Reimagining Nonprofit Leadership

Carrie Rice Consulting teaches and implements Empathetic Nonprofit Management

Carrie Rice Consulting Social Good
  • Description
  • Updates
  • FAQ
  • Backers

Project Description


What do you picture when you think of nonprofits? Here’s a guess: overworked, underpaid staff scrambling to do good in the world with no resources to do it with. Close, right? But now picture an innovative thinker bringing in fresh ideas about leadership and technology, to show the teams how to manage and progress with the same sensitivity to each other that is extended to the people they help. And imagine that professional showing how prioritizing the goals and values of the team creates an efficient, effective business built on loyalty and trust. The picture gets a lot brighter.

Gloria Steinem Carrie 1985

This is what Carrie Rice Consulting does every single day. Carrie has introduced a leadership system based on humanity and care to nonprofits all over the west coast, and she’s ready to go national.

Carrie Rice is from the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, where she spent her formative years reading Judy Blume books and participating in protests with her family to fight for social justice. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration on women’s studies from Michigan State University. During her college years, she served as an intern for the Michigan Abortion Rights League and for U.S. Senator Donald L. Riegel. From there she went to The George Washington University, where she earned her master of arts degree in public policy with a focus on women’s studies.

After grad school, she dabbled in technology project management and cashiered at a picture frame store (seriously), finding her way back to the nonprofit sector in 2003, when she started her decade-long tenure at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco. There, she found her first true professional mentors, a community that supported her authentic personality, and the chance to work her way up to director-level roles starting in 2007.

When Sherith Israel restructured in 2014 and Carrie’s program director role was eliminated, she spent the next two months on a “walkabout” in Golden Gate Park, pondering her next career steps. This led her to put together the business plan for her own consulting firm. What if she could bottle the skills, innovation, and energy she had put into one organization and bring them to progressive and direct-service nonprofits in the Bay Area and beyond? What if she could take everything she’d picked up from the technology sector and bring it to the nonprofit sector? And so, Carrie Rice Consulting was born.

This past year has been a defining one for Carrie. Meeting and getting to know her mentors at Cause Camp 2017 — a national conference for nonprofit professionals — gave her the confidence to start pursuing higher-impact projects and programs. The thrill of speaking to 500 volunteers of the Assistance League in September and coming away with positive, constructive feedback filled her with the passion to pursue other national speaking engagements.

Carrie seeks to expand her business in the Bay Area and nationwide. Using the funds she is raising on iFundWomen, she will be able to disseminate her approach for Empathetic Nonprofit Management to executive directors across the nation, present at the Nonprofit Technology Conference and Cause Camp in early 2018, and write a book. By making her book available to nonprofits of all sizes and engaging with leaders from all over the U.S., she will spread her knowledge on empathetic leadership and emotional intelligence as it relates to nonprofit management. 


Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 11.28.47 AM

Throughout this past year, Carrie has been refining her approach of Empathetic Nonprofit Management (ENM). Empathetic Nonprofit Management is based in treating fellow nonprofit stakeholders — executives, management, staff, volunteers, donors, board members — the way the organization treats their clients and service recipients. By sensing the needs of those around you, you find meaningful ways to engage people in your community.

Traditional management styles are costing companies and organizations billions of dollars in productivity, according to a 2015 Huffington Post article entitled, “Poor Management Costing U.S. Businesses Half a Trillion a Year”. When employees do not feel engaged with their working environments or do not feel the mission and values of their organization aligns with their values, productivity tends to fall. In an age when there is no longer a separation between the personal and professional, employees want their workplaces to help provide whole-person growth.

With Carrie Rice Consulting’s guidance,  leaders learn to apply empathy to nonprofit management, pinpointing the desires of their colleagues to help them grow within the organization or to obtain the skills necessary to take the next steps in their careers. Achieving this level of trust between leadership and staff is effective for raising performance as well as helping nonprofits get more out of each dollar they put into their programs.


