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Tag Archives: Mission

Making the “Impossible” Possible to Create Transformational Change

I recently joined a strategic planning meeting for a former client, Miriam’s Kitchen, as a participant. As a strategic planning junkie, the meeting was a dream. At least a dozen times over the course of the meeting, I heard Miriam’s Kitchen team members ask “How would [x potential priority] advance our goal of ending chronic homelessness?” It was if the question was tattooed on someone’s forehead. That type of focus …Read More

Insight #2: Discipline is Key

This is the fifth in a series of posts that will examine ten insights Community Wealth Partners has uncovered through our research of and experience with initiatives that have created transformational social change. This series was introduced in a previous post. Articulating a bold and believable goal is critical, but alone, it will not lead to transformational change. Discipline is key—without it, a daring goal, such as eradicating malaria, represents unattainable idealism. Leaders must …Read More

Creating Transformational Change: Top Ten Insights

We have been on a fascinating journey at Community Wealth Partners to answer one key question: Why do some social change initiatives achieve transformational impact and others don’t? This is not a question that is answered overnight. It truly is a journey. How do we define transformation? We’re talking about eradication of—or at least dramatic improvement on—a social problem. I recognize that “eradication” and “dramatic” are strong words. But, if history …Read More

Your Survival is on the Line. Now What?

Last week’s keynote speech on “Investing In Leaders Who Stop at Nothing in Pursuit of Greater Social Impact”, by Leap Of Reason author Mario Morino at the City Club in Cleveland, should have been a wake-up call to nonprofit and philanthropic leaders.  If they take to heart Morino’s warning that “your survival is on the line”, they must ask themselves the following questions: What steps are you taking to build …Read More

The Role of Data: Using Information to Enlighten Decisions and Create Culture

New York City in the late 1980’s was a city plagued by crime and engulfed in a culture of rampant corruption.  The subway was considered incredibly dangerous, and petty crime had a strangle-hold on the streets.  To put it bluntly, it was a not safe place.  But over the course of several years and under new direction from the police chief and mayor, the city began to see a positive change.  …Read More

Changing the Conversation

As Amy Celep noted in an earlier post, “changing the conversation” can be a powerful tool toward creating the change we want to see in the world.  I was reminded of the validity of Amy’s claim during a recent lunch meeting with Jim Down, a wonderful strategic thinker who led Mercer Management Consulting until retiring at age 50. Since then he has played a critical role in the nonprofit sector, …Read More

Dear Social Sector: Did you hear the President call us to action?

In the words spoken and unspoken during President Obama’s State of the Union address, I heard three strong calls to action for the social sector. 1. Put our differences aside in pursuit of the mission. In his speech, President Obama pointed to the military’s ability to put aside differences and focus on the mission.  On many military missions, it’s life or death for those involved. For much of our work …Read More

Seeing and Seeking Common Ground in the New Year

As I reflect upon my recent trip to Turkey, where I celebrated the New Year with family, I’m reminded that, at the most basic level, we are all the same.  In so many ways, Turkey is a country marked by stark contrasts. The most visible manifestation of this is the dress of the women: everywhere you go you can find Muslim women fully covered from head to toe sitting side-by-side …Read More

Before Fundraising, Focus on the Case for Evaluation

This is the third in a three part series of posts exploring the key ingredients for sustaining an organization’s evaluation capacity. We underscored in our last post the centrality of culture and leadership in building an organization’s evaluation capacity. But sustaining evaluation capacity also depends on an organization’s ability to sell the value of their evaluation efforts to its stakeholders. Effective evaluation depends on the engagement of numerous key stakeholders: …Read More

Finding Courage in Nonprofit Leadership: Center for Families and Children

Every single day the Community Wealth Partners staff is inspired by the courage of our clients. Our team strives to help nonprofit and foundation leaders make decisions that are logical, strategic and based in data, but building solutions to solve social problems is not an exact science.  Consequently, the most successful social sector leaders are able to take confident steps forward within a forest of ambiguity.  And that takes courage. …Read More