Thread Journal

The Best Professional Development in the World

Thread Principal Tracy Shaw shares her reflections on professional development and the single best investment for driving a happy, successful career.

This past November, I was fortunate to attend Dreamforce, the “annual four-day event that brings together the entire Salesforce community,” also known as the largest tech conference in the world and the biggest party San Francisco hosts annually. I heard 173,000 attendees were there this year…whoa! As if the sheer number of people wasn’t enough […]

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Lessons to Breathe Easier in Fundraising

A conversation with Tony Brunswick, Executive Director, and Courtney Smith, Development and Communications Manager, at Art Enables

I breathe easier. Knowing that I’m not 100% responsible for all of our development efforts has made a significant impact on the level of stress and anxiety I felt about this aspect of my role….Having a team, even if it’s just a team of two, has made the work more enjoyable and infinitely more effective. […]

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Planned Giving: Four Facts to Refresh Your Approach

Planned giving – arranging now for a future contribution, most often upon a donor’s death – is a missed opportunity for many community-based nonprofits. Thread Principal Taryn Deaton offers fresh perspective so that you, and your donors, don’t miss out.

1. Planned giving doesn’t need to be fancy. Yes, planned giving includes the option to activate some pretty sophisticated financial planning tools. But you don’t need to or have to use them. As a community-based organization, stay focused on simple giving mechanisms such as being named for a gift in a bequest (will or trust) […]

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Tech: Just Another Form of Problem Solving

A conversation with Emma B-F, Project Manager at KELL Partners

When you’re being innovative, you need to first get specific. You need to define the problem, make clear why you need to solve it, and explain the benefit to your organization once it’s solved. To help get you into this mindset, it can often times be easier and more effective to invite someone new and […]

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Bursting the Bubble: Real-Talk on Fundraising Events

Thread Director Amy Jo O'Hearn provides a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of using special events for fundraising

We love talking through the possibilities (and reality!) of successfully executing fundraising events. We have certainly seen many positive ways that hosting fundraising events can bring value to an organization. They provide an excellent opportunity to more deeply connect current donors and board members to the mission. An event can attract new revenue by leveraging […]

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Laughter: A Sign of a Healthy Team

A conversation with Anna Morozovsky, Senior Consultant at Thread Strategies

I’ve found that if you can laugh and get along with your teammates, then you can get through the harder moments. Thread: Why did you choose development/fundraising as your profession? Anna: I got introduced to fundraising my senior year of college through an internship at a political organization where the small development team took me […]

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Patience, My Dear Hiring Supervisor, Patience.

Thread Director Stela Patron shares how to fill your open development role with the right match by designing and executing a thoughtful and intentional hiring process

When you’re working with a lean budget and you FINALLY have the funding/approval to hire development support, it is incredibly tempting to just get “somebody” in the role. You are eager to free yourself up for more strategic development work by adding to your team, and there are many willing applicants. But like everything else […]

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Knowing Your Impact: A Strategic Plan as Your North Star

A conversation with Jonathan Kaufman, Principal at Third Plateau

Strategic plans and development plans *have* to be linked. They need to have a lot of overlapping DNA, embody the same values, and be in constant communication with one another. Thread: How does Third Plateau help nonprofits become more strategic in their work? Jonathan: We lead with relationships in all of our work, aiming to […]

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Riding Submarines into Outer Space

Thread Senior Consultant Holly Richardson paints a picture of how fundraising that is guided by a strategic plan can lead a nonprofit to new heights

Successful fundraising is often described as part-art, part-science. For most fundraisers I know (myself included), the art-part of fundraising is the more familiar and natural of this balance. It’s second-nature to read in between the lines of a text, to listen for what a donor leaves unsaid as much as what is directly stated, and […]

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Multiplying Impact Through a Connected Community

Thread Principal Tracy Shaw shares how Thread's core value of Connected Community came to life during the recent government shutdown.

Being a member of the Thread Strategies team is one of my proudest accomplishments. The experience of defining our core values as a firm was one example of how working with Thread has been so fulfilling. Our final set of core values are meaningful to each of us individually and they express what’s at the […]

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