BUILDING MOMENTUM FOR NONPROFITS
We specialize in helping small to midsize organizations meet the challenges of today while preparing for tomorrow.
We understand the reality and pressures of running today’s nonprofits. We can help you meet today’s challenges while creating a realistic plan for your organization’s future through strategic planning, fundraising and campaign management, and volunteer training. In today's volatile fundraising environment, count on SMC to provide practical experience and solutions.
SMC’s expert consultants have practical know-how in many areas, giving your nonprofit organization an affordable, integrated approach that saves you time and resources.
SMC HELPS NONPROFITS HELP THEMSELVES
At SMC, we help you harness your organization’s resources and get you on the right path to achieve your goals. Our consultants become hands-on members of your team, providing an objective analysis of your organization’s opportunities and challenges. They then roll up their sleeves to get the job done.
Every SMC consultant is a seasoned pro who has bona fide nonprofit and business building experience.
Our low-overhead model allows us to offer expert service to you at a fraction of what other firms charge.
We purpose-build each SMC team to get the right combination of experienced professionals for your project.
We have an outstanding track record. 100% of our business comes from renewing clients and personal referrals.
We integrate strategy, preparation and fundraising, saving you precious time and money often spent on multiple consultants.
Our goal is always to work ourselves out of a job by teaching you how to succeed on your own.
The nonprofit sector in the U.S. is a powerful instrument of change in social services, education and the arts. We believe that the more effectively an organization operates, the greater its impact is on society.
A boutique consulting firm, SMC offers our clients integrity, candor and sound counsel as they navigate important organizational growth and change. We partner with community, educational and cultural nonprofits to help them build the experienced and talented executive leadership needed to excel at their missions.
We believe far reaching civic benefits flow from an effective nonprofit sector.
SMC has more than 25 years experience in providing a range of strategic planning, fundraising and executive placement services to those who create and operate important nonprofit community and cultural resources.
We believe organizations can go from good to great with the right help and guidance from experienced consultants.
"Siobhan is a trusted friend who always answers my call – whether I need fundraising advice, organizational strategy or support working with my Board.”
- Peter Twyman, Executive Director,
Yamba Malawi, Former ED, Keep a Child Alive
"As Princeton AlumniCorps approached its 25th anniversary, Siobhan created a process that invited stakeholders to build consensus around key issues. We are now united in plans for expanding our programs and increasing our fundraising. I would highly recommend Siobhan for strategic projects with nonprofit organizations."
- Kef Kasdin, Board of Directors,
Siobhan McDermott is a brilliant development professional. Working with her has been delightful and rewarding.
- Elsa Longhauser, Executive Director, Institute for Contemporary Art,
From our first meeting, Siobhan quickly grasped the ethos of DCTV, our assets and deficits. Nothing was too daunting. At every step of our campaign, she knew how to steer our project toward success. She also had, at-the-ready, a stable of experienced consultants who specialize in finance, strategy, board development, and fundraising.
- Catherine Martinez, Former ED & CFO, Current CFO, DCTV
"Siobhan is one of the outstanding people with whom I have worked with in my fundraising career."
- Al Milano, Executive Vice President,
AT&T Performing Arts Center
Siobhan McDermott is a consummate pro who really understands philanthropy. The added bonus is that she is delightful, warm and fun. We always look forward to working with her.
- Jock Mitchell, Board of Directors,
Buffalo Prep & Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
As a consultant, her energetic but thoughtful advice helps clarify essential next steps. It’s a pleasure to work with her and learn from her marketing skills and people savvy.
- Michele Mosko, Senior Associate Director of Development,
National Jewish Health
Siobhan is an energetic, thoughtful professional, who helped Jazz House Kids' leadership consider how best to plan for its future growth and sustainability. I learn something new whenever we meet!
- Margarethe Laurenzi, Director of Leadership Grantmaking and Engagement at Community Foundation of New Jersey
“It takes as much energy to dream as it does to plan.”
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Fundraising Feasibility Study
Feasibility Studies can be used to jump start a capital campaign, invigorate a lackluster annual fund, evaluate a donor program, or test the waters for an endowment or planned giving campaign.
An SMC initiative involves volunteer leaders early — experience demonstrates that teams engaged from the beginning are the most effective.
