Performance P m e Nonprofit Professional WHAT YOU NEED TO SUCCEED! Vol. 2 No. 3 Magazine 360

Della Britton Baeza

The Jackie Robinson Foundation

Nonprofit Diversity and Incluusion Striving for Ubuntu

Getting a Second Chance

C. Forbes Sargent III

Angela Spranger

Hugh Ballou

Penny Zenker

Andy Steggles

Stephen Lewis

Jeff Magee

INVITE CLIF CHRISTOPHER TO SHARE HIS STEWARDSHIP EXPERTISE WITH YOUR CONGREGATION Dr. Clif Christopher is the CEO of the Horizons Stewardship Company and has led consultations in more than four hundred churches, conferences, synods, and dioceses in all phases of building, nance, and church growth.

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Whose Offering Plate Is It? 9781426710131 If you want people to give, offer them a compelling vision of how their giving is going to build God's kingdom.

Offering Plate 9781501804922 A completely revised edition of Christopher’s classic, updated with new material.

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Jeffrey Magee Co-Publisher Hugh Ballou Co-Publisher Todd Greer Managing Editor Sandy Birkenmaier Acquisitions Editor Kim Cousins Creative Design Editor Brett Archer Director of Business Development

Contributing Writers Creating Harmonious Cultures

nonprofits that Work The Jackie Robinson Foundation Tackling Challenges Collectively


13 14

Orchestrating Excellence Hugh Ballou

Della Britton Baeza

The Mission Continues


Design Corner Community Platforms Bring Better Member Engagement Andy Steggles

Veterans Serving on the Home Front Aaron Scheinberg


The Power of a


Strengths-Based Team Albert L. Winseman

boarD relations Building an Effective Nonprofit Board C. Forbes Sargent III aCaDemiC Desk Workforce Diversity Visible, Safe and Valued Angela Spranger


Integrating New Perspectives


Penny Zenker



Multisector Engagement Paul Born


Achieving Diversity


Single Copy Order or Online Digital Subscriptions, visit Advertising

through Multiple Languages Philip B. Auerbach

funDs attraCtion Philanthropy

Striving for Ubuntu



Brian Rusch

From Diversity to Inclusion Leah Eustace

Self-Proclaimed Expert or Wannabe 26 Is Your Culture at Stake? Jeffrey Magee Nonprofit Diversity and Inclusion 28 Need for Action Kathleen LaTosch

exeCutive offiCe Getting a Second Chance


Robert Coleman

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Shared Space for Nonprofits Katie Edwards

Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine and Professional Performance Magazine are quarterly magazines. Each is published as a digital subscription publication and as a hard copy edition. The views expressed in the ar- ticles and advertisements are those of the con- tributing writers and advertisers, and may not be the views of the management and staff of the publication. The magazine assumes no li- ability for the contributions in this magazine and all content is intended as developmental in nature. SynerVisionisa501(c)(3)nonprofitorganization, and this publication serves its mission.

The Value of Knowing History


Scott S. Smith

New Leadership for New Faith Communities Stephen Lewis


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Cover photo credit: John Vecchiolla

4 I Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine

The Official Guide to All Things Nonprofit Nonprofit Performance Magazine brings impact which spreads hope and direction to those who are changing their communities and the world. This magazine is a great resource for nonprofit executives and religious leaders. • Learn from key thought leaders who can assist you in propelling your organization to reach its potential • Read in-depth stories written by those who have found success at the front line of the social benefit journey • Learn about the impact of community, communication, and collaboration in your organization

Performance P o e Nonprofit Professional WHAT YOU NEED TO SUCCEED! Vol.2No. 2 Magazine 360

Givers, Takers, and Matchers Adam Grant

MakeYour Case for Funding

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The Science Behind Giving








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Next Edition Highlights Vol. 2 No. 4 Ideas are great!

At the center of this issue will be the work of noted professor Jonah Berger, bestselling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On . Berger’s decade- plus research will help

We all get them. But what makes an idea move us to act? In the next issue, we will be examining this question. What is it that makes ideas and practices spread? What makes a marketing campaign for one nonprofit flop, and one go viral? What is it about an event, story, or medium that causes people to wake up and take notice, and what makes it fade away? In the next issue we will feature designers, strategists, professors, practitioners, board members, sales people, marketing professionals and authors to help paint a picture of this movement from their own work.

social benefit organizations frame how they can take S.T.E.P.P.S. to move people.

