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Conducting a social audit for your non-profit

 

picture of a keyboard with the caps lock key changed to the word audit.

Bild von Got Credit via flickr.com

 

For every nonprofit organization that I have ever worked for, we would conduct an annual financial audit with professional accountants costing thousands of dollars. The purpose of the audit was to ensure that the agency was well maintained and to identify short comings that could be rectified. Audits were conducted by outside, independent investigators to ensure fairness and establish standards. But the audits always stopped at the financial management of the organization. Here we propose going one step further and establishing formal reviews of the nonprofit’s overall performance across the various functions.

The agency can hire its own independent “reviewer” or conduct a self-assessment using a downloadable tool developed by S & G Endeavors. Click here to request your template. Read more ›

ISODC Collaboration Roundtable- Tacking Implicit Bias

We’re so thrilled to have been a part of the critical discussion and dialog we held with others at the recent ISODC Roundtable Discussion on Implicit Bias. Great ideas were shared, insights were uncovered, and as we discussed, even just raising awareness creates some progress on this issue. Some quick reflections from our conversations include:

  • Many people on the call were familiar with the topic of implicit bias and really enjoyed some of the insight they gained from the tests on the Project Implicit website. One of the uncovered challenges, that we could possibly dive further into, is how you deal with those who don’t believe they hold implicit biases. This is also influenced by explicit biases demonstrated in the world.
  • Our upbringing or backgrounds definitely play a role in the implicit biases that we may have, helping to shape both the biases themselves and how we deal with them, especially when multiple biases exist simultaneously. Having a learning attitude also helps one be more aware of biases that exist and to think about how we might intervene.
  • Try hard to recognize the triggers that you or others have relating to implicit biases. .. Tap into resources that exist to help you stay aware and think about how you deal with these situations. The Project Implicit website and Transcultural Competence were just a couple mentioned throughout the conversation.
  • Find the people in the system who can help to eliminate barriers, and be ‘accomplices’ in helping to deal with implicit biases. Don’t focus on the superficial but instead focus on building connections and holding conversations that can make a difference. Don’t hesitate or be afraid of having the conversation. Remember, it has to start with you and the example that you set. (OTFD: allows for calm discussion)

You can watch the virtual conversation below or review the raw outputs from our group break-out conversations.

Be sure to stay tuned to www.ISODC.org for information on our next Roundtable conversation on June 3 as well as registration to the upcoming ISODC/Appreciative Inquiry Conference in may.

Thanks much to our sponsors as well; give them some love as they help make the ISODC Roundtable a success.

 

 

Working with an Executive Coach

Rob Sadowsky toasts the best clients

I was interviewing for my big job, serving as the Executive Director of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation. The interviews were exhausting, three of them totaling more than eleven hours. But I made it through the gauntlet with one caveat: they wanted me to hire an executive coach. Actually, they assigned me an executive coach. I was a bit nervous about the idea, not sure what it meant. But the coach, Dr. Robert Wright, was impressive. His price tag was $250/hour, but he was offering pro bono services as a favor to our board chair.

I learned a lot in those sessions. I learned about myself, and what worked and didn’t work with coaching. Bob was not the right coach for me. He had no familiarity with nonprofit management or with advocacy, so it was often difficult to translate the issues I wanted to work on with his own experience. But even so, he was a calming influence and helped build my confidence as a manager.

Later on, I had the opportunity to work with other coaches, who were much more suited to my style. I’ve become a huge fan, so much that I enjoy coaching others myself. This article hopes to provide some guidance in working with an executive coach so you can get started on the right foot.

What is an executive coach?

There is no one formal “definition” or job description for an executive coach. But I like to see them as an individual who will work with others to become a better executive through listening, guiding, problem solving, and providing homework. Some coaches are strong motivators with philosophies of change (like Dr. Wright) and others see themselves more as a work therapist, ready to listen to your problems so you feel heard.

Some coaches have very formal procedures and systems that they use. Others work with you to design a system that works for you. For example, I worked with a coach, Ted Sarvata, who is affiliated with Gazelles International. Ted worked with me and my whole management team to learn a very specific accountability system based on the Rockefeller Habits. This style of coaching was perfect for me. I had a need to develop a better system of reporting and developing quarterly objectives and Ted had the goods. It was straightforward work with a clear beginning, middle and end. Ted provided this work pro bono as a donation to our organization.

My next coach, Michelle Sosinski, worked with me on something much more personal, elevating my Emotional Intelligence or EQ. This work was much more one on one, very much like therapy. Again, work that I looked forward to on an area that was identified by my board supervisors as an area of deficiency. I asked around for some referrals and found a coach who was amazing. We would meet weekly. I had reading assignments and even took a few tests to help better understand who I was, where my strengths lied and where were my struggles. Michelle was certified as a Hudson Master Coach. Using certified coaches can be wonderful. They come with training and often have a set of ethics and standards that are sound.

Why would you use an Executive Coach?

There are as many reasons to use a coach as problems that exist with managers. Unless you are perfect, and only my mother is perfect, then you can gain from guided work. If you have had an employee review, you can work with coaches to improve on weaknesses or even improve on strengths. Or you might want to work on a specific problem that your organization is having. I find using coaches to be more effective than taking a “management class” that rarely understands the intricacies of working in a non-profit environment.

