Propelling Good is a woman-owned, family-operated consulting firm focused on helping Non-Profits and Educational Institutions move further, faster towards their Purpose by FINDING & DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP, and STRENGTHENING FUNDRAISING EFFORTS. Communities around the world rely on Non-Profits and Educational Institutions to help them not only survive, but ideally thrive.
As such, our LEADERSHIP and FUNDRAISING work begins and ends with a focus on impact. Essential to finding the ‘right’ leader(s) as well as bringing in more dollars is a clear, compelling, and measurable mission, coupled with aligned organizational values, goals and strategies. Whether you’re a seasoned executive of a long established organization, or a first-time principal, leadership can be tremendously challenging and isolating, especially for women and diverse individuals. We’ve been there, and we’re here to help you help others.
We offer a range of services to help ensure your intended IMPACT
We will help you diagnose the state of your fundraising efforts, and then help you compete with the best, who are proving their model with stories grounded in data, activating a network of supporters, building and managing high functioning systems, and developing strategies that offer multiple pathways to goal.
We offer an end-to-end service, starting with helping you understand the profile of leader that will help you serve your community best, then design the process and build the diverse pool that will help us hire and onboard that ‘right fit’ leader. To ensure their ongoing success, we offer coaching for the newly hired leader, as well as change management support for the entire organization.
Program Data Strategy
Without a clear, compelling and measurable mission, and aligned organizational strategies, it is nearly impossible to see our intended impact, let alone raise the dollars we need to support our work. We will diagnose your current state, and help define your inputs, activities, and outputs, as well as measure your outcomes and impact.
We know how challenging and isolating leadership can be, not only for the ED/CEO, but for the entire leadership team. We offer coaching for individuals and teams who want to GROW: establish clear goals, assess the current reality, move from scarcity to abundance options, and develop multiple ways forward.
Old ways won’t open new doors! In an ever changing world, it is critical that entire teams keep learning and growing, especially when it comes to our individual and collective leadership. We offer one-off workshops as well as longer term consulting, designed to meet the unique needs of your organization and community.
I've seen how methodically she approaches challenges, the thoughtfulness with which she deliberates, and the adaptability she displays in unpredictable circumstances. Most of all, I've been struck by Jess's natural inquisitiveness; she's excited by learning and never intimidated by something she doesn't yet know.Niketa B.Community Organizer and Social Entrepreneur
She will push you and your team to pursue integrity and excellence ever day. And what she doesn't know she'll learn quickly or build the best team of experts around you to move your work forward.Ellie B.Social Entrepreneur and Political Advisor
When we began scaling [our] products to nonprofits and advocacy groups, Jess and I sat down and she helped me brainstorm a huge list of her connections who might be helpful. I've watched first-hand as Jessica has brought together large, previously disorganized teams and coached partners through difficult conversations. Among my network, everyone I meet has tremendous respect for Jessica and her work.Aviva R. Social Entrepreneur and Political Activist
Under her direction, countless high performing young leaders became some of Chicago's most credentialed and effective school leaders, founders, and policy makers all improving outcomes and changing trajectories for kids in hundreds of schools here in Chicago. She is smart, strategic, organized beyond belief (seriously, it's impressive), and easy to partner with because the work is never about her and she has no ego. She is confident and strong, as well as humble and brave.Ebony S. Community Organizer and Social Impact Consultant
Jess then parlayed her executive non profit experience into her own consulting firm,Madeline P. Account Executive
mentoring professionals of all ages and fields, supporting political campaigns,
working with start-ups. Her natural leadership skills and presence
make her a force to be reckoned with. People who just meet her are
struck by her charisma, her presence. People who have worked with her
admire her professionalism, reliability and creativity.
Jessica is a great resource, and a wealth of knowledge. She is great at listening, helping asses your need and figuring out a plan of action. Her network is massive and she has been extremely helpful in helping me navigate new career and business opportunities. I highly recommend her services.Vinay M. Start-Up Executive
Jess is the consummate person. Whether you work with her, have a conversation, or hear her speak, you'll quickly realize just how talented and skilled she is in a wide range of areas. If you're looking to solve a big problem or find new ideas, Jess is your go-to person.Joe H. Social Entrepreneur and Financial Advisor
About the founder
Jessica Zander’s lifelong goal has been to help as many people as possible reach their full potential. She began her career teaching adults how to read at her local library, designing and teaching a leadership course for k-8 students with special needs, and teaching family literacy at the Jane Addams Hull House in Chicago.
Early in her career Zander joined Teach For America as a high school special educator in St. Louis, Missouri, then served as a special education coordinator at an elementary school in Gary, Indiana. After observing the many inequities and injustices facing her students and their families, Jessica left the job she loved in the classroom to lead the Teach For America Alumni Network in Chicago, so she could propel the trajectory of thousands of social impact leaders across the country. She and her team designed and led programs that helped over 200 individuals become school leaders, over 1500 teachers grow in their classroom careers, and hundreds more run for office, start their own non-profits, utilize their legal expertise to advocate for children – and so much more.
After several years of leadership at Teach For America, including serving as Chief to Staff to the Executive Director, Zander then took her passion for propelling social impact leaders to New Leaders as the Executive Director of External Relations, managing the Midwest and West Coast regions. In her role, she raised millions of dollars, secured long-term partnerships with school districts, and developed multiple volunteer boards.
Most recently, Jessica Zander has been bringing her unique expertise of helping her peers thrive personally and professionally by founding her first company, Propelling Good. She is advising and training hundreds of leaders across such industries as education, non-profit, pharmaceuticals, engineering, technology, politics, fashion, and music. Each of her clients has the same dream she has – they seek to make a positive difference in the world.
Jessica studied the history and impact of institutionalized racism and sexism at the Kinsey Institute and School of Sociology at Indiana University in Bloomington. She is also an 1871 mentor, co-founder and senior advisor at mwseq™ a music tech start-up, a development committee member at The People’s Music School, and a yoga instructor for Mission Propelle – a girls empowerment program.
She and her partner in life (and sometimes even business), Keith Zander PhD, live together in Elmhurst, Illinois with their preschooler, Jack and lab-pit puppy, Buster. Dr. Zander leverages his background in Community Psychology, Program Evaluation and Predictive Analystics to support Jessica as her part-time Chief Knowledge Officer. The two of them have dedicated their lives and careers to leveraging their own privilege to advance opportunities for others, as well as serving as loving and supportive members of their families and communities.