SynerVision Leadership .org I 5

From the Editor...

“ You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.” - Doug Floyd

Early this year, I came across the Nonprofit Diversity Report, jointly published by CommonGood Ca- reers and the Level Playing Field Institute. Seeing the report prompted the thinking for this issue. As organizations seek to benefit society, how are we doing in recognizing the uniqueness of our communi- ties? The quote above summarizes the concept that shapes this issue. We understand the beauty of the unique notes in the midst of a symphony, but at times we miss it in the development and function- ing of our organizations. (Plus, with a co-publisher whose background is in musical conducting, we couldn’t think of a more fitting quote to summarize the theme of this issue.) Throughout this issue, we explore the importance of Embracing Your Whole Community. Every day, social benefit organizations across the globe bring impact to countless individuals across a wide variety of service areas. Yet, a haunting question hangs over the social benefit space, “Are we truly embracing our whole community?”This question is not meant to form each of our organizations into some one-size-fits-all framework, but to simply call us to rethink who is in our community. When we talk about diversity, we too often do so from the point of forced implementation. We want to think about this here from a proactive perspective – how do we embrace our whole community and think about the opportunities that are afforded as we bring people together with their unique skills, abilities, and experiences? In the pages of this issue, we will explore some important aspects of this community frame- work. Nonprofit consultants Leah Eustace and Kathleen LaTosch explore the underlying importance of diversity in our organizations, Al Winseman, a senior consultant at Gallup, examines the importance of acknowledging the unique strengths in our teams, and professor Angela Spranger examines diversity and conflict through the lens of the HR practitioner, among others. Even with that framing, we know that community looks different to each organization, and that is why we are spotlighting some nonprofits touching the far reaches of our commu- nity with amazing results. We highlight organizations including our feature, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, as well as The Mission Continues, an organization strengthening the path for returning veterans, and Second Chance, a service organization based in San Diego County working with the formerly incarcerated, homeless, and drug addicted. This issue is about rekindling our passion for why we serve and whom we serve. We must fight the mundane to continue to serve with empathy and resourcefulness. Join us on the journey as we think about the unique strengths and possibilities found in our organizations and our communities. Thanks! TG

Todd Greer

6 I Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine

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Creating Harmonious Cultures Orchestrating Excellence

You don’t get harmony when everyone sings the same note. - Doug Floyd T eams are like orchestras. People with different skills and personalities create harmony by playing different notes. We can blend by singing the same note; however, most of the time we need color, dimension, and depth in the sound and the culture. When a musical group creates excellence, it’s called ensemble. When we create high- functioning cultures, it’s the synergy of performance that makes the difference. As Stephen Covey says, synergy is a result that’s greater than the sum of the parts. The orchestra erases paradigms of culture, race, gender, generation, lifestyle, and other division-creating traps. Musicians replace those learned paradigms with the high-functioning culture of the ensemble. Diversity brings richness to the culture. Vocal groups blend by matching tone, vocal quality, vowel formation, diction, pitch, dynamics and other qualities, but these don’t remove the skill of singing the right notes and producing a pleasing vocal sound. Each performer must step up to excellence for the orchestra or choir to achieve excellence. Excellence is in diversity. Forget equality. Each person brings diverse excellence to the team. The instrumental groups in the orchestra (strings, brass, percussion, and woodwinds), bring many differences to music making and contribute as defined by the musical score. Similar traits create harmony in team diversity. It’s the director’s (leader’s) job to create the space for the players to excel and to provide the influence that inspires excellence, as follows.

different perspectives into cultures - in age, gender, race, lifestyle and experience, and nationality. Difference in opinion is not a weapon for conflict; it’s a creative tool for viewing the same old thing in a new way. Different framing: Instruments such as a trumpet or clarinet are called transposing instruments. The note in the score might be a C, but the pitch that comes from the instrument is a B-flat, a different note than the one printed. The conductor knows this and makes a mental correction to what is in the score. In team meetings, there are often different framings with response to a question or directive. There’s no standard rule as with a transposing instrument, so it’s up to the leader to manage the situation. It’s important, however, to understand that team players might have a different view of reality than we do. I’m not suggesting a compromise in quality. In fact, differences create maximum value for the contributions of participants. Leading high-functioning teams is similar to the skill of the conductor who manages many variables while creating excellence through diversity. Hugh Ballou is President and Founder of SynerVision Leadership Foundation. A musical conductor for forty years, Hugh has written eight books on Transformational

