30th Anniversary Cor(r)e Values Campaign: Honest, Open & Frequent Communication with Amanda K. Nelson, Vice President
At Orr Group, honest, open and frequent communication has been crucial to our growth as a firm over the past 30 years.
“Honest, open and frequent communication fosters an environment of trust and actual problem-solving opportunities. I would much rather have effective, difficult conversations with our clients and our team, and problem-solve together,” says Amanda K. Nelson, Vice President.
Amanda brings 15 years of development and fundraising experience to her work with our partners and knows how vital effective communication is to creating successful relationships – she learned this as an Associate at Orr Group over 15 years ago, when she was just beginning her nonprofit fundraising career.
Upholding this commitment to authentic, consistent communication has made Orr Group a trustworthy partner to the nonprofits we serve and has brought us closer together as a team. We honor our word and respect our nonprofit clients, and we do so by remaining transparent and candid throughout the course of our partnerships and beyond.
Hear from Amanda as she shares her experiences with Orr Group’s Cor(r)e Value: Honest, Open and Frequent Communication.
What does honest, open, and frequent communication mean to you?
“I think especially it means building a relationship and not just a deliverable. Honest, open, and frequent communication fosters an environment of trust and actual problem-solving opportunities. I would much rather have an effective, difficult conversation with our clients or team and problem-solve together.”
How has our approach to communication contributed to Orr Group’s success over the past 30 years?
“Well, we actively listen to our clients and create both better work and partnerships through this. I think in reality, it has also meant that we’re okay with telling our clients things they may not actually want to hear, but we also work with them to develop and implement solutions. I think this trust is core to our business and why we’ve worked with so many clients over the years, their leaders, expanded our services and continue to build our team.”
Why is our approach to communication fundamental to building an Orr Group partnership?
“The success of our work really comes down to relationships and actual partnerships. It’s definitely known that communication is the hardest part of any real relationship, personal or professional. Our team has demonstrated through this being a core value of the organization, is skilled and continuously trained and encouraged to be open, honest, and frequent in communication strategies. Fostering this is critical for our partnerships with clients, especially when so much of our work involves sensitive, challenging, or intimidating conversations.”
What is the biggest advantage to maintaining open and honest communication with your team?
“I’ve been told many times that I’m very direct and I’m comfortable with that feedback. When working with my teams, I want them to have a clear understanding of what I’m communicating. And I also want them to feel comfortable in asking questions if I’m not being clear. I work very hard to make the time and space to give my teams broader context and strategy to our work so that they understand how their efforts align with the big picture and to provide collaborative conversations. It always makes for a better work product for our clients. I think fostering this culture on our teams builds accountability and goes back to the key element of trust and building actual relationships.”
How has your time at Orr Group contributed to the way you communicate with others?
“Throughout my career, different stakeholders have come to me because they trust me because we built a non-transactional relationship. And apparently because I’m not intimidated. The easier answer is probably saying my time at Orr Group many years ago, made me more customer service oriented. Recently, more people have pointed out how diplomatic I am in my communication style. I think that goes back to having effective, difficult conversations and not being confrontational. I love the Orr Group partnership model and our job is to help our nonprofit clients solve problems that need solving.”