DiscoverYour Path to Nonprofit Leadership
Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership
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Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership

Author: Patton McDowell

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Dr. Patton McDowell brings the best in professional development and productivity to each episode, helping you find the perfect nonprofit job and guiding you along the path to leadership in the charitable sector. Patton brings 30 years of nonprofit leadership, coaching and consulting experience, and shares best practices for individual and organizational success based on his work with over 220 nonprofits and their staff and board leaders. You’ll learn how to assess and plan the nonprofit career that’s right for you, and how to maximize the 7 “stops” along the Path and the 10 skills and experiences necessary for nonprofit leadership. The show features interviews with nonprofit leaders and productivity experts, as well as deep-dive solo episodes and other special editions. Hit subscribe, and accelerate your journey on a nonprofit career path that can change your life.
72 Episodes
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72:  What Can a Mastermind Do for Your Nonprofit Leadership? (Patton McDowell)SUMMARYWhat is a mastermind, and how could it help you on your nonprofit leadership journey?  In episode #72 of the Path Podcast, Patton provides some history on the mastermind concept, and explains how PMA has adapted the model to best serve nonprofit leaders. He explains the characteristics that best describe successful participants, and the philosophies and structure that went into the design and implementation of the program.  Patton also shares four key elements of the Mastermind that provide direct value to the individual members of each cohort: program design, methods of engagement, professional tools and strategic network.  ABOUT PATTONPatton has spent his entire 30-year career helping talented individuals raise more funds and effectively lead their nonprofit organizations.  Before starting PMA Consulting, he spent a decade in higher education as Vice President for Advancement at Queens University after serving in the same role at UNC Wilmington, where he was the youngest vice chancellor in the UNC system. Prior to his tenure in higher education, he worked with volunteers from 85 different counties as the state Program Director for Special Olympics North Carolina and as an Assistant for Education & Training for Special Olympics International in Washington DC, where he helped design coach and volunteer training curriculum used worldwide. Patton grew up in Elizabeth City, NC, and went to UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar where he received a BA in English Education. He received his MBA from the McColl School of Business while working at Queens, and his Doctorate in Education (Organizational Change & Leadership) from the Rossier School at the University of Southern California. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), and a Master Trainer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International. He also serves as the Lead Faculty Member for the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership in Charlotte, where he works with aspiring nonprofit leaders through the New Development Directors program and coaches an annual cohort of Executive Directors and Chief Development Officers through Leadership Gift School. EPISODE RESOURCESPMA Masterminds FAQ’s and ApplicationNapoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow RichPatton’s episode #56 10 Essential Skills & Experiences for Nonprofit Leadership
71: Bringing A Global Perspective to Nonprofit Leadership (Jennifer Garner)   SUMMARYHow do you incorporate all of your previous nonprofit leadership experiences in a way that strengthens your current work?  Jennifer Garner has built an impressive resume on the way to her current position at the University of Denver, including international advancement work at two institutions in the United Kingdom. While the experiences are impressive in and of themselves, she also does a fantastic job of lifting up key bits of advice and resources she’s utilized throughout her career, and shares how she continues to incorporate these experiences into the work she’s doing right now. Check out our conversation in episode #71 of the Path Podcast for take-aways that you can apply to any stage of your career, as well as to those you’re leading at your nonprofit organization.ABOUT JENNIFER     Jennifer has worked at the University of Denver since June 2016 as the Executive Director of Development for the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences where she is responsible for the fundraising from 29,000 alumni and in the last year four years has been part of a team that generated $20M in philanthropic support from alumni, parents, foundations and individuals. She has 25 years’ experience in international external relations including fundraising, marketing, alumni relations, communications, annual giving and operations. Prior to DU, she worked at Trinity College Cambridge where she launched the first major gifts program and integrated alumni relations and annual giving program. She was the Deputy Director of Development at King’s College London, where she helped to design, brand and launch the university’s £500m fundraising campaign. Jennifer has also worked in Advancement at Queens University of Charlotte and Chatham University and in Admissions at the University of Evansville and Queens College. She has a Master’s Degree in nonfiction writing and a BA in English.  EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESJerry Panas’ book AskingJim Langley’s book The Future of FundraisingRussell James’ book Visual Planned Giving Tara Mohr’s book 
