working with nonprofits to achieve results.

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Three core interests of mine throughout my professional life have been community building, leadership development, and writing. Now that I am a consultant, I bring that same laser focus to helping nonprofits with strategy, board development, leadership coaching and writing.

Together we can build your nonprofit to even greater heights.

services offered

Strategy Consulting

Helping nonprofits think through their opportunities, challenges and position in the marketplace to craft strategies that will take them to the next stage of development and success.

Keynotes to Inspire, to Provoke

I like to provide keynotes and offer seminars that stir thoughts, provoke new thinking and challenge some of the nonprofit sectors history and habits and what people think about issues facing communities.

Some of my favorite topics to speak on include; “10 things a nonprofit CEO should never say in the board room,” “Is the nonprofit board model working against the sector?” and “Breaking down fundraising walls.”

Board-Executive Leadership Team Development

Providing governance education, board strategy, fundraising inspiration and assessment in the boardroom, at a retreat, or working with committees.

Interim Director

Often the best thing to do when a nonprofit executive director resigns is to take a breath, bring in an interim, and get a real sense of what is needed next. I am available for three-to-nine month interim director positions.

Executive Director and Board Coaching

As an executive director, you answer to many stakeholders – the board, grant-makers, donors, community, clients and staff and, for some, government agencies. It’s a daunting role and often executives find it difficult to juggle competing priorities and isolating to be at the helm of so many “troops”. As a coach I will be your sounding board, helping you to strategize and effectively navigate issues ranging from board eruptions to motivating staff to leadership positioning and more.

Nonprofit Boards are where community volunteers come together and assume significant responsibility and important roles, often with very little training or ongoing support. As a coach and educator for nonprofit boards, I help boards develop a productive and healthy culture, create a strong and effective working relationship with the senior leadership team and deeply understand their fiduciary, governance and strategic responsibilities and build a team that excels.


Does your annual report excite your donors and tell a story that compels engagement and support? Do your fundraising materials leave the reader believing your nonprofit is essential to the community? As a former journalist with a passion for telling nonprofit stories, I am committed to getting your story – right.


mej4Mary Ellen Jackson

Three overlapping themes – story telling, building community and leadership development – best reflect my thirty-year background as a professional working within and for the nonprofit sector.

Just out of college, I embarked on a career in journalism, writing for several New England newspapers and freelancing for magazines. I was drawn to writing stories about people and communities so it was a natural shift to transition from a reporter to a grant writer for the Seacoast Mental Health Center in my early career.

The mass shootings at Columbine High School propelled me to become a certified mediator and conflict resolution trainer and for several years I led peer mediation programs in high schools throughout southern NH.

As the research on the impact of early childhood education and family support on a child’s development came to light in the early 1990s, I sought out and secured a position as Executive Director of a family resource center in Dover NH. From1994-2004 I had the opportunity to partner with the community and a highly talented staff and board to build an award-winning center for families.

As with anyone who has ever worked in the nonprofit sector I soon developed a deep appreciation for the complexities and challenges that the nonprofit governing and fundraising models posed to leaders of the charitable sector. In 2005 I assumed the role of CEO for the NH Center for Nonprofits, where I had the honor of leading efforts to build a center for nonprofit leadership and advocacy.

Today I remain energized by the brilliance and hard work of those who work in the nonprofit sector.  I hold hard to the belief that the quality of life and the well being of people in every town in America is directly correlated to the vitality of the nonprofit community serving it.

I also believe its time for some new, bolder strategic approaches in the nonprofit sector and as an independent consultant I want to help nonprofit leaders devise new ways to pave a healthy path for the future.