Nonprofits today face a particularly challenging landscape, including, but not limited to governmental policy changes and the expanding needs in our communities. We understand these struggles and are deeply committed to empowering nonprofits – from this commitment we developed the Nonprofit Sustainability Challenge (NSC) program in 2015.
The program, now in its third year, has been the catalyst for significant transformational change in 20 nonprofit participants throughout Virginia. The outcomes achieved by participants have been remarkable – the first two cohorts collectively improved their balance sheets by over $7.5 million dollars. That is over $7.5 million dollars that has, through this program, been put to work in our Virginia communities through the positive social impact each of these nonprofits make. And the third cohort of NSC participants is poised to add to this impact by their graduation from the program in March 2019.
The third and current NSC cohort consists of Community Services Housing, Habitat for Humanity of Virginia, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, Homeward, Neighborhood Resource Center, Piedmont Housing Alliance and Tricycle Gardens. During the next year, two leaders from each of these organizations will identify and pursue the most pressing challenge to the long-term sustainability of their operation.
The group convened for their kick off gathering on March 11-13 in Richmond, VA, the first of four in person meetings of the year long program. The group began the gathering with a tour of the East End of Richmond. The tour included stops hosted by NSC alumni – Greta Harris of Better Housing Coalition at The Goodwyn at Union Hill and Beckstoffers Lofts and Beth Vann-Turnbull of Housing Families First showed us around Hillard House. Current NSC participants Neighborhood Resource Center and Tricycle Gardens also hosted stops on the tour, showing us the important work they do in Richmond’s East End.
Over the 2 ½ day event the cohort was able to bond, work in person with their coaches and learn about and discuss various leadership styles and practices. The event concluded with the nonprofit teams presenting their organizational challenges to the group that they will work to achieve over the next year.
The cohort will convene again in June for their second gathering. We look forward to celebrating their successes as they work toward their goal of achieving stronger organizational sustainability. A strong, sustainable nonprofit sector in Virginia means a better Virginia for all.
The NSC program is made possible by: VHDA, VCDC, BB&T, Wells Fargo, Bon Secors and the VNPHC. These financial gifts make it possible for the NSC participants to pay only a nominal tuition fee to participate.