Marilyn L. Donnellan, MS, fortuitously fell into nonprofit management when the editor of the newspaper where she was working as a reporter suggested she apply for the executive director position of a small nonprofit. Over the next twenty-plus years, she enthusiastically served in five nonprofits, ranging in size from a single staff organization with a $150,000 budget to one with three hundred staff and a $6 million budget. She figured it out along the way, collecting tons of resources to help her with the myriad responsibilities and challenges.
When her stack of resources got too large to fit in a filing cabinet, Donnellan decided to open a consulting firm to share what she had learned with other nonprofit staff. She has been a consultant for more than fifteen years, helping hundreds of nonprofits build their capacity, although her filing cabinet is still bursting at the seams.
Donnellan is the author of three books on nonprofit management: Core Elements of a Successful Nonprofit and The Hour Series of Guides for Nonprofit Management (both published by the author) and The Complete Guide to Church Management (Xulon Press). She has authored articles in The Nonprofit Times, The Nonprofit Digest, and Christianity Today’s Your Church magazine. Her award-winning helps for nonprofits are in use around the world. Charity Channel is set to publish three books by Donnellan in 2016 in a new series, Nonprofit Management Simplified.
She also began dabbling in other forms of writing in 2015 with the release of her first novel, Give til it Hurts, based on her work with domestic violence nonprofits, and Two Faces of Me (Halo Publishing International), an autobiography based on a character, Sophie Longhoofer, she uses in her public speaking. She is working on a second novel, tentatively titled, The Reader Chronicle, a science fiction novel.