Blog




Cosmic Reshuffle

When organizations come to us for grant writing support, they are usually in pain. One of the most common sources is the pain of CHANGE! We are witnessing many community organizations experiencing staffing changes. Executives are leaving their posts to recharge. Development professionals are swapping hats to take on fresh fundraising challenges. Grant makers continue to […]

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GROW DANG IT

Up Front Investments One of the first things I ask nonprofit leaders when we meet is: Do you have money allocated for fundraising? Designating funds is often the first step. In planting a garden, we invest time and energy. We invest in seeds, fertilizer, and a drip system. Without these investments, we can’t expect to harvest a garden […]

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World Of Fundraising Pain

4 PAIN POINTS When organizations come to us for grant support they are usually in pain. Are any of these YOU? You need to submit MORE proposals! Your team is so busy, you know that you’re leaving money on the table but you’re already busy doing all of the other fundraising work. You need someone to write and submit […]

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Stay Loose 12/1/20

Thanksgiving weekend/break was 5 days of solo parenting for Team Sample. Both of our pandemic babysitters are out of commission. One awaiting COVID test results and the other taking a leave of absence after losing a family member. Our family feels like a beautiful island with mostly virtual bridges. I’m realizing how much this island […]

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We We We…All The Way Home

Power in WE This weekend I opened my inbox to an email I dreaded receiving. There is a COVID positive case in the student body at my daughter’s school, Escuela Del Sol. Because of the shared agreements in the community, the family quarantined immediately when they learned of exposure. The child tested positive at home and […]

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C Is For Culture

We’ve been at this pandemic thing for a while now. We have a little data to chew on. Of specific interest to me is how healthy organizations have pivoted. I believe looking at recent innovation will speak volumes to how nonprofits will adapt in the future. A nimble nonprofit with business acumen should be able to discuss the […]

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What Can I Do About It?

As a professional writer of grants and appeals, I pay close attention to my mindset while I’m at my craft. When building my case, if my optimism wavers, I stop and investigate. In Marianne Williamson’s Law of Divine Compensation‘s chapter entitled “Positivity,” she describes three kinds of positivity necessary to open to abundance: positivity towards […]

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Collab-a-tition

I’m not going to lie. I’m competitive. One year in my 20s, my New Year’s resolution was to be a better loser. I’ve grown a lot since then. Recently I had an inspiring chat with–Tara Gohr President and CEO of the Grant Plant. As more clients and community members have begun to ask me for projections and […]

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You and the F Word: Part II

In the field, I’m seeing nonprofits exhibit a range of responses to the pandemic. How an organization has pivoted so far will speak volumes to how they will approach adapting in the future. A nimble nonprofit with business acumen should be able to discuss the following with clear examples: New needs or difficulties (financial, staffing, […]

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You and the F-Word

The F-word–Future. Don’t we all wish we had a crystal ball right now? It can be so tempting to try to pin down what will happen in the coming months. But is that the most helpful way to spend our mental energy? Scenario Planning is some of the most critical work organizations can do these […]

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Black Lives Matter: Sample Consulting Studio Statement Regarding Systemic Inequality

At the writing of this statement, it has been 77 days since George Floyd was murdered and an explosion of rage, solidarity, and demands for justice echoed through our nation and globe. In the days that followed, I received dozens of emails from companies donating a portion of sales to organizations fighting systemic racism, making […]

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The Power of Team

Sample Consulting is rounding the corner on year four of serving nonprofits with grant writing, fundraising appeal writing and development planning services, and I’m thrilled to introduce our first staff team member, Helen Robertson. Helen and I have been working together for a year and I’ve witnessed her consistently raising the vibration of all the projects […]

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Quarantinspiration

One of the ways I’ve been coping during the tumult of our times is reading. My recent quarantine reading has included memoirs and essays by three authors who write about finding greater depth and resonance with their own voices as histories as artists, activists and writers. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, […]

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Do The Pivot

In the Johnson Center’s Report “11 Trends for Philanthropy in 2020” they list Corporate Social Responsibility as number 10. Here’s an inspiring story of reinvention that includes two business owners pivoting to launch a corporate philanthropy program. Meet restaurant owners Lee and Bryna of LB Kitchen in Portland, Maine. L&B went through an incredible transition […]

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Taking Yes For An Answer

I still have a job. My paycheck hasn’t changed. I haven’t been unable to pay rent. Nobody that I know personally has died. And yet, here I am trying to find a home for my feelings of loss, grief, and guilt. Recently I had a chat with my father, one of the wisest men I […]

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Taking Care of Your Frontline Fundraisers

You’re talking about how to take care of your donors. You’re talking about how to keep your organizations sustainable. You’re talking about how to best meet your missions. Here are 8 innovative ideas for taking care of your frontline fundraising staff: Be responsive. Prioritize your fundraiser’s requests. If they need information, documentation, your ear or […]

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What are 3 local funders up to?

FUNDER’S CORNER:  How 3 local funders are responding and learning in the age of COVID 19. It can be easy to fall into the habit of projecting how foundations operate. They have the money (and power, financial security, etc.), nonprofit organizations don’t, and in moments of crisis many struggling nonprofits find themselves speculating over what […]

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4 Questions for Self-Reflection amidst COVID-19

My first week of home quarantine with my daughter was a shock. If you’re a parent you can likely relate. Her 2.5-year-old routines were turned upside down, and many of my entrenched habits similarly came to a grinding halt. It was hard on both of us. As I grappled with having two full time jobs […]

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Support for Each Other: There Is Hope

As I’m listening, watching, and experiencing the early, but already devastating impacts of our Pandemic, I am thinking about all of the incredible loss of life, loved ones and livelihoods occurring at a rapid pace. We are clearly just beginning our battle with COVID-19. In the mix of personal and community upheaval, I’m asking myself: What […]

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Nonprofit running a business? The future is here.

DreamTree Project in Taos is taking the plunge. I’ve talked to half a dozen non-profits this year interested in social enterprise. Social enterprise is widely acknowledged as a good idea. But not everyone is willing to take the risk. What pushed DreamTree over the line of caution into new territory in search of sustainable, predictable […]

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The Gift of Giving

The season for giving now includes giving away gifts. This blog post will take a look at the trend to donate gifts for birthdays, weddings, bar mitzvahs to the celebrant’s charity of choice and the potential impact that it has on the community. I picked up the phone to make a thank you call to […]

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3 Qualities of a Trustworthy Non-Profit

Having worked for a variety of non-profits, I draw clear connections between how a non-profit communicates and their values.

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