Knowing Your Numbers and Planning for the Future with Margaret Chapman Pomponio

How do you use your nonprofit numbers to plan for the future? Knowing where your organization stands with its finances is so important for continuing to grow your impact on the communities you serve. In this episode, I chat with special guest Margaret Chapman Pomponio about how she’s using this knowledge to plan for the future sustainability of her nonprofit, West Virginia FREE.  

Margaret dives into how she is stepping outside of her comfort zone and using a unique approach to serving the community. She also shares how her nonprofit has shifted its fundraising strategy after looking at the financial trends. Like how WV FREE went from focusing on large donor contributions to individual, year-round contributions. Margaret also chats about how she is overcoming the scarcity mindset we so often see in the nonprofit sector. 


About Margaret

Before Margaret joined West Virginia FREE in 2002, she had a varied career, from serving two terms in AmeriCorps to working with the Lummi Nation in Washington, waiting tables, and teaching Women and Politics at Western Washington University. When she returned to her native Mountain State, she landed at WV FREE and began to earnestly expand reproductive health, rights, and justice work in her home state.

Under Margaret’s leadership, WV FREE has successfully expanded its staff and reach and has experienced significant victories for reproductive health rights and justice policy throughout the state and at every level of government in a very challenging political climate. No stranger to fighting battles uphill, Margaret knows that advocacy for reproductive rights, and racial, gender, and economic justice is best done in partnership. She deeply values working in coalition and lifting up new leaders to build power for transformative social change.


Read the podcast transcript here.


Episode Summary

In this episode, you’ll learn how the power of knowing your numbers can help you grow your impact and plan for the future, including:

•Stepping outside of your comfort zone (9:10)

•Using a unique approach to serve the community (12:30)

•Leveraging the power of your staff and contractors (17:45)

•Shifting fundraising strategies to individual contributors (20:50)

•Incorporating consistent year-round fundraising strategies (23:15)

•Overcoming scarcity mindset in the nonprofit sector (25:20)

•Why knowing your numbers grows your impact (32:50)



“As a leader, we have to recognize what our weaknesses are or how we can improve. And my approach to that is recognize it, say it, and ask for help. I’ve always been that person. You’ve got to ask for help.”

“It’s been really gratifying to have more support. We know there’s a lot of untapped potential and it has kind of pushed us to that realization. We really do need to build more support right here in our own state and it’s bearing fruit.”

“Feeling confident in the numbers is everything. And doing the multi-year outlook gives me so much peace of mind.”

“Funders don’t want to invest in an organization that isn’t managing its finance as well. And to be able to tell the financial story to our donors I think gives a lot of peace of mind.”



West Virginia FREE Website:

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FREE Monthly Finance Routine Checklist: 

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