Three Stones Forms Strategic Business Partnership with Prospera Partners

Posted February 12th, 2016 in Uncategorized by Jessica

It is with great excitement that I announce the strategic business partnership that Three Stones Consulting has formed with Vicki Pozzebon of Prospera Partners. While we will maintain our individual companies, we will partner to bring our clients greater value through:

  • Expanded service offerings, which are described below
  • Over 25 years of combined knowledge and experience
  • Access to connections and resources in our national network
  • Combined consulting frameworks for greater effectiveness

We will still focus on the social sector and specialize in financial sustainability, strategic direction, social impact, and resiliency. But now our services will go beyond fundraising evaluation and planning, strategic planning, and facilitation. With our combined backgrounds and experience we are now doing more around organizational and leadership development, restructuring, and social enterprise development. In addition, our work now reaches even further into localism and advocacy for locally owned businesses, and strategies for local government agencies and nonprofit organizations to better build their local economies and keep up with the changing environment.

Together we have worked with the Santa Fe Alliance, Delicious New Mexico, FoodLab Detroit, and Tewa Women United. In addition, we are launching an immersion program for Emerging Social Sector Leaders this winter through the Santa Fe Community Foundation.

Vicki Pozzebon is a localist, writer, and cultivator. She is the owner and driving catalyst of Prospera Partners, a local economy and social business consulting firm. She is a BALLE Fellow, and the author of the forthcoming book  For the Love of Local: Confessions from the Heart of Community. It is Vicki’s background in localism and advocacy that is allowing us to have an even bigger impact with the organizations and communities we are working with.

Think Food, Invest Local

Posted February 3rd, 2016 in Uncategorized by Jessica

It iTFIL-Feature-Images a pleasure and privilege to be a contributing writer for North Carolina State University’s Philanthropy Journal. I’m excited to share my latest article written along with my business partner Vicki Pozzebon that focuses on the importance of investing in the local food system.

“Funders who are considering lending their support to the local food movement often ask, “Where do I start? What can be done, and who’s doing it effectively?” Before biting off more than you can chew, let’s consider what local food is all about – and how to get the biggest bang for your investment buck.” Read full article.

New program for 2016! Emerging Social Sector Leaders – An Immersion Program for Developing Leaders

Posted January 7th, 2016 in Uncategorized by Jessica

This immersion program weaves together the learning circle model with elements of professional development and mentorship. Through facilitated leadership development, discussions with community leaders and mentors, and informal networking, this immersion program will:

  • Advance understanding and practice of leading in the nonprofit sector
  • Strengthen network of nonprofit colleagues through peer-to-peer learning and support
  • Deepen understanding of leadership capacity through gained leadership skills

The Immersion will be held on three Fridays from 1pm-5pm over three months at the Santa Fe Community Foundation:

  • Friday February 26
  • Friday March 25
  • Friday April 22

Each of the immersions will be followed by a hour happy hour session from 4-5pm with beverages and snacks, and will be a space for both informal networking and curbside mentoring. Community leaders will be invited to serve as mentors in areas of self-care, human resources, nonprofit strategy, leadership and career development, time management, capacity building, and fundraising.

Selection in the Immersion Program for Developing Leaders is by application process. Leaders under 40 years of age are encouraged to apply. Deadline for application is January 15, 2016. Participants will be selected by January 25, 2016.  Please contact amclaughlin@SantaFeCF.org for an application package or with questions regarding the application process. To download an application please click here.

Co-facilitated by Jessica Haynie and Vicki Pozzebon.

Jessica Haynie is the CEO of Three Stones Consulting, a fundraising and strategy firm for the social sector based in Santa Fe, NM. Her strong commitment to the sector is reflected in a decade of experience working for organizations in a variety of fields, ranging from higher education to the performing arts to grassroots environmental conservation. She holds an MBA from Syracuse University and is currently considering PhD programs in Public Administration & Policy.

Vicki Pozzebon is a localist, writer, and cultivator. She is the owner and driving catalyst of Prospera Partners, a local economy and business consulting firm. She is a BALLE Fellow, and the author of the forthcoming book For the Love of Local: Confessions from the Heart of Community. Read Vicki’s blog The Local Voice at vickipozzebon.com and follow her on Twitter: @vickipozzebon.