Different personalities: Each orchestral section brings unique qualities to the result: different tone qualities, intensities, tonal colors, and personalities. The brass player has a different view of things than the string player. The strings play more than other sections, but get paid no more. Different personalities add color to the work team and the leader inspires harmony. Different skills: Different instruments require very different skill sets. The percussionist must draw out sound from the instruments when it appears that he or she is banging or striking. Some woodwind players must create and maintain reeds for different instruments. Double-reed oboes and bassoons require very finely crafted reeds to create the type of sound required.There are differences from player to player with the skill of the reeds produced and the ability to play. Teams require different and complementing skills to manage complex operations. When creating or upgrading teams, evaluate skills and competencies as a fit for the culture. Different perspectives: I’m a Boomer. I have different perspectives than a Millennial. Percussion and brass players sit at the rear of the orchestra. Their sound must reach the front of the stage along with that of the players who sit in front of them. There are many ways that participants bring differences in perspective to the group. Strive to build

Leadership, and works with leaders in religious organizations and nonprofit and business communities as executive coach, process facilitator, trainer, and motivational speaker, teaching the fine-tuned skills employed every day by orchestral conductors.

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The Mission Continues Veterans Serving on the Home Front

10 I Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine Our model is simple – we seek to redeploy veterans in their communities, and arm them with the tools they need to take action in O n Sept. 11, 2001, everything changed. I was one of the 4,000 cadets at the United States Military Academy, West Point, just 40 miles north of the World Trade Center. We soon became acutely aware that our military career would take a much different turn than we had anticipated. Soon after graduating and earning a commission as a United States Army officer, I deployed to Iraq. There, I led infantry and tank platoons into the “Triangle of Death” just south of Baghdad. Because I spoke Arabic, I later led a new civil affairs mission, responsible for providing social support and civic infrastructure projects in the country. After leaving the military in 2008, I returned to school and then went into consulting. Despite a successful career, I struggled as a civilian. I lacked the sense of purpose I’d had in the Army. I’ve since found that I wasn’t alone. Post-9/11 veterans are unique – as an all- volunteer force, we are personally driven and compelled to serve others, although this isn’t always the picture that you see in the media. From stories of PTSD and mental illness to violence and suicide, veterans are often painted as a liability to our country rather than an asset. At The Mission Continues, a nonprofit organization with operations throughout the country, we seek to change the national conversation about veterans. By leveraging their skills and training, we have empowered thousands of veterans to serve their country in new ways for successful reintegration into civilian life.

residents live below the poverty line. As a result, the neighborhood is run- down and residents are no longer proud to live there. The Mission Continues is changing that. Our Bronx Service Platoon, consisting of more than 50 post-9/11 veterans living or working in the Bronx, has teamed up with the local community and corporate partners to improve infrastructure and beautify public spaces through place-based initiatives.The efforts of our service members in the area are inspiring pride among residents, encouraging them to stay in the area and take ownership of the community. Simultaneously, our veteran volunteers are discovering newfound purpose, which had been absent since their time in the service. In its first year of operation,the Bronx Platoon has grown to become a known and accepted force for good in District 5. Partnering with Guggenheim Partners, real estate developer BronxPro and nonprofit DreamYard, the Platoon is executing numerous community service projects that are changing the landscape and reviving the neighborhood’s vitality. This summer, those efforts included installing “cool roofs” – a marriage of Gaudi-style sculptural designs, murals and solar paint – on affordable housing facilities near Hayden Lord Park in District 5. The goal is to install 11 cool roofs, creating the nation’s largest solar-rooftop mural. Volunteers also filled more than 100 tree pits, planted flowers and installed mosaic artwork in the park, and broke ground on a new community park. With a focused mission to revitalize District 5, platoon members are working together to address a clear community need and

