Board Members and Nonprofit Leaders: It’s Time.

By Molly Hansen, Vice President

As we ask ourselves: Now What? What do we do in this ever-evolving “new normal?” It’s time to take action. Here are the five actions to take today.

As a consultant with The Alford Group and former development professional with more than 30 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector, when my colleagues and I see what is happening all around us, we regularly ask “How might we have the most positive impact with our clients? How can we improve our work so that our clients can better serve their participants, members, families, patients, students, children and youth?” Continue reading “Board Members and Nonprofit Leaders: It’s Time.”

Vice President

Full time position | Seattle/Puget Sound Region | Currently virtual environment

The Alford Group is an equity-centered national full-service consulting firm founded over 40 years ago on the principle that our human differences make the nonprofit sector stronger. To make the world a better place for ALL people, The Alford Group brings insight, rigor and innovation to strengthen the social sector and deepen its impact. Our dedicated and experienced professional team delivers customized strategies and guidance to empower organizations to make a difference and change the world.

As a woman and minority-owned and led firm, The Alford Group strengthens the social sector through equity-centered services and practices and values the diversity of the people it hires and serves. Equity, diversity, inclusion, and access at our firm means fostering a workplace in which individual differences are recognized, appreciated, respected, and responded to in ways that fully develop and utilize each person’s talents and strengths.

Job Description

Key to The Alford Group’s and our client’s success, the Vice President works across service lines and leads consulting teams in the full spectrum of client engagements and equity centered strategies, through feasibility studies, campaign design and implementation, development assessments, strategic planning, and data analytics. We are seeking a professional with training and experience in guiding organizations and elevating their work to establish and achieve diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

The Vice President is responsible for developing new business, growing client relationships through impactful partnerships, and playing a major role in managing and mentoring staff as it relates to client engagements. The individual will ideally be based in the Seattle/Puget Sound region.

The Alford Group provides solutions to complex problems and opportunities related to strategy, philanthropy, impact measurement, and organizational development. The Alford Group seeks talented professionals with nonprofit and fundraising experience, as well as those with transferable consulting, communications, marketing, and/or strategic planning experience, to join our dynamic team.

Performance Objectives

Client Relationship and Service Management

  • Cultivate and maintain close relationships with clients, prospective clients, and the broader philanthropic, civic, and corporate community.
  • Work closely with collegial and highly professional consulting teams to fulfill a wide variety of client assignments, serving as the project lead and delivering service through a multi-level team approach and contribute to service innovation.
  • Work with other professionals in the firm to ensure that The Alford Group’s vision, mission, and values are at the forefront of everything it does. Work together to improve equity, diversity and inclusion across the sector.

Sales, Marketing and Business Development

  • Serve as a representative of The Alford Group and market the firm’s expertise in all service lines and sectors.
  • Maximize relationships, networking and speaking opportunities to identify, generate, and pursue leads for new business/revenue expansion. Each position in the firm has specific revenue and sales goals.
  • Develop and manage a portfolio of sales opportunities; create a sales pipeline; take the lead in discovery and proposal conceptualization; assist in developing presentation materials; present to potential clients; and negotiate contract terms.
  • Speak and conduct presentations in client, sales, and business development venues.

External Relations and Professional Visibility

  • Be a recognized leader and respected contributor to the nonprofit sector and offer the firm expertise in an area of specialty that can be well positioned in the field.
  • Participate in professional associations and workshops as a member of The Alford Group team.

Position Specifications

  • Full time position
  • Reports to Chief Client Experience Officer


  • Ten to fifteen years of progressive, relevant, professional work experience(s) in the nonprofit sector or as a consultant to the sector, with at least seven years of management experience.
  • Experience working with boards to increase their effectiveness as leaders, connectors, fundraisers and strategic partners and volunteer experience with other nonprofit volunteer organizations.
  • Self-disciplined, self-starter with a strong work ethic; ability to work and think independently, evaluating and offering fresh thinking and breakthrough ideas where appropriate; ability to self-motivate and work without close supervision.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop new programs/initiatives and expand revenue streams, preferably in a professional services firm.
  • Ability to both think strategically and critically as well as synthesize complex information in order to provide client solutions.
  • Strong project management skills, with the ability to engage productive participation from other project team members as well ability to be flexible and delegate appropriately when working under pressure with competing deadlines.
  • Consultative, strategic, and successful selling approach; ability to develop and grow professional relationships, and ability to think entrepreneurially about building a sales network.
  • Exceptional communications skills: ability to establish professional rapport with all people and support the firm’s commitment to commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Outstanding listening skills: ability to listen carefully and to be able to actively advance understanding and communication.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; the ability to write relevant reports and recommendations, tailored to each client’s unique challenges and opportunities.
  • A history of success in achieving or exceeding financial goals including managing projects within budget.
  • Ability to exemplify Alford Group values – Equity, Creativity, Diversity, Excellence, Integrity, Joyfulness, Leadership and Respect.
  • Strong and confident public speaker and facilitator.
  • Proficiency and self-sufficiency with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.
  • Proficiency and self-sufficiency with project management and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
  • Flexible to work occasional early mornings, evenings and weekends as required by client and firm engagements.
  • Must be able to travel frequently and independently both locally and nationally.

