We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Kearney-Smith & Richard Eveleigh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda & Richard, what are you inspired by?
AKS: Honestly, it’s easy to be inspired when working with nonprofit organizations. The reason Richard and I chose to consult primarily for nonprofit organizations is because we believe in our community leaders and the community services provided by nonprofits. Monthly we host two “Leader’s Circles” where executive directors from all over Colorado come together to learn, share, and grow together. What’s funny is we started these free groups for leaders, because as former executive directors we know the isolation that comes with being an ED. For myself, these groups have become a reminder of why we do what we do and how lucky we are to help further the missions of so many unique and impactful organizations. RE: Being a part of these Leader’s Circle conversations and hearing the successes and frustrations of our community leaders is inspiring. They are reason to be optimistic that the most difficult challenges of our communities can be fixed – and to be part of those conversations is a privilege.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets us apart from other consulting agencies is our experience – we’ve been there! We have both lived and breathed nonprofit organizations, we have created and served on nonprofit boards of directors, and we have both been former executive directors. The Nonprofit Strategy Group is born out of this experience and out of our passion for the nonprofit sector. We take time to listen and learn about our client’s aspirations and challenges, we have strong empathy for the struggles of leadership, and we have the ability to build strategies in partnership with our clients that will achieve strong outcomes. Our mission is to support not-for-profit leaders with customized and cost-effective services to improve organizational performance. And with a combined 35+ years of managing, operating, and elevating nonprofit organizations, we provide strong, compassionate, and well-informed guidance. Ultimately we are peers in this work so we tend to really “get” the challenges leaders face. Starting a business is not easy, it was – and still is – a lot of work and we’ve definitely made mistakes along the way. However, those mistakes have taught us lessons that will only elevate our work.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
AKS: I love going downtown and exploring the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, going to a performance at the Colorado Symphony, or seeing a show at Comedy Works. I love food and enjoy dinner at Watercourse, Root Down, or Yak and Yeti in Arvada. Heading out to hike in Golden Gate State Park or Table Mountain, or riding bikes along the many, many trails near my home in Arvada is another great way to spend a day! For years I was a member of the Denver Botanic Gardens and liked to meet friends for coffee or take pictures of all the beautiful plants and flowers. RE: I enjoy the many parks in Denver – and would start a visitor’s itinerary with a morning stroll around Cheesman Park, Wash. Park, City Park – and many others. Being a coffee drinker of considerable talent, I’d make sure each walk ended with coffee at one of Denver’s many awesome coffee-shops, where you can also enjoy displays of art from Denver’s highly talented artists. And for the evenings? Jazz! There are so many wonderful spots in Denver to enjoy world class jazz. I particularly like combining my love of parks with my love of Jazz and so City Park Jazz every Sunday night through the summer is heaven. After a missed 2020 season, I’m totally excited for summer 2021.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
AKS: There are many, many individuals who supported us on this journey. I feel that if not for the support of my husband, Jeff, who started his own business 20 years ago and has provided constant support and encouragement, I would not have taken the leap and started a business. I’ve also learned so much from other consultants who provided tips and resources, there’s actually a group in Denver, started by Lauren Andraski, called Consultants for Good. Everyone I’ve met through that group has been so supportive and amazing. RE: My wife Chris has been a game changer. Over the last ten years she has developed a very successful business – and her tenacity, hard work, and leadership has instilled confidence in me and helped show a positive way forwards. I’d also like to give a shout out to the people working in our community’s nonprofit organizations and thank them for making the world a better place.
The professional head shot for Amanda was taken by Happy Hour Head Shot- https://www.happyhourheadshot.com