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Nonprofit Leadership Lab

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Attention: Nonprofit Board and Staff Leaders...

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So You Want to Build a
Thriving Nonprofit

I'm glad you're here.

Are you ready...

  • To grow your programs and inspire more people to engage in the work?
  • To become a "workplace of choice?"
  • To create financial stability?
  • To build an organization where everyone works together, smartly, toward the fulfillment of your mission?

Then you – and your nonprofit – are ready to thrive.

And, if that's what you want for your nonprofit, then stay with me, because you're in the right place.

You stepped up and became a leader at a smaller nonprofit because you wanted make a real difference...

When you raised your hand to help lead a nonprofit you did something truly wonderful.

You advocate, educate, provide services, and repair the world in ways large and small.

The world is changing and nonprofits – and their leaders – need to step up their games right now.

Your nonprofit needs to succeed and there are a lot of people desperately counting on you to make it happen. Truly, there is no time to waste.

Do you have the resources you need to help your nonprofit thrive?

But everything seems kind of out of control...

Nonprofits are messy. They're hardwired that way.

There’s rarely enough money, too many cooks, and an abundance of passion. Messy.

As the leader of a nonprofit – especially a smaller one – this messiness makes you feel exhausted and overwhelmed a lot of the time. You’re being pulled in a million directions and sometimes you feel all alone.

Any of these sound familiar?

  • An Executive Director who can’t possibly take a vacation – ever – because if she missed a week all the work would literally stop.
  • A sole staff member that could have oh-so-much more impact if only there was remotely adequate funding.
  • A board chair who often bickers with the Executive Director and is frustrated that board members don't raise nearly enough money.

I bet they do. Messy.

You think large nonprofits must have it SO much easier... (and in some ways they do)

Wouldn't it be so nice to have a board with deep pockets? A large staff? A brand everyone has heard of?

Sure. Big nonprofits have some nice advantages. Though many of these challenges can happen at big nonprofits too.

In many ways smaller nonprofits have it tougher.

Why? Because larger, well-funded nonprofits have the capacity to get outside help. They can hire consultants, fundraising experts, have their board get expensive ongoing training, spend for professional development opportunities or expensive donor software.

That’s a big advantage.

But at a smaller nonprofit like yours? Not a chance.

It’s a big problem. And one I aim to fix.

Who am I exactly?

Hi there. 

I'm Joan Garry, a big champion of the nonprofit sector.

I'm a consultant and published author on nonprofit leadership, a regular panelist on NBC's Emmy awarding winning show "Give", and the founder of the Nonprofit Leadership Lab. I'm also a popular blogger and podcaster on nonprofit leadership issues and I teach at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

In my work with thousands of nonprofits all across America, and through my own staff experience as the Executive Director of GLAAD as well as my board experience as a committee chair, I've seen first hand the challenges that nonprofit leaders like you face every day.

And I totally get it...

I really do.

I know all about the struggles of nonprofit leaders from deep experience.

For nearly a decade I served as the Executive Director of GLAAD, a nonprofit that at the time had a bigger name than a bank account.

On my first day on the job, I met with our CFO and learned we only had $360 in the bank, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and payroll due in a week for 18 employees.

And as the brand new ED, I was somehow supposed to fix it all.

But here's the thing. I had never done a lick of fundraising in my entire life and there was nobody around to guide me on what to do. Well, certainly nobody who had been in my shoes. I felt overwhelmed and alone.

So I totally get it. But, with all that being said, I've got good news.

You can change your situation. You can create a thriving nonprofit – no matter your size. You can help so many more people.

That's what I did.

And I'm going to help you do just that.

Introducing the
Nonprofit Leadership Lab

The Nonprofit Leadership Lab provides staff and board leaders just like you with the education, support, and community you need to build a thriving nonprofit today.

No more feeling alone or overwhelmed.

Together, we can turn your work into the dream job it was meant to be.

Don’t wait one day longer. The world is counting on us.

So what IS the Nonprofit Leadership Lab?

The Nonprofit Leadership Lab is the world's best online program for nonprofit leaders.

The Lab is here to guide you, teach you, and support you. And that's just what you'll get.

An outstanding education, support when you need it, and a community of nonprofit leaders just like you who are there to network with and lean on.

Imagine what would it mean for you if:

  • Your nonprofit functioned a whole lot better
  • Your day-to-day work became a whole lot more fun, energizing, and meaningful
  • And your ability to impact the world became a lot more significant

You don't have to imagine.

Hint: It's less than the cost of your daily coffee
(Much less if we're talking Starbucks...)

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In the Nonprofit Leadership Lab you get the three key things every nonprofit leader needs...

1) Outstanding Training

So let's talk about how the Lab works. What you'll get when you join.

All course materials, instruction, and downloads are provided in an exclusive, members-only website. You'll have your own login and will be able to follow along and learn at your own pace.

A big part of my mission is to help reduce your stress level – not add to it. I know how busy you are. So I want to make sure your involvement in the Lab is completely manageable.

