Everything changed for nonprofit organizations in 2020, from the way philanthropy managed grantee selection, funding strategy, and reporting, down to trying to find a quiet enough room to host a 50-person Zoom call with your board and staff members. The challenges of this watershed year manifested differently for organizations of varying sizes and missions, but though we were all in different boats, it was certainly the same rough and unpredictable ocean.Continue reading
This fall, Fairmount’s introducing readers to the newer members of our team, who’ve arguably made the most adaptive shifts to consulting in abnormal times this year. Chelsea Hicks, Project Manager, joined the team pre-pandemic and has since been advising clients remotely and connecting with teammates via our virtual “hub”. Her experience and facility with organizational process, stakeholder engagement and communications, and finance advances a range of client strategic planning and executive search projects. Chelsea also plays a leadership role on Fairmount’s staff-led Social Justice Committee. She earned her B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College. Continue reading
Fairmount recently shared our three steps to capital campaign readiness that are essential to any organization planning for this marathon fundraising journey: 1) a compelling vision, 2) ready leadership, and 3) ardent supporters. There are simple, yet impactful, things you can do now in each of these areas to get ready for launch. Focus on answering these three questions and your capital campaign plan is underway: Continue reading
Is there a capital campaign on the horizon for you? Maybe it’s a year away, maybe five years. Either way, today’s the day to start getting ready.
Campaigns aren’t business as usual: they’re an all-hands-on-deck effort to raise a lot of money in a specific period of time. Even the strongest organizations need to up their game. In Fairmount’s experience, three key elements need to be in place, preferably before a campaign starts, in order to be successful: Continue reading
This fall, Fairmount’s introducing readers to the newer members of our team, who’ve arguably made the most adaptive shifts to consulting in abnormal times this year. Rae Pagliarulo, Project Manager, has quickly established herself as a “word wizard” among clients for her swift, skillful, and highly strategic messaging in all forms of grant proposals and donor communications. Rae also plays a leadership role on Fairmount’s staff-led Social Justice Committee. She earned herB.A. in Liberal Arts from West Chester University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. Continue reading
Fairmount’s recurring spotlight on our expert team of consultants is back from hiatus! This fall, we’ll be introducing readers to staff engaged in the past year, who’ve arguably made the most adaptive shifts to consulting in abnormal times. Jennifer Rubin, Associate, supports community-based and institutional clients through her superior research, writing, and organizational skills, bringing a consultant’s sense of deep curiosity to every engagement. Jenny also models her commitment to equity as a member of Fairmount’s staff-led Social Justice Committee. She earned her B.A. in International Development and Social Change and an M.A. in Community Development and Planning from Clark University. Continue reading
We usually look askance when someone suggests that the nonprofit sector should function more like the for-profit world, but that doesn’t mean we cannot learn from it. In the for-profit sector, growth through merger or acquisition is one option among several routinely considered in a strategic planning process. Doing so is pro forma. Many companies work towards getting acquired as a means to expand their reach, gain access to needed investment for infrastructure, or attract and retain top talent. Others keep it on the table as a foil to test internal growth options. Yet, nonprofit organizations typically consider merger as a last resort, often only in face of impending financial collapse. To be ‘acquired’ is deemed tantamount to failure in the nonprofit sector.
Why the difference? Continue reading
Throughout the month of August, you may have seen articles, blog posts, and interviews in honor of Black Philanthropy Month, a global effort to elevate and celebrate Black and African-descent giving. As so much of our work at Fairmount Ventures is rooted in navigating and leveraging philanthropy to strengthen and support the missions of our clients – hundreds of incredible nonprofit organizations spanning the Greater Philadelphia region – these resources have sparked essential conversations about how we operate internally, and how we approach our work. Continue reading
Fairmount Ventures has been reaching out to nonprofit leaders over the past few months to learn how they are responding to the COVID crisis in order to glean lessons learned to inform the sector. Here’s what we’ve found: leaders who were savvy and forward-thinking before the crisis are bringing that same idea-generation approach to the world they are navigating today. While every organization faces its own amalgam of internal circumstances and external challenges, our team has identified some useful approaches worthy of closer examination. Continue reading
The current moment begs a difficult question: not, “What are our values?” but, “How do we turn our values into action?”
We like so many others, are realizing – the path to justice is paved with good intentions. We may mean well, but we have to do better.
We stand with those who demand justice for Black lives; those who protest the complex systems of oppression that define our society; those who have suffered at the hands of police brutality and white supremacy; those who work tirelessly to connect communities and support our city’s most vulnerable.