70: 7 Strategies to Drive Sustainable Change (Dyisha Reliford)  SUMMARYThe ability to manage change must be part of your toolkit as a nonprofit leader.  After starting her career with Teach for America in Chicago, Dyisha Reliford continued to learn from her successful corporate, community and nonprofit experiences to formulate the essential steps to managing change. Her study led to a wonderfully practical new book called The Transformation Playbook: 7 Winning Strategies to Drive Sustainable Change.  On episode #70 of the Path Podcast, Dyisha and I discussed several of her winning strategies, including how to effectively write a vision statement for change, how to communicate change to different constituencies, and how to deal with detractors in your efforts to initiate a change.  Lots of real-world application from this conversation that will help your efforts to organize and activate change.ABOUT DYISHA     Dyisha is a results-driven and visionary leader in the world of business transformation. Currently, she serves as a corporate healthcare executive and strategic thought partner in the role as Senior Director, Transformation, at AmerisourceBergen - a Fortune 10 company with more than $185 billion in annual revenue. In this role, she is responsible for partnering with executive leaders to capture transformation results by analyzing business operations, assessing processes, evaluating financial impacts, and supporting the enterprise transformation strategy. Prior to her current role at AmerisourceBergen, Dyisha held director-level roles in Investor Relations and Marketing. Prior to AmerisourceBergen, she worked for several leading companies, including General Electric (GE), Pfizer, and McKinsey & Company, where she led and supported change programs of all shapes and sizes. At GE, she was awarded the prestigious GE Healthcare Management Gold Above and Beyond Award and back-to-back GE Healthcare Marketer of the Year awards for her work in global marketing transformation and customer engagement automation. Dyisha graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and received her Master of Business Administration with Honors from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  A native Ohioan, Dyisha currently resides in the Charlotte, NC area.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESDyisha’s book The Transformation PlaybookGallup and Tom Rath’s book StrengthsFinder 2.0 
069: National Philanthropy Day: 3 Lessons for Every Nonprofit Leader (Penny Hawkins)SUMMARYWhile National Philanthropy day provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate charitable giving, volunteer engagement and community spirit, but it also offers an opportunity for nonprofit leaders to strategically evaluate what each category means and how they might implement it within their organization. That’s exactly what my colleague Penny Hawkins and I discussed during Episode #69 of the Path Podcast.  She lifts up ideas that can help you diversify your donor base, find new ways to partner with individuals and organizations, and better understand the mindset of your major donors and significant prospects.  Lots to consider within this episode and some great resources from Penny as well.ABOUT PENNYPenny has enjoyed 15 years of professional experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. She began her career in Private Equity with BlackHawk Capital Management where she focused on communications, investor relations, marketing and operations. After completing the Foundation for the Carolinas Impact Fund for Emerging Philanthropists in 2008, she combined her skill for investor relations with a desire to support growth in Charlotte’s vital philanthropic community and entered the path to nonprofit leadership. Prior to joining PMA Consulting as a Senior Consultant, Penny held leadership development positions at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation, KinderMourn, and the Council for Children’s Rights. In her most recent role with Novant Health, she served as the Development Program Manager of the Children’s and Women’s Service Lines. Penny has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Mass Communication with a focus on Public Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She’s obtained her CFRE (Certified FundRaising Executive) designation, obtained certification from the Wake Forest University’s Essentials of Business for Nonprofit Organizations, and is the current Board President for the Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESPenny previously on the Path: Maximizing the Talent of Women in the Nonprofit SectorAFP Global’s resources on National Philanthropy DayNY Times article: In Philanthropy, Race Is Still a Factor in Who Gets What Stanford Social Innovation Review: Overcoming Racial Bias in Philanthropic Fundraising
68: The 3 “C’s” of Nonprofit Leadership (Mike Smith) SUMMARYNonprofit organizations add value to communities around the world, and Mike Smith has had the opportunity to see outstanding leadership in the charitable sector in dozens of different countries as well as across the United States. His insight into the key attributes of successful nonprofit leaders led to a fascinating conversation on Episode #68 of the Path Podcast.  From his vantage point as the Managing Director of Special Olympics International in Europe and Eurasia, Mike saw the very best in management, strategy and volunteer development in over 50 countries, and brings his observations into a framework he calls the “3 C’s”: Culture, Communication and Creativity.  