Pittsburgh, PA — Eleven nonprofit executives have been selected as the first cohort to participate in a three month resiliency program to address personal and organizational pressures that have been exacerbated by COVID-19.
The program began on September 1, 2020 and will conclude on November 23, 2020.
Hosted by New Sun Rising in partnership with Neighborhood Allies, The Partnership Network, The Forbes Funds, and made possible with support from The Staunton Farm Foundation, the Nonprofit Resilience Program creates a resource that assesses individual leaders and provides them tools for personal healthy mental habits. It also addresses the overall health of the organization and provides capacity building tactics and tools to better understand the symbiotic relationship between the two.
“Seeing the impact of COVID-19 and the ever present history of our country’s issues around racism, it is time to find a way for our nonprofit leaders to identify the tools and skills that fill them back up so they can continue to pour out,” said Jamie Johnson, Manager of Performance Improvement at New Sun Rising.
The Partnership Network, a group of intermediary funders and capacity building organizations mobilizing the community and economic development sectors to solve complex community challenges, have identified four goals for this program: Develop Healthy Leaders, Create Trust and Connectivity, Build Organizational Capacity, and Strengthen the Talent Pipeline. These goals have been broken down into phases and will be addressed over the program’s timeline.
- Phase 1: Healthy Leaders: Acknowledge and support the needs of people as individuals. Research shows that higher emotional intelligence facilitates stress resilience. An online Emotional Intelligence Assessment will be administered and Development Sessions are created based on the results.
- Phase 2: Stronger Connectivity: People need to heal from past trauma in order to actualize their own potential and ability to support others. Collective experiences will be promoted based on empathy and honesty. Participants will develop trust and strengthen peer relationships in new ways to help them better manage adversity in the future.
- Phase 3: Building Capacity: A leader’s health, mental and physical, and the health of their organization are interrelated. Gaining a greater understanding of operational strengths and weaknesses helps professional service contractors address and organization’s most urgent needs
“As public servants and dedicated leaders, we can often be so driven by our passions that the personal health of a non-profit director is often secondary to the work. Over time, this can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and institutional knowledge loss in the system,” said Stephanie Chernay, Chief Operation Officer at Neighborhood Allies. “This program is designed to center the leader and their needs to accomplish both their personal and organizational goals.”
Program participants include: Andrea Matthews – Brashear Association; Jason Flowers – Omicelo Cares; McKees Rocks CDC; Emily Mitchell – Urban Redevelopment Authority; Joanna Deming – Perry Hilltop Citizens Council; Jordan Coughlen – Alpha House; Amber Epps – Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation; Ariam Ford – Grounded Strategies; Denele Hughson – Grow Pittsburgh; Jona Reyes – Neighbors Helping Neighbors North Braddock; Alyssa Lyons – Green Building Alliance.
Co-developer of this initiative, Terry Doloughty of Boss Consulting, will also be one of the technical assistance providers working with non-profit leaders to help them establish strong personal and organizational health habits.
Developing resilience is a transformational process that occurs over time through a multifaceted approach. By strengthening individual leaders and their relationships with peers, this initiative will ultimately improve organizational sustainability and help to achieve greater impact. This program recognizes the health of the organization and the mental health of nonprofit leaders are intrinsically intertwined.
Jamie Johnson, Manager of Performance Improvement, New Sun Rising
Stephanie Chernay, Chief Operating Officer, Neighborhood Allies
About New Sun Rising
New Sun Rising supports nonprofits and small businesses to build vibrant communities through culture, sustainability, and opportunity. NSR believes that all people and communities hold the knowledge and power to make positive change. We envision a future where regenerative community development practices create the conditions for true social, environmental, and economic justice.
About Neighborhood Allies
Neighborhood Allies’ mission is to support the people, organizations and partnerships committed to creating and maintaining healthy neighborhoods. They strive to support this mission by creating community partnerships, connecting distressed and transitioning communities with valued/vetted resources, and communicating and celebrating progress and success.
About The Partnership Network
The Partnership Network (TPN) is a group of intermediary funders and/or capacity building organizations working to mobilize the community and economic development sectors in the Pittsburgh region. TPN creates the conditions for change by collaborating to solve complex community challenges at the macro, meso, and micro levels of our communities. Collectively, TPN is focused on capacity building for the Community Development System to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). TPN members are committed to being people-centered while implementing the following practices: Aligning Resources, Creating Transparency, and Articulating Shared Outcomes. Partner organizations include Allegheny Conference, The Forbes Funds, Grounded Strategies, Neighborhood Allies, NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania, and New Sun Rising.
About The Forbes Funds
The Forbes Funds advances the well-being of our region by helping human service and community-based nonprofits build their management capacity and increase the impact of their mission work. They support these nonprofits both as individual organizations and as a unified coalition of leaders, funders, and advocates working collaboratively throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.