Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Transition Back to the Trenches

Eight years ago I left the world of nonprofit direct service to run Charity Navigator (CN). Thanks to that experience,  I met some of the deepest thinkers and change makers around the globe.  I had the unique opportunity to have a platform where I could speak out on important nonprofit and social sector issues on both the national and international stage. I also helped to influence where millions, if not billions of charitable dollars go each year. And I learned about the vital importance of nonprofits becoming adaptive, learning organizations that use data to make certain they are having meaningful results.

Then, I formed Greater Good Associates to try my hand at consulting to nonprofits and social enterprises, as well as working as an Interim Executive Director. I also joined Algorhythm where I got to continue much of what I did at CN. Plus, I was able to see in detail how nonprofits of almost any size can learn from data. I came to deeply appreciate how Algorhythm is a quicker, better and cheaper way than all others, for nonprofits to finally not just measure outcomes to satisfy funders, but to get evidence based guidance on specific practices to make programs and organizations as a whole, as effective as possible. However, Algorhythm is at a stage in its development where I am most useful as a Partner and advisor,  rather than an employee.

This leads to my latest transition,  back to my roots - serving children in need and their families.  Back into the "trenches" of direct service. This is where I worked for over 25 years before CN.

The agency I am now working at is called CTC academy. CTC Academy provides educational and therapeutic services for multiply disabled children with developmental and physical challenges. A multi-sensory approach is utilized in a nurturing and caring environment to enrich the lives of students and maximize their potential while lending support to their families. I serve in the role of Executive Director. I am honored to have this amazing opportunity to help lead this special, caring place.

I don't know whether there will be time or opportunities to continue to write and speak out as I have over the past 8 years away from direct service. I hope I can, because I believe the conversations among thought leaders and decisions that are being made by policy makers are too often divorced from the day-to-day nonprofit realities.  We need to ground these conversations and decisions in what's really happening in the trenches! There aren't many of us with that experience and perspective participating in those dialogues. So I will try my best to allocate time to pause, reflect and share on Ken's commentary and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, thank you all for reading and listening over the past 8 years. I hope there are many years more of it to come!

All the best, 

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