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"...what you might think of as failure is really teaching us something valuable.”

When it comes to helping nonprofit organizations reach their full potential, Sandra Chaney wrote the book. Literally.

As a matter of fact, the Annapolis, Maryland-based nonprofit strategist is an eight-time author on the topics of business, self-help and nonprofit management.

Ms. Chaney says that she didn’t choose her journey, rather, “it chose me.” A survivor of domestic violence, she first began her career in advocacy and nonprofit strategy as a volunteer at My Sister’s Place, a local nonprofit women’s shelter. Seeing that “their story was my story,” Sandra dedicated herself to fighting for the welfare of domestic violence survivors.

She also quickly took to the skill helping the group gain access to new resources—both through grant writing and lobbying local officials. After three years with the nonprofit, Sandra realized that she could add greater value to the nonprofit world by entering the private sector where she founded Sandra Chaney Enterprises, Inc.

In 19 years as co-founder and chief visionary officer of Sandra Chaney Enterprises, Sandra has helped countless nonprofits find their “why” and build a sustainable organization around that mission. Guiding nonprofits to build from the inside-out has been her greatest joy.

According to Ms. Chaney, “...everything my clients need, they already have.” Sandra helps her clients strategize and provides a variety of essential services including grant writing. Today, she has secured over $20 million in funds for her clients.

Since 2005, she’s authored eight books on her story, single motherhood, success for women in small business, and nonprofit development. Among these, The Inside Secrets To Getting Money For Your Non-Profit has become a guidebook for nonprofits who struggle to secure the funding they need.

Despite the demands of her consultancy and writing careers, Sandra continues to make advocacy one of her top priorities. To Sandra, the power of advocacy comes from using her voice for others who may not be able to make their own voices heard. And when it comes to small-business advocacy, she supports efforts to level the playing field: “I love to see people win, especially small businesses...if I can play a small part in that, then I’m all for it.”

Graciously, the author and nonprofit strategist is happy to talk with other small businesses and provide her insight. When asked what advice she’d give to first-time businesspeople, Ms. Chaney simply replied: “Breathe. You’re going to be successful, so just breathe.”

Sandra also advises that first-time small-business owners reframe their relationship with failure: “We always feel like everything we do is failing, when in essence, it’s not. But what you might think of as failure is really teaching us something valuable.”

To learn more about Ms. Chaney, visit her website here.


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