If you are a colleague, friend, or client of Carrie’s, you know how passionate she is about applying empathy to the interactions between every person who has a stake in a nonprofit organization. Additionally, she helps nonprofit leaders diversify the revenue of their organizations, create a stronger human infrastructure, and build effective and long-lasting single-donor programs.

Along with  her intern, Jorge Castro, Carrie brings in fellow consultants who have complementary skill sets — such as grant-writing, capital campaign specialization, web development, or financial expertise — depending on the needs of the nonprofit she’s working with.

Carrie and her team work with their clients and event attendees to:

  • Increase funding from individual donors
  • Save funds by building staff retention practices
  • Increase efficiency
  • Create a happier, healthier nonprofit environment

They accomplish this by:

  • Building high-trust relationships between staff, boards, donors, and volunteers
  • Creating a highly engaging workplace
  • Developing long-term donor programs

Carrie’s unique approach of Empathetic Nonprofit Management tackles poor communication, donor attrition, and high staff turnover. Her methods help  increase audience engagement and make the most of every dollar these nonprofits put into their programs.


During the summer of 2017, Carrie started a monthly Lunch & Learn series in the Bay Area to teach nonprofit leaders how to apply empathetic techniques in their workplaces.

Topics of Lunch & Learns and other presentations have included:

  • Empathetic Board Leadership: Get board members comfortable with asking for financial support for your organization, advocating for your organization within their social networks, and serving as ambassadors to the greater community
  • Empathetic Design & Communications: Engage people with your website, develop a larger audience on social media, and achieve better email marketing interactions
  • Empathetic Program Management: Create more engaging programs, improve reporting benchmarks, and provide better feedback to program staff
  • Empathetic Leadership: Improve staff retention, build better staff and board relationships, and create deeper connections with donors through empathetic techniques
  • Empathetic Fundraising: Create stronger monthly donor programs, strengthen development departments, and get larger gifts.

winning atm2 (1)


With your help, in early 2018 she will be able to share ENM with organizations through:

  1. Creating and distributing a free book on Empathetic Nonprofit Management by June 30, 2018, to help organizations get started on implementing actionable steps from the principles
  2. Participating as a lunchtime expert in the Cause Camp conference March 26 to 27, 2018. She will experience and interact with fellow do-gooders, speakers, staff, exhibitors, and nonprofit professionals who will work one-on-one to solve real issues organizations are experiencing — from the minor to the complex.
  3. Copresenting “How to Conquer Technology Distraction and Burnout and Be More Present for Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization” at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in New Orleans from April 11 to 13, 2018.

Carrie’s goal in writing her book is to outline her approach and techniques to make them available for all nonprofits at no cost. Your contributions will go toward the hiring of an editor and paperback production.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 12.15.24 PM

At Cause Camp, Carrie will engage nonprofit leaders from all across the country in her lunch expert session. Her highly interactive approach of hosting workshops has helped nonprofit leaders delve into the sources of the current problems in their organizations. After identifying all aspects of these problems, she helps nonprofit leaders establish tangible and achievable goals to help their organizations start working toward applying empathy through their interactions. Cause Camp will benefit from Carrie’s insights, and participating in Cause Camp will allow Carrie to take her brand nationwide.

Presenting at the Nonprofit Technology Conference with two experts in her field will allow Carrie to expand her network of nonprofit professionals. At this intersection of technology and nonprofits, Carrie will use her experience in technology to help nonprofits adapt to the rapidly changing tech industry by showing how to research technological resources to help nonprofits run more efficiently and by helping nonprofit staff adapt to new technology.


Carrie started her consulting firm in San Francisco because The City has offered her the resources and network to fold all her passions into a business. But her greatest passion is for San Francisco itself. She loves that the best in food, shopping, relationships, and opportunity is right in her backyard. New York is to Carrie Bradshaw as San Francisco is to Carrie Rice. And she’d like to send you some of her favorite San Francisco treats. (Don’t worry, she won’t send Rice-A-Roni. Unless you want Rice-A-Roni.)