While he shares a “world tour” in illustrating these concepts, he breaks each one into highly practical take-aways that you can apply to your leadership, no matter where you are around the globe! ABOUT MIKE     Mike is an entrepreneurial team leader with significant international experience who has passions for sport, youth development, and global networks. In 2017, he founded BIG iDEA SPORTS, which is a start-up focused on developing technology and content to improve the positive impact of youth sports, thus accelerating a new youth sports model that results in young players enjoying more, playing better and staying in sports longer. One of their current projects is the development of a global platform/app to support coaches in giving better one-on-one feedback to young players. In addition to serving as the founder for BIG iDEA SPORTS, Mike is also the COO/Development Consultant for Coerver Coaching EMEA. In this role, he helps guide the expansion and development of a leading sport education company in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Prior to his current roles, Mike worked for Special Olympics international for 20 years where he served as the Director of Sports Management for Special Olympics in the Washington, D.C. area, Vice President of Operations for the 1997 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Toronto Canada, and finally the Managing Director for Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia, based in Brussels, Belgium. Mike has his BA in Psychology from Harvard University, where he was also Captain of the Harvard Soccer team, and also his MBA from the Babson School of Management. He currently resides in Barcelona, Spain with his wife and three children and can be reached at mike.smith@bigideasports.comEPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESLink to Mike’s Summary of the 3 C’sGeert Hostede and Gert Jan Hofstede’s book Cultures and OrganizationsJack Valenti’s book Speak Up With ConfidenceResonate WorkshopsAtlas of the Future
067: Leveraging Technology as a Nonprofit Leader (Kim Lanphear) SUMMARYWhile technology may or may not be your area of expertise as a nonprofit leader, current conditions certainly force you to be more proficient. Whether you’re navigating virtual board and staff meetings, trying to deliver your programs in a socially-distant manner, or contemplating your biggest fundraising event now being virtual, you’re having to maximize the technologies available to you. Someone who really understands the challenges and opportunities inherent in your nonprofit’s technology is Kim Lanphear, the CEO of Apparo, who is helping nonprofits navigate their technology and business processes so they can do the important work their mission requires.  On episode #67 of the Path, Kim provides a wealth of information and ideas to help you navigate your organization’s technology, put the right processes in place, and how you can do your virtual fundraising event more effectively.  (Hint: Apparo’s virtual event did better than the previous year’s live one!).  ABOUT KIM    Kim is the CEO of Apparo, a nonprofit connecting local nonprofits to technology expertise & resources that amplify their impact. Under her leadership, Apparo has partnered with 500+ area nonprofits and 100+ companies to drive skilled volunteering that delivers $1.60 of value for every dollar donated. Lanphear has a diverse career with more than 20 years of expertise in strategy development, international business, marketing, fundraising, and P&L management as well as Board governance and leadership. Prior to Apparo, she was at the helm of business lines within Citibank domestically and internationally, and the MD of Chicago's third largest professional theater company. She has consulted in the areas of strategy and marketing, and is recognized for her ability to build consensus and collaborative partnerships. Kim received the Charlotte Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO award in 2018 and Best Places to Work Award in 2019, the Mecklenburg Times Most Influential Women Award in 2016 and Icon Award in 2019, and has received recognition in Scoop Charlotte, and South Park Magazines. She received a BA in Public Policy from Duke University, and her MBA and Masters of Arts Administration from Southern Methodist University.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESHarvard Business Review article: If You Feel Like You’re Regressing, You’re Not AloneApparo’s Resources for Nonprofits link and webinar series Kathryn Heath and Jill Flynn’s book 
66: Maximizing Partnerships for Nonprofit Success (Sabrina Dawson)  SUMMARYHow can you create lasting partnerships that not only establish your nonprofit but help it accelerate its growth? That’s exactly what Sabrina Dawson and I discussed in episode #66 of the Path Podcast.  An educator throughout her professional career, Sabrina is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Programs for The Collective, a Memphis-based organization working with schools, employers and community stakeholders to establish career pathways and ensure equitable access to support, resources, and opportunities for young adults between the ages of 18 and 30.  Sabrina and her Co-Founder, Sarah Lockridge-Steckel, have built unique alliances with employers, sponsors, funders, as well as general volunteers, which offer great insight for nonprofit leaders everywhere. ABOUT SABRINA   Sabrina joined The Collective to develop and implement their careers program, which connects opportunity youth to high demand careers, while providing intensive support services.  Sabrina began her career serving 6-12th grade students through the esteemed Teach for America program. During that time, she served in many roles within the educational environment, including Teacher, Vice Principal of Instruction, Associate Director of College Counseling, and a member of an Academic Leadership Team. She has served as an educator and instructional leader in inner-city public and charter schools and her work in college counseling led to 100% college matriculation. Sabrina has also designed and executed the Career Pathways model to support older youth in the DC foster care system with college and career supports which significantly increased the percentage of youth exiting foster care with sustainable employment. She has presented her model for educational and career success at many conferences including the National Pathways to Adulthood conference and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Post-Secondary and Career Education Conference. Sabrina has a BA in Philosophy from The Florida State University and her Master of Arts in Teaching from The Johns Hopkins University.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESKerry Patterson & Joseph Grenny’s book Crucial ConversationsBrene’ Brown’s book Dare to Lead
