Power in Social Media

The ALS challenge or donate is a prime example of the power of social media. Philanthropy for the right cause is just a hashtag away! Creative uses of social media can connect you to potential donors. It reminds me of the movie “Pay it Forward”. Students were challenged to do an extraordinary deed for three people and then that person would do the same. Making a greater impact on society. Social media allows you to connect to others in the using the “Pay it Forward” model, but on a larger scale.

Social media allows you to communicate two ways with donors or people just interested in your cause. To bring awareness to your mission you can post to a variety of social media sites, the key is to get creative and find what works for your organization. The two way communication comes from retweeting and commenting on organizations that you follow or that follow you. Building relationships these days does not have to follow the traditional routes taken in the past.

Social media can work for you if your heart is in your mission. You want people to feel connected to your organization through images, videos, or inspiring stories. When using social media it also takes a little luck– and strategy — just like the ALS challenge, however there are people that are just a click away ready to take the challenge or donate!!

ERC is ready to work with your organization to tap into your passion and facilitate true expressions of yourself through social media in ways that catch on quickly.

Opportunity Assessments are a Solid Base for Fundraising Success


What does it mean?


An opportunity assessment, often known as a SWOT analysis, identifies internal and external factors that affect your organization’s growth and sustainability.  The first two letters stand for Strengths and Weaknesses, these components are internal to your organization.  They describe what your organization does well and where it needs to rally, in terms of its internal infrastructure.  The second two letters stand for Opportunities and Threats, these elements are external.  Opportunities describe where your organization might expand or find new potential for development, while threats describe conditions that could pose a challenge to the growth or sustainability of your organization.    

As performed by Eno River Consulting, a SWOT analysis is a collaborative process and includes a variety of stakeholders around and within your organization.  The concerted setting allows participants to provide a more varied, richer and truly strategic perspective and feedback than could be obtained from the view of a less comprehensive and focused assessment

Benefits of SWOT Planning and Fundraising

Whether you’re just launching your organization or you’ve experienced it all, evaluating your assets and challenges represents smart business practice.  SWOT analysis may be familiar to you from strategic planning initiatives, but it also has commanding benefits for sharpening and focusing your revenue generation blueprint.  Organizations that understand their SWOT are able to communicate with prospective stakeholders clearly on the organization’s core abilities and have a deeper understanding of their potential and barriers that are present. 

Using a SWOT analysis for all the major organizational systems that affect fundraising success allows the organization to focus on the touch points and performance metrics that are meaningful to donors.  For strengths, focus on core strengths that highlight distinctions or advantages that your organization possesses that support you standing out from the pack.  Your organization needs to understand its weaknesses to decide what areas should be improved on and in what areas your organization currently struggles to impact the world positively in the ways you seek.

Exploring untapped opportunities within your current stakeholder base will allow your organization to grow.  Identifying potential opportunities and creating a strategic engagement plan will lead to stronger relationships. 

Deeper Understanding

Upon completing an opportunity assessment your organization will be prepared to approach the community that surrounds you with a solid understanding of your current strength and weaknesses and an action plan for strategic engagement. 

Eno River Consulting can work with your organization to facilitate an Opportunity Assessment with key stakeholders within and nearby your organization. 



Leadership driving Board and Staff Development

Like the functioning of the human body, there are many different essential parts to the functioning of an organization:  your strategy and strategic plan, work plans, human resource systems and practices, performance management plans, programs, volunteer engagement, public relations, media outreach and let’s not forget—fundraising.

There are so many distinct pieces that coordinate to provide synergy in your organization that a significant part of your work is developing a well-functioning organizational system to manage your systems.  This organizational system ensures that your work is relevant to current internal and external circumstances and that all systems are coordinated and working well.  This is a large shift for some nonprofit organizations to make, because often the human systems of the organization are working very hard to respond to daily need.

When various organizational pieces mentioned above are broken, it sometimes affects other systems and deteriorates system performance.  To sustain truly amazing performance, incredibly well, you must have the totality of those systems working and moving along smoothly at the same time.

The key purpose of a board of directors is to direct an organization’s affairs to meet the legitimate interests of its stakeholders.  To establish the organization’s culture and goals create the vision, mission, and values of the organization. 

  • Vision: A vision is a picture of the future and communicated in a way that motivates others to act.

A vision helps unite people towards a purpose. Possessing a vision means having the ability to create and effectively communicate a picture of the future that builds on a realistic understanding of the present.  A vision inspires!  Boards must advocate and help others to believe it.

  • Mission: is the overall purpose of an organization: what you do, who you do it for, and how and why you do it. It sets boundaries on the organization’s current activities.

A mission is unique to your organization and identifies what problems you solve or needs your fulfill.  Missions clearly define your social or community goals. 

  • Values: Values are the beliefs of an organization, the expression of what it stands for and how it will conduct itself.

Values are the core of an organization’s being, they help to distinguish this organization from others. They underpin policies, objectives, procedures and strategies because they provide an anchor and a reference point for all things that happen.

The successful vision, mission and values statement is created collaboratively and frames what the organization will look like.  Having a clear mission, vision, and values allows for strategy and policy to operate smoothly.

A successful vision, mission and values statement gives framework for the future, guides decision making and strategy, creates purpose, inspires, connects to values and provides guidelines that determine interactions.

As we’ve all had to learn the hard way, each person has a different communication style. Based on the needs of the individual you are conversing with, you must frame your message by considering format, diction, tone, duration, content, etc.  Reshaping a message to fit a specific audience isn’t a quality that comes naturally to everyone though, which is why communication skill training can be so helpful.  Everyone needs boundaries and rules for what is appropriate; in order for others to hear you, you must manage your own emotions so you can communicate from a grounded standpoint.  Many times we are so consumed by interpersonal issues that the real problems at hand are neglected.

