New York (April 7, 2017) – Today, Support Center|Partnership in Philanthropy announces a comprehensive brand review and unveils its new name, logo and location. The new brand reflects Support Center’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan and amplifies its legacy of innovation and vision. Rollout of the new brand will begin by April 10, 2017.
During the strategic planning process, the organization revisited its mission, vision and values, took a closer look at programming and thought about high level strategies that could guide its work in the years to come. After the plan’s completion, the organization revealed its new streamlined name: Support Center, dropping “Partnership in Philanthropy”, the name of the New Jersey-based organization with which it merged in 2012.
To honor the ongoing success of that merger, the organization will rename its grantmaker partnership program: Partnership in Philanthropy (PIP). Support Center will continue making strides in the philanthropic arena, particularly in the Tri-State area.
The new brand provides a fresh, modern and sophisticated look with the introduction of a new logo and style guide. The updated tagline, “Accelerating Positive Social Change”, is captured within the logo which features gradient arrows that were designed to depict both motion and growth over time, illustrating Support Center’s mission to empower nonprofits and social enterprises to transform their leadership and management and accelerate positive social change.
The rebrand of the logo and tagline was directed by Kate Vocke, Creative Director and Graphic Designer at Six13Creative. Support Center also plans to launch a new website later this year.
On March 15, 2017, Support Center re-located to the headquarters of the Foundation Center at 32 Old Slip, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10005. Foundation Center’s mission is to strengthen the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world. This shared goal around capacity-building in the sector as well as the co-location offers opportunities for deeper collaboration between the the two organizations.
“We realize change is hard. We work with organizations every day to change, and it requires patience and commitment. But seeing that patience and commitment pay off in the form of a new strategic plan, new space and a new logo makes it all worth it. As we look ahead to how we can accelerate positive social change through our workshops, consulting and executive transition work in the future, these new tools and renewed sense of enthusiasm and excitement are going to fuel that new direction,” said Keith Timko, Executive Director of Support Center.
“The board of directors is excited about future that the Support Center has set. The strategic plan boldly challenges the sector to create a network of capacity building organizations across the country. Thus “Accelerating Positive Social Change” exemplifies perhaps our single greatest strength; our ability to convene practitioners, funders and capacity builders. The new strategic plan and mission, and rebranded logo sets in motion our goal to harness the power of our community of people and resources to drive social change. Innovation and unwavering support of our vision will continue to be our guide in the future.” said John Emmert, Board Chair of Support Center.
About Support Center:
For over 30 years, the Support Center has worked in collaboration with nonprofit and philanthropic leaders and their organizations to increase organizational effectiveness and efficiency, enabling them to improve the quality of life in our communities. Through training, change consulting, coaching and executive search and transition management services, Support Center is committed to working with nonprofit organizations and social enterprises of all sizes and at all stages of their development to strengthen their leadership, management, and financial sustainability.
The Support Center recently held its first of two Interim Executive Director Trainings for 2017 at the LGBT Community Center in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Twenty-one participants gathered on the last Thursday and Friday of February for two long and intense – but rewarding – days of learning with a cohort of like-minded leaders looking to pursue interim executive opportunities. They hailed from the NY/NJ/CT metropolitan area, the Hudson Valley, greater Philadelphia, and even Detroit, MI. The training was led by Keith Timko, Executive Director, and Lynne Molnar, an Affiliate Consultant. The purpose of the training is to help nonprofit leaders transform their wisdom and knowledge into a highly adaptive, interim-oriented mind- and skillset. Those who complete the training and are actively pursuing interim opportunities join the Support Center pool of Trained Interim EDs, which now totals more than 300 program alumni.
During the training, participants learned a great deal from several featured presenters who are all experienced interim leaders themselves. Helene Blieberg spoke about the essential aspects of leading and managing an organization and its people during times of transition. Regina Podhorin’s presentation focused on the importance of a conducting a rigorous financial assessment during an interim placement. As one participant remarked later, “The wealth of information and experience of the participants and the presenters provided a rich environment.” The participants also heard from Xander Subashi, Associate Director of Programs, and Keith Timko about Support Center’s process of landing interim opportunities and working with the pool of candidates. They learned about the stages of the process with current examples of placed interims, searches in-contract, and opportunities nearing contract execution that will soon be available to them.
