Among the most important decisions an organization will make is selecting its leader. Yet, a recent study estimated that while 66% of nonprofit executives expect to leave their jobs within five years, only 13% of nonprofit organizations have succession plans. If selecting its top executive is so critical, and one of the few variables over which a nonprofit has total control, how do we get it right?
Aimée Miller, Senior Vice President & Partner, focuses her client work at Fairmount Ventures on resource development strategy, program design, and annual and campaign fundraising to benefit a diverse mix of arts, civic, environmental, education, health, and human service organizations. Much of Aimée’s work leverages her expertise as a writer and editor by crafting compelling messaging to help nonprofits increase revenues from public and private sources. Aimée earned a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied at the Annenberg School for Communication. MORE
Molly Botnick, Associate, is dedicated to helping nonprofits pursue social justice and to assist them in serving their communities more effectively. With a background in social work and direct service, she brings a ground-level perspective of the issues facing underserved Philadelphians to Fairmount Ventures. Molly earned her B.A. in International Studies at Kenyon College. MORE
The aphorism “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, while apocryphally attributed to Peter Drucker, is a powerful insight irrespective of who said it first. How many of us have developed great plans only to have our ideas not reach full potential, despite best efforts? We spend considerable time focused on the stuff we can see and think we can control – procedures, technology, staffing – at the peril of giving insufficient attention to the stuff we cannot, or choose not, to see: organizational culture. MORE
In May the Philadelphia Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation joined forces to launch On the Table Philly. On the Table was an initiative to engage area residents in open dialogue and to inspire solutions around the topics of participants’ choosing that can strengthen Philadelphia communities. A team of Fairmount Ventures staff decided to jump in to this inaugural round of On the Table conversations by convening members of the region’s nonprofit organizations around this question: “How do we support the nonprofit sector’s passionate workforce and retain the talent critical to ensuring the effectiveness of your work and the vibrancy of the sector?” MORE
Adela Smith, Vice President & Partner,relies on social work values and a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities nonprofit leaders face when planning for their future. She develops business, fundraising, and board development strategies for Fairmount’s clients that are at once ambitious and achievable. Adela earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice. MORE
Despite the daily barrage of head-spinning news coming out of Washington, let’s not lose sight of a few facts back here in Philadelphia:
- Many Philadelphians are angry about federal policies that hurt us, and are motivated to respond.
- We live in a wealthy region with a long history of people coming together to solve problems.
- We have effective nonprofits with intellectual and human capital in need of financial capital.
How do we move from problem to motivation to action? It may be a long distance run, but there is a path. Forget for a moment supply and demand; let’s demand a supply. For starters, recent research has established that people are ready to donate more money to causes they care about. MORE
Edwin Harvey, Associate, uses his skills in research and analysis to help Fairmount’s clients realize their missions and grow their capacities. Edwin has a B.A. from the George Washington University, a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley. MORE
The Opportunity? An Additional $323 Million to Share
Philadelphia has done a good job of organizing people in response to the immediate challenges to federal policies. People from all walks of life have joined together to say “no” to measures that reduce opportunities for people and communities. But resistance is not enough; it is equally critical to succeed in creating better futures for people and places in order to demonstrate that equitable public policies and practices generate results. What if we provide avenues for concerned people to be able to say “yes” to positive change by also organizing money? MORE
We’re back with another edition of ‘Get to Know Fairmount Ventures’, a series of short Q+A’s with our team members, showcasing the many passions and personalities behind our firm. MORE