Lynn Shevory joined Development Guild DDI just over a year ago as a Senior Consultant. We caught up with Lynn and had her take us through a typical day working remotely from her home in Oregon.
What does your typical day look like?
I am based on the West Coast, so my workday starts pretty early. I get up around 6am and check email to be sure nothing unexpected warrants immediate attention. My first Zooms and calls typically begin around 7:30am or 8am. I’m fortunate to have a pretty full docket of about 10 clients at a time (with 2-12 hours allotted to each weekly) and do my best to dedicate time to each one on a daily basis. We also have internal team meetings and client meetings throughout the day to ensure we are all on the same page and clear about next steps.
I predominantly focus on fundraising counsel. Projects include interim management/resident counsel, feasibility studies, campaign planning/implementation, fundraising audits, and much more. Often that means data analysis, prospect review sessions, case statement work, and interviews with key stakeholders. I really love the right/left brain balance of my work. While most of my day is spent interacting with interesting people, I also enjoy the clarity that comes with analyzing numbers to tell a story.
I also work on searches for fundraising leaders and Executive Directors when it makes sense – both as lead and on outreach. So, I have the opportunity to meet a diverse pool of candidates from all over the country, with remarkable stories and great perspectives on the ever-changing philanthropic/nonprofit landscape.
It’s really great when the two worlds of interim management and executive search combine, and I can help an organization find a new hire while serving as interim, and then assist the organization and new hire with the transition.
Day in the Life: Video
Lynn let us tag along on a typical day working remotely as a Senior Consultant at Development Guild.
What brought you to Development Guild?
I’d been in nonprofit arts fundraising in DC and Boston for 15 years and was ready for a change. I saw the shift to consulting work as a terrific opportunity to expand my horizons and hone my skills in ways that make a measurable impact at multiple worthy organizations simultaneously.
Now that I’ve been a Senior Consultant at Development Guild for about a year and half, I can say with certainty that my favorite part of my job is being able to work with a wide variety of extraordinary clients – in terms of size, sector, personality/culture, and need. Each project is challenging and rewarding in new and unexpected ways. Also, because of the way we structure our engagements with clients, clear communication from the beginning of the relationship ensures that we’re able to move forward in an intentional, efficient way.
Who do you get to collaborate with?
As a member of the fundraising team at Development Guild, I work closely and meet regularly with my fabulous colleagues from that group: Suzanne Battit, Karen Lieberman-Daly, and (newly) Guirlaine Belizare. Because my work crosses over into search as well, I am able to collaborate with our search team on a variety of projects and in different roles. At DG DDI, we make time to get together as a firm twice a month and encourage cross-departmental collaboration. I’ve learned so much from colleagues across the firm, especially in hearing about the graceful and smart ways they handle challenging situations and in sharing their triumphs and learnings about successes.
In my work with clients directly, I am fortunate to partner closely with inspiring leaders of mission-driven nonprofits, visionary and ambitious fundraisers, dedicated support teams, committed Board members, and fascinating candidates nationwide. It is never boring, and I can honestly say that feel that I am growing professionally every day!
What aspects of the company culture do you enjoy most?
At Development Guild, everyone is passionate and driven about their work and clients, and all are respectful of their colleagues’ time and perspective. The team works efficiently and is results-focused, while allowing space for new points of view and approaches. We all acknowledge that competing priorities mean time is precious, but the top priority is giving our clients the best possible counsel – as it should be!
What advice do you have for finding success at Development Guild?
As a member of the team at Development Guild, you are surrounded and supported by a stellar group of professionals who want you to succeed professionally. My advice would be to seek out the advice of expert colleagues early and often – they are invaluable (and generous!) resources.
Also, while managing a portfolio of very different clients across multiple sectors throughout the country is a big part of the fun in being a consultant, it also means that staying focused on the individual needs of each on a daily basis can be a challenge. To be successful in this work, one must be organized and manage time wisely. Of course, big-picture strategic thinking is always important, but the details matter too!