Winter Issue 2016

Winter 2016

New Year—New Opportunities

Preparing for Opportunities through

Patouillet Consulting’s Career Management Services for Higher Education Professionals


By Susan Stewart, Senior Communications Consultant 

Patouillet Consulting, LLC (PCLLC)


As we approach the midpoint of the first quarter of 2016, some of us are struggling to keep New Year’s resolutions—so often related to exercise, healthy eating and other crucial pillars of health and well-being. However, among the many things competing for our attention and focus are the economic realities of a volatile stock market, world turmoil, and a changing job market across all arenas, including higher education.


As anyone looking for a job or a job change in higher education might sense, the number of positions in this field has declined in recent years. In addition, it is widely cited that individuals today make an average of twelve job changes in the course of their working years; even more if they change career focus multiple times. Professionals in higher education are increasingly in a job search mode whether voluntarily or not. Many are not ready for the rigorous process.


Dennis Barden, senior partner for the higher-education division at the executive-search firm Witt/Keiffer and Patouillet Consulting Advisory Board member stated, “We definitely see a need for resources to assist higher-education candidates in navigating the employment process. Individuals often ask us for help with interviewing skills and resume review. As a search firm working for hiring institutions, we are not equipped to assist individuals. Affordable outside career resources tailored to the particular industry with a menu of services from which the individual can choose, however, can be very useful in helping candidates prepare to navigate the process more successfully and more thoroughly than they are generally able to do on their own.”


[Read the Full Article]

Consulting Services


Patouillet Consulting, LLC, established in 1983, helps college, and university leaders with their career development needs. The firm also works with educational leaders to assess, strengthen and customize approaches to expand the support from alumni and friends while increasing constituent engagement.


PCLLC serves as a strategic partner in assisting our clients in the following areas:

Patouillet Consulting, LLC enjoys the involvement and support of a global advisory board comprised of industry leaders with more than 500 years of collective experience. Additional information about the firm is available at further information, email Mary Patouillet. e:


Workshops & Seminars

  • The Integration of Alumni and Development in Fundraising and Capital Campaigns
  • The Role of the Board Member in Resource Development
  • The Role of the Alumni Association as a Strategic Partner in Advancing the Institution
  • Key Metrics and Dashboards in Development and Alumni
  • Strategies for Diversifying your Revenue Stream in an Era of Funding Cuts
  • International Alumni Relations (New)



  “Think not of yourself as the architect of your career,

  but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard

  hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing.”


   Bertie Charles Forbes (1880-1954)

      Founder, Forbes Magazine—1917   






According to The Higher Education Employment Report, existing jobs in higher education declined by more than 21,000 positions during Quarter 3 of 2015 alone. This represents the largest single loss in a quarter since 2007.






       One-Hour Session


PCLLC offers a complimentary

one-hour session to discuss

your career needs and to

explore ways in which we can

help achieve your goals.


The following services are

offered in packages to meet

individual needs/budgets:


*  Executive Coaching

*  Career Counseling

*  Professional Document


*  Workplace Personality Test


*  Interview Preparation/Practice


For more about these services

contact Mary Patouillet:



p: 865-281-5732

Comments from Recent Clients


Ms. Jennifer Gajewski, Chief of Staff, President’s Office, Towson University


Towson University engaged the Patouillet Consulting, LLC (PCLLC) group to conduct a thorough review of our alumni operation and we are very pleased with their work. They took the time to meet with countless stakeholders and developed a very detailed action oriented report. The university will be much better moving forward for collaborating with PCLLC.”


Mr. Keener Fry Jr., Executive Director, University of Wyoming Alumni Association


“When the UW Alumni Association began developing our six-year business plan for future engagement with alumni, we knew we wanted to get it right the first time. That is when we decided to partner with Lee and his team of consultants at Patouillet Consulting. They took time to listen and understand the unique aspects of our culture. With their personalized and customized approach for the University of Wyoming, we completed, and have begun implementing, a comprehensive strategic plan that ensures we provide critical and relevant support and services to alumni, students and the University of Wyoming for the future.”


