Case Study: Grantmaker Partnerships – New Jersey Health Initiatives’ CEO Roundtable
An innovative cohort learning program for nonprofit leaders
New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJIH), a Robert Wood Johnson funded program, recognized the need for nonprofit leaders in New Jersey to have a forum to share ideas and learn from one another. An over-arching goal was to ensure that New Jersey’s nonprofit sector:
Is represented by well-informed, knowledgeable leaders,
Benefits from the shared knowledge of peers,
Has access to experts in nonprofit management and the latest trends and models.
Developed with the Support Center, an innovative cohort learning program—the NJHI’s CEO Roundtable—was born and soon coalesced into a dynamic group of CEOs who strengthened their performance and, in turn, improved their organizations. Three times a year, using a peer-to-peer “facilitated conversation” format led by experts in specific content areas, the innovative CEO cohort learning experience provided a place for ongoing collaborative dialogue among peers.
In one session, CEOs learned first-hand from a colleague about the benefits and challenges of starting an earned income venture, while at the same time adding helpful insights from their combined experience. At another Roundtable session the group provided support, advice, and added communications momentum when a CEO needed help reaching a wider base of constituents to mobilize community support to preserve organizational funding.
From the grantmaker perspective, NJHI has increased its ability to keep a finger on the pulse of its grantees—nurturing their efforts to foster leadership and build organizational effectiveness, as well as monitoring for obstacles and effective program performance.