Lori Zoss Kraska: Empowering Purpose-Driven Organizations for Sustainable Growth

Lori Zoss Kraska: Empowering Purpose-Driven Organizations for Sustainable Growth

With an unwavering commitment to driving revenue generation and fostering corporate social responsibility, Lori Zoss Kraska stands at the forefront of nonprofit consulting as the Founder and CEO of Growth Owl, LLC. Drawing upon over 22 years of expertise, Lori has consistently surpassed fundraising goals, built high-performance teams, and forged invaluable relationships. Lori's impressive career includes leadership positions at renowned organizations like PBS, NPR, and University of Phoenix.  

Recognized by national media outlets and esteemed podcasts, she holds an MBA in Systems Management and the prestigious Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) accreditation. Lori's profound dedication has garnered commendation from both the state of Ohio and the Ohio Senate. Now, on a global scale, Lori empowers purpose-driven organizations worldwide to achieve their funding goals and create lasting success.  

Building Bridges Between Nonprofits and Corporations  

Lori Zoss Kraska's journey into nonprofit consulting was ignited during her transformative tenure of nearly a decade with PBS and NPR. Collaborating with a dynamic team of account executives, Lori spearheaded corporate funding initiatives for local stations, cultivating her passion for corporate sponsorship and philanthropy. Through these experiences, Lori realized her innate ability to comprehend corporate perspectives and connect them with organizations.   

Before her tenure in public media, Lori had already carved a path in broadcast sales and consulting, channeling her expertise to bring forth sponsorships for broadcast stations. Furthermore, her role as a regional marketing director for a national university granted her valuable experience in building relationships with Fortune 1000 companies. However, her immersion into the world of PBS and NPR stations truly exposed her to the immense potential for fruitful partnerships between nonprofits and corporations.   

Driven by a deep understanding of the symbiotic relationship between nonprofits and corporations, Lori's pivotal career experiences fueled her resolute dedication to facilitating and nurturing these connections. Harnessing her entrepreneurial spirit, Lori embarked on a transformative journey, founding Growth Owl, LLC—a business aimed at empowering purpose-driven organizations.  

Nurturing Partnerships and Transforming Funding Strategies  

Since its establishment in 2018, Growth Owl, LLC has been a steadfast ally to nonprofits, associations, public media broadcasters, startups, and other purpose driven organizations seeking to optimize their fundraising potential. With a wide range of specialized services, Growth Owl equips these entities with the tools and guidance to secure funding and resources from corporations and larger organizations.  

Growth Owl offers a comprehensive suite of services tailored to each client's unique requirements. From direct representation services and online/onsite training to executive mentorship, research, and top talent recruitment, their multifaceted approach ensures that organizations are well-positioned to meet their funding goals. Growth Owl specializes in conducting feasibility studies and talent assessments, providing valuable insights to optimize strategies and maximize impact.  

One of the key strengths of Growth Owl lies in its expertise in engaging corporate leaders in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability, and accessibility. By facilitating connections with thought leaders who are committed to aligning their brands and community engagement resources with organizations, Growth Owl fosters mutually beneficial partnerships. These collaborations unite organizations with shared missions and values, creating a ripple effect of positive social change.  

Insights from "The Boardroom Playbook"  

In her book, "The Boardroom Playbook: A Not So Ordinary Guide to Corporate Funding for Your Purpose Driven Organization," Lori Zoss Kraska offers invaluable guidance on securing corporate funding. The book follows a structured approach known as Me Me Mo—aligning the mental, messaging, and motion aspects necessary to achieve funding goals. Divided into three sections, the book dives deep into each element, providing valuable insights for organizations.  

Lori places significant emphasis on cultivating a positive mindset and being open to new experiences. Recognizing the importance of corporate depth perception, she encourages understanding the perspective of corporate decision-makers. While funding may be a top priority for nonprofits, it may be just one of many priorities for corporations. Maintaining brevity and crafting compelling messages that respect decision-makers time are crucial in this marathon-like journey. Nonprofits gain a competitive advantage by building stamina and not taking rejections personally.  

The book emphasizes the importance of brevity in messaging. Lori shares her success in reaching out to decision-makers on platforms like LinkedIn, which offers a less crowded space for connections. The book provides practical guidance on crafting effective messages that go beyond traditional email communication. By diversifying the messaging approach, organizations can capture decision-makers attention and foster meaningful connections.  

"The Boardroom Playbook" equips readers with essential tools for creating impactful proposals. Lori highlights the pitfalls of "pumpkin spice proposals," emphasizing the need to prioritize substance over quantity. Decision-makers often express frustration with proposals overloaded with unnecessary images and repetitive information. Organizations can enhance their proposal effectiveness by adopting practical tips, such as streamlining the document to a concise five pages. By prioritizing quality and relevance in the content, organizations can significantly improve their chances of success.  

These insights are just a glimpse into the wealth of knowledge shared in "The Boardroom Playbook." Lori's book serves as a valuable resource, offering practical advice and actionable strategies for organizations to confidently navigate the boardroom. With mental alignment, effective messaging, and compelling proposals, nonprofits can unlock the funding needed to drive their mission forward.  

Navigating Challenges and Seizing Opportunities   

Competition emerges as a significant hurdle for nonprofits; according to Lori, "Competition is a significant challenge for nonprofits. Balancing purpose and a business mindset are essential in seeking corporate funding and navigating the nonprofit landscape." Balancing purpose and operational considerations becomes crucial for financial sustainability. Lori highlights the need to embrace revenue strategies and acknowledges the anxiety surrounding budgets and revenue in the nonprofit sector. Seeking guidance from professionals can alleviate concerns and normalize the importance of revenue strategies. With Lori's insights, organizations gain the tools to overcome challenges and seize opportunities.   

Lori emphasizes the power of starting with small, achievable goals when embarking on any strategy, including a corporate strategy. She advises organizations, especially smaller nonprofits, to break down their fundraising targets into manageable milestones. For instance, focusing on engaging five individual donors in a specific month or reaching out to two local companies that align with their mission. By setting realistic goals, organizations lay the foundation for long-term success. Lori's wise counsel highlights the importance of taking incremental steps and celebrating each milestone along the way.  

Lori's insights serve as a guiding light for purpose-driven organizations facing challenges and seeking opportunities. By embracing a business mindset, normalizing the need for revenue strategies, and setting achievable goals, nonprofits can overcome obstacles and pave the way for sustainable funding that supports their mission and the communities they serve.  

The Editorial Team

The Editorial Team

Hi there, we're the editorial team at WomELLE. We offer resources for business and career success, promote early education and development, and create a supportive environment for women. Our magazine, "WomLEAD," is here to help you thrive both professionally and personally.

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