Take time to focus your energy and deep commitment into the vision of the organization.  Studies have shown that teams who make use of mental models more frequently interact with one another, are more inspired and optimistic about work, and are more objective.

Creating a Collaborative Board and Staff

Effective board members dedicate time every year to improving their individual board skills and increasing their effectiveness in providing vision, oversight, support, and evaluation for nonprofit organizations.  A cohesive and collaborative board matches your organization’s immediate and strategic needs and is comprised of outstanding people who embrace your organization’s mission and can help you increase its performance and mission impact.

A great way to ignite effective team building is to give your board new opportunities to gain experiences together.  Create a sense of camaraderie among your members by providing ways to bond outside of the typical work environment.  Participate in activities together outside the office, bond with collaboration around your mutual cause during the holidays, have celebratory functions, volunteer together with your common cause –these types of interactions will give board and members the chance to relate, establish friendships, and learn about one another’s communication styles.  These engagements are illuminating and refreshing.  It is important for board and staff members to have quality time together and separately.

Overall it is important to have board members and staff that view the organization as interdependent teams, rather than individual workers.  Organizational development and team building are essential to increase board and staff effectiveness and to achieve strategic goals.  Creating a culture that is results-orientated takes strong leadership, clearly communicated goals and expectations, and a high level of commitment.

The development of a strong board is a valuable challenge that can dramatically increase an organization’s ability to achieve its mission.

 How can we help?

Gap Analysis

Eno River Consulting (ERC) can facilitate an objective assessment of your organization utilizing data from important stakeholder groups to provide a deep background and understanding of the organization with which you work from the internal and external perspective.  We are then able to utilize this data to create a blueprint for your organization to move forward to accomplish its goals in clear, customized and specific ways.   The more deeply we understand the challenges you face and landscape of the environment you work in, the more helpful we can be to you.

Mission, Vision, and Values Statement Development

Eno River Consulting can work with your board and staff on these critical foundational organizational guide posts.  

Executive Recruitment

Do you need new effective leadership for your organization?

Eno River Consulting can help recruit exceptional candidates to provide strong leadership for your organization.

Executive searches can be a time-consuming and stressful task. Our consultants have hired dozens of top leaders and managers and will guide you through the process, sharing their expertise, and assuring you get the right fit for your organization and its needs.

Eno River Consulting will help you identify key roles and responsibilities for the position, assist you in writing or revising your job description, get excellent candidates in the door, and support you during the screening, interviewing, and hiring process.

Succession Planning

How do you pass on institutional knowledge gained over years of running your organization and engaging with your community?

Eno River Consulting can help you identify key areas where your leaders hold invaluable knowledge and information, and develop a plan for “downloading” that knowledge. One piece of this is often pairing your developing leaders with those with the most organizational knowledge along with focused board development. This also requires building effective teams, with members who can step up, creating a culture that thrives, and creating expectations and common understanding about execution.



For more information on any of these services please visit our website:



Millennials meet Baby Boomers, Baby Boomers meet Millennials


There is much to gain from the age old idea of learning from our elders, especially when it comes to leadership.  Millennials like it, tweet it, post it, blog it, and watch videos all at the same time. We dive in to social media to make deep connections with causes, people, and ideas.  Other generations can be overwhelmed and intimidated by this lifestyle that wasn’t even thought of a decade ago.  These generational differences lead to different ideas about what leadership looks like in an organization.

The most recent Daring to Lead survey (Cornelius, Moyers, & Bell, 2011) of Executive Directors reported that “thirty-six percent of leaders said there would not be a credible staff candidate for the executive position should they leave today” (Corneilus et al., 2011, para. 10).   This creates an opportunity to strengthen emerging leader’s talents to serve in the context of their organization.

How can we engage with each other to provide successful dialogue that moves our organizations forward?

There is an opportunity to link the knowledge of the past to the ideas of the future to create a lasting legacy for the future and to deepen the sector’s experience of contributing back to improve organizations.  Increased collaboration is seen as having the potential for improved outcomes for organizations.  Through collaboration, organizations can often see increased revenue, decreased expenses, and/or significantly improved impact through collaborative engagement strategies with key stakeholders. There needs be a focus on breaking silos of generations, race, power, and gender to creating a cohesive and collaborative environment with a clear vision of the organization.


Younger generations are so full of ideas, ways to change the world to make it better, and how to connect everyone to their ideas.  While other generations may be quick to share their wisdom they have gained over their years of experience, before they listen.   There needs to be time set aside for generations to listen to each other and allow them to understand what they each have to offer the organization.


In organizations each generation has a responsibility to learn!  Younger generations need to reach out and ask for advice and feedback.  Then take the feedback to improve and adapt as a leader.  Millennials are hungry for direction and want to succeed as leaders.  Boomers and Xers may lack some digital skills; however are wealth of talent, have had experiences, and developed skills to become positive leaders.

In the dynamics of an organization there is room for seasoned leaders to gain insight from the younger generations.  Such leaders are able to learn innovative ways to engage their organization, take their experiences and talents adapt them to stay relevant in today’s ever evolving world.


Without this model of inter-generational learning the implications will be severe and cause us to continue to make the same mistakes made in the past without realizing it.



Carol Sanford – Generations learning from other Generations

Discusses the importance of millennials and past generations learning from each other. What does this mean for leadership within an organization? Has this dynamic been explored…Stay tuned…