CEC does a lot of new organizational and program development work. Fundraising, too. But if you work with us, you'll often hear us say that all aspects of healthy non-profit functioning are interconnected.
For instance, if you come to us for grant writing assistance but don't have things in place that are critical for success with this type of funding (and/or the specific application requirements)... we'll have to do some development work. It is more common than not for this to occur, especially as relates to detailed implementation plans, polished written materials and effective messaging, budget projections and financials, communications/marketing plans, evaluation systems, data to prove impact, other sources of support, etc.
If we detect something that will stand in your way of reaching your goals, we will not only let you know about it -- we can help you resolve or (at least) mitigate it. In this, CEC is your one-stop solution to your many non-profit needs.
Growth isn't just about organizational/program expansion, new revenue streams or increased impact. Yes, these are activities most people associate with non-profit growth. And CEC can certainly help you with these efforts. Yet...
Growth also includes learning and capacity-building, introducing latest digital tools and communication strategies, and viewing improvement and operational excellence as ongoing, critical processes. In other words, growth and change go hand-in-hand.
Ready to take things to the next level? We hope you will give us a call. CEC can help you function at your optimal best, effectively adapt to non-profit sector changes and trends, and, ultimately, reach your fullest potential.
Just as our personal growth as individuals should never end... organizational growth should likewise be perpetual. And intentional. Yes, we grow from experiences along the way. But we also grow from that which we seek, especially when talking about organizational culture and how to become the best version of ourselves as leaders.
Most people think sustainability is just connected to money. How do you stay afloat long-term and weather unexpected challenges like a pandemic or high-level governmental funding suddenly going away? Critical issues, for sure. But, so too is operational sustainability. From succession planning and emergency preparedness to exploring how emerging trends may affect service delivery or donor engagement, CEC helps you prepare for both the near and distant future.
Of course, sustainability includes diversified funding streams so you are more resilient if one revenue source disappears or wanes, and taking a look at things like building an endowment. If you work with CEC, we'd plot-out where you are heading in the next 3, 5, and 10 years... and what needs to be put in place now or soon in order to prepare for that -- including increased costs. As you will hear us say... over and over, it is all interconnected. Planning is everything -- for things you CAN anticipate. For that which you can't predict, we need to build a financial cushion to help you safely brave unexpected storms.
Creative Edge Consulting
Specializing in the full-service, tailored support of start-up and young non-profit organizations, as well as more established agencies undergoing expansions, transitions or transformation. All services fall under the key categories of Development, Growth, and Sustainability.
For the hourly price investment, we get more than grants written; Mary gives us direction, efficiency, and relevance to a broad audience. Mary’s results are more than grants received. Where the message we would have created without Mary might have compelled a few people to give donations in the hundreds of dollars, Mary resonated our message to compel dozens of persons and corporations to give gifts in the thousands of dollars.
What I like about working with Mary is that the process is invigorating. Not only does she write, ...she directs and leads. Today we know more about our mission than we did when we first looked at her website. I knew the competition is great, and what we wanted was a competitive edge. To get that... Mary showed us how to change our selves.
Tom Meyer - Founder, The Aaron Meyer FoundationMadison, Wisconsin
Our Out of School proposal to the Miami Children’s Trust ranked 8th best out of 160 applications. Many organizations that have historically received Trust funds suffered drastically reduced budgets. Some were not funded at all. In fact, the Trust only funded 80 of the 160 proposals. We were awarded $978,000 for the period of August 1, 2008 to July 31, 2009…
We credit Mary with assisting us in presenting our case for continued funding in a climate of budget cuts.
Rev. Linda P. Freeman - Executive Director, Peacemaker Family Center/Trinity ChurchMiami, Florida
Having served as a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service for almost a decade, the term "trust" is not one that I use lightly when defining a person. For my line of work in the safety and security industry, I make it a point to ensure that I have a comfortable feel for an individual before I begin to trust them. As such, I hope you understand the weight of my words when I say that I trust Mary Costello. She has proven to me that her actions are selfless in nature, that she understands the meaning of accountability and responsibility, and that she believes that a person's integrity is paramount in professional and personal relationships.
I hope that you will offer Mary Costello the opportunity to show you how impressive she is. I genuinely believe that she will exceed your highest expectations, as she did mine.
Jason Wells - President & Co-Founder, National Advancements for Proactive Safety, Inc.Columbia, Maryland
More than 200 million Americans are covered by private health insurance. But data from state and federal regulators shows that insurers reject about 1 in 7 claims for treatment. Many people, faced with fighting insurance companies, simply give up: One study found that Americans file formal appeals on only 0.1% of claims denied by insurers under the Affordable Care Act.
I would never go as far as to suggest that you not pursue grant funding as a brand new organization or that an agency in fiscal trouble is necessarily doomed in grants competition. But there is a window involved where you are apt to have more promising outcomes.
For the purposes of this article — I will assume you are a new Founder, have limited experience in the non-profit sector (at least in terms of how to start a new organization or lead/grow one), and seek information about where you should begin with this new endeavor. (Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t have clicked on this article.) And so, that is where we will focus for today; our first set of stepping stones when establishing a new 501(c)(3).