Keeping Small Businesses Competitive through Sharing Best Practices of Global Leaders

MARCIA BLOOMBERG’S BIO

Marcia Bloomberg

Marcia Bloomberg has worked in the nonprofit sector in New England and Cleveland, Ohio. She has also worked as an independent consultant in Massachusetts.

She  knows firsthand the challenges faced by nonprofit leadership: philanthropic development, board governance, employee supervision and training, communication with constituents, and more. She has worked as a professional within the Jewish and general communities, at  The Family Place in White River Junction, VT, the Dresden School District in Hanover, NH, the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland. Her positions included grant writing, government relations, annual campaign, volunteer and professional development, board training and employee hiring, training and supervision. She was also the executive director of the Cleveland Hillel Foundation for nine years. Now she runs the Bloomberg Group which provides NonProfit Direct: The NonProfit National Resource Directory.

Marcia graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in English and American Literature and a MA in Jewish Communal Service. She is also a certified Empowerment/Life Coach with accreditation from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC). She is married, lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts with her husband and has two grown children living in Brooklyn, NY.

The NonProfit National Directory connects nonprofit organizations to the resources they need to succeed. The directory is free to nonprofits and offers a comprehensive listing of consultants, coaches, grant writers, web designers, executive recruiters, trainers, attorneys, accountants, and others who serve this sector.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

1. What prompted you to start NonProfit Direct: The NonProfit National Directory?

Marcia: The work of the nonprofit sector is essential to the well-being of our society. Millions of Americans rely on nonprofits to provide services that support their physical and mental health, their educational aspirations, their religious and spiritual needs, their quest for happiness and fulfillment, their hopes and dreams for themselves and their families and their communities.

In my work in the nonprofit sector in Cleveland, Ohio and as an independent consultant in Massachusetts, I was frustrated by the lack of a one-stop-shop that features a listing of the consultants, coaches, grant-writers, web designers, executive recruiters, trainers, attorneys, accountants and others who serve nonprofit organizations.  I had to do research by accessing individual websites in various categories to find whom and what I need.  Needless to say, this is a time-consuming process.

So out of my own need and the need of others, I created NonProfit Direct: The NonProfit National Resource Directory to connect nonprofit organizations to the resources they need to succeed.  Although it started out as just a directory of specialists serving nonprofits, it now provides resources such as regular teleseminars, a monthly e-newsletter, a nonprofit membership, a resource library, and free downloads.

2. For most successful entrepreneurs, there is no typical day so give us a sample of your schedule from start to finish.

Marcia: Each day I begin by tweeting nonprofit news to my 6,000+ followers.  In addition to the tweeted news, I share  blogs and newsletters from NonProfit Direct’s listed specialists.  This is one way that I promote my listed specialists exposure to the nonprofit world.  I respond to new Twitter followers each morning.  I also take a look at the discussions from a variety of LinkedIn groups on nonprofit topics. Sometimes I respond, but more often I am trying to keep an eye on what the latest challenges and concerns are.

Recently I have been working on new resources for nonprofits to add to the NonProfit Direct website. One is a free download  “3 D’s: The Duty of Care, the Duty of Loyalty and the Duty of Obedience” for nonprofit leadership which outlines the legal and ethical responsibilities of board members.

Preparing the monthly e-newsletter also takes time.  And when we have a teleseminar coming up (we offer two or three each month), I spend time doing promotion and registration as well as working with our presenter.  We want each teleseminar to be as substantive and valuable as possible to participants.

I am also mentoring a young nonprofit professional.

3. What are your “can’t live without” apps on your desktop/cell phone?

Marcia: Guess what?  No apps!

4. What are your tricks for time management?

Marcia: In order to get “into the swing of things” each morning I begin with Twitter.  That gets my head focused and then I can move onto the other duties of the day.  I am very focused on what needs to be done and work my way through my internal list.

