written by Alyssa Wilson, Univeristy of Lynchburg Bonner Intern
The month of May is National Foster Care Month and United Methodist Family Services is a leading nonprofit agency that strives to serve children and families through their foster care services.
This month is a time to recognize that everyone can play an important role in the foster care process and anyone has the opportunity to become a foster parent. There are many misconceptions about foster care and what it takes to be a foster parent.
“Sustainable leadership isn’t about having full control of your organization. There is strength and utility in strategically letting go.”
In my first post, I mentioned that my sabbatical was not a vacation. An effective sabbatical at its core has goals that are primarily focused on the institution and not the individual. It is not that the executive’s well-being isn’t a consideration, but their well-being ties back to the organization’s health. So, I am not deciding on the goals of my sabbatical. Instead, the organization is.
We hired Ryan Ripperton, a consultant out of Richmond to lead this process. The process started as a reworking of our organizational chart, intending to help us create a healthier workflow.
Simply, the Academy’s goals with my executive sabbatical are the following:
Nonprofit organizations continued nominating volunteers through the last couple of weeks of April, so it made for six volunteer highlights!
Meals on Wheels of Greater Lynchburg’s volunteer coordinator Sarah Kerr nominated Mary Ann Sigler saying, “She delivers meals weekly, delivers Park View supplementary food boxes bimonthly, also takes special holiday deliveries like Santa for a Senior, poinsettias, etc. She assists recipients with tasks/chores that they cannot do for themselves. Subs all the time to help fill whatever route is needed/hardest to fill.”
At the beginning of April, SHARE Greater Lynchburg kicked off our campaign for National Volunteer Month. We have been spotlighting outstanding volunteers on our social media, giving them the opportunity to earn a Downtown Lynchburg gift card to be used at dozens of restaurant and retail establishments.
Volunteers do so much with our 140 nonprofit partners and April has provided the opportunity for organizations to show their appreciation and support for the fantastic people who donate their time. It is so important to recognize their hard work and SHARE Greater Lynchburg’s partners have certainly done that.
A sabbatical is built around trust, and trust starts with granting your chief executive a multi-year contract.
The first question I am going to ask our readers: if you are a nonprofit executive, do you have a multi-year employment contract? Not just an employment agreement, but a multi-year contract?
The next question I will ask is this: if you are a board member of a nonprofit, why are you not providing your executive with a multi-year contract? If you are an executive, why aren’t you asking for one?
Commitment can be hard. But, commitment is also critical in building a culture of trust.
by Alyssa Wilson, University of Lynchburg Bonner Intern
After a career in the K-12 school system serving as a teacher and school administrator over the course of her career, Dr. Allison Jordan decided to take a leap of faith and step into the Executive Director position at IRON (I am Responsible for Overcoming Negativity) Lives, a local non-profit organization that serves secondary students in the area.
IRON Lives focuses on positive youth development and the positive attributes of teenagers. Jordan said, “When you think about stereotypes of teenagers, you often only hear the negative. However, it’s infusing the five C’s [character, care, competence, confidence and connection] which then lead to a sixth C, contributing to community.”
I have always been an anxious person. Sometimes, anxiety is a superpower. Sometimes, it is a disability.
At the end of January 2020, when I started to prepare the organization for a possible pandemic, my anxiety was a superpower. COVID had a way of amplifying so much of what was already going on in our world and as a result, my anxiety was no different. People thought I was overreacting during this time, but there were decisions we made then that would lead to our survival later.
written by Alyssa Wilson, University of Lynchburg Bonner Intern
Imagine not having a safe place to sleep when it is 20 degrees and snowy outside. Where do you go? How do you keep your family safe? This is something that Miriam’s House helps to tackle throughout the year, but especially in the winter months.
Miriam’s House is a nonprofit organization and partner of SHARE Greater Lynchburg that helps to offer the homeless safe, affordable housing. They help to house 400 people a year and have a 96% success rate in moving families into housing.
We have so much great news to share from our nonprofit partners about their amazing work. But, we'd love to hear from you. Let us know if you have stories you'd like to tell and we'll make you a guest blogger!!