Mr. Stan Key, Executive Director, University of Kentucky Alumni Association


“The University of Kentucky Alumni Association just celebrated our 150th anniversary and we wanted to engage a firm to help us in developing a strategic plan to chart the course for the foreseeable future. We had worked with Patouillet Consulting, LLC in the past and we knew they would help us with this challenging task. Our staff and board are very pleased with their work and I would highly recommend them to others looking for strategic planning assistance. They are experts in understanding best practice and being customer focused.”   


Summer Issue 2013

  Summer 2013

Patouillet Consulting, LLC (PCLLC) Celebrates Banner Year

and Announces Plans for FY’ 14

PCLLC Doubled the Number of Clients from 17 to 34 in One Year

Members of the Patouillet Consulting, LLC Advisory Board and staff met at the Georgia Tech Foundation on June 19, 2013 for the firm’s Annual Meeting

“We wish to thank our clients for their ongoing loyalty and support.  In an effort to meet the needs of our growing number of repeat and new clients, the firm will engage the services of more Advisory Board members in FY’14 as consultants on selected projects,” said Lee Patouillet, Ph.D., President of PCLLC. 

“Patouillet Consulting enjoys the involvement and support of a National Advisory Board comprised of industry leaders with more than 500 years of collective experience. This is one of the distinguishing characteristics of our firm. Very few organizations in the higher education and nonprofit consulting space have this level of expertise to call upon when addressing a given assignment,” says Mary Patouillet, PCLLC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). To learn more about the company please visit

Mary Patouillet has been overseeing the day to day operation of the firm since July 1, 2013. Patouillet has an extensive background in communications, higher education consulting, and health care. She has worked with her husband Lee in the firm since its establishment 1983. Now as COO, Patouillet works very closely with PCLLC’s staff to manage the business, financial, technical, and creative aspects of the company in addition to working with clients to match their needs with the expertise of the firm’s consultants.

Dr. Lee Patouillet assumed the role of Associate Vice Chancellor of Alumni Affairs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville on July 1, 2013. “I look forward to serving my alma mater and supporting the institution in its journey to become a top 25 public research university by 2020. I am confident the firm will continue to provide real value to our clients by developing a very custom approach to each assignment” says Lee Patouillet.  “Mary and I will maintain oversight of all PCLLC consulting engagements, and I will be directly involved in select projects.”

Board Member Highlight: Paul Gangi

New-Media Consulting Services Available through PCLLC

Paul Gangi is an advisory board member for Patouillet Consulting LLC, and former President of the Internet Services Division at Harris Connect.

Gangi’s experience as a new-media pioneer includes an early-career focus on the optimization of email, chat boards and e-commerce on the original online Prodigy Services. During the more recent 15 years of his career, he led the strategic efforts of Harris Connect in migrating the print-directory business to the internet. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a Master of Business Administration from Pace University.

Currently Gangi is helping Canterbury School with its capital campaign. Gangi, like a growing number of other board members, is available for higher education consulting through PCLLC. Contact Executive Vice President Mary Patouillet,, for more information. 

Board Member Highlight: Scott Atwell

Scott Atwell has served as President and CEO of the FSU Alumni Association since 2008, where he has grown the budget by $1 million and expanded recognition programs, board initiatives and communications platforms for the university’s more than 300,000 alumni.  A communicator by training, Atwell launched FSU’s flagship publication, VIRES magazine, as part of the association’s centennial celebration in 2009, and has since added a quarterly e-newsletter called Alumin@tion, featuring a video news recap and variable data based on the recipient’s academic discipline and zip code.  As part of a young alumni initiative, Atwell added a new awards program for graduates under the age of 30, while expanding and enhancing the association’s other recognition programs.  Atwell championed a more transparent process for board selection and voting, resulting in vibrant and influential volunteer leadership for the organization. Atwell holds a degree from the University of Miami and is enrolled in FSU’s graduate program in higher education.

Consulting Services

Patouillet Consulting, LLC helps college, university and nonprofit leaders generate additional support and increase constituent engagement.

