During the process of combing through and analyzing more than 195 nonprofit stories this past fall, our research team here at the Center for Social Impact Communication learned a thing or two about what makes certain stories more effective, inspiring or compelling than others. We shared what we consider to be our “basic building blocks” for good stories in our first training session at the Meyer Foundation in February, and below is a summary of some of the key pitfalls to avoid when constructing your organizations stories.
With nearly 90 funding requests under consideration, Meyer program officers are now fanning out across the region to meet with executive directors and see organizations and programs in action. These meetings almost always inspire, but after doing hundreds of site visits over the years, we—the program staff at Meyer—have assembled a few tips to offer to help ensure these meetings go smoothly.
Carmen James Lane, a key member of the Meyer Foundation’s program staff since 1998, will leave the Foundation in February to join the Greater New Orleans Foundation as vice president for programs.
The Meyer Foundation has begun the search for a CEO to succeed its current president, Julie L. Rogers, who will step down in 2014 after leading the Foundation since 1986. The McCormick Group has been engaged to handle the search. Direct inquiries, confidential expressions of interest or referrals should be directed to The McCormick Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you know, the coming year will mark a significant transition for the Meyer Foundation as our board begins the search for the Foundation’s next president. The board's search and transition committee has selected The McCormick Group, a leading local firm with national reach, to manage the search. Over the next six weeks, The McCormick Group will work with our board to finalize the position profile and other aspects of the search. We will provide another update in early December.
At its October 24 meeting, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation board of directors approved 67 grants totaling more than $2.2 million in the Foundation’s four program areas of Education, Healthy Communities, Economic Security, and a Strong Nonprofit Sector. These grants will support organizations whose work collectively touches the lives of more than 450,000 low-income people in the Washington metropolitan region.
Two years ago, the leaders of Academy of Hope in Edgewood Terrace looked at how they could better prepare their adult students for a changing workforce, not to mention an entirely new GED test that’s coming in January. In order to replace volunteers with trained teachers and continue its work toward literacy alongside workforce training, the nonprofit realized it would have to double its more than $1 million budget.
When Life Pieces to Masterpieces (LPTM), an arts-based mentoring program for black boys and young men, opened up two new pilot programs this fall to expand from its flagship campus, enrollment doubled, according to executive director Mary Brown. So did its waiting list.
The business of business isn't always business. Hundreds of D.C.'s cut-throat-capitalists-by-day are actually waiting in line to provide pro-bono consulting to local nonprofits. One organization, Compass, has managed to assemble teams of (primarily) MBA graduates to lend their capitalist smarts to the nonprofit sector, giving time valued at a collective $11.5 million since 2010.
Eugene and Agnes Meyer (at left) founded the Meyer Foundation in 1944, just 11 years after Mr. Meyer bought the Washington Post. Today, the Meyer Foundation is governed by an independent board of civic and community leaders and has no formal relationship with the Graham family or the Washington Post. The announced sale of the Post to Jeffrey Bezos will have no impact on the Meyer Foundation’s assets, mission, or its grantmaking to support lasting improvements in the lives of low-income people in the DC region.