Author: Nancy Patterson

I have spent the past 24 years working in the nonprofit sector serving community-based causes–educational institutions, arts and cultural organizations, healthcare providers and nonprofit start-ups. I began serving as Associate Vice President of Leadership & Fund Development at Chattanooga State Community College in August of 2013 and was promoted to Vice President of College Advancement and Public Relations in August 2015. I also own a nonprofit consulting business which I started in 2005 and co-founded a legal tech company with my husband in 2011.

She Inspires Me | Anne Frank

Slide31She Inspires Me is a Nonprofitunity original series that provides a digital intersection of philanthropy and amazing girls and women in history. Welcome to the debut volume dedicated to the sweet memory of my best friend from high school, Stacey Barton Johnson, whose 43rd birthday would have been today.

Anne Frank, 1929 – 1945 | Overview

The Diary of Anne Frank (also know as The Diary of a Young Girl) is the true story of a Jewish teenage girl with a literary gift who died in a concentration camp during World War II. In her diary, she describes her life and deep thoughts while she and her family lived in a Secret Annex hidden behind a bookcase. She left us a timeless message of courage, hope and respect. (more…)

The Intersection of Philanthropy and Women in History

"She Inspires Me" is dedicated to my daughter, Samantha.

“She Inspires Me” is dedicated to my daughter, Samantha.

What a thrill to announce a Nonprofitunity original series: She Inspires Me, a digital intersection of philanthropy and amazing women in history.

The idea for this series has been a few years in the making. It led to books, videos, websites and even apps, plus a deeper discovery of not only strong, smart and brave women in history but the philanthropic movements their lives inspired. Women like Helen Keller, Christa McAuliffe, Rosa Parks, Rachel Carson and Anne Frank. (more…)

Fireplug App offers Google Reader solution

Time is running out for Google Reader Solutions, but the Fireplug app has you covered!


From Brian Trautschold at The Fireplug Blog:Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 8.24.04 AM

“Google will kill a highly functional product with fanatically loyal users: Google Reader. From the burning ashes of its funeral pyre, we believe something new and unique can rise up. Not a replacement. Not a new version. A new way of reading and learning.

View original post 250 more words

Organize volunteers and raise money with

Slide002The nonprofit sector depends on the power of volunteers who share of themselves for the greater good, and any tool that makes it easier to support and encourage volunteerism is a winner to me! We also know that often our very best volunteers become loyal donors. This intersection of volunteering and giving is (more…)

3 ingredients for successful nonprofit innovation: a case study of the RiverRocks Festival

Slide004My hometown is quite the hot spot for outdoor adventure. Chattanooga has been named one of the top bike-friendly cities in the United States by Bicycling magazine, a top “10 Dream Towns to Live Big, Play Hard, and Work (if you must)” by Outside magazine and called one of the “Best Adventure Towns in the U.S. to Live + Play” by National Geographic Adventure magazine. (more…)

Fundraising Grit

Slide030Last year I wrote about successful campaign teams having super human stick-to-it-tiveness like that of silver-screen character Ethan Hunt and his Mission Impossible crew. Nonprofit campaign leaders should demonstrate an unwavering belief that success is theirs and never, ever give up. I was basing my fundraising team conclusions on personal experiences from being a part of winning campaign teams over the past twenty years. Today, I am pleased to share with you research-based evidence (more…)

Felt delivers handwritten thank you’s in an iPad app

feltapplogosmallHave you ever felt inspired to write a thank you note, but you didn’t have any stamps or appropriate thank you cards in your magic drawer? A clever new iPad app aims to solve our thank you note challenges and “revives the old school tradition” of handwritten cards. I downloaded Felt today after my friend emailed that it was available on the Apple App Store. (Full disclosure: her son’s design team worked on the app). She wrote:

 I think it’s pretty cool and hope it will get us all back on track with our “thank you’s!” (more…)

Causeway brings support to local causes you care about

1012870_657041407658265_629885379_nAs part of National Volunteer Week, which runs from April 21-27, 2013, I am thrilled to pay tribute to a hometown team who is setting a new standard for supporting local causes with their hyper-local platform Causeway.

This is not your typical crowdfunding site.

Compared to industry leader Kickstarter, Causeway offers something exclusive for a community. Forbes contributor Ryan Caldbeck said in his 2013 crowdfunding predictions: “While Kickstarter can be successful as the of crowdfunding, (more…)

Next Level Volunteer Organizing Solutions

560487_410129935694162_322418226_aI was thrilled when Nazila Alasti, CEO and Founder of Jooners, contacted me this week and invited me to learn more about her online sign up solution. I wrote about two competing online sign up tools last year so I was eager to learn about (more…)