community service leadership. The result is a unique reciprocal benefit for the veteran and the community.Veterans use their community improvement experience to achieve successful post-military reintegration, simultaneously making a positive impact in neighborhoods. We have two programs to engage veterans in volunteerism. The first, The Mission Continues Fellowship Program, pairs veteran volunteers with local nonprofit organizations for six months. This allows each veteran to build new community connections and gain experience that will help them achieve full- time employment or pursue higher education. To scale our model, we launched a second program called The Mission Continues Service Platoon Program. Platoons are teams of veterans, active-duty service members and volunteers working with local organizations to address pressing community issues. The platoons become a mode of civic action, mobilizing veterans and their fellow community members to improve their neighborhoods and make an enduring mark in major cities across the country. Simultaneously, platoon members form an extended support network for each other. Platoons in Action: Breathing Life into the Bronx In Bronx Community District 5, the poorest congressional district in the nation, 38% of

also to support one another in navigating reintegration to civilian life. For example, James Fitzgerald, an Army veteran and leader of the Bronx Service Platoon, is studying at Bronx Community College and is dedicated to making an impact in the community, but his transition from the military certainly wasn’t easy. While he was deployed to Afghanistan, a gunshot wound to his thigh knocked him off a mountain and into a ravine, leaving him with a fractured knee and broken femur. Getting back on his feet, figuratively and literally, after leaving the Army definitely had its hardships. But through The Mission Continues, Fitzgerald has been able to share his experiences with veterans who understand what he’s been through. And by serving alongside fellow veterans, he has been able to once again channel his spirit to serve his country. Platoons in Action: Pulling Together for Pittsburgh In the last decade, nearly 10,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have returned home to Pittsburgh, seeking to define their post-military legacy. But a challenging job market, headlines of veterans in crisis, and a skeptical civilian population have complicated the reintegration process for many of these former service members. In 2014, The Mission Continues turned its focus to changing that reality for Pittsburgh veterans with the launch of Pittsburgh 1st Service Platoon, a group embracing the skills and leadership of local veterans to help transform Hazelwood, one of the most underserved communities in Pittsburgh. Much of this effort has focused on renovating the Hazelwood Center of Life, a community center providing vital programming in areas such as financial literacy, music, education and athletics. To increase the Center of Life’s capacity for area students seeking a structured safe space for the summer, Platoon veterans volunteered their time every weekend in May to rehab the organization’s third floor – a previously condemned part of the building. The renovation has also dramatically decreased the Center of Life’s operating costs by eliminating the need to lease office space from a second building. For the platoon’s post-9/11 veteran members, volunteering together to make a difference in Hazelwood has helped them forge new connections in the

community while providing a strong network of support and deep sense of camaraderie. The dual impact of the program is receiving national recognition.The Mission Continues Pittsburgh Service Platoon received a 2015 Edison Award, one of the most prestigious accolades honoring excellence in innovation, for their groundbreaking work to create positive change in the community and support post-9/11 veterans in their reintegration to civilian life. Pittsburgh native James O’Connor has been a leading force behind the Pittsburgh Service Platoon’s success. After serving five years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, O’Connor returned home with a desire to leverage his leadership skills to improve his community. As the founding leader of the Pittsburgh Service Platoon, O’Connor has successfully engaged more than 120 local veterans in service to the community, and has led nine major service projects to help Hazelwood residents avoid displacement and enjoy a higher quality of life. O’Connor was recently nominated for a Pittsburgh Champions award in the First Responders and Military category in recognition of his outstanding leadership with the platoon. Leaving a Legacy of Continued Service There are many pressing issues facing our communities across the country. From hunger and homelessness to blighted neighborhoods and youth in crisis, the problems can sometimes seem overwhelming and solutions unobtainable. The post-9/11 generation of veterans is uniquely positioned to inspire communities to take action. They are poised to make a lasting and positive impact at home, using their training and skills to solve local problems, build businesses and contribute to their communities. Through The Mission Continues’ programs, veterans have the opportunity to be leaders once again. Our desire to serve never faltered and our country’s needs have not diminished. We are deploying again, this time in our own hometowns. Join us and mobilize with us. Aaron Scheinberg is a U.S. Army veteran and Executive Director of the Northeast Region for The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit that engages military veterans in new missions of service nationwide.

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A Community for Community Builders to Grow Your Organization

The SynerVision Leadership Foundation is a membership community for social benefit leaders — religious leaders, nonprofit executives, foundation directors. Collaboration is the core of social benefit. The reality is that together we can accomplish more. Together we build bigger, encourage deeper, reach wider and care farther. You want this in your religious, nonprofit, charity and educational institutions.

