Nonprofit Executive Consulting
Consulting Tailored to Meet Your Needs
Your nonprofit leadership is unique and deeply personal. You face countless challenges, make tough decisions, and navigate complex situations every day. That’s where consulting comes in. As your executive consultant, I am here to help you achieve your goals, overcome obstacles, and seize opportunities that can take your leadership to the next level.
My Style, Your Goals
When asked to describe my consulting style, I’ll typically respond “A combination of Mr. Rogers and Yoda." Mr. Rogers was beloved for his kindness and inclusion of everyone's ideas and input. And Yoda was a wise old guru that didn't have time to give to someone who wasn't serious about learning and growing. Like these two, I’m here to help guide your journey with great listening skills, candid feedback, challenging skill drills, and deep expertise and experience in nonprofit leadership and fundraising.
Toward that end, I will co-design a customized curriculum with you to address your specific leadership goals. This curriculum will provide you with practical tools and strategies that you can implement right away. And, because your time is valuable, I may ask you to do 25 to 35 minutes of homework between sessions — so you can continue to reinforce your progress outside of our consulting sessions.
Let’s work together to help you and your nonprofit thrive!
01. Sleeves UpWe’re builders and doers. We can create a meaningful strategy and get down to brass tacks. No one is too good or over qualified to handle the tactical work. In fact, we thrive in the execution phase of any project just as much as we love brainstorming about big ideas. And if you want to roll up your sleeves, too, well, we're good with that.
02. Use Your Unique AbilitiesWe all have abilities ands gifts that only we possess. No one is exactly like me (thank God), or like you. We celebrate our differences as much as our similarities. It's important to to what you do best, and give others the freedom to do the same. We're not robots and so why should we act like ones?
03. All Hands on DeckA call for all members of a ship's crew to come to the deck, usually in a time of crisis. We're under attack! All hands on deck! Our team is effective because they work together, and every issue requires multiple brains working on the problem. Our team loves this approach because it gets to the best solutions so much quicker and makes us look like the rock stars we are! Hey, we've got to pat ourselves on the back occasionally, right?
04. Do Your HomeworkYou know the Boy Scout Motto "Always be prepared?" That philosophy permeates everything we do here. We need to show up ready to solve the most pressing problems. We can only do that if we have gathered all the facts and have had time to think of solutions. That doesn't always happen on the spot, so it's important to do the homework and come to class prepared. My college professor would be so proud I said that.
05. Make Time FlyTime flies when you’re having fun, and we lose track of it all the time. A work day (and life) is too short to dwell on the obstacles, so we choose to focus on the opportunities, build an alternative path, and probably laugh too much while we’re at it.
Who Can Benefit from Consulting?
First-time executive directors who want to be successful. Every first-time executive director experiences an 18-month transition period that ultimately determines their success in their new position. In addition to building an effective relationship with the Board, the first-time executive director must also develop an elementary understanding of all functional areas within the organization.
Executives who are responsible for implementing a strategic or fundraising plan. Once the Board approves a strategic plan or fundraising plan, the real work begins. Since you as the organization’s executive are now responsible for implementing the plan, your coach is invaluable in helping you remain focused on implementation.
Executives who are experiencing significant conflict with the Board. Being an executive director is especially lonely when there is tension with the Board. You can’t share this information with other staff in your organization, nor can you seek support from other executive directors without potentially harming your organization’s reputation. Your coach can help you understand the sources of conflict with your Board and navigate them.
Executives who are leading organizations that are facing a crisis. All organizations face crises at various points in their life cycle — perhaps it’s the sudden loss of a leader, a dramatic reduction in funding, a faltering fundraising campaign, or instability among key organizational partners. No one should face a crisis without support, and your consultant can offer an independent perspective to help you resolve the crisis.
Executives who are experiencing professional stagnation. Sometimes you just feel stuck. Maybe you lost passion for your work, been repeatedly passed over for internal promotions, or unsuccessfully applied for a new position. In these situations, your consultant helps you identify the reasons you are not making progress and works with you to create a plan for moving forward.
What is the role of a consultant?
To describe the broader context of your situation.
While every situation is unique, it is helpful to understand whether your experience is commonly shared among nonprofit professionals and to learn how they successfully navigated similar issues.
To help you learn the skills necessary for success.
We are often selected for a new role based on success in a prior position. Consequently, you may start an executive-level position with many – but not all – of the necessary skills.
To share possible opportunities or dangers you might not see.
Every one of us can get so wrapped up in the minutia of managing a department or agency that we miss possible opportunities or dangers. Your consultant will highlight potential opportunities and risks and help you assess them.
To guide you through a process or specific period in your career.
Sometimes you need some help and guidance implementing a plan, completing a new process, or navigating a difficult situation. Much like an expedition guide, your consultant can help prepare you for the path forward.
To serve as an accountability partner.
Your consultant will ensure you have a plan for achieving your goals and will be there to support you as you implement it.
To help you identify strategies for overcoming the obstacles in your way.
Everyone experiences obstacles in their job, and your consultant will help you consider strategies to reduce or eliminate obstacles so you can achieve your goals.
What are the limitations of consultant?
Consulting is not a replacement for legal, accounting, or mental health services.
Your consultant is not an attorney, accountant, or mental health professional. Your consultant will not provide services in these areas (though we can certainly recommend some great professionals).
Consulting is a team effort.
Every consultant agrees “you get out of consulting what you put into it.” Your consultant holds your schedule sacred and asks that you do the same. Though both you and the consultant will work around planned vacations, your big events, and unplanned family emergencies, we also ask that you schedule time to prepare for each session.
Consulting is not a replacement for hiring staff or recruiting manpower help.
Sometimes , you get so excited to find help that you forget your consultant is not a member of your staff and does not take on assignments to implement your projects. While we will advise you on the things you can do to have an impact, writing grants or calling on others on your behalf, for example, is not what we do. Please be sensitive to the nature of our relationship.
A note on confidentiality.
Since we consultant with you as a person and not an organization, we hold the information discussed confidential to the greatest extent possible. For this reason, we will not respond to requests for information from your supervisor, a Board member, or others in your organization. We will, however, disclose the information you share if we believe there is illegal activity or if required by a subpoena.
Why Use a Raiser Sharp Consultant?
You want a consultant who has been where you want to go and has taken others there as well. We have . . . .
Significant executive leadership experience (in permanent executive director and board chair roles).
A keen understanding of the relationship between the Board and executive director.
Significant fundraising experience (in the areas of individual giving, major donors, special events, and grant writing).
Shown ourselves to be both planners and doers, able to create the steps to get you from your point A to your point B, and motivate you to climb them.
Consulted nonprofit executives in the areas of plan implementation, Board relations, fundraising, and problem solving.
The cost is $15,000 for a full year’s commitment. This includes up to 22 bi-weekly sessions and significant support between sessions (typically about one hour between each session). The consulting fee is payable monthly at $1,250 per month.
Joseph J. Morrison, Jr.
Founder & CEO
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
Get in touch and we can have a chat about how Raiser Sharp Consulting can help you turn chaos into clarity.
Note: All meetings are scheduled as a Zoom video call.