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The Consulting Rodeo

May 26th, 2011 7:19pm - Posted By: Caryn Capriccioso

A while back a nonprofit client said, “I can tell this ain’t your first rodeo.” His fellow board members, Rick and I all had a knowing chuckle—yes, you are right. We’ve done this before. We’ve helped a group like yours with similar problem like yours; several times, in fact. We bring their experiences to helping you through yours. We understand and know just what to do…

I know that this board member made the rodeo statement with the most positive of intentions. He was simply shining a light on our expertise and using a humor to make light of their tough circumstances. And it worked.

But, it also got me thinking about two ends of the consulting continuum:

1.  Making sure the client feels comfortable and confident in your ability to help them through this (often) common issue, problem or situation they are not sure how to face. You can help because you’ve seen this thing many times, yo ...

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A picture's worth a big ole bunch of words

January 6th, 2011 9:59am - Posted By: Caryn Capriccioso

In the nonprofit sector, we’re good with words. We can pound out 40-page federal grant proposals in a day. We write annual appeals, annual reports, board updates and program brochures in our sleep.

Yet I am continually reminded of the incredible power of translating our words into images that can make our point clearly, simply and easily. Here’s the wordy version of my epiphany:

We all know that donor motivations are changing. This is our work, our field. We know that they want more data. We know that they have been schooled in the importance of evaluation and outcomes. We’re aware that more and more opportunities are available to our donors each and every day – to give to other organizations, but most of all to invest in causes they truly care about.

Much has been written and shared at conferences about this phenomenon, yet when I talk with boards of directors I sometimes hear: “Yes, this is what our staff has been ...

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