65: Why You Shouldn’t Start a Charity (Matthew Zachary) SUMMARYAs a cancer survivor and marketing expert, Matthew Zachary approaches most things in life with a very different perspective, including nonprofit leadership.  This approach is provocative and thought-provoking, and is sure to make you think differently about many of the “standards” of nonprofit leadership.  On episode #65 of the Path Podcast, Matthew shares his rationale for NOT starting a nonprofit, why charitable organizations often get the short end of the stick in corporate partnerships, and what every nonprofit leader needs to be reading.  He also shares – from personal experience – when it’s time to step down as a nonprofit leader, particularly when you're the Founder.  All this and much more in this entertaining and free-wheeling episode of the Path!ABOUT MATTHEW  Ten years after surviving brain cancer at age 21, Matthew founded Stupid Cancer, the world's largest young adult cancer community, and launched The Stupid Cancer Show, the first health podcast, which amassed a global listenership in the millions. He stepped down as Stupid Cancer's CEO in 2019 and launched his latest venture, OffScrip Media, the first audio broadcast network focused on consumer health and patient advocacy. Matthew is now back behind the mic with his new show, "Out of Patients," hailed as "the people's voice in healthcare."  As he continues to be outspoken about the perils of the healthcare system, the through-line of Matthew's entire career is patient advocacy. Matthew is also an acclaimed keynote speaker, accomplished film composer, and award-winning concert pianist.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESDan Pallotta’s books Uncharitable and Charity CaseDan Pallotta’s 2013 Ted Talk "The way we think of charity is dead wrong"Vu Le’s Blog Nonprofit AFMatthew’s website MatthewZachary.com
64: How Can We Address Compensation Gaps in the Nonprofit Sector? (Sally Loftis)SUMMARYIt’s a cliché to say no one gets into nonprofit work to get rich.  However, if leaders in our sector do not take steps to address the compensation gaps that exist, all of the important work being done will be further diminished by turnover and burnout. In episode #64 of the Path Podcast, Sally Loftis brings a researcher’s eye and HR expertise to this strategic challenge for nonprofit leaders, and provides a wealth of resources and ideas to help you address what is often an elephant in the room. How do you develop a compensation philosophy?  How can you do a pay equity assessment?  How do you better understand the compensation factors affecting your community?  And finally, how can you engage your funders in your efforts to provide a better compensation platform for talent recruitment and retention? Find these answers - and much more - in this episode!ABOUT SALLY Sally Loftis is the Managing Director of Loftis Partners, and is tugging at the webs of relationship that hold our systems of injustice in place through consulting. Her professional experience lies mostly in human resources roles while her lifelong volunteer experience spreads across social justice causes. Sally has worked in strategic roles for a Fortune 50 corporation, a boutique consulting firm, and the largest non-academic craft school in the US. She sees a need to bring equity and inclusion work into all levels of organizations through brave practices, community safe spaces, shared power, active vulnerability, and consent culture. Sally received her Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, where she did her thesis on Talent Investment Strategies & Nonprofit Employee Pay.  She received a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and a Bachelor of Business Administration (Concentration: Human Resources) from Freed-Hardeman University.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESDan Pallota’s 2013 Ted Talk "The way we think of charity is dead wrong"Cost of living research by US Bureau of Labor StatisticsSociety of Human Resource Management article America’s Pay Gap is WideningSociety for Human Resources Management’s Study on Effective Workplaces Fund the People’s Toolkits for Talent Investment and Talent JusticeRusty Stahl’s article on Talent Philanthropy  Peter Block’s book Community: The Structure of Belonging Ijeoma Oluo’s book So You Want to Talk About RaceSally’s great blog post about this topic
63: Confronting Wicked Problems as a Nonprofit Leader (Lynn Fick-Cooper)SUMMARYAs a nonprofit leader, you are likely trying to address “Wicked Problems” every day, social challenges that are systemic in nature and incredibly complex. To help us better address these types of problems, Lynn Fick-Cooper offers a fantastic analysis of these issues, and provides five crucial strategies to address them in episode #63 of the Path Podcast.  Lynn’s 30-year journey in nonprofit leadership is also instructive around the types of professional development she’s invested, including advocacy, fundraising and communications.ABOUT LYNN Lynn Fick-Cooper is currently the Managing Director for Societal Advancement Group at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC.  