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NEW LEADERSHIP BOOK The Questions for Your Culture

Featuring Millennial Takeaways that prove Peter Drucker’s wisdom is a timeless and valuable tool among leaders across all generations.

The late PETER F. DRUCKER (1909-2005), known worldwide as the “Father of Modern Management,” was a professor, management consultant, and writer. Drucker directly influenced leaders from all sectors of society. Among them: GE, IMB, Intel, Procter & Gamble, Girl Scouts, The Salvation Army, Red Cross, United Farm Workers, and several presidential administrations. FRANCES HESSELBEIN, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, is the president and CEO of the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute and editor-in-chief of the award-winning quarterly journal, Leader to Leader, as well as co-editor of 27 books translated into 29 languages. JOAN SNYDER KUHL, founder of Why Millen- nials Matter, is an international speaker, leader- ship trainer, and consultant specializing in global talent development and generational engagement strategies.

12 I Professional Performance JOIN SynerVision as we chat with authors Joan Snyder Kuhl (MARCH 17, 2PM ET) and

Nonprofits that Work

T he Jackie Robinson Foundation ( is a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1973 by Rachel Robinson, the wife of American sports and civil rights icon Jackie Robinson, to perpetuate his memory through the support of higher education and the promotion of the values he embodied. The Foundation’s celebrated program model combines generous multi-year financial assistance with extensive leadership and practical life skills. Over its 42-year history, the Jackie Robinson Foundation ( JRF) has dispensed over $65 million in scholarships and direct program support. Staffed by 20 full-time employees and 90 volunteer professionals across eight geographic regions, JRF not only boasts a high graduation rate, but develops leaders who are prepared to compete effectively in the workforce of a global economy. With an average of 250 students enrolled in the program annually, JRF has had many years of success and experience with a diverse minority student population matriculating at 90 - 100 colleges and universities across the country, varying slightly from year to year. 1,450 professionals proudly call themselves JRF alumni, having been molded into dynamic leaders with a commitment to community service and the humanitarian ideals of Jackie Robinson. Uniquely, JRF provides generous four-year college scholarships in conjunction with a comprehensive set of skills and opportunities to disadvantaged students of color to ensure their success in college and to develop their leadership potential. JRF’s hands-on, four- year program includes peer and professional mentoring, internship placement, extensive leadership training, international travel and

Internships Corporate partners provide and assist Scholars with summer internship placement and permanent employment, offering valuable career development opportunities. The JRF staff works diligently with both sponsors and Scholars to identify appropriate internships and to secure summer and semester positions. Further, JRF Scholars also benefit from ongoing career counseling and assistance with locating full-time positions upon graduation. Leadership Development The Foundation provides workshops during the annual Scholars’ Weekend which focus on enhancing leadership skills, including conflict management, business etiquette and public speaking, and secures internships to enhance Scholars’ leadership development. Further, JRF provides forums for Scholars to demonstrate these acquired skills as members of the JRF student advisory committee, interview subjects for national and local media, and ambassadors at public events. Public Service JRF Scholars are required to participate in community service as part of their scholarship. Each Scholar must document these projects and keep them on file with JRF.Through these efforts, JRF Scholars impact thousands of lives and gain valuable skills and experiences. Whether it is starting a nonprofit to provide college preparatory training for low-income students, building houses in Third World regions, researching the AIDS epidemic or reading to local students, JRF Scholars are ambassadors of Jackie’s philosophy that, “A life is not important except in its impact on other lives.”

community service options, the conveyance of practical life skills, and a myriad of networking opportunities. JRF’s strategic combination of financial assistance and support services results consistently in a nearly 100% college graduation rate. The Jackie Robinson Foundation provides a multi-faceted experience designed to not only address the financial needs of minority students who aspire to attend college, but also to guide them through the process of higher education, molding them into dynamic leaders. The award is given to outstanding high school graduates who plan to earn a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education. Since its inception, the program has attracted the support of hundreds of companies, philanthropic institutions and individuals. As a result of JRF’s efforts, increasing numbers of students are able to attend the colleges and universities of their choice, where they are poised to develop their academic skills and JRF awards each student a $24,000/four- year scholarship to complement the financial aid the student receives from the college or university for tuition and other education expenses (books, housing, etc.). Mentoring Advisory committee members, corporate sponsors, community leaders, and JRF alumni and staff serve as mentors. Each Scholar is assigned a mentor to enhance their developmental experience. Mentors assist them with a wide variety of needs such as academic guidance, career planning and internship placement. leadership talents. Financial Grants

