30th Anniversary Cor(r)e Values Campaign: Flexibility, Adaptability, and an Entrepreneurial Spirit with CJ Orr, Vice President
Orr Group’s flexibility, adaptability, and entrepreneurial spirit have undoubtedly influenced our growth over the last 30 years.
“Entrepreneurship is at the core of what we do,” says CJ Orr, Vice President. “Its in our DNA, and we’re here today because of that very spirit.”
In his 10 years collaborating with our nonprofit partners and helping to drive business development for Orr Group, CJ has helped instill this entrepreneurial spirit by constantly encouraging our teammates to think differently and creatively in our approach to our work.
Providing our nonprofit partners with the best solutions may require taking risks, changing course, or adopting completely new methodologies. The versatility and resiliency of our team allows us to meet any challenge and see an initiative through the inevitable ebbs and flows, all the way to fruition.
Learn more about Orr Group’s entrepreneurial process as CJ reflects on Orr Group’s Cor(r)e Value: Flexibility, Adaptability, and an Entrepreneurial Spirit.
What does an entrepreneurial spirit mean to you?
“Entrepreneurship is at the core of what we do. It’s in our DNA, and we’re here today because of that very spirit. Every staff member here at Orr Group contributes to that process. The bottom line is we work with approximately 86 different nonprofits across the country, around the globe. And each day we’re presented with unique and different problems. Those challenges require entrepreneurial and thoughtful solutions. We think differently. Ultimately, we’re charged with raising dollars to help our nonprofits fund their missions. We have to think differently and come to the table with different ideas. We have to think entrepreneurially. We love that, and that’s exactly what we do, and we’re going to continue to do.”
How has Orr Group’s entrepreneurial spirit evolved over the past 30 years?
“Orr Group’s entrepreneurial spirit has stayed, tried and true, but it has evolved tremendously over the past 30 years. Just like other industries; tech, healthcare, finance, you name it; they have changed over the years and nonprofits have done the exact same. In order to be in front of these evolutions, you have to be entrepreneurial. For example, over the past few years, we’ve either bought or demoed every piece of software that serves the nonprofit space. We put our findings in our tech toolkit, and now when clients ask us for tech recommendations on how to raise more money, we can provide them with solutions rather quickly. We anticipate that this entrepreneurial spirit will stay with us for years to come, as the industry continues to change.”
How have you seen your teammates contribute to the entrepreneurial process?
“The past 10 years that I’ve been at Orr Group, I’ve seen our team members get involved with every type of entrepreneurial process. Every single project that we approach comes with a team. It usually comprises of a Managing Director, a Vice President, a Director, an Associate Director or an Associate. So, by virtue of being on a team, everybody at Orr Group gets to participate in the entrepreneurial process. The entire team is faced with unique problems and solutions that are presented to us. And it’s the entire team that comes up with those solutions to solve them. So everybody is involved with the process by our unique business model, which I think makes us different.”
Why is it important to remain adaptive and flexible in the business of philanthropy?
“I would actually take a different approach to that. I wouldn’t say it’s important. I’d say it’s vital and core to our business and core to our success going forward. Nonprofits that we work with consistently want the best idea or approach to raising money. The best ideas and approaches are always completely unique to the organization. So it behooves us and is in our best interest to remain adaptive and flexible in the pursuit of knowledge and ideation.”
Where do you see the flexible, adaptable, and entrepreneurial spirit of Orr Group going in the future?
“Just as the entire world has changed over the past few years, the past decade, I expect the nonprofit world to do the exact same, especially in fundraising. There’s going to be constant flexibility, adaptation, new ideas, new entrepreneurial spirit for the years to come, through advances in technology and ideas. For example, maybe 10, 15 years ago, your main funding source was through direct mail. Well, that direct mail has now turned into online fundraising, as well as direct mail. I think we’re going to see similar changes in all sorts of different fundraising opportunities, really ways to grow and diversify revenue. You’ll now have not only direct mail, you’ll have individuals, you’ll have foundations, you’ll have corporates, you’ll have online fundraising, you’ll have young professional fundraising, you’ll even have NFT fundraising, you’ll have all these different wild, crazy ideas going forward, and one of them will work. And so I feel as though you need an entrepreneurial spirit to stay on top of all those new things coming to market, I believe that Orr Group will and still continue to lean into that, and be on the front edge of that because it’s in our best interest as a firm to do that.”