INK Consulting Blog

INK Consulting’s mission is to help nonprofit organizations realize the potential of all relationships. INK combines hands-on experience, strategic thinking and a healthy view of the big picture to help nonprofits create an organizational culture of concentrating on what really drives mission success: relationships.

Getting to Know INK Consulting

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Welcome to my blog! Let me introduce myself…

My name is Shannon Abitbol. I became connected to the nonprofit world several years ago when I started working for United Way of Snohomish County in Everett, WA. While I worked there, I was in charge of an initiative called “relationship management.” This initiative sought to overhaul the way the organization viewed the relationships that affected the mission — and we did just that.

Let’s pause for a second so that I can explain what “relationship management” is. In the business world, this has become known as “Customer Relationship Management,” or “CRM.” This is not, however, to be confused with the database product provided by Microsoft, known as Microsoft CRM. (More on this some other time — Microsoft CRM is something that can certainly help with the concept of “relationship management,” but these terms are not interchangeable.) I define relationship management as recognition of the magnitude of all existing and potential organizational relationships and engaging these relationships in a mutually beneficial way. In other words, it is not enough for an organization to recognize its donors for the gifts that they provide because ALL relationships have the potential to affect organizational mission success. And it is not enough to have a once per year interaction with your supporters. Some people may volunteer, some people may advocate on your behalf, and some people may be able to afford to give money, but ALL of these actions make a difference toward a common goal — your mission.

Fast forward to the present, and I’m working to help other organizations see the big picture of relationships, just like I have done with United Way of Snohomish County and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Many United Ways, and other nonprofits for that matter, have tried hard to implement this concept of “relationship management.” The problem hasn’t been getting organizations to understand why this concept is important to adopt. Rather, the problem has been deciding HOW to do relationship management. Nonprofits are well-oiled machines that often struggle with change, especially when it comes to drastic changes.

I started INK Consulting to bridge the gap between understanding the concept of relationship management and understanding HOW to implement relationship management as an organizational concept. Plain and simple. I believe that organizations need help understanding HOW to do this, and that is my main focus. Plus, I have the hands-on experience at implementing relationship management at two organizations.

I’ll be blogging about all things relationship management — tools, tips, my experience, resources, observations and techniques. I look forward to connecting with you. E-mail me ( or follow my blog to stay up-to-date on all things “relationship management.” I’m also active on Twitter and Pinterest. Or just go to the INK Consulting website.


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