nonprofits, it can be quite a hill to climb.

But back to last night – who knew that a grapefruit and gin cocktail could be so tasty? Or the company so varied? Or the conversation so meaningful.

Illuminate Session #1: An Introduction

For those in the know, Charlotte’s nonprofit community is tight knit and easy to navigate. But for many, the sector as a whole is murky and unclear – what are nonprofits, what do they do and how do we engage with them?

Illuminate is a twice-monthly series facilitated by Josh Jacobson of Next Stage Consulting and hosted at Hygge, a coworking community near uptown, where participants gain a better understanding of how nonprofits in the Charlotte region are working on their behalf.

The first session was held on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 with a group of 20-some participants including thought leaders, nonprofit managers and people eager to plug in. The goal of the first session was to provide an overview of a few trends that are impacting Charlotte’s nonprofit sector and encourage a conversation about how to use the series as a platform for discussion and problem-solving.

The following outlines Josh’s initial presentation:

Print“For too many, the basic nonprofit structure is not well understood. Having worked with many nonprofits, I’ve seen staff and volunteer leadership both misunderstand the underpinnings of their enterprises.

“In some form or another, the concept of charity has existed in America since colonial times. Dan Pallotta talks about the impact of guilt felt by Puritans in his game-changing TED Talk, with the success of capitalism also giving rise to penitence in the form of charitable contributions. But until the late 1800’s, the IRS did not recognize such generosity in the tax code.

“According author Peter Dobkin Hall, the modern 501c3 public charity classification traces its roots to westward expansion during the late 1800s, when the ambition to settle uncharted territory got ahead of governments ability to meet the needs of its citizenry. But even more influential was the desire by tycoons of the era – Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan – to unburden themselves of a small portion of their massive fortunes.

“For a long time, Americans were suspicious of charities because they were private enterprises with no accountability. Its citizens had fought two grueling wars (The Revolutionary War & The Civil War) to fight for democracy, and the notion of charities (popularized first in Europe) were viewed with suspicion. The creation of the tax-exempt charity tax status came with it the opportunity to regulate these entities for the first time. That included appropriating them as “owned by taxpayers,” with a governing board of directors drawn from that tax base to serve as ombudsman for “the people.”

“I find this fact is too often misunderstood by Executive Directors and Board Members alike, who confuse their charge. The Governing Board is empowered with providing oversight in the entire community’s best interest first and foremost, ahead of the more narrowly defined audience served by the charity, its staff or donors. This charge to “do what is best for the public benefit” is a very different way of thinking for anyone without a degree in public administration.”


“While the first nonprofits were created in the late 1890s, they were not immediately popular. In fact, even as late as 1940, there were just 12,500 registered nonprofits (excluding religious institutions which have always been treated differently). WWII and the New Deal dramatically transformed America. Though the income tax had long existed, the 1940s saw withholding tax skyrocket and with it a host of tax code loopholes designed to encourage charitable giving a part of their annual planning. And with that, the nonprofit sector dramatically expanded.

“As of 2012, there were more than 1.5 million registered 501c3 charities in the U.S., with more than 90% founded in just the last 65 years, and I’d argue the number is likely even higher now. Some estimates put the total number of nonprofits in the U.S. at 1.7 million. In 2014 alone, the IRS issued more than 100,000 new 501c3 tax determination letters (against just 500 declinations).

“The explosion in the number of nonprofits has had a big effect, and one not mentioned by Dan Pallotta in his famous talk when he discusses contributions to charities remaining at 2% of GDP since the late 1970s. While GDP has not quite tripled since 1980 ($6.5 trillion vs. $16.3 trillion), the nonprofit sector has quintupled during that same timeframe (320,000 nonprofits in 1980 vs. 1.7 million in 2015).

“The result? Increased competition, duplication of service and inefficiency.”


“This trend is mirrored in Mecklenburg County, where the population growth rate has not kept up with the expansion of the nonprofit sector. Over the last twenty years, Mecklenburg County’s population has roughly doubled while the nonprofit sector has tripled.

“In total, there are 4,930 registered charities in Mecklenburg County. Of those, 551 are private foundations and 789 are other types of nonprofits, including 501c6 organizations that serve as business associations and chambers of commerce. There are 3,590 public charities, which are traditionally what we think of when we hear ‘nonprofit organization.’ This includes very small organizations doing work in discrete sections of the city all the way up to universities, hospitals and massive nonprofit agencies with a multitude of programs.”


“This overview will end with this graphic, which shows that more than a third of public charities in Mecklenburg County have less than $50,000 in annual revenue. These include all-volunteer organizations, newer charities that have yet to expand operations as well as longstanding organizations that have hit a wall. On the other side? More than $1.2 billion in revenue to 2,280 public charities.