The two-day training wrapped up with a panel discussion on interim work overall: the challenges, the rewards, and all the experiences in between. Our panelists were Ngozi Okaro, Gilles Mesrobian, and Richard Burns, and in total they have served in more than 10 interim engagements. The panelists shared candidly and expansively as participants asked about their best and worst experiences, how they have handled challenging legal situations, their methods of adapting quickly to new, unique office cultures. One participant said as feedback on this section: “The panel was outstanding!” Another participant later wrote about the overall training, “I found the Interim ED training to be very meaningful…all the components in the Interim ED training left me with solid insights and lessons learned.”
We at the Support Center are delighted to have welcomed such a great and talented cohort to our pool of Trained Interim EDs, and we are excited to involve them in our interim placement service and support them as interim leaders and contributors to the nonprofit sector. For more information about our interim executive director program and future trainings, click here.
The Steve Fund was established in 2014 to honor the memory of Stephen (Steve) C. Rose. Steve lost his life to mental illness after graduating from Harvard College and completing a Masters degree at City University. The devastating loss of their son and brother inspired the Rose family to create the nation’s only organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of college students of color. The Steve Fund works in partnership with colleges and universities, the clinical and research community, and the public health and nonprofit communities to stimulate dialogue; design high impact technology-based services; build knowledge and thought leadership; and promote awareness as students of color enter, matriculate in, and transition from higher education.
Since its inception, The Steve Fund has built a strong reputation in the mental health and academic community. They captured the attention of key funders including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ford Foundation, The Knight Foundation and several others in that league. Their website is a rich compilation of research, resources and roadmaps for understanding the troubling state of mental health and emotional well-being for students of color in higher education settings. Some of the factors that pose a high risk for mental health issues include cultural under-representation on college campuses; perceived and experienced racial discrimination; microaggressions; and stressful transitions from home to campus. The consequences of these current trends are emotional, physical and academic, and they are creating demand and raising expectations for the higher education community to get engaged and strengthen their counseling service models.
In late 2016 the board decided it was time to appoint a full-time leader to take the organization to the next level. The Support Center was selected to lead a national search for the first Executive Director, and we were poised to leverage our expertise in Executive Search and Transition Management in support of The Steve Fund’s work.
This assignment, although standard for our practice in many ways, was also a bit nuanced. Throughout the process we balanced several factors: The Steve Fund is a startup organization and the first of its kind; the board was seeking an experienced leader who also had specialized mental health expertise; the appointed Executive Director would be the board’s first full-time hire and and an immediate partner to a range of researchers, consultants and funders; and, finally, the board considered the ideal candidate to be someone who possessed both the stature and social capital to engage high profile national leaders and the humility and empathy to connect with students whose lives and well-being are at the heart of The Steve Fund’s mission.To find the person best suited for and most passionate about the position, we cast a wide net across traditional recruiting sources, online platforms, and in numerous search outlets specific to the mental and public health communities. The response was immediate and substantial both in volume and quality, yielding over 100 applicants. The field of candidates gradually narrowed as we juggled the dynamics of a national, virtual search with candidates and a search committee scattered across the country. Once a final slate of candidates emerged, we assisted in crafting and negotiating the terms and conditions of the job offer. From that final slate, the board then made an outstanding selection of a candidate whose background, professional experience, skills and personal passions are tailored exactly to this position. Dr. Terri Wright, of the American Public Health Association, will become the first Executive Director of The Steve Fund. She brings extensive leadership skills and expertise in advancing the public’s health through policy, practice and management in government, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. Her vast experience includes maternal, child and adolescent health, environmental public health and population health. Dr. Wright is driven by a vision for health and social equity for all members of society, and she will boldly lead The Steve Fund to a greater level of excellence. As we begin to plan the onboarding process, we are now reflecting on and capturing the many key lessons we gained in order to strengthen our ESTM practice and fulfill our own mission to accelerate positive social change.
To learn more about our executive search and transition management services, please click here.
Frank Abdale has worked on numerous succession planning and strategic planning projects for the Support Center, including the succession plan that led to our new Executive Director. Frank is a proven strategist and facilitator, and the writer and editor of numerous publications, articles, and manuals. He is the co-author of “Practical Abundance: A Comprehensive Guide to Fundraising and Development for Nonprofits” and has taught strategic planning, fundraising and advocacy at the Support Center since 2009.
