By Pamela Brown
Paula Barbag is a whirlwind of energy and tireless dedication to reaching her full potential while helping others. “I believe you’ll achieve the most success, personally and professionally, if you follow your passion, remain true to yourself, and be all that you can be,” said Paula, a Chappaqua resident who uses that motto to help nonprofit organizations discover their strengths and establish their vision. As Founder and President of Consulting For A Cause, Paula works collaboratively with nonprofits to encourage them to embrace growth and also to obtain their goals.
“I have a passion for the mission of nonprofits and the intrinsic reward and benefits of working with dedicated, hardworking employees,” she said. Paula has recently taken on a new role as Director of Major Gifts at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, which is now part of the Montefiore Health System. She will be cultivating and soliciting major and planned gifts from individuals. When her schedule allows, Paula will assume a new role with Consulting For A Cause. In addition to teaching, she will continue to providing consulting services on a limited basis, and collaborate with her network of accomplished fundraising and organizational development professionals, to deliver quality services.
After 10 years in the corporate world, Paula enjoyed a thriving 23-year career at Richmond Community Services, where she served in various roles, including Human Resources Director, Special Projects Director, which focused on organizational development, and Director of Marketing & Development. After that time, she knew the time was right to pursue a new challenge. “It was a long, difficult decision,” said Paula who went back to school to pursue her master’s in fundraising management, volunteered at local organizations, and researched the growing needs of the nonprofit industry, finding that the unmet need of nonprofits was a business approach to fund development.
In 2008, Paula became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and in 2012, founded Consulting For A Cause, a results-oriented, boutique firm specializing in fundraising and organizational development for start-ups to fully-accomplished nonprofits and businesses. Its services include: fundraising counsel, major gift and capital campaigns, business development; strategic planning and analysis; education and training; board development and executive search. Some of the clients she has worked with include the Garrison Institute, Food Bank for Westchester, Rye Arts Center, Community Center of Northern Westchester, Stop Stigma Now, Latino U College Access, and the New Westchester Symphony Orchestra. Recently, Paula has begun working with a for-profit, providing outplacement counseling services.
Knowledgeable and experienced, Paula and her staff take pride in their professionalism and outstanding business practices. “Consulting For A Cause is guided by high ethical standards, integrity, and commitment to excellence. I can be trusted to deliver what’s promised,” said Paula who earned a Masters of Fundraising Management degree from Columbia University, an MBA in Personnel and Industrial Relations degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a Professional Certificate in Philanthropy and Fundraising from New York University.
In 2013, the Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce recognized the firm’s contributions to the industry with the New Business of the Year award, and in March of 2015, Paula received the Peter J. Gallagher Award for Leadership and Service from the Association of Development Officers (ADO). “Paula is a sincere, giving, and compassionate person, exemplifying outstanding community spirit and service. She has a passion for the nonprofit industry, their causes and their missions, and decades of experience and knowledge of the nonprofit and fundraising industry, plus she’s provided long-time personal community service to many nonprofits,” said Lydia Howie, former director of ADO. Paula is a former president of ADO and served as a member of its board of directors.
“I devoted 15 years of time and effort as a board member to a professional association that helped me grow professionally and eased my transition from human resources to fundraising,” she said. Paula is also a member of the Business Council of Westchester, Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Grant Writers Association of the Hudson Valley.
Paula has been married to her husband, David, for 30 years. They have three children: Erica, 20; Alexis, 23; and Scott, 25. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, entertaining, traveling, taking walks with her husband and dog in local parks, exercising, and pampering herself and her daughters. “Keeping priorities in order are essential. I must take care of my mind, body and soul first, because if I don’t take care of myself I can’t be a good wife, mother, business woman, sister, or friend,” she said.
Since becoming a CFRE, Paula has obtained a wealth of information as she’s taken on demanding projects for a wide spectrum of clients. The firm’s most exciting project has been CHOICE of New Rochelle. “Consulting For A Cause raised over 25,000 for the agency’s art program through partnering with Charles Fazzino, world-renowned artist that has its headquarters in New Rochelle. Charles championed the art program and held annual art fundraisers,” Paula explained. She’s found immense satisfaction seeing the positive results of working collaboratively with nonprofits to advance their mission. “I’m most proud of making it through three years of growth, personally and professionally, and having the courage to pause in 2015 to scale down my business to obtain a clearer vision of what success will look like for me and Consulting For A Cause.
To add to her already-busy schedule, currently, Paula is a teaching assistant at Columbia University and serves on the board of directors of a women’s empowerment organization, POWHERNY, an exclusive statewide network committed to securing economic equality for all New York women, and is a member of the Nonprofit Leadership Summit committee. Her summer will focus on her new job at Burke, writing her own strategic growth plan and developing educational programs for nonprofits (or businesses) to develop their own plans while guided by her goal of striving to lead a full, meaningful, and balanced life.
Paula will be presenting at the Nonprofit Leadership Summit sponsored by United Way of Westchester and Putnam, on Monday, May 2nd, on the topic of Benefit Corporations.
For more information on Consulting for a Cause, visit consultingforacause.com