Practical Advice from CRE’s Leadership Caucus Alumni

More than 30 nonprofit leaders – graduates of CRE’s Leadership Caucus program – gathered on January 29th to share information and advice on sustaining organizational effectiveness. The event marked the launch of CRE’s new Leadership Caucus Alumni Program.

The inaugural event launched a new initiative developed exclusively for the more than 250 nonprofit and government leaders who have completed the CRE Leadership Caucus program since its inception 11 years ago.

The three-person panel, facilitated by CRE President and CEO Katie Leonberger, continued the rich peer-to-peer learning that has become the hallmark of the Leadership Caucus. Alumni panelists, Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods, James O’Neal, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Legal Outreach and Udai Tambar, Director of Youth and Children Services in the Office of the Mayor spoke frankly about the issues facing non-profits and the many opportunities to strengthen operations, resources, and partnerships.

They offered advice – gained from their own experiences – on topics ranging from collaboration and collective impact; innovating when funding sources are diminishing; creating stability within an organization; attracting and retaining staff; and staying true to an organization’s mission.  Dianne Morales challenged the group to “look at your organization as if you were seeing it through a prism. Find an angle that lets you see how to improve the work you are doing. And don’t forget to actively engage your staff in the process.” Questions around board development and retaining committed staff generated lively discussion among attendees:

“Make attracting the top talent a top priority for your organization. And make sure candidates you select are truly aligned with your organization’s mission,” said James O’Neal. On mission focus, Udai Tambar remarked: “Make sure everyone associated with your organization is aligned behind your mission and goals. Everyone – staff, board, funders, and other constituents – should know what tune you’re marching to”

“CRE created this program to bring graduates back together in an exclusive forum where they can share strategies, lessons learned, and stories from the field in a relaxed and informal setting,” says CRE’s President and CEO Katie Leonberger. “We are delighted to provide our alumni with a new opportunity to network with other nonprofit leaders and to build on the valuable peer learning that began when they first signed up for CRE’s Leadership Caucus. ” According to Leonberger, additional Leadership Caucus Alumni Events are being planned for later in the year.

Click here to learn more about the Leadership Caucus.

This article originally appeared on New York Nonprofit Press.

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