I’ve built several thriving online communities and had two successful exits as a founder.
- Lean canvas development
- Business plan development
- Market size/opportunity assessment
- Financial model development
- Operations & management
- Marketing & audience development
- Revenue development, sales, & sales program development
- Startup incubator & mentorship programs
I have often been the “money person” on innovation projects, largely because it doesn’t frighten me to ask for money. I’ve raised over $3M in grants. I have also worked directly with pitching customers and pricing products.
- Venture fundraising
- Grant fundraising
- Startup incubator pitches
- Working with customers to arrive at a deal for products/services
- Pricing products/services
Many people think nonprofits are fundamentally different from for profits – but just like any other organization, they need to develop something that people need, and develop a strategy for supporting that, including bringing money in the door.
I have served on the boards and done board development work with a number of mission-driven organizations, and through my work at INN, was able to help our 140+ nonprofit organizations grow, raise money, and reach their goals.
- Grant & foundation fundraising
- Board development
- Strategic planning
- Online & mobile giving platforms
- Donor management platforms
In the past, I’ve typically been in founder and product management roles, but I recently decided to upgrade my tech knowledge and skills by enrolling in the intensive web development program at General Assembly. My aim in doing this was to become a better founder and manager of tech teams through deepening my understanding of the development process and modern web & mobile development technologies. I am now conversant in the following and have the ability to rapidly “skill up” on a new technology stack, and rapidly build a prototype to test an idea with an audience or demonstrate its potential to funders.
- My Github account: Lisa Williams — Github
- Technical writeups of my projects, covering tech and platform choices, user experience, and things I learn while building something new: Lisa Williams — Technologist
|Botpress (open source chatbot framework)|
NPR App Template
CMS based sites (Drupal, WordPress, etc)
LMS based sites (Open EdX, Moodle)
Flat-file sites (Github Pages, Jekyll)
Large data file analysis (Excel, CSVKit, etc)
Botpress.io (Chatbot development)
In addition to web development skills, I have a longtime interest in data visualization as a way to harness strategic insights and communicate them to teams and funders. I designed the Data Visualization Fundamentals course for General Assembly, an education startup, and have designed workshops for nonprofits and social justice organizations to use data visualization to tell their story more effectively. You can see my class outlines and tutorials at Data For Radicals: Data Visualization For Social Justice.
|Data Visualization Skills|
Mapping: Data-driven maps (TileMill, Leaflet, StoryMap, Google Maps)
|Excel (of course, as a foundational skill for everything above)|
Data journalism/data storytelling
Leaflet.js (See The Basics of Data-Driven Maps with Leaflet.js, a walkthrough I created).
I’ve worked with many organizations that want to develop recurring sources of revenue through membership or subscriber programs.
- Email marketing & automation
- Mobile payment/fundraising systems
- Social retargeting (using social media data to match individuals with products & content)
- Data & analytics
- Knowledge of public media organizations and independent, not-for-profit news organizations (Bringing NPR-style fundraising into other organizations)
- Audience/customer research
I have a real passion for matching solutions with users — and making sure the market is big enough to support a new product.
|Human Centered Design Skills/Market Based Product Management|
|Interviewing users for product development insights|
Running design sessions for stakeholders
Vetting and evaluating design and web development partners
Writing an initial spec/site or app plan to share with stakeholders
Identifying and evaluating web developers/web development firms for projects
|Market research (is the market you’re targeting big enough? is it growing?)|
Business canvas/MVP planning
Using projects as a way of giving tech teams the opportunity to move into modern ways of working (Agile/Scrum) with more modern infrastructure/tools.
- Motorcycles and scooters. I own a small-format motorcycle that’s a cult favorite in Japan. Simple and powerful, it has no electric starter — I have to kick start it. I got my start with two wheeled vehicles with Vespas and still own one, which I am rehabbing.
- Zombie Apocalypse Survival Skills: It surprises me that I have developed an interest in the kind of old-fashioned skills my grandmother would have known intimately. I can make blankets, can vegetables and fruit, and I have a large kitchen garden in my backyard. If the zombie apocalypse comes, come to my house: we’ll still have food.
- Sure, everybody’s interested in brunch. But not everybody throws brunch for 40 on the regular like I do.
- Contemporary art. I developed an interest in contemporary art and go to gallery openings and collect works by contemporary artists, primarily abstract work. I also write about it, on a static/Jekyll based site I developed from scratch.
- I volunteer with a number of organizations that work with recovering women in the Boston area.
- I helped create and launch The Magic Pill, an NPR podcast that is also a 21-day exercise challenge. This project won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Innovation.
I’ve been very fortunate in my career to lead teams doing award-winning work. To learn more about my professional background, view awards and board service, or see a chronological listing of my career, start here.