Archive for January, 2011

Nonprofit Life Cycles

Many of us start the New Year by taking stock of where we are and where we are headed.

It might serve us well to do the same for our organizations. Where is your organization right now and where are you headed?

A terrific tool to help you in this reflection is the Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations by Judith Sharken Simon (Fieldstone Alliance. 2001).
Five Life Stages
In her piece, Ms. Simon highlights five life stages of nonprofit organizations:

  • Imagine and Inspire
  • Found and Frame
  • Ground and Grow
  • Produce and Sustain
  • Review and Renew

Nonprofit Life Cycles (PDF)

In Stage Five “Review and Renew” “the organization is reinventing itself in some way, shape, or form through a process of review and renewal.”

In our current environment many organizations find themselves in Stage Five due to the rapid changes in the needs of our clients and communities, funding, and other resources.

Here are some tips in engaging through the fifth stage:

o    Check your assumptions:
Check in regularly with your clients, your peers and partners, and your funders to get a better handle on the environment in which you are working

o    Benchmark your peers nationwide:
Get a handle on what is happening with “like” organizations that have similar missions and goals to yours, and understand what is working and not working for them

o    Keep “strategy” alive:
Be sure everyone understands your organization’s strategy and incorporate time in each board and staff meeting to make sure you are on-track, overcoming obstacles, and achieving your objectives

o    Don’t go it alone:
Ask for help.  Keep your key supporters in the loop and ask for assistance that can help your organization remain (or get back to being) healthy, focused, and successful

As one of your partners, the Support Center is here to help.

Visit our website to see what we are up to this year and how we can help:

>>> Professional Development/Workshops

>>> Executive Search &Transition Management

>>> Consulting & Turnaround Services


Board Retreat & Strategic Planning: FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties

FoodBankMonmouthThe FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, founded in 1984, serves over 270 pantries, soup kitchens and other feeding programs with over five million pounds of food annually.

With a new, state of the art warehouse and office complex completed in 2001, the FoodBank has seen an 84% increase in the number of individuals and families served since 2005.

Over 1,000 volunteers complement staff efforts to provide emergency food, skills training, outreach programs and advocacy for individuals and families in need.

Once the incredibly busy holiday season was over, the Executive Director, Susan M. Kelly, and Board Chairman, Robert Brown, engaged the Support Center to facilitate both a board retreat and a strategic planning process.

Marie Zieger

Marie Zieger

Marie Zieger, Senior Affiliated Consultant, and Don Crocker, Chief Executive Officer, are looking forward to working with the FoodBank team over the next six months to draft a blueprint for the future.

>>> Consulting Services

Executive Coaching: Lincoln Square

January 14, 2011 1 comment

The vision that drives Lincoln Square
Neighborhood Center
was born over 100
years ago with the rise of the Settlement
House movement. Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center

Rooted in this tradition, Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center was founded over 60 years ago on the west side of Manhattan.

Their mission is to improve the lives and life prospects of the residents within their community: the greater Lincoln Center neighborhood.

Programs and services are provided to over 2,700 individuals and 1,250 families, from pre-schoolers to senior citizens.

Melanie Schmidt, the new Executive Director of the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, recently transitioned from interim to permanent Director, and has been benefiting from executive coaching with Dart Westphal, Senior Associate at the Support Center.

Sessions are focusing on developing strategies and activities to achieve strategic objectives, operational targets and measurable outcomes.

Going forward Ms. Schmidt plans to work with her coach focusing on expanding the organization’s fundraising efforts, strengthening the staff’s commitment to the goals of the Center, solidifying her working relationship with the board of directors and honing her own leadership skills.

>>> Coaching Services

Categories: Coaching