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Archive for November, 2011

Support Center Expands Executive Search & Change Consulting Services for Area Nonprofits – Grantmakers Contribute to Ensure the Health and Stability of their “Mission-Critical Grantees”

The economy remains volatile and government cuts are upon us.  The needs in our communities are growing and even the strongest nonprofit organizations are struggling to “steady the ship.”  Executive Director and CEO transitions, too, are disrupting the ability of nonprofit organizations to remain effective.

As nonprofit funding changes, community need incDon Crockerreases, and executive directors transition, it makes sense that the most caring and connected foundations and corporations are looking for ways to ensure the health and stability of their own “mission-critical” grantees.  Karen Brown (Support Center Board Member and Fairfield County Community Foundation VP of Programs), in a recent interview in Philanthropy News Digest’s Philantopic said, “We’ve been urging grantees to continue to invest in staff and professional development and not to look at those kinds of investments as frills…funders need to consider supporting these programs in order to help organizations hold the line on their budgets without sacrificing effectiveness.”

Many private and corporate funders are investing in efforts to ensure the health and well-being of the nonprofit groups and communities they care about.  JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the Altman Foundation, and the Prudential Foundation are just three of the many foundations that are demonstrating a real commitment to nonprofit effectiveness and impact, and are partnering in the Support Center’s efforts to guide nonprofit change and transition.

While we know that some of our readers have worked directly with us and have experience with all of these services, we realize that many of you may not be as familiar with our full scope of offerings.  Here is a brief overview:

Executive Search and Transition Management (ESTM)

A change in leadership, whether from a founder, long-time executive director, or a mismatched hire, can be a pivotal time in the life of a nonprofit—presenting an opportunity to examine organizational challenges and make decisions for future directions. Here at the Support Center, we use the proven techniques of Executive Search and Transition Management  to address organizational needs and work to strengthen the whole organization, while also successfully managing the hiring of a new leader. Our three-phase process addresses a nonprofit’s needs through an organizational assessment, facilitates the hiring of the new executive, and guarantees a successful outcome with “on-boarding” consulting for the new leader. Throughout the process, our consultants work hand-in-hand with board members, staff, funders and other stakeholders in the community.

Change Consulting and Turnaround Services

In addition to facing leadership changes, NYC nonprofits—like many others nationwide—have been hit by significant declines in funding in the wake of government shortfalls and the volatile economy. Nonprofits—from arts and culture groups to human service organizations—are undergoing painful reassessments and restructuring, including mergers, acquisitions, collaborations, cutbacks and closings. Adjusting to this new economy means increasing effectiveness and sustainability for many small to mid-sized neighborhood based nonprofit organizations. Increased funding from foundations this year allows us to reach out to more nonprofits and provide critical Change Consulting  services that can help them assess current programs, improve financial management, increase board engagement and fundraising effectiveness, while keeping our fees affordable to NYC-area small and mid-sized nonprofits.

Professional Development and Cohort Learning

Each year we strive to develop the best course offerings, listening to your requests and needs for professional development. As we plan for 2012, increased funding will allow us to expand the range of workshops, tailor them to your time-frames (half-day, full-day and evening offerings), and add more custom programming at affordable rates. In addition, we also will be developing new opportunities for cohort learning. The Trajectory Leadership Group we formed this year has confirmed our belief that cohort learning is an effective means for executive directors and other senior nonprofit professionals to learn new skills and learn from one another in a supportive atmosphere outside of their offices and daily activities.

Find out more about our work and partnerships by visiting us at www.supportcenteronline.org.

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Building Nonprofit Capacity: A Guide to Managing Change Through Organizational Lifecycles

November 22, 2011 1 comment

In this new book, authors John Brothers, Senior Fellow here at the Support Center, and Anne Sherman,  of TCC Group seek to help nonprofit leaders figure out how to effectively navigate change within their organization, no matter how large or small the nonprofit might be.  They use the theory of nonprofit  “lifecycle advancement’  as a type of change management that can help organizations build capacities that are appropriate to each stage of a nonprofit.

“A central question for leadership is to identify where, and when, to focus organizational energy, and that is where Brothers and Sherman’s book comes in. Changing organizations is never easy, which is why managers need the right set of maps and tools—like this one.” Jon Pratt, Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

What’s Included?

Chapter One:  Change as a defining force in the nonprofit sector

Chapter Two – Chapter Six: Examines the five life cycle phases of organizations, including a discussion of how an organization in decline can navigate a turnaround

Throughout the text the authors:

  • Make the case for a deliberate change process, yet also acknowledge the very real challenges
  • Provide a context for the struggles that nonprofits face
  • Offer success stories
  • Offer frameworks and tools that leaders can apply in their own organizations.

Building Nonprofit Capacity is a highly useful guide for nonprofit professionals who want to focus on capacity building efforts that will yield the greatest impact. Books can be ordered at Amazon.

John Brothers, is a Senior Fellow at the Support Center for Nonprofit Management  and the owner of Cuidiu Consulting in New York City.

Anne Sherman is an Associate Director and Co-director of the Strategy Practice at TCC Group in New York City.

November Tweets for Thought

Social media, management and capacity building were hot topics on our twitter feed this month! Here are a few of our favorites that focus on how to build the capacity of your organization as well as building your capacity to excel at your work.

Please leave a comment about what you think about these articles, or let us know what you have been reading about this month!

Categories: Tweets for Thought