Allison Bough - woman with glasses and

Executive coaching and fundraising strategies to help you lead and succeed.

I guide & coach nonprofit leaders, CEOs, and executives who have big visions and want to inspire their team to greater performance. Is that you?

If you are committed to strengthening your nonprofit and developing more meaningful relationships with your donors, now is a great time to start. Working together, we’ll develop a path forward to help you raise more money and sustain your organization for years to come.

Through executive coaching, you’ll gain self awareness and examine how you think. We’ll talk about your vision, your goals, your business and personal relationships and more. We examine not only your actions and results, but your thinking and beliefs that come first.

It’s challenging to create winning fundraising strategies that lead your team and raise money. What if you had a trusted partner and expert to guide you who was deeply committed to your success?

We’ll examine your fundraising strategies and develop effective ways for you to raise more while creating meaningful relationships with your donors.

If you align your thinking with where you want to go, you can make positive changes that lead to better outcomes. Together we clarify what you really want, clear away any obstacles blocking your path, and get you on the road to achieving it. We help you lead as your authentic self and guide your team so everyone can do their best work.

What’s your goal, and what’s standing in the way of your fundraising strategies?
If you’re ready to start, I can’t wait to talk with you.

Allison Bough portrait

If you’re ready to:

  • inspire your board to take action;
  • help your nonprofit succeed in uncertain times;
  • lead your board & staff to raise more money than you ever thought possible;
  • advance your career;
  • develop and inspire a great team,

Executive coaching can help you achieve those goals.

Working with Allison is simply wonderful! She took the time to learn and understand the needs of our organization. She fully engages her mind, heart, and actions in assisting us. She’s earned the title of Family Member at Vanguard Landing & we are honored to have her with us on our fundraising journey.

Since working with Allison, I take time to assess situations that I’m unsure of. Instead of assuming the negative, I consider other possible scenarios before moving forward.

It’s been really freeing to be able to take charge of my thoughts and to shift to putting my energy into what I can do and control.

I’m closer to the person I want to be. I’m more focused on my ideal lifestyle.

I’ve let go of the need to own and control every situation. This has allowed me to spend more time in the here and now, enjoying what life has presented me.

I am now committed to creating space each day to reflect on what I want to bring to the day.

After coaching, I’ve been able to help others define their goals and what’s standing in their way, to impart the feeling of freedom, focus, and self-sufficiency that I’ve discovered.

Allison is incredibly easy to talk to. She asks thoughtful questions that make you dig deeper and consider issues from a variety of angles.

Allison won’t let you get away with glib answers. She gives you a gentle but firm push to think harder about what stories you’re telling yourself.

Every time we talk, I learn so much about myself and my motivations.

What’s New in the Blog

Top 10 SparkNonprofit Blog Posts of 2022

Before we get too far into 2023, I thought it would be a useful exercise to take a look at what were the most-visited blog posts on SparkNonprofit last year. The results were interesting and humbling. And in one case, a bit surprising.

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you a peaceful holiday season.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

You’ve achieved a lot during Covid and built a good team. You’re a good leader. You have a great deal to be proud of and big goals to reach this year.  But you know to continue to achieve, you will have to continue to grow and evolve yourself. You need to examine...

The Path I Took to Leadership Coaching

It was 2015. No one had heard of Covid-19.  I left a lucrative job, quit working for someone else’s fundraising consulting firm, and decided to open my own firm.  Potential clients were calling me directly, asking me to work with them and guide them on how...

How to Find Evidence to Change Your Limiting Beliefs

Have you ever had a negative thought about someone at work, perhaps your boss or the board of directors? Maybe you’ve been frustrated while working with them. Almost all of us could say that we’ve been in that position. The problem is that most of us are busy living...

Who is Steering Your Ship?

Autonomy and resilience are important parts of good leadership and self-awareness. Every day, we encounter things that impact us, events that are controllable, and others that are uncontrollable. By becoming aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we can evaluate these...

Do’s and Don’ts for Recruiting Board Members

Boards are crucial for every nonprofit organization. We need good boards to help provide leadership, strategy, and vision for our nonprofits. As a board member, you like to feel that your time and talents are being used to promote a meaningful cause. Some of the...

The Power of Goal Visualization

Here we are in winter 2022. You have the entire year ahead of you. What do you want to do? It could be achieving a professional or a personal goal, like earning your Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) certification, or getting more exercise and running a...

Moving Forward with Positive Self-Talk

It’s been a challenging two years for all of us.  If no one has told you this lately — you are doing a good job.  You’ve found a way to move forward during what has been a time of great uncertainty.  You’re still raising money for your organization....