“While the instinct may be to see the smaller organizations as ‘cluttering up the landscape,’ the truth is far more complex. I encounter innovative new nonprofits every week that are disrupting the nonprofit sector, challenging the status quo and using evidence base to make an argument for increased contributions. But with competition at an all-time high, entrenchment by established nonprofits and a lack of commitment to true collaboration, the road ahead is not clear. The leaders of charities of all sizes are typically exhausted, fighting to be heard in a sea of messaging. Frustrated, they get discouraged, run out of steam and even abandon the dream. We are losing some of our brightest and most capable nonprofit leaders due to these factors. And if Mecklenburg County is set to grow to more than 1.5 million by 2030, how many public charities might there be by then?

“I’ve established Illuminate to provide a platform for discussion of these and other issues facing the nonprofit sector in our region. The solutions lie not in silos of programming but in collaborative discussions about the ‘public good,’ the charge every nonprofit has been created to carry as a torch for residents. I want to provide a platform for innovative nonprofits that deserve to break through and for dialogue on issues important to us all.”


While a heavy subject to begin what is meant to be a hopeful workshop series, Josh did outline four areas of excitement for the nonprofit sector:

  • Generational Changes – The current generational transfer of wealth from the Silent Generation to the Boomer generation is the largest in history, and it is leading to new perspectives from recent retirees who have a very different world view than their parents. The rise of the Millennial is also a positive trend, with a thoughtful commitment to problem-solving and social connection that promises an exciting paradigm shift for nonprofit engagement.
  • Technology – The advent of the Internet radically changed nonprofit management. Social media has made it possible to communicate more efficiently than ever, while ‘big data’ has made generating evidence of impact more accessible to charities of all sizes. If nonprofits are to be held to new standards of effectiveness in the future, it will be because data has led the way.
  • Growth – Mecklenburg County’s growth is fueled by transplants. These new residents are a blank slate for nonprofits, unencumbered by history or relational ties. For most nonprofits, their hope for expansion of services lies not with institutional funding from corporations and foundations but instead from philanthropy generated by new Charlotteans with a hunger for social cause.
  • Community – Charlotte is an amazing place for a multitude of reasons, but its community may be the most transformative factor for nonprofit organizations. The city is alive with energy and change agents who commit their lives to improving the world in which they live. Indeed, it is with community in mind that the Illuminate series at Hygge was established.

Liking the content? Want to be a part of a new nonprofit movement? Check out the Illuminate page on Hygge’s website and check out the events calendar for the next session. Know of an organization that is deserving of increased visibility and attention? Fill out the form at the bottom of the Illuminate page and let us know!

Special thanks to Eric Gorman from SlowThink for his help with the inforgraphics. Talented fellow, he is.

“We Already Have Full-Time Jobs” & Other Lame Things Board Members Say

Next Stage Consulting hits the road this week with two presentations on the same topic – Managing Up: Understanding Board Profiles. I’ll be in Columbia, South Carolina on Thursday 5/14 to present to the AFP Central Carolinas Chapter, and on Friday 5/15 presenting to the AFP Greater Augusta Chapter in Georgia.

Ever heard a nonprofit board member say something like:

“I’d ask him to help but he’s already so busy with work and family…”

“I really don’t know that many people…”

“I’m just not comfortable approaching my customers for financial support…”

Encouraging volunteer board members to engage in development activities is rarely an easy task. Boards are comprised of many different types of volunteers, all motivated differently and with a diversity of resources available to them.

In this session, I will be discussing ways to change the “one size fits all” board fundraising strategies to be more segmented, looking at five classic board member profiles and ways to encourage involvement in donor development activities. This session will include practical suggestions for motivating board members that they can take back to their offices.

It’s a slightly irreverent session for sure that I hope will elicit some laughs as well as thoughtful contemplation. I hope you can make it, and if you have interest in the content, let me know!

Study: Diversification of Communication Channels a Key to Fundraising Success

by Sam McClenney, Research & Special Projects

As we head into the New Year, nonprofit leaders likely have a number of things on their mind, but one topic is a common refrain: how do we not just match but increase fund development in 2015?

Before the technology age, nonprofit leaders would have likely prioritized success rates among high impact donors. Now, a bevy of tools are at the disposal of nonprofits. Websites, blogs, social media, apps and video content have opened up seemingly unlimited paths to fund development for the nonprofit sector.

Does that mean fundraising is easier now than it was twenty years ago? Hardly. In fact, all these options have created a new problem – more strategies than can be managed efficiently. So which are the best to use and how should they be used? Is there a combination of tools that will open up the flood gates to unseen levels of donations and grants? These questions need to be answered if nonprofits want to stay ahead.