Lynn has more than 30 years of experience in leadership positions from a variety of organizations including directing government and community affairs for the Greensboro Area Chamber of Commerce; serving as Chief Marketing Officer for Huthwaite, and serving as Director of Public Relations for IHFRA (International Home Furnishings Representatives Association). Lynn’s previous experience at CCL includes serving as Chief Development Officer and Group Director of Institutional Advancement and Manager. Since 2007, Lynn has also been in a full-time faculty role at CCL, designing and delivering leadership development programs across a variety of sectors, with a specific focus on developing nonprofit, community, and executive nurse leaders in health and health care. In her current role, Lynn is the Program Director and Lead Faculty for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Public Health Nurse Leaders Program, Community Coalition Leadership Program, and the Program Designer and Lead Faculty for the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®). She also manages CCL’s relationships with other foundations such as the Kate B. Reynolds Trust, Kresge Foundation, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina, and the Community Memorial Foundation in Chicago. Lynn received her B.A. in Communication with a concentration in public relations and M.B.A. from the Bryan School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESThe full white paper: Confronting Wicked ProblemsCCL’s work in Nonprofit Leadership Training Martin Linsky & Ron Heifetz’ book Leadership on the Line
62: What Should We Learn from the Giving USA Report? (Melissa Brown)  SUMMARYYou’ve likely seen the numbers each year that represent philanthropic support in the United States through the Giving USA report.  The question is, do you really understand what the numbers mean, and how they apply to you and your nonprofit?  There is no one better suited to help us understand those questions than Melissa Brown, who has spent some of her stellar 30-year career literally editing the Giving USA report.  In this bonus episode of the Path podcast, #62, Melissa shares practical applications of the data, as well as multiple ways you can better position your nonprofit to take advantage of donor trends and preferences.  ABOUT MELISSA Melissa helps charities turn knowledge into action. Drawing on nearly 30 years in the nonprofit sector, Melissa knows what drives charities to deliver on their mission. She uses research about giving trends and donor motivations to help clients plan effective fundraising; consulting services include presentations, training, surveys, and program evaluation. She was rated as one of the country’s top philanthropy speakers in 2016. Melissa began work as a fundraiser in 1989. Since 2011, her firm Melissa S. Brown & Associates has served clients throughout North America. Major projects include The Fund Raising School, evaluation for Indiana Youth Institute, data analysis for National Philanthropic Counsel, and project management for Carter, a global consulting firm based in Florida. She also volunteers with AFP Research Council and currently chairs the Association of Philanthropic Counsel. Before founding Melissa S. Brown & Associates in 2011, Melissa worked at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, where she edited Giving USA. She studied at Reed College and the University of Pennsylvania. Melissa & her historian husband live in southern Washington state, where they are reveling in the mild climate of Zone 8b after 30+ years in gardening Zone 5a. She enjoys kayaking, bird watching, and spending time with family and friends. Her own giving focuses on climate change mitigation, the arts, and social justice.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESBill Meehan and Kim Jonker’s book Engine of Impact Lisa Knowlton and Cynthia Phillips’ book The Logic Model GuidebookFree Donor Advised Fund widgetMelissa’s work through Melissa S. Brown & Associates LLCMelissa’s work through Carter Global 
61: 4 Ways to Advance Your Nonprofit Career (Jay Dowd)   SUMMARYWhat are some practical ways you can advance your nonprofit leadership career? In episode #61 of the Path, South Carolina native Dr. Jay Dowd brings experience from leading four different university fundraising teams to answer that question. He shares the critical advice he learned early in his career from mentors and donors themselves, as well as the value of his network and his involvement in professional associations that continue to help him to this day. Jay also gives candid advice for those seeking employment in the sector, and specifically what he’s looking for when he interviews a candidate. Finally, we discussed his exploration of both a masters and doctoral degree, and how he and The Citadel Foundation have been so successful in fundraising, even in the midst of a pandemic!  ABOUT JAY John P. “Jay” Dowd, III, Ph.D., has served as the President and CEO of The Citadel Foundation since 2013. Jay coordinates fundraising activity with the college’s five academic schools as well as the Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics and The Citadel Graduate College. Under his leadership, TCF publicly launched the $175 million Foundation for Leadership campaign in 2015, coinciding with The Citadel’s 175th anniversary in 2018, and raised in excess of $250 million. Before joining TCF, Jay served as VP for Development and Executive Director of the Francis Marion University Education Foundation (Florence, SC), VP for Advancement at Columbia College (Columbia, SC) and VP for institutional Advancement at Methodist College (Fayetteville, NC). He earned his BA in history from Winthrop University, his Master of Education from the University of South Carolina, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration with a cognate in Public Administration from USC as well. Jay currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), on the Board of Directors of the Alston Wilkes Society in Columbia, S.C., and on the Board of Directors for the SC United Methodist Conference for Camps and Retreat Ministries. A native of Bennettsville, SC, Jay currently resides in Mount Pleasant, SC, with his wife and two children. EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESThe Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB)Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat AloneRick Warren’s book Purpose Driven LifeDoris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of RivalsGoodwin’s book Leadership in Turbulent Times
