Affiliate boards taking next steps in Blueprint for Success

Affiliate boards across the NCCF network are meeting to identify their goals for the coming year, which is defined as the “next step” in the process spelled out by the strategic plan we’re calling “Blueprint for Success. “

This document is the result of the Affiliate Impact Committee’s work to develop a plan to leverage NCCF’s effectiveness throughout our statewide network. Affiliate boards are creating goals in four areas identified as key to their work in local communities:

  • Developing strong boards reflective of the local communities we serve
  • Inspiring and growing local philanthropy to grow affiliate assets and a local “family of funds”
  • Leveraging grants for maximum impact
  • Positioning affiliate leadership as catalysts to meet community needs

The boards’ assessment of their strengths and needs in each of these key areas is now fueling their selection of which areas to focus on in the coming year. Sally Migliore, NCCF director of community leadership, says that once boards determine progress in their chosen focus areas, they’ll continue to use the Blueprint as a planning tool to set annual goals. “The work will be ongoing,” she said.

Many boards have already met to identify their goals for 2015. The Cary Community Foundation advisory board was excited about the document provided to help walk them through the selection process. “They found the planning tool to be extremely helpful,” said Katie Crumpler, regional associate for the Northern Piedmont.  She noted that the board members also recognized the “connectedness” of the goals. “They see that improvement in one area will really accrue to all the others,” she said.

The Greene County Community Foundation has also met, and the board’s enthusiasm was heartening, said Kim Ball, regional associate for the Coastal Plain South. “I was on cloud nine when I left the board meeting,” she said. “Their engagement and excitement over their work plan was infectious.” She said the board appreciated receiving concrete ways to make their work more intentional and strategic.

Sue LeLievre, NCCF regional associate for the West, has so far met and gone through the Blueprint document with five of the advisory boards in her region. “They have all without exception welcomed the process and are excited about having a plan,” she said.

The Jackson County Community Foundation board also put the value of this work in perspective as it relates to succession, according to LeLievre. “The Jackson board realizes that having a plan will allow their work to live on past their tenure on the board,” she said. “Those who come after them now will have full understanding that ‘this is what the Jackson County Community Foundation board does,’” she said.

The tools were created with input from the Affiliate Impact Committee and other boards at various stages of the development of this work. Steve Alley with Ekstrom and Associates also was instrumental in the work, Migliore said.

The toolbox that regional associates use at board meetings also incorporates a podcast from Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, NCCF president and CEO. The audio-only recording walks board members through NCCF’s business model as it relates to affiliates, a topic best heard from the top. (Boards that had already met before the podcast was produced can access it on the passcode protected page for affiliates on NCCF’s website here.)

“I’ve called this work a journey from day one,” Migliore said. “And it really has no end, as improvements and progress will really be ongoing.” She said that additional tools and training will be developed to help affiliate boards accomplish their goals as they are identified.

Tolle Whiteside said the work emanating from the Affiliate Impact Committee helps affiliate boards to solidify some of the work they were already doing in many cases. “It makes our work more intentional and helps us all to focus our resources so we can leverage our impact throughout the state,” she said.

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