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Inspiring Conversations with Bonnie Hough of Banyan Nonprofit Strategy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bonnie Hough.

Hi Bonnie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I think the work I do today has just always been in my DNA. I grew up in a family that volunteered quite a bit and gave to community organizations regularly, so in many ways, my passion for what I do grew out of that. Career-wise, I’ve been working in the nonprofit world since 2011, full time since 2014. I’ve worked in Texas, Virginia, and Florida, at organizations that are both focused on solving community problems and those that fund the organizations doing community work. I’ve supported causes from food banks to community health clinics and focused on serving every age, from young kids to older adults. I’ve held a blend of roles in fundraising, communications, and project management. So I’ve been a little bit all over the place! But in every organization I was in, I noticed the same thing: feeling like we didn’t have enough SOMETHING – whether it was people, funding, or time – to focus on the strategies that will move the mission forward and ultimately make our community a better place. This feeling kept showing up, and it pushed me to create systems and strategies to stay focused on the big picture in my day-to-day work. These systems helped me create real fundraising and communications success at the organizations I was working with, and because of it, I was able to become a Certified Fundraising Executive at 30, which was a big accomplishment for me. In mid-2020, I made the decision to jump into entrepreneurship so that I can share these systems and strategies with other small nonprofit teams. With that, Banyan Nonprofit Strategy was born! With Banyan, my main goal is to help small-but-mighty nonprofit teams implement smart fundraising and communications strategies so they can go from crisis-driven to mission-driven and grow with intention. Banyan Nonprofit Strategy isn’t like many consultants in the nonprofit field. For one, I am solely focused on the small team – the team that likely doesn’t have a full development or communications department, but instead one or a couple of people who are covering all the bases themselves. I am also not solely trained in fundraising or communications, so I have a unique perspective on how to blend the roles together. Lastly, I know nonprofit teams are an overworked bunch – so I try to make working with Banyan as simple as possible. Our service offerings and prices are easily found on our website, and we offer everything from immersive 1-on-1 fundraising coaching to hiring us for a day to write grants, plan out social media campaigns, or anything else the team might need. Having been in the shoes of my clients, I have built this business specifically with them in mind!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I would say I am just getting started on the road! Launching a business in 2020 is in many ways unlike launching in any other year, but with that comes some freedom, too. The normal rules were out the window in 2020! I am not doing much in-person networking or marketing, but that has opened the door to create an online community. I share a lot of free info, education, and resources on Instagram at @BanyanNonprofitStrategy. Come hang out with me there!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Banyan Nonprofit Strategy provides fundraising and communications strategy support specifically for the small nonprofit team. At Banyan, we know what it’s like to lose sight of your work’s purpose because you’re just so overwhelmed. Rather than focusing on strategic organizational goals, it is all too easy to end each day feeling like you are just completing a laundry list of scattered tasks. But by focusing on tried-and-true strategies and working smarter rather than harder, the small nonprofit team can successfully shift their focus to big goals and their organization’s future. We know this because we’ve made it happen! Together, Banyan Nonprofit Strategy works with nonprofit clients to identify the areas holding your organization back and put in place an actionable, sustainable plan to move your mission forward. Through a unique blend of development, communications, and strategic planning, we partner to tell your story, grow your audience, and reach your financial goals.

Banyan offers in depth fundraising and communications coaching, half-and full-day packages to support you in whatever way makes the most sense for your organization. and strategy calls and copy critiques. In whatever way we may work together, we blend consultation and guidance with helping you to “just get stuff done” so your team sees forward movement but walks away understanding the why behind the changes we’ve implemented. Our goal is for you to be equipped to implement these strategies long after working with us! At Banyan, we also don’t beat around the bush – you can find full details and pricing for any of our services at We want to make these offerings as accessible as possible to any nonprofit in need of support!

How do you define success?
I am a big fan of consistency over perfection and using that to define your success. Choose small, attainable habits that you can put into practice that will move you closer to your big, audacious goals and dreams. For my nonprofit friends out there, that could be taking time each week to reach out to a donor and just let them know what the organization has been up to. I try to implement this in my business, too – I have big dreams for Banyan Nonprofit Strategy, but I know the only way I am going to get there is baby steps each day.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Christina Jones Photo

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