60: Maximizing The Leadership Trio for Fundraising Success (Theresa Lee)  SUMMARYTheresa Lee has enjoyed an exceptional fundraising career, doing some of her best work in the greater Boston area for institutions like MIT, Boston College and Holy Cross.  Her advice on the critical “leadership trio” (the CEO/Executive Director, the Chief Development Officer and the Board Chair) is not only applicable to large institutions, but very relevant to any sized organization trying to maximize its senior staff and board leaders as fundraisers. In episode #60 of the Path Podcast, Theresa shares her insights on each of the three positions, and what they can do to maximize their individual roles as well as better interact with the other two. Lots of good ideas here, as well as bonus content on fundraising in a virtual setting!ABOUT THERESA For 25 years as a philanthropy executive at some of the top ranked universities in the country, Theresa has accumulated the skills and expertise that have enabled her to inspire and lead teams to fundraising success. And, now as a consultant and teacher, she provides advancement professionals with the tools they need to learn and grow. She has served as a senior executive in advancement during comprehensive campaigns at MIT, Boston College, Holy Cross, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and UMass Lowell. She has worked in a variety of advancement roles including major gift fundraising, management of annual and major gift fundraising teams, alumni and parent relations, human resources, and budget management. She is a leader in CASE District I, co-chairing the educational program for the annual conference for two years. As an instructor for Boston University's professional fundraising course and a frequent speaker for AFP, CASE, and WID, she has shared strategy and practical solutions with fundraising professionals from across the world in all types of non-profits. Theresa earned an M.A. in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University. As a proud graduate of the University of Maine, she serves as both an admissions ambassador and on the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESTheresa’s work through Responsive Fundraising Theresa’s firm TJL PartnersOne of Theresa’s appearances on The Fundraising Talent PodcastTheresa’s book recommendation: John Hope Bryant’s Love Leadership
59:  5 Keys to Leading Dynamic Virtual Meetings (Lea Williams)  SUMMARYEven before the pandemic, the lack of effective meetings was one of the biggest productivity challenges for many nonprofit organizations.  As a leader, you cannot afford to waste the collective time and talent of your staff, board and key volunteers. To offer practical advice for better meetings - especially in a virtual setting - Dr. Lea Williams shares her five keys for creating a more dynamic and productive culture when you bring your team together in episode #59 of the Path.  She discusses how to assess your “meeting ROI”, how to design a thoughtful agenda, how to prepare with purpose, how to master your virtual platform, and how to keep the momentum going.  Listen for these and other ideas to help you lead your nonprofit.  ABOUT LEALea is an Organizational Scientist who joined the PMA team in June of 2020. Prior to joining the firm, Lea dedicated her time to two main areas: earning her Ph.D. in Organizational Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and serving 15+ nonprofits through pro-bono consulting engagements through the Volunteer Program Assessment. In addition to her nonprofit work, while obtaining her Doctorate, Lea also worked in several Talent Management/Organizational Development roles at large organizations in Charlotte, such as Ingersoll Rand, Duke Energy, TIAA, and Jacobsen. Given her strong research background, she is skilled at gathering input and synthesizing it to help nonprofit leaders develop innovative solutions. Her specialties include meeting effectiveness (the subject of her dissertation), leadership, board, and staff training and development, data analysis (both quantitative and qualitative), strategic planning, survey design, stakeholder research, and volunteer retention/engagement. She also received her Master's in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Davidson College. EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESSteven Rogelberg’s book The Surprising Science of MeetingsRogelberg’s 10 Quick Tips to Make Remote Meetings WorkLea’s work at PMA through consulting and meeting facilitation
58: How to Make Nonprofit Leadership Your Dream Job (Carson Tate) SUMMARYGiven the uncertainty we all face right now, it is reassuring to speak with someone like Carson Tate who understands the challenges of maintaining personal and professional balance, as well as the nuances of productivity.  Carson offers great advice and resources for nonprofit leaders in Episode #58 of the Path, starting with an understanding of your personal productivity style, and how to adapt if your style does not match those you work with!  We also explored the origins of her first book on productivity, Work Simply, and the exciting debut of her second book, Own It, Love It, Make It Work: How to Turn Any Job into Your Dream Job.  Ready to jump start your personal and professional productivity?  