Momentum LLC can help you
The way up a mountain is more difficult than the way down. You know this. It’s physically more straining to walk up a mountain than to come down.
If your organization does the important work on the way to reach your goals, you can create enough strength behind your message, approach, external relationships and internal culture that will, not only reach critical audiences, but also make a positive impact.
Momentum LLC is a public affairs, marketing, organizational development, fundraising and special events consulting firm. We provide strategic communications, produce memorable special events, create and implement advocacy campaigns, advise on fundraising campaigns, build capacity and provide organizational development support.
Working with Momentum LLC, you will come to believe that the right, simple, strategic, actions can result in progress and momentum. Performing these actions, aligned with your goals, you will start to see progress and things will happen. You will gain momentum.
In a sense, Momentum LLC is the strength or force that will help you up the mountain and influence a successful outcome.
Elise, Founder and Principal
Elise Annes is the principal of Momentum. Elise is a communications, marketing and organizational development consultant and has worked in this field for more than 25 years. Elise has worked for Yale University, the City of New Haven, Stonyfield Farm, World Cup Soccer, the Olympic Torch Relay, and the Coca-Cola Company. Most recently, Elise spent the last 15 years on the management team of the Vermont Land Trust, the nation’s most cutting-edge conservation organization based in one of the smallest states. She also served for 15 years as the co-chair for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition.
Elise has an undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester in Economics and Political Science and an MBA from Yale University. Elise has also coached tennis, lacrosse, and soccer over the course of her life at the grade school and high school levels and was the Massachusetts Coach of the Year for Lacrosse in 1999, the year her girls team lost in the State Finals. Elise was a division III two-sport athlete (lacrosse and tennis), captained both teams, and was the University of Rochester NCAA Woman of the Year in 1993. Elise, and her husband Roy, have two daughters and a yellow labrador and live in Montpelier. They can often be found in the mountains, at the side of a soccer field or in an ice rink.
Strategic Fundraising and Communications
Fundraising and communications are two sides of the same coin. They need to work together for an organization to be successful in either or, preferably, both. Fundraising can be a strategy for communications and communications is most definitely a strategy for fundraising. To realize your organization’s mission, or if you are starting or expanding a program, having a leadership transition, or just doing business as usual as a non-profit, you will need a fundraising and communications strategy and a plan. Momentum can help you with the following (and oh so much more): systems assessment, feasibility study and a plan for your campaign, annual giving, major giving, planned giving, and membership. Momentum can also perform a communications audit and ongoing media relations.
Strong facilitation can help guarantee a productive conversation. Whether it is a standard team meeting, brainstorming session, retreat, board meeting, or strategic planning session, we can bring you closer to driving toward your goals. Professional facilitation can prevent an important conversation from going off the rails, make sure quieter team members have a chance to speak up, and see to it that some voices don’t dominate the discussion. Together, we can create a realistic agenda with timeframes, understand potential meeting challenges, and be sure to close with clear next steps.
Public engagement is a more democratic form of public relations. If the goal is to relate to the public, problem solve and make a difference, it is important to listen first. When Momentum works with a client on public engagement this involves starting with input and feedback, making sure we accurately heard the message, and then gathering information to respond.
Together, the client and Momentum will gain insights and come up with ideas that will allow you to reach the goals of the project or program. Through specific outreach strategies you will increase your understanding of different perspectives, and create a positive relationship between the public and the organization.
Organizational Development, Strategic Planning, and Capacity Building
That sounds like a whole lot of jargon, so let us explain. This area of work is about helping organizations improve how the work gets done by agreeing on values, setting priorities, improving the way teams function, and putting systems and structures in place to maximize an organization’s success. This work starts with listening to what is already happening within an organization and then suggesting an approach. Sometimes an organization knows their priorities and just needs to communicate them differently. Sometimes an organization needs to think about how to get more staff or board buy-in. We have ideas for interventions that can align human behavior more closely with an organization’s objectives. When it works well, both strategic planning and organizational development help people know where they are going, get things done and feel good about their work.
We have tons of experience in this area of public events, private events, sporting events, fundraising events, conferences, press or brand events, launches and celebrations. There are those that love ‘em and those that don’t. We love them. When done well, a special event can be incredibly memorable. Momentum can help you create and promote an awesome event that will create lasting impressions.
