Jonathan Poisner


Jonathan Poisner has over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector.

Since fall 2009, Poisner has worked as an independent organizational development consultant, with a focus on strategic planning, fundraising, communications, coalition building, and other organizational development challenges. Poisner also works as an Executive Coach for leaders who’re looking for ongoing leadership development feedback from a seasoned professional.

In 1997, Jonathan became Executive Director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and its sister organization, OLCV Education Fund. During his twelve years leading OLCV, he grew the combined revenue of OLCV and OLCV Education Fund from $200,000 to $1.1 million per year.

During his tenure, OLCV’s staff grew from just one and a half full time employees to more than 11 FTE, while dramatically increasing its capacity to involve thousands of volunteers in its work. During his tenure, OLCV’s electoral program defeated more than a dozen anti-environment elected officials and helped elect many more environmental champions to office.

Jonathan also led the Oregon Conservation Network to develop shared priorities.

“Priorities for a Healthy Oregon” raised the bar in the Oregon Legislature — helping pass new laws that promote renewable energy, recycle electronic waste, protect farmland, and safeguard clean water.

Jonathan served on the founding board of the Federation of State Conservation Voter Leagues, where he was a strong voice for growing state LCVs. From 2007- 2009, Jonathan was elected to serve on the boards of the League of Conservation Voters and LCV Education Fund.

Jonathan holds dual degrees in Economics and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. He has a JD from Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley.

Prior to his tenure at OLCV, he practiced law as an associate attorney at the law firm of Arnold & Porter, served as Environmental Law Fellow at Lewis & Clark Law School, worked as an Adjunct Law Professor, and served on the regional staff of the Sierra Club.

Smashwords Interview

Why are you writing free E-Books?
I write the books I wish I had access to early in my tenure as a nonprofit leader.

Why Organizations Thrive is the book I wish I'd been handed when I first became a nonprofit Executive Director in 1997. As I consult with nonprofits across the country, I'm repeatedly struck by how often new Executive Directors are forced to reinvent the wheel. Of course, in this case, I'm not talking about a wheel. I'm not even talking about the technical aspects of the job that are "invented." I'm talking about the underlying strategic framework with which an Executive Director should approach their job. Time and time again, I see Executive Directors who seem to just be making it up as they go along, without connecting the dots.

I realized I could help them connect the dots by creating a series of lessons for new Executive Directors. I did this originally as a series of articles, but was encouraged by several of my readers to turn it into a book. That process helped turn the individual articles into something that stands together as a whole.

The same thing holds true for The Essential Major Donor Toolkit. Time and again, I find nonprofit board members and staff who're having to invent systems and strategies when there are tried and true options for them to use. While I had access to great fundraising training as an Executive Director, I often had to wade through a lot to find the best practices. The Toolkit is my attempt to give those getting started with major donor fundraising -- or those looking to step things up a notch -- the basic systems and strategies they need to focus on.
Why did you publish it as a free E-book?
I have the luxury of writing books as an offshoot for my consulting practice, instead of as my livelihood. My goal was to give away knowledge as quickly and broadly as possible, so free E-Books are the logical choice for now. It's been fun to watch people I've never me or interacted with download my book.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Jonathan Poisner online


The Essential Major Donor Toolkit: A Guide for Nonprofits Pursuing a Major Donor Strategy
Price: Free! Words: 17,300. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2020. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Non-profit business
This book outlines a systematic approach and corresponding tactics that any small or medium sized nonprofit can use to pursue major gifts as a fundraising strategy. The lessons stem from the author's 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector as an Executive Director and consultant. The author aims to for this to be a Toolkit and not just a book, serving as a practical step-by-step guide
Why Organizations Thrive: Lessons from the Front Lines for Nonprofit Executive Directors
Price: Free! Words: 15,760. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Non-profit business
Why Organizations Thrive outlines fifteen lessons for nonprofit Executive Directors from a long-term nonprofit leader and consultant. It's the book the author wishes he could have read when he first started as a nonprofit leader 20 years ago. The book is designed to be read in a single sitting, with each short lesson including a mix of theory and practical tips.

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