This episode is a good place to start!ABOUT CARSONA dynamic teacher and coach, Carson is known for igniting personal transformation through her simple, powerful and actionable strategies and tools. She wants people to work smarter, not harder and is on a mission to debunk the time management myths that keep us trapped and overwhelmed, and help us personalize our productivity so we can work simply AND live fully. Carson has the professional magic and personal spark to ignite change quickly, easily, and efficiently. So many experts in the productivity space offer tools help people work smarter. But with Carson’s strategies comes a call to action for each of us navigating our fast-paced, results-driven world to look deeper into our lives to discover the meaning that drives us. Carson serves as a consultant, coach, and trainer to executives at Fortune 500 companies including (but not limited to) AbbVie, Deloitte, FedEx and Wells Fargo. The author of Work Simply and Own It. Love It. Make It Work, her views have also been included in top-tier business media including Bloomberg Businessweek, CBS Money Watch, Fast Company, Forbes, Harvard Business Review blog, The New York Times, USA Today, Working Mother and more. Carson holds a BA in psychology from Washington and Lee University, a Masters in Organization Development, and a Coaching Certificate from the McColl School of Business at Queens University.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESCarson’s resources for podcast listeners HEREPreorder a copy of Own It. Love It. Make it Work.What is your work style?  Take the Productivity Style Assessment Brene’ Brown’s book Dare to Lead
57: Bringing Authenticity to Nonprofit Leadership (Lisa Baxter)  SUMMARYLike many in the nonprofit sector, Lisa Baxter did not seek a role in philanthropy; the sector quite literally sought her out.  And while the path to nonprofit leadership has not always been accommodating to her, the lessons learned and wisdom gained has helped Lisa not only succeed but also provides valuable advice for other leaders on a similar career track.  In episode #57 of the Path podcast, Lisa discusses the systems she has in place to remain productive while balancing work and family, and also how she’s even more sensitive to the value of her time.  She also shares some great resources that have helped her develop her skills and encourage others to join the profession.ABOUT LISALisa is the Director of Major Gifts for MLK Community Health Foundation in Los Angeles and is responsible for the strategic direction and management of key donors and fundraising initiatives essential to developing, expanding and stewarding major philanthropic support for the hospital.  Lisa has worked in the nonprofit sector for 12 years including roles as the Director of Development for After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles (ASAS-LA), the Associate Director, Corporate Giving at Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Director of Corporate Development at Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles. Prior to Make-A-Wish, Lisa worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) for five years as an Associate Director, Major and Planned Gifts. Lisa began her career in nonprofit as a Match Support Specialist at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and earned her BA in English from Mount Saint Mary’s University and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Los Angeles (AFP-GLAC) and Conaxion a non-profit that supports small businesses in South LA with access to capital, technical assistance and resources needed to grow and thrive. Lisa is also the 2020 Chair of the AFP-GLAC I.D.E.A. (Inclusion. Diversity. Equity. Access.) Committee.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESWomen of Color in Fundraising and PhilanthropyCreating Safe Spaces for Crucial Conversations about Race: Virtual WorkshopLaura Frederick’s book The AskDale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends & Influence PeopleThomas Crane’s book The Heart of Coaching
56:  10 Essential Skills & Experiences for Nonprofit Leadership (Patton McDowell)SUMMARYThis episode of the Path Podcast, #56, includes a top-10 list of the most important skills and experiences necessary for successful nonprofit leadership:Lifelong Learning PlanPersonal OrganizationLeadershipNonprofit/SectorFinancial AcumenSpoken CommunicationWritten CommunicationListening/Conversation SkillsNetworkingStrategic PlanningABOUT PATTONPatton has spent his entire 30-year career helping talented individuals raise more funds and effectively lead their nonprofit organizations. After starting his consulting practice in 2009, he and his colleagues have worked with the leaders of more than 230 nonprofit organizations.  Before starting PMA Consulting, he spent a decade in higher education as Vice President for Advancement at Queens University after serving in the same role at UNC Wilmington, where he was the youngest vice chancellor in the UNC system. Prior to his tenure in higher education, he worked with volunteers from 85 different counties as the state Program Director for Special Olympics North Carolina and as an Assistant for Education & Training for Special Olympics International in Washington DC, where he helped design coach and volunteer training curriculum used worldwide. Patton grew up in Elizabeth City, NC, and went to UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar where he received a BA in English Education. He received his MBA from the McColl School of Business while working at Queens, and his Doctorate in Education (Organizational Change & Leadership) from the Rossier School at the University of Southern California. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), and a Master Trainer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International. He also serves as the Lead Faculty Member for the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership in Charlotte, where he works with aspiring nonprofit leaders through the New Development Directors program and coaches an annual cohort of Executive Directors and Chief Development Officers through Leadership Gift School. EPISODE RESOURCESPMA's Masterminds ProgramRegister for IPL's New Development Professionals ProgramDavid Allen’s book Getting Things Done Listen: What is Your Nonprofit Career Vision?
