Board Development

 Ron Wormser brings to the process of board-development a unique combination of in-depth experience, thorough training, extensive knowledge of the subject, and an ability to understand, communicate and connect with the people and institutions that he is advising. He goes beyond the necessary first steps of analysis and structural recommendations, doing so by engaging creatively with his clients so that they see that board-development is more than a bureaucratic, governance/policing process, and is instead a vital and necessary element in the health, success, and prosperity of the organizations whose boards he is advising.
— Robert Nielsen, Former Nonprofit Organization Board Member and Finance Committee Chair and in the Corporate Sector, Board and Audit Committee Chairman, Company President and Senior Executive Officer, Corporate General Counsel, and Law Firm Partner
As a keen and insightful observer of organizational alignment, operational procedures and Board member participation, Ron Wormser significantly helped a non-profit where I served as Board Chair. His recommendations were on point and undoubtedly helped the efficiency and modernization of our enterprise. Any organization would benefit from Ron’s extensive personal experiences and mature judgment.
— Harvey Kuffner, Former Board Chair of Community Human Services, Monterey County Board of Education and Monterey County Children’s Council
Ron Wormser: empathetic, engaging, jovial, insightful, respectful and armed with a tremendous wealth of knowledge on the landscape of non-profit leadership. Through Ron’s tender mentorship, we were transformed from a passionate group of aviators with a dream to share the freedom of flight with at risk and under-served youth into a dynamic leadership team. Under his guidance, we avoided numerous potentially tragic pitfalls and were empowered to recruit a world-class board of directors. He also connected us with excellent resources for legal guidance and development opportunities within the community. However, most importantly, Ron taught us how to think about the world of non-profits. We are forever grateful for our time with Ron.
— Eric Tucker, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Every Kid Can Fly
That you genuinely and deeply cared about EH was evident throughout the project. That coupled with your experience and professionalism was a winning combination. I have learned much from you that has helped me not only in my EH role, but also in my new roles at CSUMB as we prepare to double the size of the campus.
— Dan Shapiro, Board Chair, Everyone’s Harvest
Thank you again for all your effort, time, wisdom, and insight!!! Thank you for your library of congress of information on nonprofits to move our board along. It has been a pleasure to work with you all. I am really excited to take this work to the board and start to implement it.
— Iris Peppard, Executive Director, Everyone’s Harvest


At BoardSource, we know that effectively engaging the board in fundraising is a challenge for many nonprofits.  We also know that many organizations struggle to structure and communicate their fundraising strategies in a way that enables board members to add value.  Informed Fundraising:  An Introduction and Guide is an important first step for organizations that are building their fundraising programs.  BoardSource was pleased to be able to work with the authors to publish this important new resource for nonprofit organizations.  Based on the response that we have received since its release, it is clearly meeting a real need within the nonprofit sector. We could not be happier with the publication and the initial response, and were honored to have the opportunity to partner with you in this way.
— Anne Wallestad, President and CEO of BoardSource
The best thing about Wormser & Stevenson’s book, Informed Fundraising, is that anyone will learn something. It is a great primer for beginners but even for those like me who have worked in the field for decades it is full of new insights.  Especially valuable are the charts that can lead to greater objectivity, the establishing of expectations, and much needed review of performance.  For board members and staff trying to assess how to allocate responsibility among them, the book also provides great insights and suggestions.  I heartily recommend the book.
— Dr. Thomas Wolf, Principal, WolfBrown
With his wealth of experience and enthusiasm for successful outcomes, Ron provided expert guidance at a critical time in our organization’s fund development process.  His keen insight and hands-on involvement provided the key elements that allowed us to make informed strategic decisions and move forward more effectively.
— Sharen Carey, Executive Director, Big Sur Health Center
I wish I had this book when I started my career in the non-profit sector 20 years ago. It’s a concise and thorough look at the principles and practices of successful fundraising—a how to with helpful worksheets and wisdom that obviously comes from experience—that will appeal to beginners and pros alike.
— Robin McCrae, CEO, Community Human Resources
Informed Fundraising: An Introduction and Guide by Ron Wormser and Josiah Stevenson IV, proves to be an invaluable tool for new and seasoned fundraisers alike. The concise yet in-depth discussions and worksheets combine to provide a plan that can be molded and tailored to virtually any fundraising entity. For the agency just starting out the guide is a road map to achieving financial stability. Agencies with more experience will find it maximizes their capacity for growth.
— Rob Rapp, Development Director, Community Human Services

