Quincy Area Funders Collaborative graduates first cohort of Nonprofit Excellence Initiative

Quincy Area Funders Collaborative

QUINCY — The Quincy Area Funders Collaborative has graduated the first cohort of the Nonprofit
Excellence Initiative. Five participating nonprofit organizations in Adams County — Bella Ease, Cheerful Home, Horizons Social Services, Quincy Community Theatre and the Quincy Family YMCA — have completed a two-year pilot program focusing on leadership development and strategic planning to help increase the capacity of their organizations.

The Quincy Area Funders Collaborative is a partnership of John Wood Community College Foundation, the Moorman Foundation, the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri, Tracy Family Foundation and United Way of Adams County. This partnership launched the Nonprofit Excellence Initiative to make a collective and strategic impact on nonprofits in Adams County.

The NEI program took place in two phases with Phase 1 beginning in October 2020. The focus of Phase 1 was organizational assessment, leadership training and executive coaching. Phase 2 utilized knowledge gained in Phase 1 to create and implement organizational strategic planning. Executive coaching continued in Phase 2, along with a participant networking component. Each participant received a $10,000 grant for unrestricted operational support in addition to nearly $24,000 worth of services and support included in the Initiative.

Participating organizations took part in pre- and post-assessments including the Leadership Practices Inventory, Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool and an original tool called the Nonprofit Roadmap, developed by the Tracy Family Foundation. All participants experienced score increases on the LPI and iCAT assessments, indicating growth in organizational and leadership effectiveness. In addition, participants advanced core competencies in at least two functional pillars within the Nonprofit Roadmap tool.

In a press release, Cheerful Home executive director Kelley Geising stated, “I was astonished by the difference in the beginning and ending scores on the assessments. Through the trainings I attended … I was able to grow in the areas of management, program evaluation for mission impact, strategic planning and financial analysis for nonprofit leaders.”

Applications are now open for a second cohort of the NEI which will begin in the spring of 2023 and include a geographic expansion to nonprofits in the Illinois counties of Adams, Brown, Hancock and Pike. Joining the Funders Collaborative in sponsoring Cohort 2 of the NEI is the Stillwell Foundation.

Detailed information on the program, eligibility requirements and the application forms are available at: www.mycommunityfoundation.org/nei. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31, 2023. For questions regarding applications for NEI Cohort II, contact Kent Embree by calling 217-222-1237 or by email at kembree@mycommunityfoundation.org.

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