“Language is very powerful. Language does not just describe reality.
Language creates the reality it describes.” —
Desmond Tutu

John Barstow Associates helps mission-driven nonprofit and for-profit organizations realize their full potential.

I help organizations turn challenge into opportunity, whether in stiff competition for funding, ever more savvy donors, rising demand for services, board or management tumult, or governance issues.

Nonprofits need to ask themselves:

  • Are we well positioned for change?
  • Do the staff and board structures we built 10 years ago remain effective?
  • Does our mission remain relevant?
  • Should we narrow or alter or expand our programming?
  • Should we partner with other organizations?
  • How do we distinguish ourselves?
  • How do we win attention and earn support?

I help organizations find THEIR answers to these tough questions. I help nonprofits realign themselves, to recognize and respond to their place in a changing world. I also help them understand how to build relationships with donors and how to use their time effectively and efficiently in raising funds.

I draw on nearly a decade as communications and marketing director at the Orton Family Foundation, over three decades of experience in book and magazine editing and publishing, and as many years serving on nonprofit boards. I am known for my straight-talking candor and humor, and am widely trusted as an honest broker when agreement is difficult to reach. My personal energy and enthusiasm encourage those I work for to innovate, take risks, embrace change, and stretch further toward attaining their mission.

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