By Kim Ellsworth, Marketing & Communications Director, Idaho Nonprofit Center
"Marketing and communications within nonprofits – especially at smaller organizations– always seem to take a backseat. This makes sense as the priority should go to achieving individual missions. However, investing even a little time and money into marketing will make a big difference and will ultimately help your bottom line."
By Kevin Bailey, CEO, Idaho Nonprofit Center
I just finished reading Brad Stulberg’s The Practice of Groundedness and one line in the first few pages just hit me right away with that “Oh da** that’s me!” feeling.
“They tell themselves how much they want to turn it off...And yet when they do, they feel unsettled and restless, fluctuating between aimlessness and angst. They know that always being on isn’t the answer, but they never feel quite right when they are off. Many men describe it as a cumbersome need to be bulletproof, invincible. Many women report feeling like they must be everything always, continually falling short of impossible expectations.”
Dear Idaho Nonprofit sector,
As we venture into 2022, like all of you, I have spent some time reflecting on 2021 and my first five months as CEO of the Idaho Nonprofit Center. The first word that comes to mind is: gratitude.
“For all that has been. Thank you. For all that is to come, Yes!” – Dag Hammarskjold.
This quote has really resonated with me as we turn the page and enter the new year with (admittedly) a fair amount of trepidation about what the future holds. It may also sound odd to be in the business of “thanking” all that has been in 2021. But in our sector, once again, you have all risen to the occasion, pivoting once again to meet the needs of our communities. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Idaho’s nonprofits are truly made up of everyday heroes.
My entry into the nonprofit sector was both unexpected and serendipitous. Looking back, it makes perfect sense how I ended up where I am now with the Idaho Nonprofit Center - and I couldn’t be happier. My decisions in life have always been guided by my passions and growing up in a household of musicians naturally led me to an interest in the arts. Following in my parent’s footsteps, I began performing and teaching guitar at a young age.
As my passion developed, I began seeing how I could share this interest with others. Whether it be performing at local fundraisers or cultivating others’ passions through teaching, I loved how impactful the music could be. I knew from this that I wanted a career where I could enrich the lives of others.
By Kevin Bailey, CEO, Idaho Nonprofit Center
Even as someone who has spent my whole career in nonprofits in various capacities it had never really occurred to me just how much nonprofits touch every aspect of our lives as Idahoans. Previously, I had always thought of the nonprofit sector as the mortar that fills the space between the bricks in our society. However, I think that analogy has got it exactly backwards.
Nonprofits are the bricks themselves that great communities are built on. In short, nonprofits are essential to our way of life in Idaho. Of course, you and our friends in organizations across the sector inherently know this.
Hello, everyone! My name is Ian Velikoff. I am the new Director of Programs and Learning for the Idaho Nonprofit Center. First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who attended the Idaho Nonprofit Statewide Conference this year. We had an amazing turnout and were blown away by our incredible speakers and presenters. Furthermore, our team would like to extend a big thank you to our presenting sponsors Wells Fargo and Harris CPAs that helped make this event possible.
A little about me:
I grew up in Boise with a background in working and volunteering with local nonprofits. I am also a recent Boise State University graduate with a Master of Business and Administration. During my studies, I had the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant for the Boise State University Cycle Learning Center while also volunteering for the Boise Bicycle Project to help provide transportation alternatives to families in need.
I am incredibly excited to start working with the Idaho Nonprofit Center. In my new role, I hope to develop and improve the programs that our organization offers. I recognize the value in the nonprofit sector and the integral role they play in supporting local communities. Because of this, my goal is to provide Idaho nonprofits with the tools and resources they need to thrive.
My door is always open if you'd like to connect. Please, email me at email@example.com.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Idaho Nonprofit Center. Although the Center has evolved throughout the years, the idea and passion behind the 2001 launch has never wavered.
What started as a chance conversation between strangers in a coffee shop has grown to serve the 7,000+ registered organizations and includes monthly training, statewide conferences, impassioned advocacy, and Idaho Gives.
The Idaho Nonprofit Center has evolved over the last twenty years and continues to look toward the future with its current search for a new CEO. Sheila Hennessey was recently appointed as Interim CEO to lead the search for a permanent leader and to direct the team of five staff members during the transition.
“We have an important year ahead of us as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary and plan for our next chapter of statewide growth and impact. Sheila has stepped in to lead the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s transition marvelously, just as the board and team knew she would,” says the Center’s board president, Emily Border, Senior Marketing Manager at Cradlepoint.