Solid financial planning and documentation enables your nonprofit to create a credible statement of need. SMC consultants work with the leadership and staff to review historical trends and develop achievable long-range goals, all based on sound fiscal projections. We can help you to develop an “all-in” budget plan that allows you to see not only your operational needs but how an endowment or capital program can affect your bottom line.
All nonprofits need human and financial resources to bring their mission to life. Often, however, an organization might not be working as effectively as possible. Do our special events raise enough money to justify how much staff time they take? Are we keeping our best donors engaged? Do our Board members feel connected and motivated to work and give? An Organizational Assessment closely evaluates your organization's infrastructure and operations to ensure you're working at your best potential.
Development & Campaign Management
As volunteers and staff begin to implement new development programs or execute a campaign, SMC can provide ongoing guidance and a helping hand.
Our consulting programs are designed to meet your objectives and budgets. They can range from minimal oversight when a strong development staff is in place to extensive campaign leadership while staff is recruited and brought up to speed.
New programs or staff expansion, capital investment, and endowment building are all connected when creating a long-range plan. SMC uses interactive and creative working sessions to engage all your stakeholders, learning about your successes, challenges and marketplace, analyzing budgets and programs, and fundraising strategies. We arrive together at a realistic series of goals, action plans and timetables that keep your organization moving to the next level.
Many professionals can "do" a job, but hiring the right professional who will exceed expectations, as well as integrate into your corporate culture, is crucial to your organization's success. Finding this person can be a daunting and time-consuming task. SMC can help you define your needs, manage a local or national search, and deliver qualified candidates for consideration. We prepare your leadership for the interview process, and facilitate everything from writing sample review to reference checks.
Building Consensus & Shared Vision
Roadblocks are everywhere. SMC can assist your organization in recognizing challenges and guide you through a process that enables you to emerge with a shared vision and strategy that unites volunteers and staff.
The SMC team has extensive experience in many areas of nonprofit fund raising and management. Other services provided include:
Building and training boards
Facilitating meetings and conferences
Planning special events
Copywriting for brochures and other communications materials
The challenge of the nonprofit world is to meet today's budget
while planning for tomorrow.
The "to do" list can feel overwhelming. Outside management, fundraising and executive placement services can provide a fresh perspective and professional framework to help your organization get started, or get your organization moving again.
How does SMC partner with my organization?
SMC consultants are facilitators, motivators, recruiters or "pitch in and help" team players. Often the board and/or staff of an organization have identified where they want to be but aren't quite sure how to get there. We can help to focus your discussions and arrive at an achievable plan. We can help you recruit the people you need, both staff and volunteers, and train team members to be confidant advocates and fundraisers. And, as the situation requires, we can offer an extra pair of experienced hands to get the job done.
How can I justify the cost of a consultant when we’re trying to raise money?
A fresh perspective helps to unite and motivate your team of volunteers and professionals to achieve your goals. The objectivity of a consultant brings clarity and focus to your fundraising efforts, builds consensus and energizes your volunteers to be successful fundraisers.
Can SMC consultants make a solicitation to my major donor prospect?
A volunteer makes the best solicitor because they have a credible relationship to the nonprofit. With proper preparation and strategic thinking, we help you make the strongest solicitation possible.
We need money now. How can we start raising money today?
Fundraising for any organization is a two-pronged effort: raising enough money for today so that there is a tomorrow! SMC can immediately review your current approach to maximize your effectiveness. Simultaneously, we can identify what initiatives to undertake to grow your organization.
With whom will we be working?
In many big firms, you only see your senior consultant at periodic meetings, working primarily with associates or junior consultants. Because SMC is a small firm, you will always be working with a principal.
Siobhan McDermott, President of Strategic Management Consulting, has 25 years experience in nonprofit management and consulting. Siobhan is known for her ability to foster consensus even in the early stages of strategic and fundraising planning, putting the building blocks for successful organizational growth in place from the start. Siobhan brings expertise in executive search, helping organizations find the top-notch talent needed to reach strategic goals without having to invest time and money in getting different consultants up to speed.
Siobhan launched Strategic Management Consulting in 1998 and has undertaken projects nationwide including fundraising studies and planning, visioning and strategic planning, and board development. She has executed numerous executive placements, helping nonprofits build strong leadership.
She previously was a consultant and campaign manager for Milano, Ruff & Associates, Inc. and served on the professional development staff of several of New York’s premier cultural institutions including The Public Theatre and Princess Grace Foundation-USA.
