from the Latin: of one mind, in harmony
The nonprofit sector is in crisis. The days of well meaning people, doing un-evaluated good, and relying on checkbook philanthropy are over. Today, nonprofits must be nimble, strategic minded, and adept at taking calculated risks while influencing an array of stakeholders. Unfortunately, a nonprofit leadership crisis is leading to pickier donors, out-of-control boards, and rogue staff members. At all levels – nonprofit boards, senior staff, and staff – there’s a troubling lack of knowledge about how to run nonprofits and virtually no investment in leadership training. The results speak clearly. Almost half of nonprofits have hired new head leaders in the last two years, and over two-thirds of leaders plan on moving on within the next five years. Now more than ever, nonprofits need solid, researched, practical leadership training. Moreover, half of younger workers say that, next to pay, professional development is a strong motivator for staying with an employer. Where nonprofits can’t compete on salary, meaningful leadership training programs can still help them compete for top talent.
Fundraising issues are leadership issues
In 2003, our founder Marc A. Pitman started FundraisingCoach.com to help nonprofits stabilize and grow revenue. Although fundraising remains a top issue for nonprofit leaders, Marc saw other areas key leadership deficits that urgently needed attention, including:
- a lack of transition planning (as nonprofit leaders reach retirement age)
- a growing demand for organizational transparency (often led by technological changes)
- the blurring lines between “business,” “government,” and “nonprofit” (which result in increased competition for nonprofit dollars).
Marc saw that poor leadership trumped great fundraising every time. Educating CEOs, orienting boards, and training staff on essential nonprofit leadership skills was just as important as raising money. CLG was launched to help nonprofits improve nonprofit leadership at all levels reduce staff turnover, train boards on leading nonprofits and helping clients set up systems for better organizational leadership at all levels.
Treating the cause, not just the symptoms
At CLG, we help our nonprofit clients create lasting change, improve staff performance & satisfaction, navigate strained relations, even with hostile labor unions, and help CEO’s and boards avoid self-sabotaging systems and achieve sustainable success.
CLG utilizes a proven approach based on ongoing proprietary research, decades of industry experience, and experiential tools tailored to your specific situation. Our approach centers on:
- helping leaders and organizations discover their talents and strengths
- ensuring that leaders focus on what matters—rather than what worked 50 years ago
- creating a unified vision that inspires boards, staff, and those they serve
- giving executive directors and CEOs an informed, “safe” sounding board
- holding clients accountable without making them look “wishy-washy” or “dumb”
If you work at a nonprofit experiencing leadership churn, are a nonprofit CEO feeling split apart by the staffs’ and boards’ competing demands, or a fundraising professional seeking increased revenue or donor retention, the Concord Leadership Group can help with a range of programs for nonprofit leaders, boards and teams.
Concord Leadership Group founder Marc A. Pitman helps leaders, especially in nonprofits, lead their teams with more effectiveness and less stress. He’s the author of “Ask Without Fear!®,” the executive director of TheNonprofitAcademy.com, and an Advisory Panel member of Rogare, a prestigious international fundraising think tank.
Marc’s expertise and enthusiasm engages audiences around the world and has caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Al Jazeera, SUCCESS Magazine, and Fox News. Marc tweets regularly at @marcapitman.
He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family!
Over the past 16 years, Marc’s organizational and leadership coaching and trainings have helped tens of thousands of nonprofits advance their missions, meet revenue goals, and improve the lives of their staff and supporters including clients like the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Georgetown University, In Defense of Animals, Habitat for Humanity, and the Association of the U.S. Army.
Marc’s first move toward leadership coaching in nonprofits began in 1997 in his first fundraising position. At the time, he was coached by his boss, a skilled fundraiser, through asking for major gifts in a final phase of a multimillion dollar campaign. Coaching quickly helped Marc get comfortable with asking for large gifts and keeping the relationships with donors long after the campaign was over.
In the early 2000’s, Marc was promoted to a leading role in a development office. But as is typical in nonprofits, his new position required him to still meet the goals of his previous position. So he engaged a leadership coach to help meet the sometimes conflicting demands that were arising. Leadership coaching helped him identify and leverage his core talents, better understand the people he worked with, and shape the fundraising work to shape goals in concert with his strengths and the strengths of his team. He found his stress levels went down even as his professional effectiveness increased.
Throughout the next decade, Marc amassed experience in working with boards, creating internal systems, and running all aspects of fundraising programs including annual funds, grants, planned giving programs, alumni relations, and special events. He also ran or worked in a dozen capital campaigns. As the leader of fundraising for a community hospital, he became involved with internal coaching as he helped shape the hospital’s “Leadership Institute,” their leadership development program for employees. There he helped assessed the needs of managers and their staff’s, hired trainers, and created action plans to ensure the ROI of the trainings.
Marc received a Masters of Organizational Leadership, culminating with a staff retention benchmark study entitled “Faculty Retention on a Shoestring” to help independent schools retain key faculty members. He became a Certified FranklinCovey Coach, started FundraisingCoach.com, wrote the first book in the Ask Without Fear!® series, and started giving on-demand training at TheNonprofitAcademy,com. Throughout the decade, he strove to get the best leadership and fundraising training to all nonprofits, whatever the size of their professional development budget
Over the years, Marc has coached leaders from organizations with less than $100,000 in revenue to those with over $200 million in revenue. He’s trained the top major gift officers of national and international organizations like Habitat for Humanity International, Georgetown University, and KLOVE/Air 1. And he has coached new nonprofit CEOs who were transitioning into leadership roles either from the private sector or as a hire from within the nonprofit sector.
Marc is regularly sought out by broadcast and print media to speak about leadership and philanthropy and he travels around the world speaking to teams and keynoting at conferences.