The firm, established in 1983, serves as a strategic partner in assisting our clients in the following areas:

Patouillet Consulting, LLC enjoys the involvement and support of a national advisory board comprised of industry leaders. Additional information about the firm is available at

For further information, 

Workshops & Seminars

Higher Education
  • The Integration of Alumni and Development in Fundraising and Capital Campaigns
  • The Role of the Board Member in Resource Development
  • The Role of the Alumni Association as a Strategic Partner in Advancing the Institution
  • Key Metrics and Dashboards in Development and Alumni
  • Strategies for Diversifying your Revenue Stream in an Era of Funding Cuts
  • International Alumni Relations (new)
  • Keys to Establishing an Effective Social Media Strategy for your Institution (new)

Recent Comments from Patouillet Consulting, LLC Clients

Ms. Cathy Sweet, Vice President, Institutional Advancement, University of Maryland University College (UMUC)

“Looking for consultants who have experience with advancement operations in large, on-line institutions can be a challenge. Dr. Patouillet’s consulting model allowed him, through his impressive advisory board, to gain the insight, knowledge and expertise needed to assist us. Spending a great deal of time understanding the culture of the institution and its unique position in higher education, he and his colleague produced an impressive final report which I have already used extensively with staff and university leadership including the Board.”

Melinda Ashcraft, Chair, Chattahoochee Tech Foundation Board of Trustees

“I appreciate very much your conducting our planning session recently.  I thought it was fantastic and there were a lot of wonderful comments from our trustees at the reception. You did a great job relating to our situation and that made everything very focused and relatable to our new and seasoned trustees.”

Recent Assignments and Presentations

1. Institutional Advancement Review and Campaign Readiness Study

University of Maryland University College (UMUC)

Contact: Cathy Sweet, VP, Institutional


2. Strategic Planning

James Madison University Alumni Association

Contact: Ashley Privott, Executive Director, Alumni Association,

3. The Role of the Board in Fundraising (Workshop)

Chattahoochee Technical Foundation

Contact: Chris Knife, Executive Director, Foundation,

4.  The Role of the University of Central Florida Alumni Association as a Strategic Partner in Advancing the University and Enriching the Lives of Students and Alumni Worldwide (Webinar)

University of Central Florida

Contact: Tom Messina, Executive Director, Alumni Association,

5. Executive Coaching

Robert Morris University

Contact: Jay Carson, Sr. VP, Institutional Advancement,

Note: The list above is a representative sample of the kind of work the firm has recently completed. Two of Patouillet Consulting’s most requested services are advancement/association reviews and strategic planning. For further information, please contact Mary Patouillet, Executive Vice President at

The firm offers a one hour complimentary session to discuss your needs. 

A View from the Belly of the Beast: Lessons Learned from the Penn State Crisis

By Susan Stewart, PCLLC Senior Consultant

Arguably the greatest challenge faced by an academic institution, the Jerry Sandusky arrest has brought negative attention to Penn State University, and left colleges and universities everywhere wondering how they would handle a crisis of similar magnitude. Although the situation is far from over, there are positive lessons to be learned from the Penn State Alumni Association.

A gain in members, revenue and trust

At a time when it may be expected that the country’s largest dues-paying alumni association would lose members and revenue, the Penn State Alumni Association experienced growth.  

Membership increased 2.4 percent in comparison to the year prior to the crisis, dues revenue increased 2.7 percent, and the Sustaining Life Member Program increased 21.9 percent. In addition, recent member surveys reflect a relatively high level of trust for the organization, compared with the university’s governing board and administration.

In the beginning: Listening

“At first there was an onslaught of phone calls and emails from members,” said Roger Williams, D.Ed., Executive Director of the Penn State Alumni Association.

Williams, a three-time alumnus of the university, led the association’s efforts to answer more than 4,000 emails, calls, letters and social-media postings. A strategic hands-off approach to social media encouraged alumni to freely express their opinions.

Williams said that listening to members, including responding to letters and emails, was especially important when the Penn State Board of Trustees was not responding to communication from alumni.

“We needed to be a port of entry for alumni…we needed to hear their comments,” he said.

All alumni communication was immediately forwarded to the Board of Trustees and to Penn State Administration, but Williams said that it unfortunately took three weeks before an actual meeting occurred between University Relations and the Alumni Association. 

A letter to members

In the meanwhile, Williams did not wait to communicate directly with the alumni membership, and he wanted to be straightforward.

“Above all, I wanted to be sure we sustained and protected our own credibility…the trust of our alumni…and we wanted to tell it like it is,” Williams said.

No sugar coating

Considering that many alumni were, and still are, understandably angry and resentful of the negative publicly directed at their school, how did the Penn State Alumni Association accomplish such increases?