 

Human Capital: Protect Your Most Valuable Assets

Posted November 2nd, 2015 in Uncategorized by Jessica

Rendered concept of a Human Capital Diagram

It is a pleasure and privilege to be a contributing writer for North Carolina State’s Philanthropy Journal. I’m excited to share my latest article that focuses on the importance of human capital in the nonprofit sector, and how we can nurture and protect our most valuable assets.

As a consultant, I regularly work with nonprofit executives and staff who are simply exhausted, if not burnt out. Nonprofit professionals pour every ounce of energy into their causes, but this often leads to unsustainable work practices and stress levels that can damage relationships. Nonprofits run on relationships: with colleagues, board members, donors and the population being served. Unsurprisingly, high staff turnover is a problem for many organizations. Read full article

How to Incorporate Mindfulness at Work

Posted October 14th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Jessica

awake_at_work1Excerpts taken from Michael Carroll’s Awake at Work.

  • Balance the two efforts. “Being fully present requires us to let go. To let go of the future and worrying about where we are going. It’s a balance between the effort to get somewhere with that of simply being, which allows us to have a wider and wiser perspective.” How do you let go and find balance?
  • Be authentic. “By slowing down and simply being still we awake to our true authenticity. This authenticity allows us to step beyond work’s challenges and rediscover our natural sense of well being and confidence, as there is nothing outside us that can offer true well being at work.” Do you give yourself the time to slow down and simply be?
  • Cultivate li (or the best of yourself). “A leader’s central task is to bring forth the natural wholesomeness of humanity to inspire and nourish by promoting health, wisdom, and well-being.” How do you promote this amongst your staff?
  • Work is a mess. “Work by its very nature will always be uncertain and messy. Treating work’s messiness as it were a mistake or liability only creates further unnecessary distress and resentment. By developing the attitude that work is a mess, we can learn to relax and be curious about the surprises and interruptions. When at work, use established routines to pursue objectives, use messiness and surprises to innovate and succeed.” How do you handle work’s messes?
  • Stay in the moment. “There are no grounds, no guarantees, just now in this life. This reminds us to become pioneers of the immediate moment in everything we do at work. Remaining open to a world that is so vastly unpredictable requires us to be exceedingly brave and to trust that we are fully equipped to engage such events. To trust that we have the ingenuity, good humor, and curiosity to adapt and thrive, no matter what the circumstances.” How do you stay in the moment at work?
  • Adopt a balanced attitude. “When we are successful at work, many people can rely on us. But this can lead to a feeling of being indispensable, which can quietly creep up on us and create a blind spot. By reminding ourselves that our work would move on quite nicely without us, we can adopt a balanced attitude, enjoying our own accomplishments and taking a simple pride in helping others succeed as well.” How do you develop this balanced attitude at work?
  • Keep workplace difficulties in perspective. “By being realistic about what work can and cannot provide us, we can begin to relate with our job properly and precisely and not as a matter of survival. We have to have the courage to engage work on its own terms rather than trying to find false security. At the heart of our uneasiness is a frustration with ourselves that we keep trying to guarantee our lives when we know that is impossible. Workplace difficulties are exactly what they are: difficulties, not a matter of impending disaster.” How do you acknowledge workplace difficulties and let them go?
  • Step beyond fear. “We keep our fearful thoughts to ourselves and accept the status quo, no matter how dysfunctional, rather than speak our minds. Our instincts to be decent and authentic conflict with our anxious desire to be safe, and we stress out and silently freeze up in order to protect our career, paycheck, reputation, or job. Such fear never achieves its goal in the end. To step beyond the silence of fear is to deeply appreciate the suffering many of us experience each day in getting our jobs done and to admit that all of us are worthy to be free from anxiety and fear at work.” How do you handle fear at work?
  • Power at work. “Power requires us to engage in our work as it unfolds – straightforwardly and without hesitation. Whether we are dispensing power or being directed by it, we should permit our nervousness to alert us, keeping us fresh and in tune with our responsibilities. In the end, power is unnerving encourages us to make friends with our nervousness at work, to be intensely mindful of when and how we feel uneasy. For it is here, from just such edginess, that we discover that we can trust ourselves to be confident, resourceful, and precise in the immediate moment.” How do you handle the uneasiness of power at work?
  • Bring out greater authenticity. “By accurately sorting through our hopes and fears about success at work, we begin gradually cutting through the false enticements we attribute to our jobs and careers. We learn to rely on our inherent authenticity, our humor, open heart, and precise mind, for fulfillment and meaning in ourselves. Being cynical in such circumstances requires tough intelligence, a clear and present mind, and a steadfast character not easily seduced by gratification. To be cynical in a sense, is a noble gesture of honesty and an act of personal courage.” How do you use being cynical, or suspicious of yourself, to bring out greater authenticity?
  • Wealth and your well-being. “Developing a relationship with wealth and money is a primary challenge of work. Money seems to touch a deep and powerful chord within us: our passion to survive. Someone once defined wealth as having abundance of what means most to you. When we contemplate wealth from this perspective, we discover we are considering a most profound issue indeed: our personal sense of well-being.” What does wealth mean to you?
  • Cultivate stillness in familiar territory. “Uncertainty is woven into everything we do at work. By learning to remain still in unfamiliar territory, we discover that that we are experiencing the very confidence that we have been seeing all along: a confidence guided by instinct and insight that is free from the anxiety of hesitation or the blindness of arrogance. Over time we discover that our emotions and bodily sensations are actually guiding, not distracting our decisions, prompting us to consider our gut feeling more deliberately and respectfully.” How do you cultivate stillness in familiar territory?

