You may be wondering. Why focus on wizardry?
First of all, it’s fun and playful…like us.
Make no mistake, running a great nonprofit organization is serious business. And we’re serious about supporting outstanding CEOs and Executive Directors become even more effective.
The deeper meaning of the Wizards is this: some people just seem to be playing the game at a higher level. Like they know something the rest of us don’t. They’re getting remarkable results and aren’t even breaking a sweat.
John Wooden, considered the greatest basketball coach of all time, was dubbed “the Wizard of Westwood.” His understanding of the game surpassed all his contemporaries.
Thomas Edison was called “the Wizard of Menlo Park” for his proclivity for invention. Warren Buffett has consistently bettered his peers in the investment community for over 50 years. Henry Ford envisioned a world where ordinary people would own cars. Albert Einstein thought about physics in a revolutionary way.
Wizards all. No, we don’t really believe in magic. And we don’t claim to be wizards. We’re scientists.
We study people doing uncommonly great work and identify what can be replicated by others. We then share our discoveries through our podcast, blog, and Roundtable groups. And yes, we are fans of the J.K. Rowling series which documents the trials and triumphs of a group of unnaturally talented teens. If you want to think of us possessing magic like this, we won’t stop you.
Founder, Non-profit Wizards
Darren Macfee, founder of the Nonprofit Wizards, spent six years as the Executive Director of the Lincoln Children’s Museum. He knows first-hand what it’s like to lead a staff and report to a board. He understands being the public face of a very public organization, a feeling you really can’t fully comprehend unless you’ve been there. But that’s not what defines him.
He spent a decade in the fund development office. Starting as an intern stuffing envelopes and rising to Director of Development, he has performed literally every task there is in a development office. This gave him a deep understanding of fundraising from all angles: research, database management, grants, sponsorships, annual giving, events, major gifts, campaigns, and (his personal favorite) planned giving. He’s been personally involved in securing more than $5 million in philanthropic funding–not just “giving advice,” but boots-on-the-ground, eye-to-eye fundraising. But that’s not what defines him.
He spent a limited amount of time in financial services. This could be best termed as a “successful failure” as he determined that financial services wasn’t his true calling. On the other hand, he learned a TON about the intricacies of financial products–stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, life insurance, etc. He also discovered the massive world of research into consumer behavior and decision-making, helping him craft more effective fundraising systems. But this isn’t what defines him.
What does define him is his insatiable thirst for learning. Inspired by Tim Ferriss, Darren is driven to identify, understand, and “process-ize” the habits and actions that lead to success. Of course he doesn’t claim to know more than you about the success factors unique to your situation, but he has collected a wide array of experiences he can call on to help you think through your challenges and identify actions to take to move forward.
That, along with his devotion to his wife, affection for his children, and being a person of faith, are what define him.
We believe simplicity is preferable to complexity.
We believe patience and perspective can solve most problems.
We believe in getting a little better every day.
We believe in seeking understanding rather than passing judgement.
We believe in the power of systems rather than the power of genius.
We believe laughter is a universal language.
We believe in showing up with a positive attitude.
We believe in assuming the best intentions of those we come into contact with.
No, we don’t believe in magic. But we believe consistent effort, applied over time, can yield near magical results.