Desired attributes

  • Significant experience in raising funds to benefit nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest/Puget Sound region.
  • Specialized experience and/or advocacy in developing tools and resources to guide organizations and elevate their work to establish and achieve diversity, equity and inclusion goals.
  • An advanced degree or equivalent, and/or CFRE or equivalent relevant certification.
  • A history of community service, with experience serving on a nonprofit board strongly preferred.

Position details

Compensation – Base and variable pay between $100,000 and $135,000 plus bonus

Confidential Data- Our team members have access to sensitive, confidential information and are trusted to maintain these files and documents properly.

Physical Demands – The position requires sitting and working on a computer for long periods of time as well as occasional lifting and carrying of presentation materials and supplies. Consultants must be able to interact seamlessly with clients through visual, aural, physical and written communications.

Work Environment – Inside average office environment. Average office noise levels. No personal protective equipment required. Currently, working in a virtual environment due to the Coronavirus pandemic.


To apply:  Please submit a cover letter indicating salary expectations, resume and two relevant writing samples (e.g. reports, plans or proposals that demonstrate fundraising expertise and DEI organizational work, etc.) and three to five references.


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    Four Elements to Strengthen Your Planning

    By Alexis Cooke, Senior Consultant

    Organizations have been in constant flux to respond to 2020. Your organization likely implemented crisis response plans quickly after the onset of COVID-19. These response plans may have transitioned into scenario plans to navigate the ongoing crises of this year and/or your organization made substantial pivots or even pauses to your organization’s strategic plans. As the non-profit sector continues to respond to the devastating realities of the pandemic and our country’s social and racial injustices, The Alford Group elevates four specific elements that will strengthen your implementation and positioning for success, if embedded into your planning processes – crisis, scenario or strategic.

    #1 Be Analytical

    Continue reading “Four Elements to Strengthen Your Planning”

    Tomorrow’s New Normal: 4 elements of an action-forward approach to planning


    • Alexis Cooke, Senior Consultant, The Alford Group
    • Jamie Phillippe, CFRE, Vice President, The Alford Group


    • Felicia Davis, President and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women
    • Darrin Goss, President and CEO, Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina
    • Rachel Krinsky, Executive Director, LifeWire
    • Michele Stauff, Executive Director, Million Dollar Round Table Foundation

    Slide Deck: Planning Webinar Presentation_The Alford Group

    Tomorrow’s New Normal: 4 elements of an action-forward approach to planning

    Thursday, October 22, 2020


    The world has transformed in the last 6 months. A global pandemic, national social movements to create a just and fair society, environmental crisis after crisis – the list goes on. How do you plan for the future? What do you prioritize and what do you set aside? How do you anticipate what things will be like in the coming year? These are all good questions that no one has the exact answers to – but there is a lot we DO know. In this webinar, we will share with you 4 elements that every organization can use to strengthen its planning. A panel of experts discussed how they are using these 4 elements in leading their organizations through crisis response, scenario and/or strategic planning.



    Alexis Cooke, Senior Consultant, The Alford Group




    Jamie Phillippe, Vice President, The Alford Group






    Felicia S. Davis, President and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women




    Darrin Goss, President and CEO, Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina




    Rachel Krinsky, Executive Director, LifeWire





    Michele Stauff, CFRE, Executive Director, Million Dollar Round Table Foundation



    Giving USA and the New Age of Philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest

    By Mariah Fosnight, Senior Client Service Associate, The Alford Group

    Recently, The Alford Group and Columbia Bank co-hosted the presentation of the 2019 Giving USA data and hosted a panel of Pacific Northwest funders and philanthropists to discuss the findings and relate them to the current realities of giving in the region. The full recorded webinar, including 2019 data and panel discussion, may be found here.

    Giving USA, published by the Giving USA Foundation, is part of the Giving Institute which is comprised of leading consulting firms including The Alford Group. Celebrating 65 years, this report is the longest running and most comprehensive and authoritative report on charitable giving in the United States.

