As the newest member of our Board of Directors, Joseph is a longtime supporter of the Association of Nonprofit Specialists and has been an active member of the program committee. He recently spoke with fellow Board member Rosemarie Perocchia and shared his thoughts on the value of Nonprofit Specialists membership, its connection to his work, and his contributions.
Rosemarie Perocchia: Tell us a little about your consulting practice?
Joseph Barretto: My practice focuses on management strategy for non-profit organizations including board development, capacity building, fund raising and strategic planning. Before going out on my own, I worked for a small boutique consulting group, then moved on to working on staff of various nonprofit organizations including as Executive Director. It was great training but made me realize how much I loved consulting and working with various nonprofits. Working in my own practice allows me to take full advantage of my skills and address the needs of nonprofit organizations.
RP: Why did you get involved with the Association of Nonprofit Specialists?
JB: It’s funny. I think I was referring colleagues to the Nonprofit Consultants Institute before I even became involved in the organization. These same colleagues described the Institute as invaluable. So, I thought I should check this group out myself. I attended one of the networking events and I was sold. I later responded to a call for volunteers and joined the Program Committee, and recently joined the Board of Directors.
RP: Would Nonprofit Specialists have been helpful to you when you started your practice? If so, how?
JB: Yes. If the Institute existed then, it would have made such a difference to me starting out; the tools are invaluable. Networking, which is such an integral part of the organization, would also have been so helpful in connecting me to a group of seasoned professionals or novices, like myself, to talk about the challenges I faced as a new practitioner. The Peer Advising program would have been perfect for me. Early in my career, I was approached often with requests for expertise that I did not have, and it would have been great to have access to the Consultants Directory for a list of experts. Lastly, as a single practitioner, it can get very lonely and it means so much to just be able to connect with people in the same situation.
RP: How does being a member of the Association of Nonprofit Specialists impact on your day-to-day work?
JB: I have been contacted about projects by other members, and have been able to refer other members to projects. Participating in committee work encourages me to think differently about ways to network and have meaningful conversations. So, one of our committee goals is to look at different venues for networking. Stay tuned for our Brown Bag lunches, coming soon.
RP: Obviously being involved with Nonprofit Specialists through committee work and attendance at functions etc. led you to join the Board of Directors. What do you hope to contribute in this role? How do you think you can help shape the organization’s future?
JB:I hope to help us look at ways we can expand the services we already provide to members, and at the same time attract funding for Nonprofit Specialists. For example, we could create a model that would provide our expertise pro bono to a non-profit. A partnership that would benefit both sides and might be of interest to funders. Also, I am looking forward to having the opportunity to give back by being an Advisor in the Peer Advising program. I think this will be an exciting year for us.
RP: Oh yes, lots of new directions for Nonprofit Specialists. Thank you, Joseph.