SynerVision Leadership .org I 13

Nonprofits that Work


Tackling Challenges Collectively

14 I Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine Jackie and Rachel Robinson serve as extraordinary examples of the courage required in challenging society to address the needs of marginalized communities and encourage equal opportunity. The sacrifices they made personally and the strategies they used, as they confronted the resistance to including all citizens in the American dream, E stablished in 1973 by Rachel Robinson to perpetuate the memory of her husband, The Jackie Robinson Foundation ( JRF) is one of the nation’s oldest and most effective college scholarship programs supporting minority college and graduate school students throughout the United States. JRF’s two-pronged approach provides generous, four-year grants in conjunction with a comprehensive set of services that results in a nearly 100% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for African American college students. JRF’s year-round support includes hands-on mentoring, job placement, curriculum and career guidance, practical life skills, international travel opportunities, and leadership training. While in college, each JRF Scholar completes 42 units that comprise JRF’s proprietary mentoring curriculum and that provide strategies for success in college and in life. Over the past 42 years, JRF has disbursed over $65 million in scholarship aid and direct program services to over 1,450 students who have attended 225 different colleges and universities across the country. Since each of the 200 JRF Scholars is required to perform community service on an ongoing basis, JRF impacts another 30,000 lives each year through its student constituents’ volunteer service. Learning fromHistory

evoked throughout our society can impact other social causes as well. JRF also works to instill the same sense of pride, commitment and passion in all employees that the leadership feels in working on behalf of Jackie Robinson’s rich legacy of promoting equal opportunity, higher education and humanitarianism. JRF takes pride in helping to close the unacceptable achievement gap in higher education. Through programs like JRF’s, young people receive resources and strategies to earn advanced degrees, to self-actualize and to unlock their leadership potential. JRF also imparts to its young constituents the importance of adopting a set of values, invoking those embodied in the life of Jackie Robinson,that lead to their becoming citizens of good will with the skill and inclination to better our communities. It takes Partners JRF has never existed in a vacuum. We are humbled to have a longstanding history with both the private and public sectors, having partnered with over 400 corporations and private foundations in fundraising, diversity initiatives, volunteer opportunities for executives and other professionals, special events and marketing ventures. JRF also enjoys partnerships with over a dozen colleges and universities around our research efforts and to improve higher education performance models. One example of our successful, robust partnerships is that of our annual four-day Mentoring and Leadership Conference for JRF Scholars, graduate fellows and alumni, where we bring in dozens of corporate executives and industry leaders to speak

instruct and encourage others to persevere and to see that great progress can be made by even a few people. Those who study the Robinson legacy know that Jackie and Rachel Robinson used their celebrity to speak out against injustice both before and after Robinson’s baseball career; that they performed numerous deeds to effect change, as active participants and fundraisers for the modern Civil Rights Movement and with Rachel’s establishing the Jackie Robinson Foundation within a year of her husband’s death; and that their individual work, courage and comportment indelibly impacted our social landscape. The Robinsons provide both inspiration and a blueprint for others and personify the importance and effectiveness of focusing on one’s own experience and expertise to make a difference. In addition, the Foundation is engaged in building the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City to inspire and to educate visitors of all generations about Jackie Robinson’s courageous achievements both on and off the field, and to promote dialogue around important social issues that continue to plague our society. Expanding our mission and our public constituency through the creation of the Museum will bolster our efforts to close the achievement gap in higher education. We appreciate that the strong images that Jackie and Rachel Robinson

with, teach, mentor our students, and to help build a vast network on which all of our constituents can draw. JRF offers many year-round opportunities for alumni to engage and reconnect. From job opportunities with the Foundation and its sponsors to serving on our 100-person strong, national Scholar Advisory Committees and JRF’s board of directors, JRF embraces those who have an in-depth knowledge of our mission based on their direct relationship from which they have personally benefitted. It speaks volumes when our alumni insist on coming back and getting involved with our current JRF Scholars. We’re humbled and thrilled each time a JRF alumnus reaches back and shares his/her time, resources, and strategies to help propel the Foundation. In fact, our current board chairman, Gregg Gonsalves, is a JRF alumnus himself. We must promote the importance of collectively tackling some of our nation’s biggest challenges. Government cannot do it alone. Nonprofits cannot do it alone. The corporate sector cannot do it alone. The most vital organizations recognize that, while an organization can have exceptional results, its reach can be greatly extended with like-minded partners who share the vision and goals. By increasing the depth of our secondary team, we can reach extraordinary heights. The Scholars JRF’s holistic focus on the needs of our Scholars also creates a model that ensures success. By remaining flexible and in constant touch with our constituents over a period of