The answer to this question lies with the leadership and direction of the Penn State Alumni Association. From the start, the association insisted on honest, open and non-sugar-coated communication, as part of an extensive crisis-management plan. 

Read full article

Big Data is a Big Deal

By Jeff Roedel, Managing Partner, RoedelSuper

“Information by Schlüsselbein2007, on Flickr”

If you haven’t heard about Big Data by now, your marketing and IT pros probably have. For now, it’s still a playground for large companies with deep pockets, but it eventually will scale down to a more accessible version. It behooves us to become acquainted with it now. According to Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive officer, the world creates 5 exabytes of data every two days. That is roughly the same amount created between the dawn of civilization and 2003.

Big Data is an amorphous concept. It encompasses the combined effect of

  • the enormous amount of data being generated and stored around the planet,
  • the speed at which this is happening, and
  • the dispersion of this data across myriad systems and data structures. 

There’s so much information out there, it just seems self-evident that it could be useful – if it can be tamed.

Everyone in Advancement uses data of some kind, whether stored in an alumni or donor database or in your own contact software. And if you need more, you can buy it – everything from age to marital status to income to mail order prescription propensity, if you’re interested in such things. And now, Acxiom can sort a database into 50 segments based on online behavior.  Its new InfoBase-X Social product can provide social network information, such as sites used, number of “friends” and last reported activity.

Read full article

New Senior Consultant

Gretchen Dobson, Ed.D. 

Gretchen Dobson, Ed.D., recently joined Patouillet Consulting LLC., as a Senior Consultant. She is a global leader in the field of alumni relations. Her specialty services include strategic planning, campaign management, volunteer management and special event facilitation for clients. Dobson also provides professional coaching.

She is the author of “Being Global: Making the Case for International Alumni Relations” (CASE Books, 2011).  The Chronicle of Higher Education recognized her as one of the leading innovators in internationalization for her work at Tufts University. Dobson received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston College, and her Ed.D. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information about Dobson’s consulting services, contact Executive Vice President Mary Patouillet,

New Senior Consultant

Susan Stewart, M.A., APR

2015 pic

Susan Stewart recently joined the staff of Patouillet Consulting LLC, as a Senior Consultant. She provides a variety of communication services for the firm, including writing for the website and e-newsletter.  One of the current newsletter’s feature stories, “View from the Belly of the Beast: Lessons Learned from the Penn State Crisis,” was written by Stewart.

She brings more than 25 years of diverse communications experience to the firm, including management positions at a public relations agency, nonprofit organizations and corporate entities. Her higher-education experience includes the University of Florida (University Relations) and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.

Stewart received a national CASE award and the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation. She has a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University and a master’s degree from The Ohio State University.


Holiday Issue 2012

 Holiday Issue 2012

Patouillet Consulting 2.0

We invite you to visit to check out our new look and list of expanded services. We greatly appreciate the feedback received from our National Advisory Board and other professional colleagues during the development phase of this new site. We welcome your comments.  (submit feedback)

Recent Assignments and Presentations

The Integration of Alumni and Development in Fundraising and Capital Campaigns

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Contact: Scott Rabenold,

The Role of Alumni Relations as a Strategic Partner in Advancing the University and Enriching the Lives of Students and Alumni Worldwide

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Contact: Scott Rabenold,

Strategic Planning

Life University

Contact: Greg Harris,


Creating Effective Development Metrics (Professional Development Seminar for

Advancement Officers)

Pittsburgh, PA

Contact: Patouillet Consulting, LLC,

Board Development: Prospect Identification & Rating Training

Belle Terrace Health and Wellness Center

Contact: Janice Sherman,

Executive Coaching and Best Practices in Alumni Relations

Geneva College

Contact: Jeff Jones,

The Role of the Board in Resource Development (For Foundation Trustees)

Technical College System of Georgia

Contact: Judy Taylor,

Diversifying your Revenue Stream in an Era of Funding Cuts (Professional Development

Seminar for Nonprofit/Advancement Officers)

Pittsburgh, PA

Contact: Patouillet Consulting, LLC,

Executive Coaching and Best Practices in Alumni Relations


Contact: Ed Chiu,

Strategic Planning

James Madison University

Contact: Ashley Privott,

The Integration of Alumni and Development in Fundraising and Capital Campaigns

National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc.

