Meet Michael Brand, MNO

Michael Brand has raised millions, given away millions and despite his best intentions, probably wasted a million along the way.   He knows the nonprofit community well, having lived on both sides of the street first as a nonprofit leader then as a philanthropist.  In addition to his grantmaker experience, he’s tackled every leadership role imaginable: Board Chair, Director, Fundraiser, Volunteer, Donor, Advisor.  And he’s done it not just in the USA but Europe and Australia as well.

Today, Michael infuses his speaking engagements, workshops, and coaching sessions with his passion for the role nonprofits play in creating a compassionate and civil society. 

In addition, Michael is a keen observer of the trends that are just beginning to rock our world.  If you thought the past 10 years were disruptive, wait till you see what’s coming in the next ten.  When you work with Michael Brand you’ll be able to see over the horizon as well as position yourself for long-term success.

“A nonprofit sector influencer.”  “Successful catalyst for igniting innovation and transformation.”   “A dynamic speaker who is committed to developing entrepreneurial thinking and action in leaders.”

Are you passionate about your mission? Are you worried about where all this change is heading?  Do you want to move from inertia to innovation? If you said ‘yes’ to any of these then you’re in the right place.

“Michael packed a punch with his concise, usable and relevant material.  Local non profit volunteers and board members went away from his workshop with plenty to think about and actionable strategies.  We can’t wait to book him for the next in the series!”

georgia abbey

Georgia Abbey

Executive Director, Leadership Centre County

Creating Fiscal Sustainability & Restoring Funding

“If you still want to be in business in 2020 then you have to look for new ways of financing your agenda….dependence upon government contracts or large donors leaves you extremely vulnerable.  To survive you have to seriously plan for social enterprise, joint operations, strategic alliances and other emerging ways to deliver services in the new environment.” Michael

Rekindling and Strengthening Leadership

“Old models of leadership are falling aside to make way for new thinking.  Some of this change is driven by a wealth of creative, energetic talent flooding in from Generation X and Y.   Another pressure point is the demands of the changing economy. Today’s leadership requires passion, open-mindedness and courage. Modern leaders need to adapt to this new environment.” Micheal

Developing and Improving Programming

“There are a wide variety of reasons for reinventing programming in a nonprofit…especially in today’s chaotic environment. However, there are several catalysts for reinvention that come up again and again. Each of my programs is custom-tailored to meet the needs and objectives of your organization and group.” Michael

Revitalizing Careers and Employee Enthusiasm

“The good news is that between 1980 and 2004 employee satisfaction grew at  consistent rate…..the bad news is that trend has reversed….dramatically.  Now less than 20% of the workforce is ‘engaged”, and on the other end 25% are openly disgruntled.  That is a bad omen for your future productivity and economic growth.” Michael

Rejuvenating Performance

“Improving employee morale benefits everyone at work. Boosting employee morale means that people will take more pride in their work, call in sick less often and be more productive. Happier employees mean happier employers, since the employer will not lose money due to inefficiency and lost time. I will show you how improving employee morale can be accomplished with some simple, consistent steps.” Michael

Driving Home a Message

“Sometimes you simply need an outside voice to drive your message home. Sometimes the old adage that the prophet is not welcome in his own home town rings so true. When you need a fresh face and fresh voice to drive your initiatives or trumpet your vision, I can help.”  Michael


Let’s Connect!

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Contact Info

Michael Brand

michael (at) michaelbrand (dot) org

Recent Articles

How To Understand Independence Day

Independence came to us via ink….in a way.   In the small city-state of Mainz,  Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press launched humanity into the modern world.     Prior to the 1500s, most of humankind lived under the thumb of the King, the Tribal Leader, the Bishop. The explosive spread of ideas and information enabled by mass production of printed material slowly undermined the majestic authority of the monarchy, the tribe, and the church.   This laid the groundwork for the rise of the nation-state as a means for organizing people. Nearly three centuries later a group of thinkers met in Philadelphia to formalize the idea that the individual is sovereign.  In the City Of Brotherly Love, these men put down on paper that at the pinnacle of society sits each of us and our personal connection to our creator. The job of the government is to protect this relationship so that we may follow our unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. [ALSO READ:  The New Diversity Of Diversity] Several centuries after that summer in Philly, the internet and all that it spawns is undermining the majestic authority of many institutions we assumed would always exist.  Consider how fast the ability for people to connect one-to-one is destabilizing institutors such as newspapers, taxis, education, even the government.   Formal national defense is less and less about protecting physical locations and more about dominating the digital space.  Gunpowder and split atoms are no longer necessary to bring about the downfall of a nation-state. Sitting at this computer right now feels a bit like living in 1500 holding a freshly printed book.  A... read more

We Only Get One Chance To Make A First Impression

We only get one chance to make a first impression. Think of the ultimate elevator pitch request: ‘Describe yourself to me in one word.’ If you’re like most people, you’ve been asked this in a job interview. It’s the bane of every college graduate: How can I boil down everything I am into a single word? Here’s the rub; we may not be able to describe ourselves in one word, but others will. The same goes for our business. [Also Read: Social Media Suicide] I spent time last week with an international branding authority, Sylvie DiGusto. According to DiGusto, studies show that first impressions are surprisingly resilient. After forming this opening impression, confirmation bias kicks in. We look for things which support our initial reactions and discount those which don’t. In her book, The Image Of Leadership, she notes this first impression forms in 7 seconds. Seven Seconds. Brain research indicates that other’s initial impression of us gets unconsciously imprinted upon their mind via a single word. This is one word becomes stuck in their heads. This word makes the sale either easier or harder. First impressions are more important than we think. And as market research tells us, a negative impression is 8x more powerful than a positive one. Thus the critical moment in any interaction with a potential client comes in the blink of an eye. You may not make the sale in those first few moments, but you can easily lose one. The good news though is that this process and our image is entirely under our control. We can make it what we want. We... read more

The New Diversity Of Diversity

Our freshest employees bring a deeper yearning for the type of diversity that goes beyond the usual parameters.  Just when we thought we had a handle on managing young employees, a new crop emerges to challenge us in more complex ways.

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Doing The Minimum Wage

Does the minimum wage law push people out of the workforce? If so, what are we to do about those who cannot produce a return value?

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Social Media Suicide

By now we’re well versed in the hazards of social media.  If you need a refresher, just Google the names Gabriella Pasqualotto, Justine Sacco or Anthony Weiner. Just half of employees report that their workplace has rules about social media use at work   If our organization does not have such a  policy, we’re at risk for public shaming, litigation and security breaches.

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Let’s Kill Our Fundraising Event

Should we junk all such events? No, it just means we need to adopt a more modest attitude about what these affairs are supposed to be about. Your event should not sit on an island as an event. Instead, it should be part of a comprehensive fund development plan

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