Siobhan is an active community volunteer, serves on the Advisory Board of the Broadway Mall Association, a horticultural organization that cares for the linear park down the center of Broadway in NYC, and is proud to be a volunteer and mentor for the Cooperman College Scholars in Newark, NJ.
Siobhan resides in New Jersey.
Find Siobhan at www.linkedin.com/in/siobhanmcdermott
Peter Clarke created Harbor Services, a specialty project and management consulting firm, and is a long-time collaborator with Strategic Management Consulting. As Project Manager of major nonprofit development efforts, Peter works closely with clients to define and implement the capital construction side of projects. Peter’s impact extends beyond construction-based concerns. Given his keen understanding of consensus building and communications skills, he is a key member of the team for cultivation and fundraising activities. Recent projects include The River Fund NY (Queens, NY), the Children’s Museum of New Jersey (Newark, NJ), the New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NJ), and TEAM Academy Charter Schools (Newark, NJ). He is a trustee of Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain and a long-time officer, director and grants committee chairman for a local branch of a national historical society. Peter lives in New Jersey.
Anne Corry, a fundraising and strategic communication professional with more than two decades of nonprofit leadership experience, excels at researching and uniting resources - financial, in-kind, and human - with mission-based organizations. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the NBA Legacy Fund part-time while providing high-level development and organizational consulting services after an 18-year tenure at New York Cares. While at New York Cares, Anne guided the organization through two ED transitions as Managing Director; drove the strategy for and managed the implementation of all fundraising efforts ($7.5 million in FY15); coordinated an impromptu disaster response campaign, raising an additional $3.5 million following Hurricane Sandy; and created the largest corporate volunteer program in NYC, producing events for 7,000+ participants. Anne has a B.A. in Modern European History from Middlebury College and earned an M.S., with highest honors, in Strategic Communication from Columbia University. She also attended two executive education programs at Columbia: the Institute for Non Profit Management (through the Business School) and Strategic Communication: International Perspectives (through the School of Professional Studies). Anne lives in NYC and NJ.
Anne Wargo has spent her career helping people be the best they can be to enable them, and the organizations they lead, to achieve success. With over 20 years experience in leadership development, organizational strategy and culture change, Anne’s work spans a wide range of business disciplines, including strategy formulation/implementation, organizational design, executive team coach and alignment across a wide range of industries. Her professional associations include Fortune 500 companies such as IBM and PriceWaterhouseCoopers and she regularly leads women’s development programs for hundreds of participants in the financial, pharmaceutical and professional services arenas. Anne served as President of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Museum of New Jersey for five years and is an active volunteer, coach and strategist for numerous NJ based organizations. Anne lives in New Jersey.
Jamie Renwick is a talented and confident major gift fundraiser. She has worked as a fundraising professional in New York City, London and Connecticut for more than two decades. Jamie served as a Development Consultant for Chelsea & Westminster Hospital's Borne appeal, managing a portfolio of principal donors while training, the Campaign Consultant for PAVE Academy Charter School's $35 million capital campaign in Brooklyn, and as the Director of Development at Harlem Children's Zone. An experienced campaign manager, Jamie was the Associate Director of Major Gifts at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College during the Hospital's $1 billion campaign and the Medical College's $750 million campaign. She collaborated on the Children’s Museum of the Arts project in Lower Manhattan with SMC, and other projects and positions include work with Student Sponsor Partners, Central Park Conservancy and a congressional campaign in SC. Jamie holds a BA from Duke University and lives in Connecticut with her husband and three young girls.
George J. Abraham, SMC Consultant, is a seasoned strategic business advisor with over two decades of experience advising entrepreneurial companies and large enterprises. He provides high-level strategy and business development services to entrepreneurial and corporate companies through his practice, Rhodium Strategies. George approaches business with a human eye for usefulness, practical advancement and social impact.
George has served on numerous SMC nonprofit projects including the Cleveland Cord Blood Center, leading a reorganization of its operating model, the Mt. Crested Butte Performing Arts Center in Colorado, providing critical market analysis and operating planning; economic development strategies for Explore & More Children’s Museum in Buffalo, NY; and operating planning for The River Fund NY in Queens, NY. He also served as a leading member of the strategic advisory team for the NYC 2008 Olympic bid, and on the Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities, playing a key role in the development of the Palm Performing Arts Center (Telluride, CO.) while an advisor to the leadership donors.