Contact: Prince Brown,

Keys to Volunteer Engagement and Performance Management

Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta

Contact: Amy Crownover,

Strategic Planning

Oakland University

Contact: Eric Barritt,

The 5 I’s of Development

Georgia Center for Nonprofits

Contact: Cindy Cheatham,

Advancement and Nonprofit News & Views 

A newsletter designed to offer timely and useful information for you and your organization.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Patouillet Consulting, LLC wishes you Happy Holidays and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Charting a Bold New Course for the Georgia State University (GSU) Alumni Association: A Case Study in Strategic Planning

Most alumni organizations today recognize that in order to meet their long-term goals and objectives in an effective and efficient way, they must have a plan to follow—a map to lead them to their desired destination. Whether an association is considering development of their first strategic plan like GSU was, or is a veteran of several completed plans, the process can be a daunting one.

Brad Ferrer, 2009-2012 President

GSU Alumni Association

Brad Ferrer is immediate past president of the GSU Alumni Association, and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration at Cable News Network (CNN). Mr. Ferrer led the association during the development of the GSU Alumni Association strategic plan. 

Christina Million, Executive Director

GSU Alumni Association

Christina Million serves as the Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the GSU Alumni Association.

Note: Mr. Ferrer, Ms. Million, and Dr. Lee Patouillet  of Patouillet Consulting LLC are presenting a session on the GSU Alumni Association Strategic Planning Process: Challenges and Opportunities at the CASE III Conference—Atlanta, GA in February, 2013.

Patouillet Consulting LLC assisted Georgia State University in developing its newly implemented strategic plan. Christina Million (CM) and Brad Ferrer (BF) answer questions about the plan and the process. 

1.    Why did you do a strategic plan for the Georgia State University Alumni Association?

BF: We wanted to tie our planning efforts to the GSU Strategic Plan; so once the school’s plan was ratified by the University Senate during early 2011, we began our planning efforts so we could align our mission, values and vision with the university’s strategic plan.

CM: Since the GSU Alumni Association had never completed a strategic plan, it was perfect timing to develop one to provide direction for the entire organization and to support the university’s goals.

2.    What role did your consultant play in assisting you in developing the plan?

CM: Patouillet Consulting, LLC (PCLLC) was integral to the entire process. They helped direct us and kept us focused on the common goal. It is easy to get lost in details and forget the big picture, and they were able to keep everything on track. The firm provided great examples and materials to spark conversation and discussion. Also, their expertise was invaluable, and provided great insight in the most effective way leading to the successful completionof the plan. PCLLC made my job so much easier, and I am thankful for all their guidance from start to finish.

Read the entire article at

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.

~Paul J. Meyer

New! Expanded Executive Coaching and Career Development Services Offered

In response to demand from professional colleagues and clients, Patouillet Consulting, LLC, has formalized the firm’s offerings in the following areas:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Career Counseling
  • Personal Brand Building
  • Development of Professional Resumes, Cover Letters and Supporting Documents
  • Interviewing Techniques
  • Salary Negotiations
  • Professional Networking Strategies

Patouillet Consulting , LLC offers a one hour complimentary session to discuss your needs and to explore ways in which our firm can help you achieve your desired objectives. For further information, please contact Dr. Tom Kolda at

New Staff

Dr. Tom Kolda 

PCLLC Senior Consultant

Thomas J. Kolda, Ph.D., of Westerville, Ohio, recently joined Patouillet Consulting, LLC (PCLLC) as a Senior Consultant assisting with executive coaching, career management, counseling and related services. He worked in higher education and other not for profit advancement leadership roles for more than three decades. Dr. Kolda brings a wealth of experience to his role at Patouillet Consulting, LLC. 

Patouillet Consulting, LLC helps college, university and nonprofit leaders generate additional support and increase constituent engagement.

