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Ongoing: Nonprofit Leadership Circles

Nonprofit Partners

Peer-to-peer support and development for nonprofit leaders

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is committed to supporting nonprofit leaders as they navigate the realities of leading a nonprofit. With that commitment, the CFO will host three ongoing series of nonprofit leadership circles to provide peer-to-peer support. Attendees will discuss how they navigate the common challenges of leadership and participate in leadership development.

What are the goals for the leadership circles?

  • Provide support for nonprofit leaders with different roles and responsibilities.
  • Nurture nonprofit partnerships, leadership development, ideas with a big impact, and collaboration and coordination among the nonprofit community in the CFO’s service region.
  • Create professional-development opportunities and resources to address needs identified in these meetings.
  • Build community among nonprofits across the region.

What will we discuss?

  • Problem solving nonprofit challenges together.
  • Common nonprofit challenges and how members of the group have successfully navigated those situations.
  • Resources available to you and your agency from the CFO.
  • Ways the CFO can support you and your agency in these challenges.

Is there a membership fee?

  • There is no membership fee and these leadership circles are open to all nonprofit agency partners of the CFO and its regional affiliates.

Can I attend these circles via Zoom?

  • Yes! These circles will begin as a hybrid meeting (in-person at the CFO’s office in Springfield and over Zoom), so we can include leaders from all agency partners who wish to participate. As these groups develop, the CFO will reassess if it is best to meet in person in more localized settings and how best to move forward.

How do I join?

  • Complete this online form. You will choose the group and meeting time while completing the form. An email and calendar invitation with more information will follow within a week of submitting the online form.
  • All members must adhere to the group rules. Please review the rules and the benefits of these groups.

If you have questions about these groups, please contact Holly Beadle, Director of Philanthropic Services.

Register Now

Nonprofit Leadership Circles to choose from:

Executive Leadership Circle

  • Audience: Executive directors and chief executive officers

Emerging Leaders Circle

  • Audience: Managers and directors

Board Member Leadership Circle:

  • Audience: Current or potential executive committee members of nonprofit boards, or others who wish to increase their knowledge of board service

If you have questions about these groups, please contact Holly Beadle, Director of Philanthropic Services.

Register Now

Leadership Circle Rules

  • Trust within the group is No. 1. It has to be there in order to have sharing in business and personal successes, failures, struggles and ideas. If someone in the group breaks this trust, then it will be addressed ASAP.
  • Be kind, respectful, non-judgmental and courteous: We’re all in this together to create a welcoming environment and build community. Let’s treat everyone with respect, including the parties you may be asking for advice about. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required.
  • Safety is priority: Bullying of any kind isn't allowed, and degrading comments about things like race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender or identity will not be tolerated. No hate speech or bullying.
  • Respect everyone’s privacy: Authentic, expressive discussions make groups great, but may also be sensitive and private. What’s shared in the group should stay in the group. Confidentiality is required. Do not share organization confidential information unless it has been approved. There are ways to communicate without breaching your organization’s policy or ethical standards.

Violation of these rules may result in be blocked from the group.

What is a peer group, and what are its benefits?

Peer groups offer members a great opportunity to learn, develop their personal and professional skills, and thrive in an engaging and collaborative environment. The purpose of this group is to facilitate an environment where the following easily occurs:

  • Exchange knowledge, resources and ideas: Some members will have decades of experience. Others might have just a few years. This collective knowledge will provide you with resources and insight to help you make good decisions for the organization. You may encounter a stage in your organization’s development where you don’t know how to get to the next level. Experienced peers can help you handle each stage of growth.
  • Learn from others’ successes and failures: You’ll gain valuable insight by hearing your peers’ successes and failures. It is inevitable that mistakes and failures occur, but it can also be very beneficial to take the time to learn from the mistakes and failures of others. In a peer Group, you can listen and learn from others to help avoid making the same mistakes yourself. On the flip side, there will also be plenty of success stories to take inspiration from, meaning you can bring an injection of ideas and creativity back to your team.
  • Find solutions to challenges: It is not uncommon to feel all alone when facing a challenge. To some people, with nobody to turn to, addressing issues can be a complicated task, especially if one lacks experience with the problem in question. When you are part of a peer group, it is akin to having built a team of support around you, and in many cases, your peers may either be concurrently going through similar problems or have already gone through them and would be able to provide advice and support! Even just knowing that you are with other people who are facing similar challenges is liberating and can allow you to help each other in finding a solution.
  • Discover new perspectives: Discussions with a wide range of professionals might lead to them offering constructive criticism towards some of your beliefs, challenging some of your methods of operating, and even offer suggestions for improvement which may prove to be of great benefit to you and your team.
  • Provide accountability: It’s easier to reach your goals if you have a group of like-minded people holding you accountable. When interacting and listening, the group must be nonjudgmental and confidential. This will put people at ease and set the tone for making progress and sharing insight. Peer group members are often like-minded and driven and celebrate each other’s successes and accomplishments. For those reasons, it is not uncommon for peer group members to check up on each other both during, and outside of, peer group meetings.
  • Provide personal, professional, emotional support: Everybody goes through tough times professionally, and not having a support group to lean on can mean these struggles can lead to problems both at work and at home. The unfortunate reality is that a lot of people do not have access to emotional support and advice; however, being a part of a peer group with similar professionals can often be the support needed to refill your tank and clear your mind. Your peer group can listen and encourage you through the difficulties. Being part of a peer group often reinforces what you believe. It helps solidify your thoughts regarding change or the need to do so.
  • Develop and grow your network: Building both personal and professional relationships can help throughout a person's career. Experts agree that the more connected people are, the more successful they become. Networking can help in the job market, help meet potential clients or even mentors, keep on top of what is happening within your industry or learn something that will help in your career development. Connecting with other leaders gives you the chance to get suggestions from them OR provide help to someone else while creating your network.

Source: The Daily Scoop

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