Executive Coaching

Ron brought his vast knowledge, matter of fact approach and generous style to the table while working with our organization primarily on governance but also fundraising and other managerial functions. It was so easy to learn from this gentle yet highly skilled gentleman. I appreciated the time and words of wisdom he shared with us at every session.
— Nancy DeSerpa, Board Chair, Housing Resource Center of Monterey County

I have been meeting with Ron for almost two years for executive coaching. What began as an assignment for me to improve my leadership skills as part of the Leadership Development Program of the Community Foundation has developed into much more.

At the time, I was in line to eventually succeed the founding Director of Parents Place, a program under the auspices of a local school district. When that person unexpectedly needed to resign earlier than planned, I found myself in her position much sooner than expected. Thankfully, I had begun working with Ron several months earlier.

Each meeting since allow me to verbalize my questions, worries, fears, successes, doubts and puzzles. Ron has the gift of being able to listen with a depth that surpasses any that I have known. With precise questions Ron helps me drill down to the core of a challenge and plan a strategy to approach the solution.

Ron’s thorough experience in so many aspects non- profits allows him to offer realistic and substantive suggestions that I have been able to use to guide my actions and decisions. Above all I have always felt that Ron’s coaching has helped me tap into my leadership potential and power, leveraging my personal strengths and assets to guide my own profession and personal decisions. I am undoubtedly more successful in my work, leadership and personal goals thanks to the time I spend with Ron.

— Elizabeth Olney, Former Director of Parents Place
 As part of a year-long Leadership class hosted by the Community Foundation for Monterey County, I was fortunate enough to be paired with Ron Wormser as a Professional Coach. Much of our time centered on governance, strategic planning, and financial analysis. I feel that Ron was able to access where I was in my career and what I hoped to gain from the Mentor/Mentee relationship during our first meeting. We proceeded to work through specific questions and issues I was having as a Development Director as well as looking at these same topics from the viewpoints of a Board of Directors or a CEO. If I had to name the biggest benefit I received from the experience it would probably be my increased ability to look at our organization from a higher altitude. Ron excelled at expanding my specific questions to how they ultimately fit into the greater good of our agency as a whole. I cannot overstate the value I received from my coaching sessions with Ron. I feel much more confident in my current position and have more tools at my disposal should my career progress to more senior positions.
— Rob Rapp, Development Director, Community Human Services

 Ron Wormser and I have been meeting regularly for the past six months in our roles of mentor/mentee as part of my Community Foundation for Monterey County Non-Profit Leadership class. We have worked on many topics including fundraising, strategic planning, donor stewardship, planned giving, major gifts and nonprofit boards. Ron’s knowledge and insights gained through a lifetime of non-profit work has helped me achieve my organizational, professional and personal development goals outlined at the beginning our meetings.

Ron’s mentoring and friendship is an important part of my continued growth as a successful non-profit professional.

— Philip M. Geiger, Development Director, Legal Services for Seniors
 Oddly, the recession of 2008 didn’t really hit Scranton until late in 2009, but it served as a red flag to our theatre and its board, so when we heard about Kennedy Center’s Arts in Crisis Program, we signed up. As the producing artistic director of Electric Theatre Company in Scranton, PA, I applied and was paired with Ron Wormser who, as it happens, was a wonderful resource, guide, and sympathetic voice. He advised us on strategic planning, fundraising, and community relations, and it helped us to face the challenges of the next two and half years. However, in spite of his excellent advice, the recession eventually took its toll, and the Theatre closed in July 2011. Even though income fell steadily during the theatre’s last two years, our donor and audience numbers continued to grow, much of that thanks to Ron’s guidance.
— David Zarko, Producing Artistic Director, Electric Theatre Company, Scranton, PA
I connected with Ron in 2008 through the Kennedy Center’s Arts in Crisis program.  At the time I had just retired from a leadership arts position in an urban public school district and became Co-Founder and Managing Director of a children’s chorus in that same city. Transitioning from a public school setting where philosophies and procedures were dictated by a bureaucracy to managing a grass-roots arts non-profit where I defined philosophies and procedures was exciting, but overwhelming. Enter Ron Wormser, who quickly became my personal mentor, advisor, and cheerleader. Ron painstakingly reviewed each draft document I sent him from strategic plans and marketing to budget presentations and non-profit operations and sent right on target responses within days. He has my deep admiration and gratitude.
— Vera S. Baker, Co-Founder Children’s Chorus of Springfield, MA

