Congratulations to Liav Koren, director of EA Canada, and Beatrice Erkers, COO of Foresight, the graduates of the first Operations Fellowship (now called HIA Organization Accelerator) program!

I've been impressed with how Beatrice and Liav have taken all the information that we've learned and really applied it to their organizations, making the organizations stronger and healthier, and gaining excellent nonprofit leadership skills themselves.

Here are some notes of their key takeaways from this experience:

  • Both felt that they gained useful knowledge and experience to be able to do their jobs better
  • Both felt that the program gave them good experience as career capital in nonprofit leadership and management
  • The coaching sessions and the content sessions and homework were independently valuable, and together they made their gains stronger
  • The course provided good MVP steps for starting a nonprofit
  • Some especially valuable takeaways included:
    • Exposure to different areas of expertise and experts available to play a role as service providers and support the organization, especially ones that are not focused on naturally (eg, marketing and strategy)
    • A personal "toolkit" to reference as different situations come up internally
    • Collating all the materials necessary for effective administrations
    • Highly relevant day-to-day and strategic content

Some things we're going to change going forward for future cohorts; some of these changes are already in place with our 3rd cohort:

  • Sessions are 1.5 hours instead of 2 hours each
  • Sessions are 2x per month instead of once a month. This increases engagement.
  • Requiring coaching as part of the default programming (it was optional before). This increases the experiential learning aspect of the program.
  • Reordering some of the sessions to increase absorption and interaction with the educational material.

As a recap, this program is an experiential learning style and hands-on educational experience designed to support nonprofits and infuse nonprofit leadership with strong operations and management skills. It exposes our participants to many key ideas regarding effective management and leadership techniques while strengthening their organizations as well.

 Organizations that engage in coaching and/or development programs exponentially increase their impact trajectory, so the counterfactual ROI is pretty high. While I don't have hard data to support it, I would estimate that these organizations are anywhere between 20-40% more effective, which, when multiplied by their budget, is usually a pretty significant number and definitely worth the financial and time investment.

Our next cohort is in April 2024, and applications are due on February 23, 2024. For more information, and the application link, click here to view the full syllabus, or schedule a time to chat with me about your organization.

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