There are currently over 1.4 million non-profits in the United Stated, and searching through the noise of them all is nearly impossible. However, Adam Bluemner of Find Accounting Software recently published the findings from its 2014 Fundraising Technology Trends Study, and the content is fascinating. Through interviews with 142 fundraisers, Bluemner highlights a number of best practices in web communication.

  • Create a Blog and Video Content – Almost every nonprofit has a website as well as both Twitter and Facebook accounts. To say that they are necessary is a given. However, according to the study, blogs were only used by 15% of nonprofits, while video content was used by just 16% of nonprofits. One might assume that these tools are less useful in generating funds, but in fact the opposite is true. Bloggers were 34% more likely to report a growth in their organizations revenue in 2013 than non-bloggers. Nonprofits using video content were 47% more likely to report a growth in their organization’s contributed revenue in 2013 than those that didn’t use it.
  • Become a Multi-Channel Fundraiser – The cliché “strength in numbers” is typically lost on anybody, but it is particularly applicable to fundraising. The following chart provided by Bluemner’s study does the simple job of showing the correlation between the number of web channels that a nonprofit uses and the level of success it has in fundraising:

71% of nonprofits grew their revenue when they used five or more web channels for fundraising. Compare this to the 59% that grew using only one channel. The more channels utilized, the more likely someone is going to hear your message.

  • Don’t Stop at Just the Web – Technology has made web-based communication a great way to connect with potential donors. But what about in-person meetings, email, postal mail or even the too-often neglected telephone? Those are still very effective as well. In fact, the more of them you use, the more effective you are.

Consider these final two statistics: those that used one channel had only an 18% chance of growing their revenue. When the number of channels jumps to seven, that percentage increases to a staggering 82%. The message is clear: it is time for nonprofits to start diversifying how they raise funds.

Generating ever-increasing fund development outcomes is difficult; success in 2014 only makes it seem more difficult to top yourself in 2015. The competition for donor dollars has never been more fierce – indeed, the study noted that 47% of nonprofit surveyed saw no growth at all from 2012 to 2013.  By diversifying communication channels, nonprofits stand a better chance of increasing hard-won support in 2015 and beyond.

Image credits: Featured Image (123RF – Igor Stevanovic)

The Importance of Data Flow

Next Stage Consulting’s Managing Director Josh Jacobson is pleased to be speaking at the fall event of the Carolinas chapter of the Association for Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA). The event is entitled “What Works: A Game Show of Successes in Our Field,” and will feature speakers on a variety of topics related to prospect research and analytics.

Josh’s session will focus on the concept of data flow, or the way in which information flows through an advancement department, informing decision-making and contributing to positive, revenue-raising activities. Josh will discuss the important role prospect researchers play in championing the use of good information to inform each stop on the development cycle, and ways to improve through data flow analysis.

The event is taking place at the Alvarez College Union at Davidson College. A PDF of the presentation can be found here.

Bridging the Gap: The Future Is Now

On July 21, Next Stage Consulting’s Josh Jacobson will lead a presentation at the North Carolina Theatre Conference’s Producing Gathering in Charlotte, NC. Entitled Bridging the Gap: The Future Is Now, this session will explore staff and volunteer retention, and the challenge of succession planning for theatres.

Based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates, more than 4 million people each year will reach age 65 by 2020, a trend that has been dubbed the “Silver Tsunami” by leading thinkers.  As the baby boom generation retires, finding qualified leaders to fill their executive positions presents a problem, particularly in the nonprofit sector. Complicating matters, Millennials will be the largest percentage of the workforce in a few years – a generation known for job-hopping.

In the performing arts sector, the challenge is even more pronounced. Lower salaries and diminished professional development opportunities force many arts managers and boards to choose between individuals strong in artistic development or organizational administration, but less frequently both.

In this engaging session geared toward current and emerging theatre leaders, Josh will explore the challenges and opportunities of bridging the talent gap and ways to restructure your theatre for success in the following ways:

  • Staff/Volunteer Retention – The revolving door in key staff roles is frustrating, and though many are quick to blame the restless employees who depart, the fact is that poor retention is 0ne of the biggest challenges to theatres. Josh will identify the key reasons most employees leave and provide tips for improving the retention of talented professionals.
  • Succession Planning – Pretending succession isn’t an issue is not a smart way to approach organizational sustainability.  Josh will challenge participants to begin developing a succession plan for their theatres, and will suggest ways to make professional development a strategic strength.

The NCTC Producing Gathering is an annual event, this year taking place at Spirit Square in Charlotte. Theatrical producers from professional theatres, community theatres and educational institutions come together for three days of professional development and networking. Each year, 100+ theatre leaders from more than 50 companies come to this essential event.