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Meet Alison Glastein of Pear Associates in Wellesley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alison Glastein.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alison. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always been passionate about helping mission-driven organizations, and have worked in the nonprofit sector almost my entire career. Soon after graduate school I became the first Executive Director of a start-up nonprofit that focused on teen dating violence prevention. While I was certainly motivated to share the organization’s message, I was equally driven to help grow the organization through fundraising, new programs, and a solid operational infrastructure. I went on to lead several other nonprofits before launching Pear Associates in 1999 to share my expertise with others. Working with a range of health and human services organizations, I loved helping clients consider new strategies and services to boost their mission. I also supported my clients in soliciting the necessary resources that would allow them to realize their vision. In 2008, I returned to full-time employment to further develop my skills and experience in nonprofit management and advisory services. With the demand for my expertise in grant writing, strategic planning, program development, and communications ever-present, I enthusiastically relaunched Pear Associates in 2018. Through Pear Associates, I am excited to once again support a wide range of nonprofits, providing much-needed expertise and resources to help nonprofit organizations grow.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As you can imagine, many nonprofit have limited resources to hire consultants like Pear Associates. Yet, they must invest to build their capacity. Over the years I have become nimble and flexible to ensure that I can provide a valuable service to any nonprofit regardless of their size and budget. For some, I may offer advisement so they can build their internal expertise. For others, I can take on a project from soup-to-nuts so they can focus elsewhere. I have learned the importance of listening to my clients up front; understanding their needs, their resources, and their expectations for a given initiative; and then building a customized engagement based on this information.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Pear Associates – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Pear Associates is a consulting firm that specializes in helping nonprofit organizations grow through a range of services including grant writing, strategic planning, marketing/community outreach, and interim project management/leadership.

For grant writing, we help clients identify funding resources including government grants, as well as corporate, family and private foundations whose mission aligns with their organization’s work. Once we identify opportunities, we analyze the likelihood for proposal success and work with our clients to determine which sources to pursue. We then embark on a collaborative proposal writing process that includes meetings with key leaders and staff members to identify the goals and objectives that will be achieved with successful grant funding. We also review existing data, documents, and past proposals to fully understand the organization’s clients, programs, and goals. We also offer our clients tools, resources and support to guide them through the proposal submissions, establish long-term relationships with funding sources, and create grant reporting processes.

All nonprofit organizations are impacted by internal and external changes that require you to periodically revisit their mission, programs and operations. Pear Associates provides the necessary facilitation and structure to help them balance their aspirations and tactics as they determine the short-term and long-term vision for their organization. Whether our clients are planning a one-time Board retreat or a 6-month engagement, we will create a strategic planning process that will help move your organization forward.

Nonprofits must involve a range of stakeholders in their work to be successful. Their goal is to inform clients, donors, and community partners about their successes, new ventures, and organizational needs to keep them engaged. Pear Associates provides clients with a range of marketing and communication tools that will raise awareness about their programs and services. These include outlets such as social media, advertising, and community outreach strategies.

When leadership and staffing changes happen, they can often disrupt a nonprofit organization’s ability to meet goals and timelines. Pear Associates also provides interim leadership and project management to help ensure programs and services continue seamlessly during a period of transition.

When I re-launched Pear Associates in 2018, I was amazed at how many of my former clients reached out to hire me again and/or make a referral to their colleagues- it was truly heartwarming. I think what sets me apart of many other grant writers and consultants is that when I work with a partner, I embrace their mission and integrate myself in their world. I need to understand their culture, the organizational issues below the surface, the dynamics between staff and board members — all of these things can impact the success of a project. I also am not shy about asking the difficult questions or sharing my observations to help my clients reflect upon their current status. Together, we can identify challenges and solutions.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
While I re-launched the business only two months ago, I already have a full book of business! What I envision for the future is growing the firm to serve as a true nonprofit resources center, with other seasoned experts ready to support nonprofits of all sizes and with all focus areas.

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