Written by Frank Abdale
Succession planning can be challenging and emotional; it can also be inspiring and uplifting. It begins with a look at the things board, staff and supporters love and admire about the current leadership, and the values the organization wants to perpetuate. Succession planning builds on the past and present and looks ahead to where the fresh energy and vision of a new leader might take your organization.
Hopefully every organization has some kind of emergency succession plan. This is basically an inventory of all the important file locations, passwords, contacts, contracts, policy numbers and other critical data. It includes who will step in, or up, in the case of a sudden, unplanned loss of leadership.
In the case of a planned executive transition, a thoughtful and thorough succession plan looks at the leadership qualities, management skills and values the organization wants in its next generation of leadership. The process of identifying those attributes represents a rare opportunity to engage with all stakeholders and results in cataloguing the experience, background and traits to look for in candidates. Even when there is a strong internal candidate, the process can identify where she or he might need additional support and training in order to succeed. It also gives departing leaders an opportunity to think about their legacy and plan some next steps.
Consider too, that it is not just the ED at the center of succession planning. The process of succession planning asks many critical questions:
- Will the board remain stable during an executive transition?
- How do term limits for officers and others align with the projected date of the ED’s departure?
- Are there any senior staff or board members who are likely to leave around the same time?
- If so, who will take on their roles?
- Do we have a culture of developing board and staff leaders from within our ranks?
- Who will take on short-term stewardship of the key relationships held by the current ED?
- How will stewardship of key relationship be transferred to the new ED?
- What fundraising and communications opportunities are to be found in honoring a departing ED and celebrating the arrival of a new one?
- Is this an opportunity to rethink our structure, maybe explore a merger?
- Should we plan on hiring an Interim ED who can give an unbiased assessment of the state of the organization before deciding on a new permanent ED?
The list goes on.
It is often helpful to have an outside, consultant facilitate the process. The Support Center can field a skilled and experienced transition expert who can keep discussion of these highly charged topics and related issues on neutral ground, have confidential conversations with all involved and keep the succession planning process on time and on track. In the case of one client, the data collected by the transition consultant became the basis for a new round of strategic planning once the new executive director was on board.
The Support Center http://supportcenteronline.org/executive-search/succession-planning/
Annie E. Casey Foundation http://www.aecf.org/resources/building-leaderful-organizations/
Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York https://www.npccny.org/executive-director-transitions/
Succession Planning Toolkit – https://www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/community/Nonprofit-Executive-Succession-Planning-Toolkit.pdf
Highlights from the Ahead of the Curve Symposium Report on Risk Management: Defining, Assessing and Managing Risks at Nonprofits
Written by Keith Timko and Wendy Seligson
In 2016, the Support Center joined with other capacity building organizations under the banner, “Ahead of the Curve,” to host a symposium on risk management. The goal of the symposium was to “advance the collective knowledge of the discipline of risk management within the nonprofit sector” by learning from leaders in the sector.
On September 28, 2016, about 200 executives, board members, capacity building representatives, consultants and academics convened in a packed, interactive day to share their knowledge and experience. The full report, “Ahead of the Curve Symposium: Defining, Assessing and Managing Risks at Nonprofits” can be found here. The report was co-sponsored by the Support Center and SeaChange Capital.
In planning the symposium, John MacIntosh, partner at SeaChange, expressed the goal that, before long:
“nonprofit leaders would develop a knowledge and practice for risk management similar to the depth of knowledge and practice which exists for strategic planning.”
Speakers and participants alike emphasized the importance of embracing risk and proactively managing it, linking this approach to creating healthy sustainable organizations.
On Friday, January 27, 2017 the Support Center is sponsoring a workshop on risk management “Putting Risk Management to Work at Your Nonprofit” presented by Wendy Seligson, author of the symposium report. To register, click here.
A snapshot of the key insights and action steps from the Symposium follows:
Key insights from Symposium
- Risk is not all about the “negatives.” Positive risks provide opportunities for growth and change and risk management provides a path for achieving a healthy, sustainable organization.
- Nonprofits want support to expand and operationalize risk management. They don’t need to be convinced about its value. They want best practices, tools, networks, facilitation and consultants.
- The discipline of risk management needs to be built around collaboration and communication within the nonprofit organization and integrated into the nonprofit’s planning and operations.
- Financial and associated contract risks are a top issue, but not the only issue. Participants also identified other areas of major risk: governance/leadership, reputation, operational, compliance, quality of services, safety, growth, innovation and external risks.