That's why, while you'll have access to the Lab's entire library, we'll deliver just one piece of new content each week, designed to help you achieve something attainable and specific... something that will make a real difference at your nonprofit without overwhelming you.

Each week you'll get a new one of these:

  • Multi-Part Video Courses
  • Expert Seminars
  • Book Summaries
  • Live "Member Makeovers"
  • Quick Wins
  • Templates and Checklists

2) Your Most Helpful Community

Come for the education, stay for the community.

The Lab community will become the peer network you always wish you had – there to offer expertise and resources. If you have a question, this is where you'll get answers from me, my team, AND your colleagues in the community.

In fact, there are times when your colleagues will have the winning piece of advice.

Being active in the community will hold you accountable and drive you further, farther, and faster.

Take advantage of this amazing resource and become an integral part of a real professional network that will be helpful in your current job and, just maybe, set you on the path for your next one.

3) Ongoing Support

As you work through the materials, you're going to have questions. You'll want help applying something to your specific situation.

Members of the Nonprofit Leadership Lab get direct support from me and other members of my team. Outside of my consulting clients, my focus is with the members of the Lab, including frequent opportunities for live Q&A sessions where you can ask me your questions in real time.

And, of course, I'll be an active participant in the Lab community.

“My board chair and I took the Lab's strategic planning mini-course and it totally changed our thinking about how to engage in strategic planning with limited resources. It was incredible. The value of this one course to us was far more than it costs to be in the Lab for an entire year.”

Kim Leipham Freedman

Head of School, New Garden Friends School

Here's an example of some of the content you'll find in the Lab...

Rethinking Your "Elevator Speech"
(Video Course)

The Mission "Sniff Test"
(Quick Win)

How to Avoid Burnout
(Expert Seminar with Beth Kanter)

From Good to Great and the Social Sectors
(Book Summary)

Annual Fundraising Plan for Boards
(Template)

How to Run a Great Board Meeting
(Video Course)

And there's SO much more but I don't want to overwhelm you!

"How much time will the Lab take? I'm pretty busy..."

Time is the most valuable resource we have. So I can understand why you might be wondering if you have enough time to fully participate in the Nonprofit Leadership Lab and get everything you possibly can out of it.

The good news is that once you join, the Lab is available 24/7. So you can learn when it's most convenient for you. If something comes up and you miss a few days or even a couple of weeks, it's not a problem. You just pick up where you left off.

How much time it will take to go through the materials depends on you. Most weeks you should be able to get through the material in 30 minutes or less. That's it.

The key is to intentionally schedule some time on your calendar specifically for your personal leadership growth.

And, of course, you'll definitely want to spend time with the community.

Let's recap the benefits of joining the Lab...

"I created the Nonprofit Leadership Lab because I wanted to fill a gap – especially for board and staff leaders at smaller nonprofits that need advice, suggestions, a shot in the arm."

- Joan Garry

  • You'll join an invaluable community and network of nonprofit leaders just like you, all with similar challenges, all interested in supporting one another as you thrive, together.
  • You'll get access to EVERY training, resource, and Q&A recording in the entire archive for as long as you remain an active member in good standing.
  • You'll get something valuable and new each and every week.
  • You'll be invited to LIVE calls with me (Joan) where I'll answer your questions.
  • Your board and staff will begin to work together as partners. Everyone will understand their roles.
  • You'll understand how to ensure that the right people are "on the bus" (board and staff) and your organization will come to be seen as a "workplace of choice".
  • Your programs will show clear and measureable impact and always be mission-centric.
  • Your messaging will be clear and compelling. All of your constituents will know how to communicate in the right way at the right time.
  • You'll have a clear plan for dealing with crises.
  • You'll know how to develop a thoughtful long-term strategy jointly with your board and staff that sets an inspiring vision.
  • You'll feel a lot more supported and a lot less overwhelmed.
  • You'll remember that you really do have a dream job.

As you look to make a decision...

... just know this.

If you are feeling overwhelmed dealing with your staff, your board, your donors, your volunteers, your programs, your fundraising, your story, or your strategy...

It's OK. This is totally normal.

The challenging part for most of us is that we try to manage all of this ourselves in addition to all the other responsibilities we have in our lives.

Life is an ongoing competition for your time and attention – and a competition that you often don't win. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Ask yourself this... what is important in your life right now?

What do you want to achieve in the months ahead?

What goals do you have related to building a thriving nonprofit that keep getting pushed to the back burner?

You have an opportunity to do something about that right now. Today.

So if you are...

... ready to help your nonprofit function a whole lot better

... ready for your day-to-day work to become a lot more fun, energizing, and meaningful

... and ready for your ability to impact the world to become a lot more significant

Then you – and your nonprofit – are ready to thrive.

The Nonprofit Leadership Lab is a program that I KNOW can transform your nonprofit.

Let this be the beginning of your journey to a thriving nonprofit.

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