What can you expect to pay?

This is a great question and depends on several things. First of all, your own regional market. Secondly, your need. Some coaches have high price tags, are coveted and work with very select clients. Others are less expensive but might not have the formal training. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50/hour to $500/hour. In a few situations, I have known coaches to offer discounted or pro bono services to nonprofits as a way to give back. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

How do I find a coach?

You ask around. You’d be surprised who is out there that knows a great coach. You should find someone that you trust, that can meet with you one on one (either in person or through video chat). Just like finding a therapist, you should find someone who fits your style and personality, not matching it, but one who you find personable and excited to work with you.

By Rob Sadowsky, S & G Endeavors

Rob works as a consultant and executive coach focusing on nonprofit organizations that are looking to level up. He can work with Executive Directors or upper tier managers looking to become better managers. Contact rob@sgendeavors.com

 

Small Group Facilitation Trainings and Virtual Conversations in 2017

S & G Endeavors is happy to announce our current line up of upcoming training conferences and Virtual Conversations for 2017! Whether you’ve worked with us in the past, or just recently discovered S & G Endeavors, these in-person trainings and Virtual Conversations will benefit you, your clients, friends, and colleagues. With the wide range of topics we’re covering, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone!

Our Small Group Facilitation trainings will take place in three cities across the country; Washington DC (June 16-18), Cleveland, OH (September 22-24), and Chicago, IL (November 15-17). These trainings will prepare participants to facilitate groups as small as ten to as large as a couple hundred by using small groups that maximize participation and build leaders.The workshop is perfect for people who serve as a planner, a community organizer, an advocate, an educator, or team leader.

Our Virtual Conversations will be starting as soon as next week, and running throughout the year. We will be covering a variety of topics, including non-profit social audits (February 28), working with an executive coach (March 14), and the Three Pillars of Collaborative Planning ( March 28). Stay tuned to our website for the full schedule of Virtual Conversations coming up this year.

Both the Small Group Facilitation trainings and Virtual Conversations will fill up fast, so make sure to reserve your spot today!

Do you have a great idea for a virtual conversation that you would like to see us facilitate? Be sure to let Ryan, our coordinator, know at ryan@sgendeavors.com.

Looking forward to engaging with you in one of our upcoming Virtual Conversations!

S&G Endeavors Adds New Consulting Partner!

Dear Friends:

I am writing to share some exciting news for S & G Endeavors. Rob Sadowsky, from Portland, Oregon, has recently joined our consulting team. Rob will be working directly with organizations and agencies to guide strategic planning, organizational development, systems, team building, fundraising and executive coaching.

Rob is available to help your organization jump to the next level, whether that’s a small 1-3 person agency ready to go to 5-10 and double your budget or a 10 person group that’s ready to think bigger. Rob comes to S & G with more than 25 years of nonprofit executive management experience in fields such as affordable housing, community and economic development and active transportation.

Contact me if you’d like more information on how Rob and the S & G Consulting Team can help you grow or to learn about our other services. And, be sure to stay tuned to www.sgendeavors.com and www.CoffeeWithJeremy.TV for client successes and upcoming events.

We’re excited the Rob has joined our team, and that together, we’ll be able to help our clients reach their ultimate success.

Some Exciting Updates From SGE Media

This month, SGE Media has worked with our partners to create dynamic conversation based media–have you seen our live broadcasts (read below for more).  

I’m proud to announce that we have formed partnerships with the three cooperatives, which were discussed here in our last update. All have a demonstrated commitment to support social broadcasting in some form, and we are so excited to be working with them and provide them with coaching, as they develop and grow.  

Check out the happenings from Global Engagement Network and NEXUS4change below.

NEXUS4change

NEXUS Logo

Last weeks webinar

Ever wondered how culture impacts your organization’s conversations, planning, or even strategy? You are in luck: NEXUS4change just held a webinar last week on Cultural Considerations for Leading Teams and Collaboration. Watch that webinar below!

ISODC Update

On February 21st, NEXUS4change is partnering with ISODC to bring you a virtual roundtable discussion on Tackling Implicit Bias. Implicit Bias is the bias in judgment and/or behavior that results from subtle cognitive processes. As practitioners and scholars, we face many opportunities and challenges in our work with our clients, especially when it comes to our clients judgments and even those judgments that we may make. Join NEXUS4change and ISODC for this virtual roundtable where we’ll tap into the power of collaborative conversation to help you explore how implicit bias impacts your work. Register here!

 

Global Engagement Network

The Global Engagement Network continues to broadcast its weekly show, GEN Weekly, every Tuesday at 10pm ET in order to give you an opportunity to get a fresh perspective on the week’s events, free of corporate bias. View all their past episodes here!

GEN will also hold its first monthly web conference on Sunday, January 29th at 7PM ET. This virtual conversation gives you an opportunity to help determine what a 21st Century Media Co-op Looks Like. We’ll discuss how independent media outlts can work together, in an age where “facts” are called into question,  to create a more powerful, credible, and independent media. Register for the virtual conversation here and ensure your voice is part of this critical conversation.

