PMA Consulting, LLC

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PMA Launches the Nonprofit Innovation Series


PMA is pleased to launch its Innovation Series, a four-month exploration of new perspectives, best practices and what is working in nonprofit management across Mecklenburg County.  Each Tuesday, the firm will publish a blog with content derived from its year-long study into nonprofit innovation, including:

  • 150 local nonprofit 990 tax forms
  • Surveys of nearly 100 board chairs, executive directors and development directors
  • More than 20 interviews with local leaders
  • The firm’s own experience working with more than 80 organizations during the past four years

Beginning now through May 2013, our blog becomes Innovation Central every Tuesday! Be sure to sign up for blog updates at the bottom of this page, ‘follow’ us on Twitter and look for #InnovationTuesday for additional content, ‘like’ us on Facebook to continue the dialogue, and join us for upcoming Twitter chats and Google+ Hangouts for in-depth discussion.


In February 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average bottomed out at a 10-year low of 7062, rocking the US economy to its very core.

Few cities felt the impact of that freefall more prominently than Charlotte, NC.  Nonprofit organizations that depended on a vibrant banking community for charitable support rallied to meet unprecedented need, all the while adapting to a shifting business model that threatened to dismantle the sector.  Leaders prepared for the very worst, with nonprofit boards moving into crisis fundraising, philanthropists encouraging mergers, and development professionals challenged to chart a course for survival.

For many, it felt like the end was very near.

But the end did not come.

Why? How did the nonprofit sector in Mecklenburg County not just survive the worst downturn in 90 years, but find ways to thrive in the new economy?  And what can we learn to make sure we’re prepared the next time instability is the norm?  Seeking answers to these questions is at the heart of PMA’s Innovation Series.

A look back at the last four years is a natural for PMA – founder Patton McDowell established the firm the same February that the stock market collapsed, and focusing on the strategies to help nonprofits generate needed revenue has been a priority focus for the firm alongside development search and strategic planning.

IWS-Fund Development 2

Fund Development

In February, the PMA Innovation Series focuses on Fund Development.  Earned and contributed revenue is the lifeblood of the nonprofit sector, and PMA explores the creative ways in which organizations are developing new fundraising channels, the strategies that are the priorities to local leaders, and what the numbers tell us about the resiliency of nonprofits during the downturn.

Features this month include:

  • Q&A’s with local leaders like Scott Provancher from the Arts & Science Council and Charles Thomas from Queen City Forward
  • Case studies of local nonprofits that impress
  • Data and findings from our yearlong research into what is working in nonprofit , and other reflections by members of the PMA team.

Stay tuned!