Janus Small: Her Own Words

About her work:

I ran three different nonprofits over a 20-year period.  

I was an executive director for my first nonprofit job and I started consulting on the side.

The very first thing was the Ohio Arts Council coming to me and saying, ‘You’re really good at bringing artists and businesses together. Can we send you down to Dayton to work with a group there?’

And then a few months later, another one asked, ‘Can we send you here?’
Then, I moved into a social service organization and it was an organization where the founder – that was the person who I was following – had been there over 30 years.

Some foundations said to me, ‘You handled that founder transition really well. Can we send you here to help with that and can we send you there?’

And all of the sudden, I had a full-time Executive Director job and I was doing a good amount of consulting on the side.  

After 9/11, so much work began coming to me as organizations were looking and needing to operate in different ways as the funding climate changed, as priorities of funders changed and so on, as priorities for volunteers and board members shifted.

I realized it was time to do this work full-time.  I loved being an Executive Director, but it was time to make the shift and build a strong team and go from there.

bio-2About Her Education:

Janus holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in printmaking and painting. It was the president of her college who changed the course of her career and, really, the course of her life.

She shares the story:

The year before I graduated, he said to me, ‘I’m not trying to say you’re not a great artist or anything, but you bring these interests, you bring these skills that are sure not typical for an artist or an art student, like you’re the first person that ever came to me and said, ‘Can I learn to write grants and raise some money so that we can rent some buses to bring some kids from the city into the gallery at the school?  Can I organize a volunteer program to do this and this and this for the school?’

So, he, the president of the arts school, turned me onto what was then a relatively new formal field and I got a master’s in nonprofit organizations.  I went into that thinking that oh I would run nonprofit arts organizations and I would run arts and culture organizations.  

bio-photo-3I’m an artist and I’m an arts-interested person and right as I was getting ready to graduate from graduate school in nonprofit management, I had the opportunity to be a fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts. That’s where I saw that organizations might say they do great things and have great, exciting missions, but some of them were pretty weak organizations and if they could run in a stronger way, they’d benefit more people.  

That’s when I saw many organizations were doing great things, but hardly anybody knew that they were doing great things.  That’s when I also saw that the audience that arts and cultural organizations were serving was relatively small when you look at the whole big world.  

So, my interest grew right then and there from working just with arts and cultural organizations to working with organizations that would impact children and families and seniors, all people in broader ways and that’s what led me to working first as an arts and culture director, then to social service, then to education.  

So, it all weaves together.

Janus Small, President

Janus Small has built the consulting firm of Janus Small Associates on her deep and solid experience as a leader of nonprofit community organizations. A nationally noted authority on nonprofit management, Janus has earned the trust of community development, faith-based, social service, arts and cultural, education and environmental organizations.

With expertise developed over her 15 years as executive director of Shoes and Clothes for Kids, director of the Center for Arts and Culture at Cuyahoga Community College and executive director of the New Organization for the Visual Arts (NOVA), she has made Janus Small Associates a highly respected source of guidance on strategic planning, fundraising, board and organizational development, programming, audience growth and other capacity-building processes.

Janus shares her knowledge and abilities not only with her clients, but also with the next generation of administrators by teaching in the graduate nonprofit management program at John Carroll University. She previously taught at Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations and at Baldwin-Wallace University, each for 10 years.

In addition, Janus contributes to the success of deserving community efforts by serving on the City of Cleveland’s Mayor’s Public Art Commission.  Prior to this, she served as education committee chair and as Arts-in-Transit committee member for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and as a board member for the Cleveland Jewish News, where she chaired the board development committee and the marketing committee. She held the post of mentor for nonprofit best practices at Washington, D.C.’s Eureka Communities in 2000 and belongs to Leadership Cleveland’s class of 1999.

Her skills and accomplishments have won Janus top honors, including the Ohio Governors Award in Administration, an Administration Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Rainmakers award in social services from Northern Ohio Live magazine. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art.  Janus lives in Beachwood, Ohio, with her husband, Allen.  They have three grown children, Terry Larry their Standard Poodle, and Essy their Malinois.

Janus Small Associates LLC is a certified Regional Small Business (RSB), Female Business (FBE) and Local Producer (LPE) Enterprise.