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162Episodes
Non-Profit

Formerly known as Nonprofit “U”, the Nonprofit Utopia podcast is an extension of the ideal community for emerging nonprofit leaders. We use our podcast as an online forum where nonprofit stakeholders can discuss the latest developments in the sector and increase their capacity to serve their clients and build sustainable communities. Valerie F. Leonard, an expert in community and organizational development is the host. Topics include nonprofit management, community development, capacity building and organizational development.

Episodes

Often called the personality of an organization, organizational culture is a shared set of workplace beliefs, values, attitudes, standards, purposes, and behaviors. It reflects both the written and unwritten rules that people in an organization follow. Your organization’s culture is the sum of all that you and your colleagues think, say, and do as you work together. If that sounds important, it is. (Bamboo HR)

For our purposes, when we speak of toxic nonprofit cultures, we are speaking of environments that stifle creativity and productivity, and prevents organizations from making the maximum impact on clients and the communities they serve. We will talk about 12 signs that your nonprofit's culture is toxic, and strategies you can use to make improvements.

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The nonprofit employee handbook can be used to support operations, communicate benefits and other employment retention policies and minimize risks that might arise from lawsuits and failure to comply with state and federal regulators. We will show you how to develop an employee handbook, what should go into it, and refer you to professionals who can review your finished product. If you are a member of the Nonprofit Utopia community, we will share templates and free and low-cost resources you can use to develop employee handbooks that create winning situations for your organization's board and staff.

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Sankofa is a word in the Twi language of Ghana meaning “to retrieve" More commonly, it symbolizes taking from the past what is good and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress through the benevolent use of knowledge. Sankofa is often symbolized by a mythical bird with its head turned backwards while its feet face forward carrying a precious egg in its mouth.
 
As we finish out the year in the Nonprofit Utopia community, we are taking stock of our wins, our losses and challenges in 2022 so that we can finish the year strong, and hit the ground running in 2023. One of our first steps is to use assessment tools to gauge our leadership styles and skills and organizational skills in order to get a true sense for where we are. Indeed, we believe that we can’t really know where we should be going until we know where we are and where we have been. Even if it means peeking through our fingers because the truth is so glaring that we could be startled into paralysis.
 
This podcast will help you understand
 
1. The power of assessments
2. How to use assessments to chart your professional course
3. How to use assessments to help your organization navigate community change
Nonprofit Utopia community members will also have access to individual and organizational assessments and a members-only group coaching session to get answers to questions and draw from support of their peers.
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I have worked with a number of nonprofit leaders who live by the adage, "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail." Often, when it comes to volunteer management, they don't pay quite as close attention. After all, volunteers are not salaried employees, and they are often brought on for ad hoc projects. The tendency is to give higher priority to processes that have greater budget impact. However, leaving volunteer management up to chance is doing your organization and volunteers a great disservice. The organization misses out on opportunities to leverage volunteers to grow capacity. At the same time, volunteers who are looking at volunteerism as a way to develop professionally are left feeling unfulfilled. Careful planning is necessary to create win-win situations for your organization and volunteers.
 
This session will show you how to assess your organization's readiness for volunteers, develop a volunteer management plan and develop policies and procedures. Nonprofit Utopia members will be able to download sample documents from the online community.

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According to Lawrence Wallack, a prominent health researcher, "media advocacy is rooted in community advocacy and has as its goal the promotion of healthy public policies. It can be differentiated from traditional mass media strategies in a number of ways. Media advocacy shifts the focus from the personal to the social, from the individual to the political, from the behavior or practice to the policy or environment. While traditional media approaches try to fill the 'knowledge gap,' media advocacy addresses the 'power gap'."
 
Join us for a lively discussion with Sarah Karp, a reporter with WBEZ in Chicago. We will talk about ways you can engage the media to bring about systems change in your own communities. You will learn
 
1. What makes a story concerning systems change newsworthy 2. The differences between a news story, press release and op-ed
3. The subtle differences between working with print media versus radio and other media
3. The do's and don'ts of working with the media
4. How to ride the news cycle
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Generally speaking, when we think of organizational capacity building, we think of activities like board development, strategic planning and program evaluation. One often overlooked method for improving organizational capacity is developing issue advocacy campaigns. Not only do issue advocacy campaigns help develop leadership capacity for staff and stakeholders, but they can effect systems change, creating the environment to produce positive outcomes for your clients, communities and organizations. Valerie F. Leonard, the Founder of Nonprofit Utopia, LLC, will walk you through the process of creating issue advocacy campaigns and engaging community and public officials. Nonprofit Utopia members will have access to handouts to help them implement lessons learned immediately.

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Generally speaking, when we think of organizational capacity building, we think of activities like board development, strategic planning and program evaluation. One often overlooked method for improving organizational capacity is developing issue advocacy campaigns. Not only do issue advocacy campaigns help develop leadership capacity for staff and stakeholders, but they can effect systems change, creating the environment to produce positive outcomes for your clients, communities and organizations. Valerie F. Leonard, the Founder of Nonprofit Utopia, LLC, will walk you through the process of creating issue advocacy campaigns and engaging community and public officials. Nonprofit Utopia members will have access to handouts to help them implement lessons learned immediately.

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All too often nonprofit leaders are so busy focusing on program development and fundraising that they often overlook policy advocacy as an effective means of capacity building. In this episode we will go over the various forms of advocacy and show you how to develop community action plans to effect systems change where you live.

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FBRK Impact House is Chicago’s first dedicated work club focused on serving and supporting the philanthropic sector by providing a place where granting organizations can work together, intentionally sharing ideas and resources, to operate with greater efficiency. Home to 18 philanthropic organizations, the center is working across multiple sectors to develop innovative solutions to some of the most entrenched problems in the state of Illinois.

Join us for a lively discussion with DeJuan Kea, Co-Founder of FBRK Brands, and Revin Fellows, Co-Founder of NBAC to talk about the latest developments at FBRK House and ways real estate development may be used to facilitate comprehensive capacity building for nonprofits and small businesses.

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