I want to send greetings and good wishes to the members, stakeholders, and supporters of the Idaho Nonprofit Center. I have the honor of leading the Center for the next few months as its Interim CEO, providing management oversight as well as leading the search for the Center’s permanent CEO.
As Amy Little writes in her piece in this issue of CenterView, the decision to hire an Interim CEO was an intentional and well-considered plan for successfully navigating this leadership transition. While we have all been humbled by change and uncertainty in the last year, we have also seen organizations and individuals use this time of transition to reassess, to innovate, and to emerge stronger.
I like this quote by Idaho’s own Kristin Armstrong:
As I am closing in on my final hours at the Idaho Nonprofit Center, I wanted to circle back and review the transition plan with the community, in the hope that our experience might be a useful guide. The one thing I committed to doing at the Center was to always share what we learn as an organization. 2020 was a challenging year for all of us in the nonprofit sector, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it leads to staff changes. It is not why I left, but burnout is often a factor when deciding to move on.
But first, a story. Once upon a time, in an organization far, far away, an executive director gave their notice. The staff was reassured that a transition plan was in place and would be executed. Unfortunately, as the executive director slowly stepped away from their role, the plan was clearly not followed or even reviewed.
Amy Little, current CEO of the Idaho Nonprofit Center
I’ve often repeated this phrase to colleagues from time to time, and it is one of many principles that I believe deeply in: every leader has an expiration date. There comes a time for all of us when – in taking a deep breath and a long look at where we are and most importantly where we’ve been – we realize that a new leader with fresh ideas and a different skill set is needed to take our organization to the next level.
It is with a mix of sadness and excitement that I share this news: that time has come for me at the Idaho Nonprofit Center. I’ve accepted a position as the business consulting manager with MoFi in their Boise office. The past five years here at the Center have been one of tremendous growth both personally and professionally but mostly in our team’s collective achievements.
I am beyond proud of where the Center is today and I know that in the hands of the next capable leader, this team and board will take this amazing organization to places I never could have dreamed. I receive a lot of credit for being a great leader, but in all honesty, it is the team here at the Center and our incredible board of directors who share in the credit. We succeed as a team, always.
On Wednesday evening the McCall City Council passed a resolution and health order that requires face masks to be worn in all indoor and outdoor public spaces. Click here to visit the city of McCall website for more information.
The order will go into effect at midnight, today July 2. In order for a mask to be effective it must completely cover the nose and mouth. The city maintains that education is the primary goal, but $100 fines are possible for those who do not wish to comply with the resolution.
The order affects all areas of McCall and includes an area five miles outside the city limits.
Tomorrow, the Idaho Nonprofit Center staff – like most of you – will be enjoying a day off in observance of the Fourth of July. I think all of us on some level recognize and celebrate the origin of the holiday, but we don’t often take the time to look at it through a lens of current events and what it represents. To many of us, it’s a day off from work.
July 4, by all rights, is the date that is recognized as the beginning of the United States. For some, it’s a day of fun, barbecue cook-offs, family time, fireworks, and friends. For others, it is a reminder that they were initially excluded from the freedoms stated in the Declaration of Independence. Many individuals are still seeking the freedom of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
So this is it – that moment you can't really prepare for, even though you know the day will come. It's the day when one of your team members takes that next step in their career, and that step is outside of your organization.
I never, ever expect my team to stay with me forever. Not only is that unrealistic but unless there's unlimited potential/opportunity in my organization (there are only seven of us, so no, there really isn't much) then it isn't fair to expect them to stay.
When I began at the Idaho Nonprofit Center 4 ½ years ago, I had no idea what to expect, as I was new to the role, new to the nonprofit sector and even new to Boise. I was super excited to become involved with members, sponsors, and funders. But what I really wanted to do was to make friends with them all.
Earlier this week the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s Board of Directors and I issued a statement in support of racial justice and equality. In it we pledged to fiercely and emphatically embrace diversity, equity and inclusion principles as part of our mission and our values as an organization and invited our nonprofit community to join us.
We committed to the following:
I strongly encourage all of you to take a look at this course. Here’s a brief excerpt from the course description for your review:
The Idaho Nonprofit Center’s mission is to educate, advocate and collaborate in support of stronger nonprofits. We care deeply about our nonprofits AND the communities that we serve.
As an organization that serves the diverse nonprofit community of Idaho, we firmly believe there is no place for racism, injustice, and inequality.
We are saddened and outraged by the recent acts of violence and racism in our country.
