Dave Manning

Founding Principal

Strategic Planning | OD & Capacity Building | Resource Pooling

I want to live in a world where most people wake up feeling inspired by meaningful work, connected with their communities, motivated to be better, and excited for what's ahead.

I believe life should be an adventure, work should feel meaningful, and you should love where you live.


continued from Team page...

On a "meta" level (which on the surface sounds like it has nothing to do with nonprofit consulting, but stick with me...), I believe in a Star Trek-like future of peaceful humanism, scientific discovery, and global wellbeing. I believe the quickest way to get there is by addressing the root cause of all the world's problems: a lack of meaning in most people's everyday lives.

Since day-to-day life usually involves working, spending, and living in our local communities, I exclusively work with community-minded nonprofits. Even when I left the private sector to teach business for four years, I made sure local entrepreneurs were directly involved with my students' experiential learning projects. I absolutely love and am passionate about helping communities and community-minded organizations become better; it’s been the sole focus of my 15+ year career.

Professionally, I've worked in commercial real estate, business banking, medical fitness, education, and now consulting. Within that, my specialties have included accounting, research, project management, retail leasing/brokerage, commercial lending (including SBA financing), operations management, change management, organizational transformation, facilitating, teaching (with M.Ed.), stay-at-home-dad'ing, and more. It sounds like a lot because it is– I'm a scanner (RIP/thank you Barbara Sher). The specific "resumé bullet" details of each experience are available in full transparency on my LinkedIn profile (here).

I am highly organized, thrive in chaos (the messier the better!), enjoy overseeing multiple concurrent projects, and always meet deadlines. I get excited when there are problems to solve, work great independently, and love being part of a high-functioning mission-driven team. Across many industries, I have planned several successful large events (including two with attendance reaching 800), managed numerous budgets, negotiated dozens of contracts, and occupied both detail-critical and big-picture roles. I believe in fostering growth mindsets, purposeful discovery, feedback and reflection, and a mutual responsibility for individual and system-wide improvements. And jokes— I do like making those around me laugh.

Personally, I'm grateful for my lovely wife, Ali, my happy-go-lucky toddler son, Finley, and my little Havanese sidekick, Linus. The middle child of three (probably why I'm a good facilitator!), I've lived in MA, RI, VT, and NC, plus have family in ME and NH; I love New England.

I may have formed Grow Meaningful LLC as a nonprofit consultancy, but like all good players in the infinite game, it will adapt over time to best advance its just cause: creating a world where most people wake up feeling inspired by meaningful work, connected with their communities, motivated to become better, and excited for what's ahead. I know we can get there...