His experience as a founding partner of a venture capital fund, managing director with a technology focused investment bank, and operating executive at numerous tech companies provides experience that helps organizations operate and grow effectively. He is a Board member at Tekserve Corporation, T2 Computing, and GroundControl Solutions. He is a member of the faculty at Stevens Institute of Technology where he teaches ‘Entrepreneurial Thinking’ to engineering undergraduate students. George lives in New Jersey.
Find George at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgejabraham
Zoe Behan has over 20 years of experience in strategic marketing and communications for both for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations. She has helped to create clear messaging and compelling stories as a consultant for organizations including FoodCorps, Little Kids Rock, The Forward, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, the Leffell School (formerly Schechter Westchester), The Shefa School, and Apprentice Learning. She also held staff roles at KIPP NYC and Edible Schoolyard NYC.
Prior to her work for nonprofits, Zoe helped market-leading media brands, spending seven years at ELLE where she was the Executive Director of Business Development. She has also worked for Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, Teen Vogue, and Town&Country.
Zoe marries the hustle and entrepreneurial spirit of the for-profit world with a deep commitment to and understanding of the mission-driven world of nonprofits. Zoe lives in Montclair, NJ.
Linda Sterling, Consultant, combines her extensive leadership work in the nonprofit sector with experience as a marketing director from the packaged goods, music and luxury market industries to bring a fresh perspective to her work in fundraising. She has the ability to define a clear message and unite a team around a common goal. Linda’s work in the nonprofit sector has focused in education and education-reform areas, social services and women’s leadership organizations, and museums. She has extensive work in developing and executing thoughtful solutions for annual giving, major gift and capital campaigns and reposition special events to yield greater capacity. In addition, she has served on search committees and provided nominating training for many organizations, and mentors many young professionals in teaching and nonprofits.
Linda currently serves on the boards of the Montclair Kimberly Academy and KIPP NJ, chairs the DukeEngage board, and is the outgoing chair of the Oberlin Parents Executive Committee. She is a proud participant of the Pan Mass Challenge, the 200 mile 2-day bike ride across Massachusetts for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute for 16 years and is one of their top fundraisers every year. Linda holds a BA and an MBA from Duke University, and lives in Montclair with her husband.
Beth Frank, Senior Consultant, is an experienced entrepreneur and systems analyst with an eclectic background in the arts, design and business management. With more than 20 years as an entrepreneur, Beth has a keen eye for blending sound business strategy with creative thinking. She has helped clients large and small prepare for new markets and growth while developing the teams and resources necessary to do so. Beth excels at organizational design, project management and harnessing human capital to develop effective and achievable plans for execution.
A sample of Beth’s projects includes developing strategies to build diverse revenue streams for The Boston Center for the Arts (Boston, MA), executing a fundraising feasibility study for The Ethical Community Charter School (Jersey City, NJ), and executive search services for EMpower: The Emerging Markets Foundation (New York, NY). She holds an MFA in Theater and an MBA in Entrepreneurship.
Beth resides in New York City.
Find Beth at: www.linkedin.com/in/bethfrank67
Michael Ruff is an experienced development and management professional based in Los Angeles, CA. He provides fundraising counsel and program oversight for a diverse set of clients, preparing budget projections and establishing systems, conducting financial analyses, and setting strategies and goals for institutional advancement. Michael is currently serving at the Director of Development at the J. Paul Getty Trust, but engages from time to time with particular SMC projects. Recent clients include The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, The Institute for Contemporary Art/LA, Levitt Pavilions, Musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, and Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA. Michael and Siobhan have lead dozens of projects over the course of their 25+ year collaboration, including current engagements for DCTV's multi-million expansion in Lower Manhattan and for Weinstein Hospice of Atlanta.
He has held leadership positions as Director of Development at the Fowler Museum at UCLA; Associate Vice President & Director of Development at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Deputy Director of West Coast Development at Harvard University; Associate Vice President for Development at the Music Center-Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County; and Vice President & Partner at Milano, Ruff & Associates, a management and fundraising consulting firm serving arts, cultural, and educational institutions nationwide. He also held senior management roles at the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Off-Broadway theatre, Circle Repertory Company.
He is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPG). He serves on the board and is treasurer of The Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, CA.
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