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Innovation In the Business of Nonprofit Sustainability Close-up: The James House

On April 22, 2014, ConnectVA is hosting Innovation in the Business of Nonprofit Sustainability in collaboration with Organizational Solutions and Southside Community Partners. The event is generously sponsored by Flashpoint Fund

The full-day event will feature The James House in “What’s Working? Scaling-up for Sustainability: Success Stories from the Field”, where we’ll explore their innovative successes in nonprofit sustainability as it relates to fund development through intimate conversations with the collaborative partners — staff, funders, capacity builders, and consultants — that made these efforts possible. 

    Learn more and register here.

    What does innovation in the business of nonprofit sustainability mean to The James House?

    Nonprofits have to find ways to grow and adapt to new technology and economic environments with extremely limited resources. That situation forces them to either innovate or eventually fail. For us, innovation has meant using new technology, investing in the development infrastructure required to support a fundraising team, and helping our leadership grow in their understanding of sustainability. 

    How does The James House continue to keep itself thinking creatively as it relates to sustainability?

    The James House invests in our staff by encouraging their professional development through trainings, workshops, peer learning circles, and visiting the Nonprofit Resource Center at the Appomattox Regional Library System. By recognizing and understanding our limitation, we strive to process issues and plans as a group and always request outside opinions. 

    3 things people should know about The James House.

    • We strive for excellence in all we do.
    • We are mission focused and deeply connected to the communities we serve.
    • We are collaborative and value diverse partnership opportunities.


    Prior to 2001, The James House struggled with everything; identity, scope of work, strategy, staffing, and money. They relied on federal, state and foundation grants to make budget each year. The Tri-Cities has not fully embraced the concept of nonprofits having development offices, so moving in that diretion was a challenge, —  but they knew  the importance of qualified, professional staff and collateral. By stabilizing themselves, they were able to be proactive in their decision-making in all areas including development. 

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