Next Steps: Moving to Action
- Community Resource Exchange (CRE) is creating a risk assessment tool, with the goal of making it available to the nonprofit sector at no cost. It is known as the CREFT (Community Resource Exchange Fitness Tool).
- New York City capacity building organizations working together under the Ahead of the Curve banner have agreed to use the CREFT risk categories as the framework for risk management. These are: Leadership, Governance & Strategy; Personnel & Administration; Finance; Compliance & Legal; Programs & Services; and External Environment.
- A new Ahead of the Curve website is being created to make information, materials and resources about risk management accessible to the nonprofit sector in New York City.
- The Support Center and the other capacity building agencies in the Ahead of the Curve consortium are working collaboratively to raise awareness about risk management and connect nonprofits to resources and tools to integrate risk management into their operations.
For more information on the Support Center’s training and consulting services that support risk management and other change consulting practice areas, contact Carolyn Champ, Associate Executive Director, via email at [email protected] or 917-522-8302.
Laurel Molloy began teaching public workshops at the Support Center | Partnership in Philanthropy back in 2001. Since then, she has expanded her involvement to include a wide variety of customized on-site trainings and ongoing consulting engagements. She is Founder and CEO of Innovations Quantified (IQ), a consulting firm that has been helping organizations increase their impact since 1999. To learn more, please click, http://supportcenteronline.org/about/our-team/.
Written by Laurel Molloy
Picture this: you’re a passenger in a car humming down the highway. The driver turns to you and says, “I’m not sure where we’re going, but we’re making great time!”
Kind of hard to imagine the circumstances that would prompt this kind of statement, isn’t it? And yet, nonprofits that focus solely on the achievement of their own tasks, without a concrete idea of how they are making a difference in the lives of those they serve are essentially doing just that – heading down a path without a clear sense of where their efforts should be taking them.
This illustrative quote comes from Leap of Reason, an outcome measurement call to action that makes the case for clearly defining your organization’s intended outcomes (the changes and benefits you’re seeking to achieve), and then determining whether those changes have actually happened.
For almost 20 years, I’ve been helping organizations figure out how to do just that. And one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s not a lack of desire that keeps most from tackling this important issue. It’s a lack of understanding of where to start, and/or fear that missteps will result in wasted time and resources.
To address those very real concerns, I emphasize in both my training and consulting engagements that “M.M.O.M. is always right” – as in “Meaningful and Manageable Outcome Measurement.”
Many organizations believe more data is better, when in reality less is often more – especially at the outset. So I encourage organizations to ensure their process is both meaningful and manageable (and therefore sustainable) by: (1) prioritizing and collecting only a few key pieces of outcome data first, (2) leaving time to actually review and learn from those results, and (3) adding more data only as needed from there.
In my experience, using this approach is often the difference between success and frustration. So as you embark on your outcome measurement journey, remember: “M.M.O.M.’s always right.” And ask yourself, “Is this really something we can feasibly and consistently track and learn from?” If the answer is, “I’m not sure,” then find a way to pare it down. Because in the end, if you don’t actually review, discuss, use and share your outcomes data, you’re missing the whole point!
For more information on training and consulting services to support your organization’s outmode measurement efforts, contact Carolyn Champ, Associate Executive Director, via email at [email protected] or 917-522-8302.
The Support Center recently held the second New Jersey Impact Investment Gathering at the Livingston Campus of Rutgers Business School, building off the inaugural gathering held in May. At that first gathering, five social enterprises presented to the audience. At this November gathering, nine social enterprises (listed below) presented in three different categories – early stage nonprofits, scaling nonprofits, and early stage for-profits. The leaders of these organizations pitched their impact and business models, demonstrating how they can achieve social impact and financial sustainability or profitability at the same time. They appealed to the large audience of funders, investors, and lender for a range of investments – both in money (grants, equity, loans) and time (pro bono services, advisory support, networking). Participants gave feedback to the presenters and offered a great deal of advice and suggestions to help the social enterprises grow and get access to capital. The event was particularly successful in connecting like-minded people and fusing disparate networks together in support of the New Jersey impact economy.
Please check out these social enterprises and contact us if you’d like more information!
Build with Purpose
Talino EV Management Systems, Inc.
Forward Ever Sustainable Business Alliance
Just Peachy Salsa Program (Food Bank of South Jersey)
Bricks 4 Kidz
Grades 4 Life
Soups & Sweets Culinary Training Program (Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Southern NJ)
Camden Dream Center
We look forward to holding more gatherings in 2017 and continuing to grow this community and help social enterprises thrive!