5. Best advice received when you started your career?

Marcia: I actually came to start NonProfit Direct because of a certification course I was taking to become a life coach. One aspect of the  program was to examine our own hearts and minds to find where our passions lay.  I realized that working in and for the nonprofit community was what I wanted to be doing. The coaching program and what I learned there allowed me to “follow my heart” and create a resource for nonprofit organizations that didn’t exist in this way until I founded NonProfit Direct.

6. Given the current economic climate, how has your strategy for building awareness of your work changed for the short-term and long-term?

Marcia: At first I didn’t have the funds to attend any of the really excellent nonprofit conferences held annually in various places in the country.  This month I am attending one in Massachusetts sponsored by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and Associated Grant Makers. In November I will be at a two day conference in New York sponsored by NextGen Charity. Attending those conferences gives me an opportunity to put a face with the name, NonProfit Direct.  I am hoping to meet lots of nonprofit leadership as well as consultants serving the nonprofit sector. Social media (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) have been instrumental in getting the NonProfit Direct name out there.

In addition, I am creating some resources to help enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of nonprofit organizations.  We already offer a free resource library that provides articles, studies and commentary on issues of challenge to the nonprofit sector. The teleseminars we offer have brought repeat participants as well as new ones to each session. Offering the teleseminars allows NonProfit Direct to provide value and substance to nonprofit leaders.

7. What’s been your proudest achievement as such an immensely accomplished Entrepreneur?

Marcia: I would have to say that, at least one of my proudest achievements, is learning the technology to create and maintain the NonProfit Direct website, adding resources as I find or develop them.  I am not a “techie” by nature and it’s been an uphill struggle to learn more and more about websites and social media and how to use them to advance NonProfit Direct. But most importantly, having the courage to go ahead and create NonProfit Direct out of an idea, out of hope and passion is what I am most proud of.

8. What are some of the ways that you achieve balance in your life?

Marcia: My body tells me when I need to move away from the computer and get some exercise,  do some errands or just rest for a while. Because I run an online resourse for nonprofits, I sit at my computer for long stretches.  I know when I need to step away and go for a walk, read a mystery, have lunch with a friend.

9. Your top 3 book recommendations for our readers (and why?)

Marcia: I can’t name just three. There are so many good books for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs.

10. If you had an exceptional month and earned double of your average month, what (if anything) would you spend it on?

Marcia: I think about this quite a bit (particularly in terms of winning the lottery!).  I would make a sizeable donation to a favorite charity, buy my son a new computer (his recently broke) and register to attend more nonprofit conferences to meet some of the wonderful folks who list in NonProfit Direct, those who have participated in our teleseminars as well as those I haven’t yet had a chance to connect with.

11. What are some of your most rewarding charitable involvements and why?

Marcia: I chose nonprofit work as my career and am proud and grateful to have had the chance to work at a number of organizations helping to make the world a better place.  I feel that I am making a donation to the nonprofit sector every day that I work on NonProfit Direct. Here in western Massachusetts  I enjoy my annual participation in the Local United Way’s backpack giveaway each August.  We get to buy and fill up a backpack for a student with the many things they’ll need for a successful school year.

12. Who has been the most influential person to you as you’ve advanced in your career?

Marcia: I have to name two.  One is Brendon Burchard, author of The Millionaire Messenger.  He writes about turning our experience and expertise into products and services that can help others to achieve their dreams.  The other is my husband, Jerry Fish, who has been endlessly supportive of my work on NonProfit Direct.

13. What’s your advice to my someone interested in entrepreneurship?

Marcia: Spend time really exploring what has meaning for you.  What are you passionate about?  What do you do for fun? For inspiration? Is there a way to share your experience with others that will enhance their lives? Where do you want to be in one year, three years, five years?  How can you get there? Do some reading about other entrepreneurs and what they have endured, how they have succeeded and failed, what they’ve accomplished and how they feel about it. Look online for people who are doing something similar to what you’d like to do. Sit down with a volunteer from SCORE, RSVP, the local Chamber of Commerce and/or the local business bureau to talk about your entrepreneurial idea. Then, get started!

To learn more about NonProfit Direct, click on the following image:

Social Media For Marcia Bloomberg:

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