Meet AFP member Adrienne Selsor, founder and president of Time, Talent & Treasure; as interviewed by Amanda Turner, Junior Achievement, Vice President, Development and Communications.
My husband and I relocated to Columbus almost four years ago from Washington, D.C., not knowing anybody. I decided to use this move as an opportunity to transition my career from politics/corporate America to getting back into non-profit fundraising. Through a friend of a friend, I met Adrienne Selsor who was willing to meet this random transplant for coffee. I was immediately impressed by Adrienne and knew she was someone I wanted to latch onto! Fast forward two and half years and I actually get the opportunity to work with Adrienne while she was a consultant at Mollard Consulting. I know first-hand the impact a consulting firm can have on not just an organization, but on the individual who gets the chance to have that relationship. Both Kerri Mollard and Adrienne have been tremendous mentors to me and have really helped our organization, Junior Achievement, get organized and develop a strategic plan to success. As a way to pay it forward, I’m thrilled to share more about Adrienne and her new firm, Time, Talent & Treasure.
Tell us a little about your firm. Mission? Population you serve?
I’m so excited to share that Time, Talent & Treasure is launching! My goal is to make it easy and affordable for individuals, companies and nonprofits to get the fundraising and leadership development support they need to be successful. I passionately believe that the people who work in or on behalf of nonprofits are at the core of their success. And that helping those people to secure financial resources is the best way to strengthen the capacity of their organization and then the community.
Why did you spin off to do your own consulting?
It’s something that I have thought about for a couple of years, and my goal is to be able to focus on doing a few things and doing them really well. I love supporting good people doing important work in our community and spending as much time with them as possible. Coaching and training will be available for people in the corporate grant-making sector, the nonprofit sector and serving as community volunteers. I love this because it’s a huge need and it fits my background perfectly. My overall passion is to mobilize community engagement.
How has the transition from being in-house to consulting been since leaving the YWCA?
People always ask me what my favorite role has been – serving as a grant-making officer at a company, serving as chief fundraiser at a nonprofit or serving as a consultant. To be honest I have loved them all because they are each a vital part to mobilizing resources to strengthen our community. Putting them all together has been really fun.
I will always love the YWCA and the amazing work it does in the community. Serving in that role carved out a special place in my heart for nonprofit professionals and volunteers. There are so many wonderful people I met through my time there, and I am proud of the work I was able to do to stabilize and strengthen the organization.
Has anyone mentored you through this process? If so, can you share who and how have they supported you?
I have had so many individuals that I call for advice so I am fortunate to have too many mentors to list. Columbus is full of wonderful people that will take the time to help you when you ask.
I’ve been fortunate to work with many amazing women. Elfi Di Bella has been a longtime mentor that I still talk with on a regular basis, as well as Kerri Mollard who has always been supportive of me and my career growth.
I do, however, get a little sad thinking about a whole generation of leaders (and mentors) that we are losing but my hope is to make it easy for people to stay involved in the community after they retire because we need them.
How long have you been in fundraising, and how did you get into it?
To be honest it’s been luck, hard work and creating meaningful relationships that made the next steps in my career happen naturally. I started out of college in Battelle’s corporate philanthropy department where my responsibilities increased to distribute grant and event funds into the community, place nonprofit board members, handle volunteer administration and its United Way campaign. These eight years gave me a broad overview of the community and its needs.
At that time, I also volunteered on dozens of nonprofit event steering committees helping them with fundraising work. One of the nonprofit boards I served on at Battelle was YWCA Columbus where I ended up leaving the board role to take a staff role as chief development officer for six years. Mollard Consulting was contracted to do all the grant writing at the YWCA so I worked with Kerri for five years prior to starting at Mollard Consulting which lead me to now launching my own training and coaching company – Time, Talent & Treasure.
Why should an organization work with a consultant?
There is a real need for smaller nonprofits who cannot afford a full development plan or feasibility study but see a significant ROI from guidance and coaching.
A good consultant should provide support, direction and accountability. Consultants also have a unique perspective on the lay of the land (trends in giving, insight on donor focus for giving, where the meaningful relationships are, etc.) that they can share when advising clients.
I equate investing in a fundraising consultant to investing in my personal trainer – I think I know how to exercise but what I’ve been doing on my own wasn’t producing the results I wanted because I haven’t been formally trained in it, all exercise isn’t created equal and I don’t push myself as hard as she does. Consultants can help you gain clarity and focus so your time is maximized. And who doesn’t want more free time?
How long have you been an AFP member, and what has your involvement been?
I have been an AFP member for over five years and this is my second year on board. I currently serve as Chair of the Mentoring Committee.
What do you consider the most valuable part of your AFP membership?
To me the biggest benefit of AFP is being part of an effort to helping to stabilize the crazy turnover in the fundraising profession. Penelope Burk shares that $46,650 is the amount that could retain a good fundraiser. And the amount lost with each fundraiser that leaves a position is $127,650 to the organization. So why aren’t we doing the math? What nonprofit doesn’t need another $81,000? If a network of support and materials can help with this why wouldn’t everyone invest in it?
What is your favorite part about living/working in Columbus? Favorite Restaurant and/or family activity?
I love the openness – people welcome your involvement and we encourage diversity. To be honest, life with nine-year-old twins is usually so busy that my favorite family activity is snuggling on the couch for movie night. J
Tell us a fun fact about you that other AFP members wouldn’t know.
When I was little and everyone around me wanted to be a teacher or a dentist, I wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer (do you remember that show?). It’s funny because I’m such a big champion for women’s rights and instead of being super ambitious I just wanted to be happy, have fun and make others smile.
Visit Time, Talent & Treasure website at https://www.timetalentandtreasurellc.com/
Posted May 2017