55: Recalibrating Your Fundraising Strategy as a Nonprofit Leader (Alison Singer) SUMMARYLike most nonprofit leaders, you are likely driven by passion for a cause that is meaningful to you.  Alison Singer is certainly a great example of that drive, but she has also taken her lifelong commitment to serving individuals and families with Autism and turned it into a national nonprofit called the Autism Science Foundation.  Her story is a fascinating one, and her podcast episode, #55 on the Path, also serves as a master class in the fundamentals of starting a nonprofit, and real-time adaptations to special event planning, fundraising and powerful online resources. We also discussed her organizational and team-building strategies during the pandemic, and what things she expects to continue beyond COVID-19.   ABOUT ALISONAlison is the Co-Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation and she manages the foundation’s strategy and directs it to fulfill its mission of supporting autism research and educating the public to increase awareness of autism and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. Alison has served on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) since 2007. She also currently serves on the executive board of the Yale Child Study Center, on the external advisory board of the Marcus Autism Center at Emory University, and on the external advisory board of the CDC’s Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Alison chairs the International Society for Autism Research public relations committee and is a member of the IMFAR program committee and community advisory committee. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ASF has launched several new programs to respond quickly to the changing needs of the autism community and make sure that critically needed autism research continues to progress. EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESThe Autism Science Foundation’s Day of Learning (September 22, 2020)The Autism Science Foundation’s Pivot Grants program The Autism Science Foundation’s Webinar Series for SiblingsAlison’s pick: Nir Eyal’s book Indistractable 
54: Building a Leadership Gift Culture at Your Nonprofit Organization (Chris McLeod) SUMMARYHow do you assure your nonprofit is in a position to receive Leadership Gifts?  Many nonprofit organizations dream of that type transformational donor investment, but fail to put themselves in a good position to receive one.  Chris McLeod knows all about that challenge, and helped co-found the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership - and its signature program called Leadership Gift School – to help organizations better articulate their case for leadership giving.  Chris and I had a great conversation about LGS on episode #54 of the Path Podcast, and also discussed the work she’s done over her 25-year nonprofit career in planned giving and in other fundraising settings.  Chris was also willing to open up about her battle with cancer and the career choices she’s made as a result of personal and professional challenges. ABOUT CHRISChris is the Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Duke University and her professional experience is wide-ranging prior to OLLI. It includes working as a Congressional Affairs Officer for the Office of Congressional Affairs with the Federal Emergency Management Agency; as Director of Corporate and Foundation Development for the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill; as Director of Fund Development and Planned Giving for the Carolinas HealthCare Foundation; as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for UNC-Charlotte; as Executive Director for The Greater Charlotte Cultural Trust of the Foundation For The Carolinas; and as founder and president of Giving Matters, Inc. (a consulting firm focused upon providing philanthropic counsel). In 2008, Chris was part of a group of philanthropy leaders in Charlotte who were inspired to develop a program to help educate nonprofit leaders about how to cultivate individuals for major gifts; this effort resulted in the creation of the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership and its inaugural program, the Leadership Gift School. Chris earned her bachelor’s degree in political science with honors from Wheaton College and a J.D. from American University. Following her graduation from American, she was admitted to the Maryland Bar. She has also completed the Bridges Program for Academic Leadership (Chapel Hill) and the Innovation Institute of the Transformational Leadership Program (McColl Center for Visual Arts). EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESRegister for IPL’s New Development Professionals or Leadership Gift School ProgramsApply for PMA’s Mastermind ProgramHenri Nouwen’s book A Spirituality of FundraisingOsha Davidson’s book The Best of EnemiesBruce Feiler’s book Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age
53: Building A Legacy Organization Through Nonprofit Leadership (Jeff Michael) SUMMARYEvery nonprofit organization has an upcoming anniversary, whether it’s their first, their 150th, or somewhere in between.  While simply celebrating an anniversary may not help your organization achieve strategic success, it may well provide a unique opportunity to raise awareness of your organization's history, as well as elevate your vision going forward.  That’s exactly what Jeff Michael and I discussed during episode #53 of the Path Podcast.  Jeff is the Director of UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, a unique and collaborative organization that partners with nonprofit and municipal entities to improve all aspects of the region it serves.  Jeff brings great insight not only from his leadership journey, but from how he’s embraced innovation during this time of virtual programming, and utilized his organization’s 50th anniversary to sharpen his vision for future success.  He also offers great suggestions for nonprofit leaders on their professional development plans, and how they might partner with organizations like his to make a data-driven case for support that is appealing to funders and to the community at large.    ABOUT JEFF Jeff received a BS in Business Administration and a Master of Regional Planning from UNC Chapel Hill, as well as a J.D. from the UNC School of Law. He is often called upon by the media and policy makers to draw upon his professional and personal knowledge of the Charlotte region to provide expert commentary on the economic, environmental and social issues facing the region. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Jeff has played a lead role in the creation of the Institute’s Charlotte Regional Indicators Project, and frequently lends his expertise in land use and environmental law to research projects. He also serves as acting Director of the RENCI@UNC Charlotte Engagement Center. Prior to coming to the Institute in 2003, Jeff served as Executive Director of the Wildacres Leadership Initiative in Durham, as founding Director of The Land Trust for Central NC in Salisbury, and founding Director of the Yadkin-Pee Dee Lakes Project in Badin. He was selected as a William C. Friday Fellow in 1997 and as an American Marshall Memorial Fellow in 2005. He serves on the boards of the Conservation Trust of NC, Wildacres Retreat, and The LandTrust for Central North Carolina, the Advisory Council of the Carolina Thread Trail, and the Trust for Public Land’s Carolinas Advisory Board.EPISODE TOPICS & RESOURCESFinding a University Public Service Institute through CUPSORaj Chetty’s research on economic mobility through Opportunity InsightsRon Heifetz’s book Leadership Without Easy AnswersJames Baldwin’s Collected Essays
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Comments (2)

Adam Cook

This podcast is a must for all development professionals. Dr. McDowell brings knowledge and credibility -- extremely valuable to non-profit leaders!

Nov 26th
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