We’ll continue to provide you with updates on the Global Engagement Network and NEXUS4change as well as our work with g1nbc.com throughout the year, including our newest sports program G1NBC Fire TV.  Please check them out and get involved in as many as you see fit.  

Using the SGE process of designing collaborative conversations, we’ll continue to help you, and these co-ops, create compelling media that actively engages its audience.

Do you want to partner with us to develop or join any of these organizations? Do you have a project that you would like to propose to any of these communities? Be sure to reach out or leave us a comment below.

Stay Tuned

SGE Media Spotlight

SGE Media – What do we do? Some quick updates and links.

The media portion of S&G Endeavors is ready to help you create your media strategy for you or your company in 2017.  Combined with SGE Consulting, our project approach to media includes:

Webinar Design & Delivery

Episodic Show Conceptualization

Team & Project Management

Video Conference Design

Live Broadcasting on Social Media

Here are a couple examples of our work by highlighting some of the great organizations and projects that we are are a part of. Please like and share any of the organizations, websites, or videos that you find interesting

G1NBC Fire TV

G1NBC is working with league owners of the FireFan Sports App, to bring you their new broadcast- G1NBC Fire Tv! FireFan allows you to play live sports with Superstars and friends in the world’s largest sporting network. Users make their picks on pre-game a
ndin-game scenarios to test their knowledge and know-how for their favorite teams’ games. 

Sign up for the G1NBC Fire league here, and be sure to check out the first episode of G1NBC Fire TV, and watch new episodes on Thursdays at 10pm ET by subscribing to John’s G1NBC channel!

The Global Engagement Network     

The Global Engagement Network is a new media cooperative dedicated to live streaming and the creation of micro-content. They are starting 2017 with their new show, GEN Weekly, a featured look at the hot topics and issues from the previous week. To learn more about the Global Engagement Network, visit their website at www.globalengagementnetwork.com!

NEXUS4change     

NEXUS4change Logo

Nexus4Change brings leaders, practitioners, activists, scholars and students together to advance the field of whole systems change, so that together, they can address critical challenges and opportunities in our world. They connect individuals who are dedicated to using principles of collaboration and dialogue based methods with the use of tools including webinars, trainings, conferences, small group discussions, and other opportunities.

They are currently promoting their first webinar of 2017, focusing on Cultural Considerations for Leading Teams and Collaboration. For more information on NEXUS4change and all their upcoming webinars, conferences, and trainings, visit www.nexus4change.org and their You Tube channel.

Contact us if you’d like to find out more information about planning your media strategy for 2017 and beyond by e-mailing spalding@sgendeavors.com.

 

Upcoming Greater New Orleans Biking and Walking Summit

On January 28th, the hard working team at Bike Easy will be holding their Greater New Orleans Biking and Walking summit! Registration is now available at www.bikeeasy.org. If you are in the Greater New Orleans area and care about walking, biking, or the community and environmental benefits of getting out of the car, then sign up today!

The Greater New Orleans Biking and Walking Summit will bring together community voices to develop an action plan for bettering our region through improved mobility. The event, hosted by Bike Easy and facilitated by S&G Endeavors, is being supported by a broad, diverse planning committee and seeks the input of all people in the region who care about biking and walking and the public health, economic, environmental, and community benefits of increased mobility. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Purpose and Outcomes

The purpose for the Greater New Orleans Biking and Walking Summit is to:

  • Build a common understanding of opportunities to improve mobility that generates momentum, celebrates strengths, and capitalizes on personal priorities of all people in Greater New Orleans who bike and walk or who would like to bike and walk more;
  • Elevate and energize the community, leadership, and key stakeholders, as a whole, around an inspiring, collective vision of our potential to continue bringing the benefits of safe, accessible streets to all people in the region; and,
  • Create a unified voice, a concrete action plan and a clear roadmap for a multi-year, transparent, strategic plan for building a movement that works towards improved street conditions for people of all ages and abilities who bike, walk, and move around the region without an automobile.

We are very excited to be a part of this summit with the folks at Bike Easy! We’re looking forward to having some great conversation to promote change in the New Orleans area! Don’t forget to register today to be a part of the summit at www.bikeeasy.org!!

Registration Now Open for the 2017 Nebraska Bike/Walk Summit!!

We are proud to announce the inaugural Nebraska Bike/Walk Summit to be held March 23 – 24, 2017 at the Embassy Suites Lincoln.  

This event, sponsored by the Nebraska Bicycling Alliance, in partnership with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Walkable Communities project and S & G Endeavors, is the beginning of our journey to bring biking and walking
advocates and professionals together each year to learn, network and plan. 

Participants will have the chance to hear from dynamic speakers, learn about what others are doing around the state and region, and receive skills training needed as we work to enhance the Good Life in Nebraska through biking and walking. Fun social gatherings also will provide time to network with others and enjoy time in Lincoln.

All info, plus registration, can be found on the event website at www.nebikewalksummit.org. Check back frequently for updates to the agenda!