Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Tag: Leadership Development

Reflection on Movement Leadership

Most of the time, we talk here about the leadership of organizations related to age, race, gender, style, outcomes, and social change. We think about leadership pipelines and transitions, and what structures help people lead with the most impact. But in the midst of the funeral for Michael Brown in... more

Tools for Reflecting on Leadership

With each new report BMP produces, we try to capture new and emerging data and share it with leaders in order to help spread learning and ideas for building strong organizations led in sustainable ways.  Sometimes, however, it’s not always easy to put those ideas into practice.... more

Independent Sector’s NGen Program

This past year, I’ve been a part of the advisory committee for Independent Sector’s NGen pre-conference.  I’ve also been an attendee for the past 5 years.  More and more I’ve seen associations such as Independent Sector try to increase programming for... more

Detroiters Reclaiming Voice and Power

On July 18 of 2013, Kevin Orr, the appointed Emergency Manager for Detroit, announced that he was filing for bankruptcy on behalf of the city.  Subsequent media coverage has focused on whether that means the Detroit Institute of Fine Arts will have to sell its most famous works, or whether more... more

20th Anniversary

This weekend I will be in Baltimore to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellowship . In 1997, I left my job as the executive director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute and arrived in Baltimore at the Casey Foundation. It was total culture shock. I went from working with LGBT youth at a time when homophobia and HIV/AIDS were rampant to being a Fellow at a major national foundation that was showering us with training, travel, and new opportunities. During my tenure at Hetrick-Martin, we had buried the Institute’s co-founder Damien Martin and lost youth to disease, poverty, and neglect. But we also had many wins and the fact that the Annie E. Casey Foundation  (AECF) recognized someone working on behalf of LGBT youth was a boost to our field which in those days was barely recognized.

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Learning to Lead

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld denounces the popular view that some people are just "natural born leaders" by reflecting on how influential the church was in helping him develop leadership skills, and how two service organizations profiled in our recent Developing the Leadership of Recipients report put concrete systems and programs in place to help empower clients and youth involved with their agencies.

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Developing The Leadership of Recipients

This report, the second in a series about organizational "5% shifts" includes two case studies of leadership development efforts by nonprofit organizations. At the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Program in Detroit, a junior counselor program has been very impactful on the leadership skills of young adults. By enlisting teenagers to support younger children attending tutoring, summer camp and art therapy sessions, the program builds a pipeline that keeps youth engaged as they age, and builds their self-esteem and capacity to lead in other parts of their lives as well. The second case study examines the Client Advisory Board (CAB) at Bread for the City – a front line agency serving the poor in Washington, DC. The CAB builds on the organization’s tradition of client engagement and voice throughout its programs, and has helped empower clients to have a say as individuals and as a collective. Clients who have been members of the CAB have developed new programmatic areas of the organization and even taken their leadership skills out into their community. In both cases, the participants gain concrete skills that are valued in the workplace, but more importantly, the programs help to shift the relationships between staff and clients towards mutual respect as peers and transform participants’ self-image and sense of efficacy in the world.

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Vision for Change Webinar Recap

Last week, Caroline McAndrews and Helen Kim hosted a webinar that reviewed the findings of our Vision for Change report, which was based on in-depth interviews with social justice leaders under 40.  Here, Caroline recaps the event, including insights shared by Carlos Saavedra, a guest on the webinar and one of the participants in the study.

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Leaving Long-term Leadership

Building Movement Project recently teamed up with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Fellows Network and Tim Wolfred an expert on executive transitions (who consults for his former employer CompassPoint in his new stage of work) to conduct focus groups with older leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors. The results can be found in Reports from the Field: The Next Stage: Leaving Long-term Leadership which offers some important insights that confirm our other findings. The Report highlights both the personal stories and structural barriers facing those who have recently left their leadership positions and those still in leadership who are thinking about their next move. It offers some of the challenges in leaving and points out how we need to move from seeing these experiences as individual problems to one that is collectively shared. Here, Frances Kunreuther reflects on what the implications of these findings are, both for long-term leaders contemplating their own transitions out of executive roles, and for the sector as a whole.

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The Pipeline Project

MacArthur Antigua, Director of Alumni Engagement for Public Allies, talks about how our recent Vision for Change report helped to accelerate Public Allies's "Pipeline Project"- an effort to develop their national alumni network as a strong, diverse, and reliable talent pipeline for public and social sector organizations in order to positively impact the lives of children and families in local communities. MacArthur and our own Director of Research & Documentation, Caroline McAndrews, recently hosted a webinar with participants in the project to introduce a new leadership assessment tool and discuss the findings of the report.

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