Above: Mike Hiller (left), executive director of UpstreamPgh and a Nonprofit Resilience Program alumni, tabling at a 2023 Allegheny County Executive Candidate Forum.
Since its inception in 2020, the Nonprofit Resilience Program (NRP) has been lauded by nonprofit leaders as a cathartic experience to decompress, build relationships, and create routines that enable healthy habits within themselves and their organizations.
The program has hosted seven cohorts and supported 60 participants over the last three years with each group being nominated by The Partnership Network (TPN) and NRP alumni, and facilitated by Jamie Johnson, director of programs at New Sun Rising, based on their backgrounds.
The two most recent cohorts focused on professionals in sustainability and members of TPN, which was integral in the creation of the program.
“It was important for the members of The Partnership Network to experience the program they helped create and advocate for,” Johnson said.
Talia Piazza DePasquale, director of communications and storytelling at Neighborhood Allies, which is a member of TPN, said she had been involved in developing the language for the Nonprofit Resilience Program and understood it in theory, but found herself “caught off guard.”
“Everybody was being so honest about what they were going through and the struggles they were having,” Piazza DePasquale said. “We had the space to come in and be completely vulnerable. I didn’t know I was going to be that honest when it started.”
UpstreamPgh Executive Director Mike Hiller participated in the sustainability cohort, but echoed Piazza DePasquale’s surprise and said he appreciated the “holistic way” participants showed up to the program.
“Jamie was able to bring people together in a way that allowed synergistic and empathetic conversations, because our experiences were so similar to each other,” Hiller said. “She put a lot of thought into this program and it came off as very genuine. I think that set the stage for the whole thing to be successful.”
Shequaya Bailey, director of operations at GroundedPGH, was also in the sustainability cohort and said she found a lot of value in the two professional development sessions with Kesi Howard. Howard worked with participants on personal growth and what that means for their professional life.
Recognizing the health of an organization and the mental and physical health of a nonprofit leader are intrinsically intertwined, the Staunton Farm Foundation recently granted the program $200,000 to continue supporting leaders throughout our region.
“We are grateful for the continual support of NRP,” Johnson said. “This year, we will be able to go deeper with our program alumni by hosting our first annual retreat. I am excited for them to connect, self-reflect, and be activated to continue their dedication to self-care for themselves, their teams, and the communities they serve.”
The retreat will be held on Thursday, August 31 and will launch the NRP Alum Network and after-care program, which includes education, resources and opportunities in topics identified by NRP Alum. The network is an initiative that is led by program alumni with NSR support.
If you believe in building resilience among the nonprofit leaders in our region, please consider sponsoring the NRP Retreat. For more information, click here.