The Role of Expanded Staff in Philanthropic Projects



In the first post in this series, we shared how harp-weaver benefits small to medium-sized funders through providing outsourced staff.


In this post, we’ll share how harp-weaver also partners with outside consultants to provide project-based support and advice to various funders.


Unique amongst foundation staff, unique amongst mission investors, and unique amongst philanthropy advisors, harp weaver offers a variety of personalized services in philanthropy that are tailored to an organization’s, individual’s, and/or family’s needs.


Tied to that customization of services is a staffing model that is flexible, adaptable, and gives harp-weaver the ability to provide many different services. The model is comprised of both full-time and part-time staff working as employees and consultants. Employees work on projects and tasks year-round, while consultants are brought in when needed for specific projects. The consultants provide supplemental expertise and insight that informs harp-weaver’s work.


One of those consultants is Karen Moustafellos. With a background in architecture, jewelry design, marketing, and project consulting for nonprofits, Karen brings important qualities such as creative design, marketing, and management to her work.


Recently, harp-weaver worked with her on several projects, the first being its website. Through that experience, Karen learned more about harp-weaver and the “amazing work that they do.”

“harp-weaver is fully immersed in current practices and trends in philanthropy as well as being deeply involved in the community. In working with Teresa (Araco Rodgers, the principal and founder of harp-weaver), I needed her to articulate why harp-weaver is better and different than other firms. In the creation of content for this website, I wanted her to express the unique value of engaging with harp-weaver.”


In a subsequent collaboration, Karen worked with Teresa on a foundation client project. While new to grantmaking, Karen knows how to ask questions and understand and tackle issues. She is strategic, empathetic, a good listener, and offers a personal approach to any project she works on – necessary qualities when working in family philanthropy and grantmaking.


And that’s not only limited to Karen. All of the consultants who harp-weaver works with bring their own lens and experience. “Consultants add input from various stages of life and share unique viewpoints from other work they’ve done. In using their external perspective, they don’t take things for granted, but instead question norms, which can lead to a deeper understanding for everyone involved,” Karen explained.


Those perspectives and knowledge, through the structure of the expanded staff model, positively inform harp-weaver’s efforts.


“harp-weaver is agile in terms of both clients and staffing. Just as harp-weaver works with consultants in different ways, it’s then able to tailor work and respond to clients in different ways,” Karen added.


Expanding staff when, and as needed, gives harp-weaver a customized, flexible approach that adds value to any client project. When it comes to philanthropy and giving back, that approach supports each client in the best way possible and provides additional knowledge and expertise to any type of work that harp-weaver undertakes.

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