At Connecting Coffee today: MANNA, Fleis


At Connecting Coffee today: MANNA, Fleisher, Women’s Way, Philly VIP, Juvenile Law Center, Philly Roller Girls + more


Announcing: Coaching for Development Officers












I am launching a coaching program for development officers. I will help you set and achieve your goals and provide emotional and tactical support.

Each coaching plan will be customized for the individual with two meetings each month.

Coaching clients will work with me directly in setting priorities and developing fundraising and acknowledgement programs and many other facets of fundraising. Please contact me directly if you’d like to know more.

Connecting Coffees: What we’ve learned in 2013







We’ve had two Connecting Coffees already in 2013, both of which were filled to capacity with talented and thoughtful people. I am trying to increase the frequency of the events to accommodate all of the people who are interested in these programs. Here’s what people said they’ve learned:

Volunteer Management

  • Loved the idea of encouraging volunteers to share their stories about why they volunteer and what they get out of it–and planning a way to capture those stories.
  • Using skill-based experiences and opportunities to recruit volunteers.
  • Ways to target potential volunteers based on skills.
  • That skills-based volunteering is something nonprofits want to do more often, but may not know how.
  • A volunteer program has many dimensions but deserves the time and investment of all staff.
  • How to establish legit coalitions of student volunteers on campus

Development Officers

  • Many organizations are understaffed for the work they want DD’s to do. Also, some orgs are in state of growth that requires a different staffing configuration.
  • Value of stewardship. Value of having conversations with people in your industry to learn more about what works (and doesn’t) for them.
  • The importance of an explicit thank you process in place.
  • I got some ideas on topics to bring up with my ED in terms of stewardship.
  • Great strategies for diversifying the stewardship process.
  • The benefits of formalizing a donor thank you policy with Board and Staff.
  • Fundraising is relationship building- it’s great to hear everyone’s experience with this.
  • Good Idea regarding acknowledgements, instituting an official policy and having artists make thank you calls.
  • I left the discussion with a lot of ideas. It’s a great forum to get people thinking about issues at work.

Thank you to everyone who participated!


Tara Nurin wrote a great article about Connecting Coffee for Generocity. Read about our interview in her post here.

Tara Nurin -- Journalist

Here are the stories I wrote for this year. It’s a nifty little website that, gasp, focuses on positive things happening in and around Philly. No, I don’t mean a bottle of Firestone Walker 17 Year Reserve showing up at the Pour House beer fest this summer. I mean non-profits and the people who run them striving to make the region a better place.

I just found out that the article I wrote about the collab between the Food Bank of South Jersey, Campbell Soup and local farmers was the most-viewed post of the year. Does this fact merit a mention on my resume? Nah, I didn’t think so either. Here it is, if you want to read it or know where to buy the Just Peachy Salsa.

I was very proud of this article, which describes the unprecedented greenliness of the Barnes Foundation. If you haven’t…

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How to Make Time for Yourself as a Nonprofit Professional



Nonprofit professionals are emotionally committed and professionally passionate about what they do. And they have to be, because working at a nonprofit organization certainly isn’t easy.

We’re not paid as well as our peers at for-profit organizations. We work long, sometimes erratic hours. We think about how to solve problems well into the night. We never have enough resources to do what needs to get done.

And the simplest thing can become difficult: no one added postage to the postage meter, so we dig into our purses for a stamp to get that letter out. No, we don’t have “people” to do that, we do that.

Compound those types of situations with additional stress: it’s time for the annual fundraising appeal, the grant application is due in 5 days, your client is headed to court, and someone forgot to add more postage to the postage meter.

We also don’t talk with our peers to find out what they’re working on, so we start to think we’re the only ones facing these issues.


Article written by Ashley Tobin for Generocity summarizing the November 2012 Connecting Coffee