Time Management for Effective CEOs

I once had a nonprofit client who spent time at night cleaning the bathroom and mopping the lobby. Everyone likes a sparkling clean office, but an executive director’s time is too valuable and too limited. Was cleaning the bathroom the best use of her time?  Why...

How to Easily Review Your Year to Find Calm

Beginning a new year often makes us reflect on the year we just completed and plan for the year ahead. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of making resolutions. I start out with big ambitions — I’ll eat four vegetables and work out every day — and then four...

Take Some Time for Yourself This Holiday Season

In the spirit of the holidays, I want to thank you for making this year so great.  You worked hard. You made great strides for your nonprofit’s mission, and for yourself.  This time of year is especially busy for nonprofits. Take a few moments to reflect on...

Give Yourself a Boost with Your Greatest Hits Album

The most powerful tool in your fundraising toolkit is your mind. Do you feel successful? Do you feel confident? Are you enthusiastic about the mission of your organization? Are you ready to face 2022’s challenges with energy and a positive mindset?  Over the past...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Being able to work with nonprofit professionals and board members is something I’m truly grateful for.

I’m humbled by the trust my clients have shown in me, and I’m thankful every day that I get to do business with amazing, mission-driven people who strive to make the world a better place.

Build Resilience to Move Forward After a Crisis

A friend reached out to me recently to inquire about my coaching services. She was fired from her job and wanted to know how to regroup and move forward. Our conversation led me to think about resilience. We all face obstacles. Divorce. Job loss. Trauma. Illness....

You Won’t Always Get a Yes

Here I am, trying to fling a new thing out into the world: my coaching business.  I love coaching. I love getting to know people. I love hearing their story, what challenges them, what brings them joy, what goals they’re working toward, what’s tripping them up...

Planned Giving: Top 10 Questions to Spark a Conversation

What do you say to start a planned giving conversation with a loyal donor? Here are some sure-fire suggestions.

Leadership Coaching: Create a Better Future for Your Nonprofit

Even after many years of successful fundraising and consulting, I felt like I could be better — and do better for my clients. So, I’m delighted to announce that I've added a new service: Leadership Coaching.  Through Leadership Coaching, I can help you envision a...

Capital Campaign Readiness: Ten Questions

If you’re considering a potential capital campaign, pre-campaign planning and preparation is the most essential part of your effort. A successful major gift to the campaign is the result of 80% preparation and 20% asking, so don’t skimp on planning and preparation....

Overcome your fear of asking

Asking for a donation can be a challenging task. We often make it harder on ourselves by creating fears in our mind that limit us and our success. If you want to be a successful leader and fundraiser, you have to overcome fear of asking for a donation and help others...

Happiness & Positive Mindset

8 Factors of Happiness This image created by Duke University popped up on my Facebook memories from one year ago. Who knew in December 2019 that 2020 would unfold the way it did? This image really speaks to me. It highlights the 8 Factors of Happiness and creating a...

Beyond cash

Three weeks left in the long, long year that's been 2020. You probably have enthusiastic supporters and longtime donors who want to further your mission and make a positive impact on the clients you serve. However, they may want to give something other than cash....

Recognize and Overcome Burnout

A lot has been written about burnout lately. When I first felt burnout, I didn’t recognize it. I couldn’t name it. I probably called it overworking, or work-related stress, or being a workaholic.  I remember the mental stress, and the physical symptoms like...

Overcoming “No” in Your Nonprofit Fundraising 

Receiving a “no” can be discouraging to nonprofit leaders trying to raise funds, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some top tips for overcoming “no.” 

Overcome Your Fear of Asking

If you want to be a successful nonprofit leader and fundraiser, you must overcome your fear of asking for a donation and help others overcome their fear. Here are some ways to do that.

Effective Time Management Starts with Mindset

How do you start your day? I have an executive coaching client who likes to start her day early. She makes her favorite coffee and savors it while thinking about her day and looking at her calendar. She determines her three most important priorities and works on those...

8 Factors of Happiness

Happiness is a choice, not a feeling. We can reframe our thinking, and shift from reacting to what happens to us to choosing to feel peaceful and calm.

How to Incorporate Coaching into Your Leadership

Coaching conversations can be incredibly powerful. As a leader, you’ll create better employee performance through coaching than through trying to correct failures and disappointments.

Focus on Your Mindset to Grow in 2023

Instead of focusing on the gap between what we wanted to achieve last year and where we landed, focus on your gains and your mindset to become happier and grow.

Savoring as a Happiness Tool

Savoring can help us counteract our tendency to focus more attention on negative things in our lives than on positive things.