We can help an organization, or many organizations, form a temporary or permanent alliance to achieve a common goal. A coalition is another way of saying partnership and it can be a great tool for any cause. We can help organizations align their thinking, create founding principles, outreach materials, and structures to create an efficient and successful coalition.
Disagreement happens. People have different opinions, personalities and goals. In this area of work, Momentum can help individuals, teams, and organizations build skills to learn to handle conflict by helping them identify the source of the conflict, communicate about differences, find common ground, and agreed upon solutions. Dare we say we can help organizations find some peace.
“Elise Annes is an extraordinary communications professional and team leader. In her 15 years of service as Vice President for Community Relations at the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), Elise made a lasting contribution, shaping our message with a broad set of stakeholders. She managed our communications, development and legislative functions through a period of significant growth and change.
Not only did Elise lead the work in our communications and fundraising department but she also supervised and guided a talented and energetic team of nine members. Together the team used a wide variety of communications vehicles and raised over $2 million per year in funding to support VLT’s work. Elise is admired and respected by those she led as well as others across the organization
Elise has demonstrated her community outreach and engagement skills while working local community conservation efforts. Time and again she has helped turn their vision about the connection to a place into the reality of protecting that place. Elise’s skill in this area seems to come from her personal values around making a difference in your community as well as her ability to build trust and communicate across social and economic differences. Elise strategically guided grassroots groups to set direction, build a campaign and organize in service to their goals. I can think of many defining VLT projects that had a successful outcome because of Elise’s skill and care.
Elise helped advance strong policy and secure funding for conservation. Elise has been highly effective; helping to build and navigate complex relationships, relying on her knowledge, sense of humor, honesty, and trust. This is also a context where her capability as a systems thinker shine through. Elise considered not only outcomes, but the process and people that it took to build success. These qualities have earned her the appreciation of many partners and citizens who relied on her leadership. I would highly recommend Elise for any role that demands a balance of leadership, strategic thinking, engagement, humility, and focus.”
“I hired Elise to create and launch a new public affairs program for Stonyfield Farm to help reduce the rate of childhood obesity by improving nutrition for children in schools. Based on Elise’s recommendation, we structured Menu for Change (name of program created by Elise) to include several different components…Elise’s vision and networking abilities offered guidance for the initiative and allowed Stonyfield Farm to become a leader in bringing healthier foods to schools.
Menu for Change reached more than 9 million people across the country through print, television and radio segments; covered on the front page of the Marketplace section of The Wall Street Journal, NPR’s Weekend Edition, MSNBC and many NBC-TV affiliates. I can strongly recommend Elise for grassroots initiatives.”
“Elise’s creativity and expertise have been invaluable to me and to the New Haven Public Schools. Elise helped develop and implement a communications strategy for a new accountability initiative in the NHPS. Elise developed the “Stand up and be accountable” campaign around increasing pubic and parental involvement in the schools. The program was not initially accepted by all, and it was Elise’s strategic direction and materials that introduced the program and excited our school constituencies in a positive and creative manner. Elise was highly committed to the project, articulated a passion and talent for taking abstract ideas and synthesizing them into a motivational campaign that had positive effects for our school system.”
“Throughout my nearly 15 years working in partnership with Elise at the Vermont Land Trust, I admired the passion and skill she brought to our work together. She shaped VLT’s communication tools and strategies in ways that authentically expressed Vermonters’ values using both images and personal stories. Elise developed strong relationships with a multiplicity of community groups across Vermont, building off citizen energy for land protection to create effective, successful public policy and fund raising campaigns. As a strong systems thinker and mentor, Elise helped build VLT as a well-managed, impactful organization. Perhaps most important, I enjoyed working with Elise given her enthusiasm, commitment and creativity.”
“I have followed the Olympic Torch Relay almost daily, and I have seen firsthand the impact it is having on people across our country….I am very proud of what you have accomplished, and proud of the fact that you have represented The Coca-Cola Company as a true professional taking the extra steps to make sure that all people – participants and spectators – enjoy a wonderful moment in history.”
“Each project that Elise has undertaken for me she has done in such a way as to exceed everyone’s fondest hopes for the enterprise. Examples include World Cup Soccer Legacy (outreach for 1994 World Cup in US), manager for northwestern and southern states for the Olympic Torch Relay and organizing a coalition for the largest cancer coalition in US. Elise’s intelligence, commitment to the objectives of the assignment, and pure drive have made and will make her a continued success.”