Leadership and The Workplace

Nonprofit Spark

Renee McGivern

Nonprofit Spark – Transforming a nonprofit culture to embrace individual fundraising 06/18/12

On this week’s show, we focus on a non-profit that is emerging in the communities it serves. It recently initiated individual fundraising activities after almost 30 years of relying exclusively on government funding. Spending time and money on individual fundraising requires a huge cultural shift for the staff and board; many leaders of established human service agencies are understandably fearful of this change.

Our guest is Nancy Batterman, the CEO of Employment and Community Options, a San Diego-based nonprofit that serves adults with developmental disabilities in both southern and northern California. She has been with the organization since it began, and the time and energy she’s now putting into fundraising has altered her day to day focus dramatically. And guess what? She’s enjoying every minute of it.

We talk about how the culture is shifting with the board and the staff, and Nancy has some very specific examples of what she’s done to engage them in fundraising. She discusses how they’ve been working with a fundraising consultant and even a p.r. agency, something totally new for her organization.

A great companion show to this one is an interview I did with Keenan Weller of LiveWorkPlay, an Ottawa-based nonprofit that also serves people with developmental disabilities. He talks about how his organization has shifted its focus from being program-concentrated to using marketing and community engagement strategies. The show is titled “A nonprofit reinvents itself: LiveWorkPlay takes on social change.” It aired the week of April 16, 2012.

Nancy Batterman, like Keenan Weller, is an incredibly inspiring leader. Nothing stops her from making sure the people her organization serves find jobs and live independently, even if it means learning to be a great fundraiser. And you know what? If she can do this, you can do this.