 

Social Innovation… Nature’s Way

Posted June 18th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Jessica

85It is a pleasure and privilege to be a contributing writer for North Carolina State University’s Philanthropy Journal. I’m excited to share my first article that focuses on the role of biomimicry in social innovation.

“Human beings have always turned to nature for answers. Leonardo da Vinci studied birds and translated what he learned into plans for a flying machine. The designs of architect Antoni Gaudi were influenced by his study of tree trunks and the human skeleton. The modern term, biomimicry, has become somewhat of a buzzword these days – especially with growing discourse and concern about the disconnect between society and nature. We hear more and more about biomimicry in technology and design, but can turning to nature also advance social innovation?” Read full article.

Inside the Innovation Sanctuary at Three Stones Consulting

Posted February 18th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Jessica

social-innovation

At Three Stones Consulting, we are continually striving to bring innovations to the social sector through our services and tools. The Innovation Sanctuary is where we highlight our latest projects and innovations. Currently, we are working on two projects: Mindful Fundraising 2.0 and Integrated Fundraising. (See our previous blog posts for more details on these.) Components in these new approaches create a synergy that allows for individuals and organizations to shift their mindsets to transform the way they work and ultimately transform the communities in which they serve.

in·no·va·tion- noun: the action or process of innovating.

synonyms: change, alteration, revolution, upheaval, transformation, metamorphosis, breakthrough

The goal of the Innovation Sanctuary is to bring projects and tools that will bring about transformation and breakthrough in our clients, both with their staff and organizations as a whole. Innovation starts with understanding unmet needs whether in your organization or in the population you serve, knowing what the trends are and what the future looks like for your given field, and clearly defining the strategic direction or goals. These factors, coupled with identifying key leaders and champions, are integral in innovating and taking organizations to the next level. Organizations that take the time to innovate in a mindful way and are clear on purpose are the one’s that achieve the greatest impact and are staying financially healthy. And with that health, comes strength and success.

sanc·tu·ar·y- noun: a place of refuge or safety.

synonyms: refuge, haven, harbor, port in a storm, oasis, shelter, retreat, hideaway, hideout

While organizations are busy creating sanctuaries for those they serve, many times they lack that same support for themselves. My hope is that this Innovation Sanctuary will serve as a landing point for overworked and busy professionals to take a moment, consider the big picture and get the tools and resources they need to work more mindfully and strategically. What would your day, your week, or your year look like if you had this kind of support?

