How, when and why your organization goes after resources to continue its (mission-driven) efforts is the focus for an awful lot of attention in the nonprofit sector. As it should be. But, my experience suggests - and my book confirms - that plenty of this energy is misguided. So, I designed and deliver a potent, down-to-earth workshop to set matters straight. Whether in a group of six or 30, for two days or five, the focus is always on sharing strategy and tactics to strengthen your nonprofit's capacity to build its assets, from the outside and on the inside. The longer the session, the more substantial the products created in small groups, up to and including the presentation of proposals before a panel of peers; and the more detailed the conversations about where to locate prospective funding sources.
In recent years, the default workshop duration has settled at two days, and judging by the feedback, this works well for participants. The following from a Stanford Research Institute evaluation suggests as much.
"As in previous years, the most helpful trainings were those that dealt with funding and sustainability issues. In particular, trainings and technical assistance provided by Harvey Chess on funds development were again specifically mentioned by coordinators as being the most helpful."
What we need to do is wise up and recognize the need to pursue prospective resources well beyond the traditional emphasis on chasing grants. Grants still hold their allure, sure, but a healthy approach to developing your organization's capacity means broad outreach and developing connections, many of which exist beyond the realm of grants. My book takes this a step further.
"...all the media and communications savvy you can muster to deal with this emerging environment won't mean much if there is no clearly understood basis for articulating your message...the message about your organization and its work needs to be strong and steadfast. The message matters prominently."
You will leave my workshop understanding how to craft your message whether you are proposing, presenting, soliciting or marketing to secure resources for your nonprofit.
Working Together at Your Place
I've heard too many horror stories from people in nonprofits about using and paying consultants with little in the way of tangible benefits as a result. Consequently, I take no comfort in imagining myself a consultant, but do understand a thing or two about how nonprofits function. And I bring some long-held convictions about what makes good sense when it comes to presenting a nonprofit to the world around it.
So, it might be that we could get together to work face-to-face, especially to wrestle with how your organization goes about seeking resources to continue, and with the assurance that any work I would do in this regard would come to a mutually acceptable conclusion. In this regard, I only work with people in nonprofits, or those considering nonprofit pursuits, who are open to considering what may well be a different way of doing business - part of business as unusual as I've labeled it in my book.
If you can answer YES to the following questions, get in touch by email or phone, and let's continue to communicate.
- Are you interested in carefully considering the validity of your outfit's mission statement?
- Are you willing to consider program development from the perspective of the quality of life among the folks for whom your organization exists?
- Are you willing to look within your organization before presenting it out there for funding consideration?