The firm, established in 1983, serves as a strategic partner in assisting our clients in the following areas:

Patouillet Consulting, LLC enjoys the involvement and support of a national advisory board comprised of industry leaders. Additional information about the firm is available at

For further information, email Dr. Patouillet

Workshops & Seminars

Higher Education
  • The Integration of Alumni and Development in Fundraising and Capital Campaigns
  • The Role of the Board Member in Resource Development
  • The Role of the Alumni Association as a Strategic Partner in Advancing the Institution
  • Key Metrics and Dashboards in Development and Alumni
  • Strategies for Diversifying your Revenue Stream in an Era of Funding Cuts

Community Based Nonprofits

  • Strategic Planning for Community Based Nonprofit Organizations
  • The Role of the Board Member in Resource Development
  • Strategies for Diversifying your Revenue Stream in an Era of Funding Cuts
  • Moving from a Good Board to an Exceptional One
  • Key Metrics and Dashboards for Nonprofit Organizations

Patouillet Consulting, LLC

Client Testimonials

Dr. E. Joseph Savoie


University of Louisiana at Lafayette

When the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was seeking a consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of our University Advancement division, we wanted someone knowledgeable in the various advancement disciplines who had an extensive network of practitioners to call on and a professional record of accomplishment. Lee Patouillet surpassed our expectations and delivered a thorough report in a flexible and affordable manner. Patouillet Consulting provided an excellent return on investment for our project.”


Ms. Eva T. Blum

President, PNC Foundation

Trustee, University of Pittsburgh

As co-chair of the largest capital campaign in the school’s history (two billion dollars), I worked closely with Lee to engage alumni in this effort. We knew that alumni giving would be critical to the success of the campaign. Lee directed the thinking and the development of a strategy to integrate the alumni association into the capital campaign. There were many innovative ideas adopted that continue to enhance the campaign.”


Mr. Scott A. Rabenold

Vice Chancellor, Development and Alumni Affairs

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“We had incredibly high expectations when we engaged Patouillet Consulting to review our alumni office. However, Lee and his team far exceeded our ambitious expectations with their professionalism, preparedness, and presentation. It was well worth the investment to contract with Patouillet Consulting and we look forward to implementing their recommendations.”


Ms. Judy L. Taylor

Director of Resource Development

Technical College System of Georgia

“The two-year sector of higher education is the point of access to post-secondary education for millions of Americans. Today, as a sector, we serve the majority of the nation’s undergraduates, including many who are low-income and first generation students; students of color or students who are underprepared for college level courses. Our challenge as fundraisers has never been more important – for our students and for our nation. Patouillet Consulting has provided expert advice, counsel and training for 25 colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia. As a result, we are better prepared to support students, faculty, staff and programs throughout the state.”

Summer 2011

10 Essentials for Educational Institutions and Community-Based Nonprofit Organizations


Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO of the Leader to Leader Institute and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, reminds us of the importance of developing a common language leading to a common vision resulting in common ground. An analysis of the desired outcomes shared by educational institutions and community-based nonprofit organizations reveals that there are many similarities between these two parts of the social sector. Both types of organizations are seeking:

1.    Additional Revenue– As government funding is declining and organizations are facing challenging economic times, there is a need to generate revenue in new and creative ways. Organizations must be more dependent on philanthropic support if they are to advance their respective missions.

2.    Effective Strategic Planning– Developing a solid strategic plan focused on the organization’s mission, values, vision, strategic directions and measurable goals is one of the proven strategies to move an organization from good to great. Noted thought leader Jim Collins states, “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

3.    Informed and Passionate Advocates– In today’s high tech world, there is still nothing more powerful than an individual person becoming an informed and passionate advocate for their given cause. For some organizations, it entails an alumnus talking with a legislator about the quality education he or she received and the importance of federal or state support to the educational enterprise. In other cases, it might be a mom or dad telling neighbors about a wonderful after school program for children with special needs. Both advocates speak with passion and give a voice to that particular cause.

4.    Committed and Effective Board Members Educational and nonprofit boards are needed to provide key deliverables such as oversight, counsel, expertise, resources and ideas. Effective boards continually assess how well the organization is carrying out its mission, and they consider what other groups are doing in an effort to adopt and adapt new ideas as appropriate. High performing boards create a culture of open inquiry. Historically, we have observed that the most effective boards are those which ask the “tough questions” in a respectful manner, while not being complacent with the status quo.

5.    Dedicated Volunteers- It is inconceivable to think of how educational institutions and nonprofit organizations would function without a cadre of dedicated volunteers. Volunteers are the lifeblood of both types of organizations. They provide the time and talent needed to make these operations work. Did you ever calculate the billable hours of your volunteers’ time associated with a given event or board meeting? It tends to be a staggering number, and should remind us to be respectful of their time, while always extending a sincere thank you for their help.