A Sneak Peek into Mindful Fundraising 2.0

Posted February 4th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Jessica

mindfulIf you’ve been following us for the last couple of years, you know we developed a new concept called Mindful Fundraising.  Over the last two years, we have tested it through our services, white paper, retreats and workshops, and assessment tool and workbook. As we continue to learn and gain knowledge on how mindfulness is best integrated into organizations and can have a positive affect on fundraising, we are in the process of developing an updated approach called Mindful Fundraising 2.0.  The updated approach will focus on:

  • Mindfulness with Self – Mindfulness is the ability to be present and aware of one’s thoughts, emotions, and surroundings. And most importantly, it starts with self. Mindfulness is about finding a practice that fits into your life, makes sense to you, and has direct, positive effects on how you feel and work. And by a “practice,” I mean any ritual meant to help you step back from your habitual and automatic modes of behavior so that you can feel more present and aware. So why do we need mindfulness in our everyday work around fundraising? Many people working in nonprofits are over committed and overwhelmed. This certainly isn’t unique to the field; we’re barraged by media reports on how stress and overwork affect our lives, relationships and health. However, fundraising work presents some pretty specific challenges, all of which are better faced with a mindful approach. These include thinking clearly and strategically, coping with stress, creating a healthy organizational culture and building relationships.
  • Mindfulness with Others – Mindfulness can help you forge stronger relationships with your colleagues and board members so that you can work together more productively – and with donors, so that you can be an effective fundraiser. In his book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman identifies four specific skill domains: 1) the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions 2) the ability to manage your emotions 3) the ability to recognize and understand the emotions of others and 4) the ability to manage the emotions of others. These are the essential components of both building relationships and mindfulness. Building relationships is the core and essence of fundraising, and you simply can’t build relationships without being present in your conversations, listening carefully, responding tactically and thinking on your toes – that is, without being mindful.
  • Mindfulness in Systems – There are plenty of resources out there spelling out the core organizational areas of nonprofits. However, very few highlight the connections between these areas and fundraising. If we are to lay a firm foundation upon which to build the framework for our new approach, it is essential that we foster awareness and understanding of how each organizational area can affect fundraising. There will always be external factors that impact our ability to raise money – but we can no longer use these excuses. There are many internal factors that are having an even bigger impact on your fundraising efforts right now including mission and strategic direction; impact of programs and services; strength of board and staff leadership; and the effectiveness of the marketing and messaging.

As we continue to develop this approach, it will include a new assessment tool and workbook! Stayed tuned for updates!

Beyond traditional fundraising, a look into Integrated Fundraising

Posted January 21st, 2015 in Uncategorized by Jessica

Over the years as a fundraising and philanthropy consultant, most organizations come to me in a financial crisis or panic mode. So I sit down them and start asking them questions not only about their fundraising efforts, but questions like:

  • How are the programs doing and what is the impact that you’re having on the community?
  • How are the board and staff doing? Are they engaged and committed to the mission and organization, or are they stressed out and disengaged at work?
  • How about the marketing and messaging efforts? Does the organization engage in regular communications activities outside of fundraising?

9 times out of 10, I find that all of these other organizational areas are just as dysfunctional as the fundraising efforts. And what I’ve learned over the years is that if all of the core organizational areas are not in order, an organization will never achieve its fullest fundraising capacity. Furthermore, I find that organizations are always blaming external factors such as the economy and increased competition on low performing fundraising efforts. This is true to some extent, but they aren’t looking internally to see what can be improved within the organization first.

Intergrated FundraisingBeyond traditional fundraising, Integrated Fundraising takes a holistic approach to resource development, making organizations more sustainable and resilient. It is an approach that I developed that looks at how the mission and strategic direction, board and staff leadership, effectiveness and impact of programs, and marketing and messaging affect the fundraising efforts. This can be similar to a strategic planning, but directly connects all of the key organizational areas to improving or strengthening the fundraising efforts.

To learn more about Integrated Fundraising and how we incorporate it into our evaluation and planning services, please contact me.

We also have some upcoming workshops on Integrated Fundraising.  Please click here to learn more!

Shaping the future of the social sector

Posted January 12th, 2015 in Announcements by Jessica

New Year New Services 5At Three Stones Consulting we are shaping the future of the social sector. Over the years, we have offered so much more than fundraising and philanthropy consulting to organizations. As we reflect on how we can best continue to serve our clients, we are now broadening our work to be a strategy firm for the social sector specializing in financial sustainability, strategic direction, social impact and resiliency. From nonprofit leaders to social entrepreneurs and government agencies, we work with those who bring a passion for social change and seek strategic direction. Our services now focus on strategic and holistic evaluation and planning. This includes the new Integrated Fundraising approach!  We will also continue to provide workshops, as well as counsel and coaching. In other updates we are currently working on developing Mindful Fundraising 2.0. More to come soon! Click here to see our new services or contact us to learn more.