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A Brief Introduction to Upturn Strategies, How to Read It, and Who Wrote It

Welcome to Upturn Strategies! I’m so glad you are here.

This blog is designed to help non-profits become more effective through better planning.

“If you are a non-profit professional, a board member, or a volunteer leader, this blog is for you.”It’s written by Heather Fitzpatrick, a management consultant with 18 years’ experience as a planning facilitator and a civic volunteer who has served on dozens of boards, committees, and task forces. I am also obsessed with driving improved outcomes through effective planning. (You can read more about me in my bio, below.)

I started Upturn Strategies because I get more requests for pro-bono consulting services than I can handle, and I care deeply about the health of the not-for-profit sector.

If you are a non-profit professional, a board member, or a volunteer leader, this blog is for you. My goal is to provide actionable insights that help the non-profits you serve become more effective. I hope you like it.

How to Read this Blog

Upturn Strategies covers topics that will help your non-profit become more effective in its planning processes. I will cover strategic planning, business planning and marketing planning. However, since those terms are often intermingled, I categorized the content by relevant time-frame or management skill.

Here’s what you’ll find in each category:


Category What You’ll Find Here
Long-term Planning Strategic planning, mega trends and other insights that have long-term impact, like generational issues and mission evolution (6+ years).
Mid-range Planning Business planning and operational insights with mid-term impact, such as succession, processes and systems, capital campaigns, mergers and acquisitions, new product/service introductions (2 to 5 years).
Short-term Tactics Short-term tactics with significant planning implications that an organization might be implementing currently, such as fund development approaches, marketing programs, budgeting tips, and human resource planning (0 to 2 years).
Management & Oversight Advice on how to make sure your plan gets executed, from staffing considerations to board oversight.
Measurement & Metrics Advice on evaluating progress and outcomes through effective measurement, including how to pick appropriate intermediate and long-term metrics, how to use survey software to track impact, and using dashboards to reporting progress.


About Heather Fitzpatrick

Heather Fitzpatrick

Meet Heather L. Fitzpatrick, author of the Upturn Strategies Blog

Heather Fitzpatrick is passionate about volunteer leadership and helping organizations deliver outstanding results. Upturn Strategies allows her to merge the two in a way that delivers value to the non-profit community.

Professional Life

Heather is a professional strategist. Through MarketFitz, Inc., the company she founded in 1998, Heather works with middle-market and larger organizations, including non-profits, to help them improve the returns they generate on market-facing investments. She facilitates strategic planning retreats and processes, works with clients to drive long-term visions into detailed action plans, and helps hold executives accountable for execution.

Her methodical approach to marketing planning, developed through a nine-year research study of the marketing behaviors of market leaders, focuses on delivering measurably improved outcomes. Based on her success, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants requested that she write a book to educate CFOs and other managers on effective marketing management. Marketing Management for Non-Marketing Managers: Improving Returns on Marketing Investments was published in 2013. (You can find a link to purchase it in the right sidebar, at the bottom.)

Commitment to Community

Heather is also a committed community volunteer. She hosted her first fundraiser (benefiting the Multiple Dystrophy Association) at age 7. As a 16 year-old Girl Scout, she joined her first board of directors (Totem Girl Scout Council’s). As a 23 year-old graduate student, she established her first community service program. Heather has served on 10 different boards, innumerable committees and task forces, and a political campaign’s executive committee. She has also chaired fundraising events, developed pro-bono market research studies, and provided counsel to a wide range of volunteer-led organizations.

Academic & Personal Life

Heather is a CPA, licensed in Washington State, and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), who worked for Deloitte as a tax consultant for several years. She graduated from the University of Washington with her MBA, focused on marketing and human resource management. Heather completed her BA, majoring in French and minoring in Economics, at Colgate University. She was a Fulbright Fellow.

Heather is also a wife, mother of two, dedicated Girl Scout leader, adventuresome cook, and enthusiastic outdoors person. She and her family live in Edmonds, Washington, along with their four-legged hiking companion, Riko.

A Note on Links

In some blog posts, I list books, supplies or other items that I recommend. If they have a link to Amazon, please be aware that I receive a very small commission on any purchases you make. Purchasing through my site helps to pay for the cost of maintaining it, and is very much appreciated!

Here is my official disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”