Operate Intentionally to Grow Sustainably

Date(s) - July 16, 2024
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Fee: $35
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Growth can be exciting and is often a major goal for mission driven organizations and their funders, as they seek to expand their impact and solve critical societal challenges. Yet many growing organizations find themselves facing similar internal challenges, as the operational practices that met their needs when they were small begin to fall short when faced with growth. Despite thriving by many measures – with expanding budgets, staff, and programs – growing organizations often find themselves grappling with decreasing effectiveness and increasing staff burnout and turnover.


This session aims to help organizations that are growing or planning to grow avoid common pitfalls and build a people-centered operations foundation that supports sustainable organizational growth. By building foundational systems and practices before growing substantially, an organization can minimize the distractions and inefficiency caused by the constant work-arounds and confusion that persist absent operational foresight, and save themselves from having to spend significant time and resources playing “catch up” to eventually build a reliable foundation.

We will talk about:

  • Key philosophies to guide sustainable growth
  • Key people-centered operations systems to have in place, diving most deeply into those that are often overlooked or undervalued
  • Resources to help organizations build these key systems

Who this is for: Executive Directors and any staff directly responsible for managing operations (including finance, facilities, technology, data, risk, internal communication, and human resources) in an organization that’s growing or planning for growth.

 For questions, email [email protected].


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About the Trainers:

Sage Ruth has worked in nonprofit finance and operations since 2008. She fell into the work because it seemed like a good fit for her propensity to organize things and make lists, and she has made it her career because she discovered how much she enjoys helping organizations run behind the scenes and creating the conditions that let others feel supported, valued, and focus on what matters most in their work. Her experience spans facilities, technology, data systems, HR, people management and team building, cross-organizational planning and alignment, data privacy, strategic planning, financial management and reporting, and grant budgeting. She loves that finance and operations work lets her see every part of an organization, and in doing so to identify patterns, bring people together to solve difficult problems, and understand how the choices we’re making in one part of the organization impact the whole. She is most proud of the lasting personal connections she has built with people, and the ability to bring fun and humor to work that could otherwise feel technical and dry.

Sage has a Master in Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts in social studies degree from Wesleyan University. She is on the Board of Directors of Retreat Farm and Hatchspace, two nonprofits in my hometown of Brattleboro, VT. In her free time, she enjoys building things with wood, running, exploring all the swimming holes in Vermont with her family, and organizing files in Google Drive.



Dave Dore has dedicated his career to developing and leading Finance & Operations teams in the nonprofit sector. Financial management and operations work can be crucial to supporting key areas of a nonprofit business including strategic decision making, equitable and inclusive business practices, organizational planning, financial sustainability, staff morale, and the flexibility and responsiveness the sector demands. The gravity of this work excites him. One of his greatest professional joys is curating clear, accurate, timely and relevant financial information that brings numbers into nonprofit leaders’ comfort zones. Beyond demystifying the numbers, his experience includes fostering trusting, deep and transparent relationships with Executive Directors and Board and Finance Committee members, building budget plans that advance programming and fundraising goals and honor donor commitments, developing financials that enable full cost grant proposals, and establishing strong and collaborative relationships between development and finance teams.

His educational experience includes earning Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in finance degrees from Boston College and a Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting from Suffolk University.  When not having fun strengthening the nonprofit sector, he enjoys stepping away from spreadsheets and into the outdoors.  He is an avid downhill skier, mountain biker and paddler, energized by almost any pursuit that gets his wife, two daughters and himself into the mountains and lakes of his beautiful home state of Vermont.




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