Building Strong Community Relationships to Support Earned Income Initiatives with Megan McNally

Are you leveraging the power of strong community relationships? This episode is full of strategies leaders can use to build lasting relationships in their communities and help diversify their funding with earned income. I spoke with special guest, Megan McNally, co-founder of The Foundry, who shared how she’s using the relationships she’s built to fund her nonprofit primarily through earned income. 

She discussed how she is building a social enterprise, partnering with the community, and not heavily relying on fundraising to operate her nonprofit. Megan also shared what financial management looks like for her, how she came to understand the true cost of things like time and efficiency, and why it’s important to have a strong financial foundation. This is a great episode for nonprofit leaders looking to use the relationships they have with the community to diversify their revenue streams. 


About Megan

Megan is the co-founder of The Foundry. She graduated from Barnard College with a degree in Environmental Policy, has worked on green building construction sites across the country, and gained experience in woodworking at Yestermorrow Design/Build School. She moved back to Buffalo to run a woodworking business from 2011-2014 and is passionate about supporting women and people of color in “non-traditional” career pathways. 

Megan is active in Big Brothers Big Sisters and encourages everyone to consider mentorship. She has been the recipient of the Women Who Move The City Award, BizJournal’s 30 under 30 Award, Protege of The Year from the University at Buffalo’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and one of the finalists in the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo Centennial Awards.


Read the podcast transcript here.


Episode Summary

In this episode, you’ll learn the importance of diversifying revenue streams and how the community can help support your nonprofit’s mission through earned income, including.

•Providing support and advocacy for creative entrepreneurs (5:00)

•Creating a social enterprise and new revenue streams (10:45)

•Leveraging community relationships for earned income initiatives (14:20)

•The importance of building relationships within the community (18:45)

•What financial management looks like for a nonprofit leader (24:00)

•Shifting your mindset to understand the true cost of things (29:15)

•How a strong financial foundation impacts your mission (35:30)



“I was doing environmental science and learned about a lot of the challenges around the old housing and housing stock in the city of Buffalo. And I ended up convincing my school to buy a house in the foreclosure option.”

“In terms of our approach, we really try to look at what sort of earned income can we do?”

It’s an opportunity for us to employ our young people who are practicing the skills that they’re developing, and they get paid to do it. It’s justification that the skills that they’re learning can actually give you money.”



The Foundry Website: 

Follow the Foundry on Instagram: @thefoundrybuffalo

Keep up to date with the podcast: @100degreesconsulting

Follow Stephanie on Instagram: @stephanie.skry/ 

Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn: 

Visit the podcast page:  


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