years, we not only provide assistance better tailored to the needs of the students, but we are better able to identify the services and formulae that work best, allowing us to improve our model to benefit future constituents and to inform others working in our space. Our Scholars are masters at maximizing their time and, even at an early age, have shown great leadership and a commitment to others in need. Year after year, we meet incredible young people who manage school, extra-curricular activities, family life, and community involvement, excelling in each and expunging the perception that young people of disadvantaged communities do not add value. JRF Scholars serve as remarkable ambassadors of Jackie’s legacy, insisting on finding ways to impact local and global communities, associating proudly with the Robinson Family legacy of service. And many may not think about JRF’s impact from the standpoint of our corporate partners; we offer a pipeline of talented, well-prepared, diverse professionals who, upon graduating, add great value to the global workforce. We are committed also to adjusting our program model to meet the needs of contemporary college students. We seek to stay on top of technological advances and trends that affect our constituents. These measures have proven to be important elements of our consistent, very high graduation rate and the success our alumni realize. JRF’s two-pronged model that includes financial aid in tandem with comprehensive

program support increases both the graduation rate and the likelihood of realizing our student constituents’ full potential and, thus, helps to close the achievement gap for minority students in higher education. Our data proves conclusively that academic performance and success in life improve with strong mentorship and social support. Beyond our four-year college program, we offer longer-term support for select students through our Extra Innings Fellowship that provides graduate school assistance. Our Jackie Robinson Foundation Alumni Association works to provide additional mentoring and support after graduation and is a viable network well into the future. JRF faces demands to address other aspects of our namesake’s legacy, which may generate attention and even revenue, but which could compromise our focus on our core services. We work to maintain the discipline to resist pressure to expand beyond our adopted mission and goals, even where we stand to drive additional revenue, knowing that ultimately meeting our own programmatic goals ensures sustainability. Our experience in higher education has instructed us that there are no easy or quick solutions to addressing the disparities in education and that an ongoing, holistic approach brings the best, measureable results.

Della Britton Baeza has been President and CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation ( since 2004. During Della’s tenure, JRF has more than doubled the number of young people served, added graduate school fellowships and a work/study abroad component, upgraded technological capabilities, relocated its headquarters, opened a west coast office, and is preparing to build the Jackie Robinson Museum.

SynerVision Leadership .org I 15

Design Corner


Community Platforms Bring Better Member Engagement

A t Higher Logic, we’ve always believed that the key to engaging members and constituents is through building a private community that gives an organization both control and room to grow with deeper connections and constantly improving technology. According to Forrester, branded communities will be the next big thing. A recent Forrester survey shows that U.S. online adults who want to stay in touch with organizations are almost three times as likely to visit a site, as they are to engage on social media platforms like Facebook. The dictionary definition of community includes the quality of distinctiveness. A community will not be satisfied with just any experience, but requires a distinctive and original experience that allows everyone to better function, create and innovate. Guiding community members to an experience that offers more than a one-way exchange of information will deliver value far beyond expectations. A primary reason online communities usurp most social media channels is data: an organization owns all of its data and can build better tracking systems through an online community. A strong community platform will offer organizations the right technology for keeping up with its data. We believe in three technological pillars for all communities to ascribe to: automation, mobile and responsive design, and accessibility. Community Automation Since it’s important for any organization to prioritize member loyalty and retention when it comes to community membership systems,