Since 2014, the Support Center and Rutgers Business School joined the Office of Faith Based Initiatives in a collaborative effort to build a pipeline of capital for New Jersey social entrepreneurs. For more background on the initiative, please click here.
Weren’t able to make the New Jersey Impact Investment Gathering? We’ve got you covered! Check out this exclusive video and photo gallery from the event down below!
Subscribe to our Youtube channel, Support Center Media!
Katherine is a Partner at Growth for Good and has worked as a fundraising professional for more than 20 years. She has been involved with every aspect of fundraising and has developed special expertise in government appropriations and public competitive grant sources. She has led clients successfully through board development, strategic planning processes, capital campaigns and annual campaigns, and has vast experience in developing and managing public/private partnerships. To learn more, please click here.
Written by Katherine DeFoyd
What constitutes a healthy relationship between an executive director and a board of directors? How can organizations strike a healthy balance of power?
- agreed upon and clearly defined goals;
- time-bound and measurable objectives;
- realistic budgets;
- specific tasks; and
- well-defined roles and responsibilities.
Laurie Krauz has helped men and women from all over the world and all walks of life achieve their own personal and professional styles while developing their ability to offer dynamic, compelling presentations. Her seminars and lectures have been presented at law firms, corporations, financial institutions and universities. Krauz has been featured internationally on BBC Television, and in numerous publications throughout the U.S. To learn more, please visit: www.lauriekrauz.com.
Written by Laurie Krauz
There are many techniques that I use in my work with clients to help manage the fear experienced when giving presentations, speeches or interviews. Following is a list of what I like to call “Miscellaneous Factoids” – a short, random list of some of the helpful hints and facts I’ve accumulated over time that clients have found useful:
- Put pictures of your children, grandchildren, dog, etc., in your notes to help relax and ground you.
- Find the friendliest face in the audience early on and focus there whenever you need to feel more comfortable (this one is my personal favorite).
- Remember that nervousness doesn’t show nearly as much as one would think.
- Remember that the audience is filled with people more concerned with their own internal drama than yours!
- Know what you’re talking about! Practice, practice, practice. The positive impact on emotion of feeling prepared is enormous.
- You do not need to be perfect. In fact, that would be a turnoff. The audience will stay right with you if you joke and say something like, “hmm, senior moment, let me check my notes.” That could even be funny for a 25 year old. Studies show that audiences care much more that a speaker is genuine rather than perfect (or even funny!).
- The ability to retain the information you are providing is very limited. Years ago I was told that if I knew 2% more than my audience on the topic, it was all I needed because that was all they could retain. Just remind yourself that you know at least a teeny bit more than the audience and that’s all you need.
- Start your presentation in a way that makes you feel at ease. It could be with a question, a story, a joke (appropriate!). Whatever tricks you into thinking that they love you and therefore helps you relax. This is one of those things that you’ll have to experiment with over time.
- For some, it helps to dissipate anxiety if you meet and mingle somewhat before you begin (for others, this increases anxiety – experiment and find what works best for you).
And, always remember, practice, practice, practice!
The Support Center provides workshops and customized training in Communication and Staff Development in the greater New York area. To find out more about the Support Center’s services visit our web site at http://supportcenteronline.org/.
Claudia Zeldin is a partner at Growth for Good and an accomplished professional consultant with 30 years
of marketing and management experience. Claudia completed the Support Center/Partnership in Philanthropy’s Interim Executive Leadership Training Course in 2009 and has served in various temporary management positions. To learn more, please visit: www.growthforgood.com.
Written by Claudia Zeldin
Every phase of the onboarding process with a new employee is important, from before they begin their job, through their first week, to the successful completion of their first year. In the first month, it is essential that new leaders have a strong understanding of his/her performance relative to the position and realistic expectations. Very often with new executive staff, it is assumed that they are experienced and will assume their responsibilities quickly, but success and retention will be strengthened with a first-year plan that enables new leaders to feel supported and able to take ownership. For new Executive Directors, it will be essential that a board member carefully lead this management transition process, so a strong partnership is formed – engaged and energized by a shared mission.
Click here to view and download a PDF checklist to onboard a new member of your nonprofit leadership team: Executive Director/CEO, Development Director, CFO, etc.