6.    Opportunities to Tell Their Story- With increasing use of social media, organizations are seeking new ways to capitalize on these communication channels to tell their stories. It often comes down to how well organizations can demonstrate that they are truly making a difference and engaging their constituents. It is interesting to compare the number of people who visit an organization’s website or the activity level on a group’s Facebook or LinkedIn pages with the number who attend particular programs, and then analyze the amount of resources the organization dedicates to each effort. This calls into question whether we need to rethink our definition of engagement and redeploy our resources accordingly. 

7.    Greater focus on Metrics- Metrics is one of those hot concepts like dashboards, which many education and nonprofit leaders are discussing today. How do we know our organizations are advancing our missions without some sense of measurement? Many organizations are struggling to identify what should be measured, exploring ways to track these metrics and then attempting to assess their impact. Dashboards present a quick “snapshot” regarding how the organization is doing over a given length of time, based upon a series of agreed upon metrics. We have collected a number of excellent examples of different kinds of dashboards used by various organizations and would be glad to share them with you if this would be helpful.

8.    Engaged Constituents- Research from the Independent Sector along with research we conducted in higher education clearly reveals a very strong correlation between engagement and investment. This investment comes in the form of giving of one’s time, talent and/or treasure. A study at a major research university revealed that overall 15 % of the alumni gave in FY’10 compared to 30- 79% giving among different cohorts we identified. Engagement clearly leads to investment.

9.    Valued Partners- In this era of having to do more with less, a key strategy is to forge effective and valued partnerships that play to the strengths of all parties involved. When is the last time your organization completed an environmental scan to see which groups might be natural partners?

10.  Communities of Practice: There is a real need to continue to learn from similar organizations, and one such strategy to accomplish this objective is to be part of a community of practice. If you don’t enjoy this kind of support, consider doing a Google search, checking your LinkedIn connections or contacting your professional association to find out who might be doing similar work. Given the power of the web, online communication allows for communities of practice to be global in participation yet targeted in focus.

As we work to help advance the mission of both educational institutions and nonprofit organizations, we hope you find comfort in knowing that various enterprises within the social sector have much in common, and can learn a great deal from each other.

We welcome you to post your thoughts and comments on our blog @ or to write us @ at


Thank you for all you do to advance the social sector.

About the authors:


Leland D. Patouillet, Ph.D., President of Patouillet Consulting enjoys more than 30 years of experience serving in senior institutional advancement positions at the University of South Florida, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Florida while working with numerous nonprofit organizations.


Mary H. Patouillet, BA, MA, and BSN combines a passion for writing with experience in health care, higher education and nonprofit communications. Patouillet served as a Senior Research Associate for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), and is responsible for all communications for Patouillet Consulting LLC.

Established in 1983, Patouillet Consulting LLC is dedicated to helping college, university and nonprofit leaders generate additional support and increase constituent engagement.


 MAY 18, 2011

 Leadership and Innovation

With Frances Hesselbein, Debbe Kennedy and Joel Barker. No fees. Confirming details will be sent via email after you register. 


Advancement and Nonprofit News and Views is designed to offer timely and useful information for you and your organization.

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

Benjamin Franklin

Patouillet Consulting helps college, university and nonprofit leaders generate additional support and increase constituent engagement.

The firm, established in 1983, serves as a strategic partner in assisting our clients in the following areas:

·  Revenue generation

·  Strategic planning

·  Program assessments

·  Alumni associations as strategic partners in the educational enterprise

·  Metrics-based organizations

·  Constituent engagement strategies and tracking

·  Integration of alumni and  development especially in capital campaigns


Patouillet Consulting LLC enjoys the involvement and support of a national advisory board comprised of industry leaders. Additional information about the firm is available @

Leadership by Example 2011

An Online conversation with Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient, Frances Hesselbein, May 18, 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET. There is no cost for this program. Click here to see program details and to register.

Patouillet Consulting LLC is pleased to announce our association with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Ga Bio.

Patouillet Consulting LLC recently completed an assignment for the University of Tennessee.

Our Services

Please visit our website for a full list of services offered at Patouillet Consulting LLC