Most should be controlled by some kind of logical workflow, and emails should be dynamically generated. This means that community managers can provide greetings, rewards, compliments, and alerts without labor- intensive actions or 24/7 monitoring of community activity. After all, curating onboard messaging through automation is just as important as creating the material. Mobile-Friendly Community About 60 percent of all online traffic now comes from mobile devices. Nearly 30 percent of U.S. search requests came from mobile devices during the fourth quarter of 2014. Google wants its users to have that seamless online experience in clicking through any mobile link, so it’s made some algorithm changes to improve SEO for websites that are mobile friendly. Make sure that your community platform is fully responsive and mobile friendly. A fully designed website that adapts to virtually any context delivers a compelling user experience, no matter what the product or industry. Regardless of which operating systems members are using to access the organization’s site, your community platform should recognize the device and respond instantly. Here’s what organizations should strive for: Accessibility and Design : Make the organization’s content available to as many users as possible, whether it’s checking all embedded media or providing alternate content for users with visual disabilities. No

many membership departments are shifting to marketing automation, which not only allows them to personalize interactions with members, but also reduces excess effort for onboarding and retention. However, not every organization needs to rush out and integrate a popular marketing automation system to get this done. Online community platforms provide similar capabilities. We believe there is no better system to use than the place where your members are already collaborating, networking, and connecting. Communitymanagers are simplymembership managers who have learned to work smarter versus harder. Using automation technologies often found in both your community platform and your email or AMS provider, it’s possible to provide members with a deeper, more meaningful experience by focusing on specific campaigns and using appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge success. Some platforms include automation rules for community messaging and email schedules, as well as a reply by email functionality that allows members to interact in community discussions directly from their email providers. Onboarding communications should be governed by automation, not by manual labor.

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16 I Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine

The Power of a Strengths-Based Team ALBERT L. WInSEMAn

T here’s nothing like watching a great team in action. Like many sports fans across North America, I was transfixed by the 2015 NBA finals matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. It was a great series, and Cavaliers star LeBron James almost willed his injury-ridden team to victory in the best-of-seven series. But in the end, the Golden State Warriors were the better team and won the championship. And it was a team victory – each player stepped up and contributed – especially when Warriors star Stephen Curry struggled during some of the games. It was a total team effort. After witnessing such team greatness, sometimes we wonder why our teams at work can’t function that well. The answer is they can, if we take a strengths-based approach to building and deploying our teams. How do you go about creating a strengths- based team? The first task is to decide what kind of a team you are: independent or interdependent? Independent teams function a lot like a golf team. Each member of the team goes out, shoots his or her own individual round of golf, then comes back to add his or her score to the scores of the rest of the team. If I’m on the golf team, the success of the team depends on my independent contribution added to the independent contributions of the other members. I am not really relying on interacting with another team member in order to do my best work. It’s pretty much up to me alone. The members of an interdependent team, on the other hand, are more like a basketball team or a soccer team: each team member is dependent on the other members knowing

on what each person does best. As a member of the team, I know that there are some things others do better than I do, and there are some things I do better than others. We set each other up for success by letting each team member find his or her own natural path of least resistance in achieving the outcomes of his or her assignments, and the cumulative effect is the success of the team’s goals. How do you begin to identify the strengths of the members of your team, finding out what they do best? One of the most effective tools is the Clifton StrengthsFinder©, an online assessment that identifies talent in 34 themes. When you take the Clifton StrengthsFinder  , you receive a report with your Top Five Signature Themes of Talent, the most natural ways you think, feel and behave (for more information, go to www. But without having your team take the Clifton StrengthsFinder  , you can still have conversations about strengths by using Gallup’s five experiential clues to talent as a guide: • Yearning: To what kinds of activities are you naturally drawn? • Rapid Learning: What kinds of activities do you seem to pick up quickly? • Flow: In what activities do you seem to automatically know the steps to be taken? • Glimpses of Excellence: During what activities have you had moments of

where to be, what the plays are, the time on the clock, etc. My success as a member of such a team depends very much on my interactions with and dependence upon the cohesive way we perform our tasks. So what kind of team are you? What kind of team do you need to be? Great teams know who they are. Once you determine what kind of team you are, then you must make the conscious decision to be a strengths-based team. Being strengths-based is not just a sing kumbaya and have a group hug feel-good movement. Strengths is a business strategy. People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job. Teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity. And teams that receive strengths feedback have 8.9% greater profitability. Gallup defines a strengths-based team in this way: A strengths-based team is a group of imperfect but talented contributors who are valued for their strengths and who need one another to realize individual and team excellence. The goal of a strengths-based team is to maximize the strengths of each individual on the team so as to make their weaknesses irrelevant. Strengths-based teams focus

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SynerVision Leadership .org I 17

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