Nonprofits, General

During the many years I have known Ron we have had many deep discussions about nonprofits and the environment in which they function today. These conversations have been very important to me because over the last 20 years I have been in different positions of leadership as either a Program Director, Executive Director or Board Member in a variety of non-profits and have faced the challenges so many others have faced with varying degrees of success. I have found that Ron understands completely the challenges and unique nature of nonprofits and cares deeply about helping them achieve their full potential while negotiating the myriad of pitfalls that prevent success. His practical past experience in this field keeps his consulting and counseling extraordinarily relevant to nonprofits and individuals seeking his assistance.

— Ronn Rygg, Nonprofit Executive
The guidance which you provided is helping HRC transform and develop into a stronger, more sustainable organization that will be able to provide services to our community for years to come. I hope you know how much I personally, and Nancy, especially appreciate your attention to detail, your broad body of knowledge, and your patience. It has been such a pleasure working with you and we hope very much to have the opportunity to do so again in the future.

— Leila Emadin, Executive Director, Housing Resource Center of Monterey County
I had the pleasure of working with Ron Wormser in my role as a member of the Non-Profit Economic Impact Study Team. The study covered charitable nonprofits in Monterey County as a periodic assessment of the economic contribution of the County’s nonprofits to the wider community. Ron blends an astute academic perspective with an appreciation of the practical challenges faced by those of us in the non-profit community. As a project leader, he demonstrated great skill in project management and consensus building and accomplished both through excellent communication skills, persistent follow-up and self-deprecating humor.  Ron is an inspired leader, a respected colleague and I look forward for an opportunity to work with him in the future.

— Teresa Sullivan, Executive Director, Alliance on Aging
Ron Wormser is a successful consultant and supporter of nonprofit community services. I have volunteered with Ron for several years as a Core Leader on the Nonprofit Alliance of Monterey County (NAMC). I first met Ron as one of the advisors to our agency from the Stanford Alumni Group. This amazing group of retired professionals brings their skills to bear on small and midsize nonprofits, helping them with strategic recommendations for quality improvement. As a Core Leader for NAMC, Ron was a collaborator, often challenging norms and elevating the discussion, in order to best represent the interests of all 501(c)(3) nonprofits in Monterey County.

— Anna Foglia, CEO, Sun Street Centers; Former Core Leader, NAMC and Chair of Executive Committee
I have worked with Ron Wormser on a variety of pro bono SACT consulting projects over the last 6 years. I have found his insights and recommendations to be very helpful to the organizations we’ve assisted. He is also a thoughtful one-on-one executive coach.

— Jim Graber, Founding Member, Stanford Alumni Consulting Team, Monterey Bay Chapter
I was lucky enough to be serving on the board of Community Human Services in Monterey County when Ron Wormser and his SACT colleagues were convinced to donate their services to our organization. While CHS was not dysfunctional when they arrived, it was complacent, and the organization and its board were not entirely focused on the future. Through comprehensive research, Ron and his colleagues took the time to learn the organization better than most board members. Their final product reflected the strengths and insights of all SACT team members including Ron, and the roadmap they created for Community Human Services was comprehensive, compelling, and it has proven to be entirely useful. Again reflecting the strength of their product, Community Human Services has been able to follow the team’s recommendations in almost their entirety, and we are much better positioned for the future as a result of their involvement. Thanks Ron!

— Loren Steck, Ph.D., Chair, Strategic Planning Committee, Community Human Services