Healthy Nonprofits, Healthy Communities – Itasca County

The Healthy Nonprofits, Healthy Community program supported nonprofits in Itasca County as they strengthened their financial management, developed strong boards of directors, and learned to forge collaborations with other organizations to serve the community more effectively. This initiative provided nonprofits several opportunities to identify and act on their highest priorities for capacity building.

Learning Sessions
Each year the Healthy Nonprofits, Healthy Communities participants took part in a learning series. Recent topics included nonprofit leadership transitions, scenario planning in uncertain times, and exploring insurance options for employee satisfaction and risk management. Sessions were free and typically took place from 9:00 am to noon. During the COVID-19 pandemic, sessions were held virtually. Networking and ample time for discussion typically are built into every session.

Propel Nonprofits also brought its training to the nonprofits virtually! All were welcome to join Propel Nonprofits for any of its free webinars – see a list of upcoming webinars.

Consulting for Organizational Priorities
Every nonprofit organization has goals and plans to deliver its programs in the community and strengthen its organization. No one knows better than the nonprofit’s leaders what types of projects are most important to move to the next level. Working with a core group of experienced consultants, the nonprofits could focus on a project that would help it move forward. The consulting service projects focused on strategic planning, such as board development, strategic planning, succession planning, and finance/sustainability.

Executive Directors Cohort
We heard from many EDs that they felt a little isolated in their positions sometimes, which was only further heightened during the pandemic. An Executive Director cohort was offered to help EDs develop relationships so they could serve as sounding boards for each other as they explored opportunities and challenges in their organizations. The cohort determined what topics they would like to discuss, plus the discussion was opened up to talk over whatever was top of mind for the group at that particular session. It was informal – a group of supportive peers and colleagues having discussions, sharing in problem-solving, identifying collaborations, etc.

The cohort size was kept small so EDs could develop relationships with each other and serve as sounding boards as all continue to support their strong and vibrant community.

Open Office Hours
In many instances nonprofits needed a quick response for advice and resources on organizational issues when they arose. These situations often did not require a full consulting project or scope, but rather easy access to an experienced professional with knowledge, access to resources, and availability. A technical assistance consultation by phone could be scheduled by simply calling 612.249.6700.