NonProfit PRO asked two of its board members for their best advice on 2022 priorities. Here's what from Craig H. Shelley, CFRE, managing director at Orr Group; and Ashley Thompson, managing director of Blackbaud Institute shared.
I’d encourage leaders to focus on three overarching priorities in the year ahead:
- Tell your story in a way that connects to the larger problems facing society. The world needs to change; what role are you playing in shaping that change?
- Stop stewarding your donors and start engaging them. Donors don’t want to be passive passengers on your journey.
- Aim higher and be prepared to get there. Large philanthropic investment is more realistic than ever before. Position your organization to absorb and put capital to work.
No undiscovered new approach will come to exist post-pandemic that will hold all past tried-and-true tactics obsolete. The fundamental practice of listening and honoring preferences to build deep relationships with supporters still applies. However, the most significant new opportunity will be to tailor digital strategies that heed this golden rule. Now, with even greater demands for attention, continued long-term investment from multi-year supporters or establishing relationships with first-year donors will require purpose and intention more than ever.
Craig Shelley is a managing director at Orr Group, which provides nonprofits with strategy, fundraising, leadership and management solutions and has offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Craig brings an entrepreneurial approach to fundraising, nonprofit management and strategy. Prior to joining Orr Group, Craig served in a variety of positions with the Boy Scouts of America, most recently as the national director of development and corporate alliances. He serves on the executive committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ New York City Chapter and the editorial advisory board for Nonprofit PRO, and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).
Ashley Thompson is the managing director for the Blackbaud Institute. She is responsible for driving Blackbaud’s extensive research, thought leadership, and best practice content.
Through this role, she builds thoughtful strategies and solutions for the philanthropic sector utilizing the most comprehensive data set in the social good community. She also manages internal and external relationships for the Institute, including the convening of the Blackbaud Institute Advisory Board.
Ashley is active in the Austin community and participates in numerous groups as a volunteer, active board member, and collaborative partner.
She is a regular contributor to sgENGAGE, serves on the Giving USA Editorial Review Board, and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.