    Continue reading “Giving USA and the New Age of Philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest”

    Giving USA and the New Age of Philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest

    Karen Rotko-Wynn, CFRE, Executive Vice President & West Division Manager

    Brenda B. Asare, President and CEO, The Alford Group

    Robin Callahan, CFRE, Vice President of Philanthropic Services, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation

    Elena Fracchia, CWS, AVP, Wealth and Philanthropic Advisor, Columbia Bank

    Dana Miller, Senior Program Director – Grants, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

    Anjana Pandey, Vice President of Strategy, Philanthropy Northwest

    Slide Deck:Giving USA 2020 Summary Slides

    Infographic: Giving USA 2020 Infographic

    Find Your Path to a More Inclusive Workplace Culture

    The Mid-Hudson Valley Association of Fundraising Professionals presents an action-packed webinar that will discuss how to assess your current culture and address building a positive culture of inclusion in the workplace.

    MODERATOR: Brenda B. Asare, President & CEO, The Alford Group

    Freddimir Garcia, Northern Regional Director for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Westchester Medical Center

    Inaudy Esposito, Executive Director, Orange County Human Rights

    Slide Deck: Inclusive Workplace Webinar Slides

    Celebrating Black Philanthropy

    By Brenda B. Asare, President and CEO, The Alford Group


    Liz Thompson, President and Office Director, Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education (The CAFE)

    Don Thompson, CEO and Founder, Cleveland Avenue, LLC


    With the current events of the past five months, the world is learning how to overcome the discomfort of talking about race and are having some real courageous conversations on how we can move forward together to create lasting change for people of color. This change will create a ripple effect where others who have been marginalized will benefit and increase their ability to thrive as well – no one is left behind.

    Continue reading “Celebrating Black Philanthropy”

    Never Waste a Good Pause

    By Mary Hackett, Associate Vice President and JoAnn Yoshimoto, CFRE, Associate Senior Consultant

    It was Machiavelli who first advised “never waste a good crisis.” By that he meant one could look at the opportunities afforded by a crisis to change, to innovate and to improve.

    To paraphrase Machiavelli, we advise “never waste a good pause.” Whether it’s a lull in activity or a forced rethinking of business-as-usual, most nonprofits are experiencing a “pandemic pause.” At minimum, everyone should take a moment to consider how to effectively navigate in the new normal. For those who are experiencing a pause, the silver lining is that we can utilize this time to strategically prepare for the future.

    We can explore ways to embrace the pandemic pause to PAUSE:

    P – Position

    A – Analyze

    U – Unify

    S – Steward

    E – Evaluate

    Continue reading “Never Waste a Good Pause”

    Follow the Yellow Brick Road: The Wizard of Oz as a Strategic Planning Tool

    By Michelle Hunter, Associate Consultant

    Looking for a way to make your organization’s strategic planning exciting and more relatable? Having a difficult time explaining strategic planning terminology?

    Fasten your seatbelt, Toto. We’re not in Kansas anymore.

    At first glance, The Wizard of Oz—the widely beloved children’s book by Frank L. Baum, the 1939 film starring Judy Garland, and countless other adaptations for stage and screen—may seem to have little to do with strategic planning: the process through which organizations define their long-term vision and identify strategies and action steps to achieve that vision.

    Although the two may seem to be unlikely companions, there is actually a lot we can glean from The Wizard of Oz about strategic planning.

    Continue reading “Follow the Yellow Brick Road: The Wizard of Oz as a Strategic Planning Tool”

    Giving USA: The Next Normal and a New Age of Philanthropy

    By Alexis Cooke, Consultant, The Alford Group

    On Wednesday, June 17, The Alford Group hosted a panel of national experts and funders to discuss Giving USA’s Annual Report on Philanthropy in 2019 in light of current realities, new opportunities and our future as non-profit staff, funders and philanthropists. The full discussion, along with The Alford Group’s Giving USA report, may be found here.

    As Brenda Asare, The Alford Group’s President and CEO, noted as she opened the panel discussion, we all had high hopes for 2020 – momentum within the sector was strong and anticipated to continue at the close of 2019 and through 2020. Of course, no one knew what was coming nor how incredibly important that cushion would be to the survival of many nonprofits. As leaders representing funders and philanthropists across the country, Laura, Marguerite, Steve and Beth offered critical insights into philanthropy today and provided some hope as Brenda said “we must look up and ahead, as that is where we are all going.”

    Continue reading “Giving USA: The Next Normal and a New Age of Philanthropy”