We are committed to being a leader and working with the nonprofit community to raise awareness, and educate ourselves and develop policies and practices to better address diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The focus of this week is gratitude. The definition of gratitude is: “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
I am truly thankful and appreciative of every single Idahoan who helped the Idaho Nonprofit Center raise over $3.9 million for 634 nonprofits through Idaho Gives. I can never underscore the significance of your overwhelmingly wonderful support for our participating organizations. Your kindness and generosity allows our nonprofits to pay it forward by continuing to fulfill their missions in your communities. You made an incredible difference, thank you.
A Beautiful Day
I had every intention of sending out a Friday communication on May 1, but I just could not seem to find a spare minute in my day to write it. I think this is a common thing for all of us in the nonprofit sector, but particularly now as we’re balancing multiple priorities: regular work, COVID-19 related tasks, staff working remotely, kids who are still at home, and so much more. I always try to be transparent, so this is me telling you Friday was a bit overwhelming.
Friday was also an amazing day for many reasons: we exceeded $2 million in funds raised for Idaho Gives and our great state of Idaho has entered into stage 1 of the Rebound Idaho recovery plan. In Boise, it was beautiful outside with warmth and sunshine wrapping us up in a delightful hug that felt special since we’re unable to offer one to each other.
I am hopeful for continued recovery both in our community members’ health and well-being and in economic prosperity. This is a marathon, not a sprint. All of this will take time and patience – something I find myself running out of sometimes. Yet, I am committed to doing everything I can to keep my family, my employees, and those that we serve home, healthy, and safe.
Idaho Gives started yesterday, April 23, and will last for two weeks. It is an unprecedented change for an unprecedented time. Now more than ever we can leverage Idaho Gives as an opportunity over these next two weeks to highlight your work, share your impact and most importantly of all raise as much money as we can for as many participating nonprofits as we can.
Not only do we have a record number of participating nonprofits, we have the best local media partners who have gone above and beyond in getting the word out about Idaho Gives this year. We have provided dozens of Idaho Gives webinars to help our nonprofits prepare and we have lined up some of the best prizes for Award Pool Funds once again.
It’s the little things.
Lately, I find myself slowing down and taking in the little things. The sun on my face. My granddaughter’s hand in mine. The long walks in the neighborhood. I’m not wearing my headphones on my walks anymore, as I like hearing the squawking of the birds overhead. I’m paying attention to the flowers beginning to bloom and the smell of the blossoms on the tree.
But yesterday I cried. It seems like it’s typical on Sundays now – it’s my “new normal.” Sundays used to be a day of getting a coffee, taking my time at the grocery store and just strolling and browsing. It was MY time to just browse and hang out.
Today marks one entire month since our Idaho Nonprofit Center staff were together in our office. I made the decision to close our office and move to remote work on St. Patrick’s Day. It is hard to imagine that it has been a full month. As my favorite meme says, this week has been the longest year of my life.
We are in such a strange time right now, where the days fly by so quickly as we all rapidly respond to the crisis at hand in our own mission-centric way. And yet it seems like years since life was even close to “normal.” Perhaps that’s because of the added difficulty of adjusting to working in my sweatpants with teenagers and a husband all working and attending school from home at the same time.
I find it hard to believe that it has been almost a month since I sent my first communication as the very first coronavirus case in Idaho was announced. So much has changed and so much is still uncertain. This week I want to highlight how we continue to support our fellow nonprofits and to illustrate what is certain in our world right now.
What is certain is that the nonprofit sector in Idaho is stepping up and stepping in to lift our communities - whether on the front lines supporting those most in need or fulfilling your mission in new and different ways.
Dear fellow nonprofit friends,
Before I dive fully into our weekly communication and update, I want to just say thank you. Thank you for ALL that you do, day in and day out, pandemic or not. Our nonprofit sector is probably the most innovative, creative, and caring group of professionals out there. I see how hard you are all working, doing more with less and constantly fulfilling your missions in bigger and new ways every single day. Thank you just doesn’t seem like a sufficient sentiment right now, but know that I have an incredible amount of respect for you. All of you.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for all of us. We’re adjusting to new schedules, new “coworkers” (in my case a husband and children), new desk/office spaces at home if we are lucky (we’ve received one submission already for our #idahomeandhealthy campaign of someone using an ironing board for a desk!) and learning how to use at least two different remote meeting technologies to remain connected in our work.
While I miss being in my office every day with my team I am also trying to find the positives in my new normal. One of them is that I definitely love the commute. And I find that I am actually far more productive because I do close my office door at home, something I almost never do at the office. I noticed that I am getting outside to walk our Chief Morale Officer, Olivia, far more frequently which is something I never did before. I hope that I continue to take more breaks to enjoy the fresh air when things return to “normal” once again.
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