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New goals for impact amplify effectiveness, credibility, and community support for local nonprofits

Posted by jennie

Key to implementing our current strategic plan, SVP Boulder County recently updated our SVP Impact Priorities on how we’d like to have impact for nonprofits, Partner members, and the community.

“Sometimes, it’s hard to explain exactly what SVP does, and what impact we have in Boulder County,” says Amy Maranowicz, SVP Partner. “By updating our goals for impact, we can more easily describe what we do in the community, how we do it, and why.

“For nonprofits, our goals include increasing leadership skills that accelerate and achieve greater organizational gains, and enhancing valuable connections among nonprofits so they can do greater work together.”

One of SVP’s three goals for nonprofits is to ensure their sustainability by helping nonprofit leaders improve their governance and management practices, and deepen their own community participation and impact.

So far – thanks to SVP’s Partner-powered Capacity Building Task Force – we’ve successfully completed the behind-the-scenes theoretical work to update our goals and the indicators that will show we’re having success.

“As a nonprofit ourselves, SVP Boulder County is doing what we encourage other nonprofits to do, working side-by-side to build connections and expertise, share knowledge, and better measure and communicate impact,” adds Amy.

Agrees SVP Partner Rebecca Alderfer, “SVP Boulder County is a nonprofit in its own right with a lot of different stakeholders – our Partners, our community, and local nonprofits. We need to justify the work that we do, and better communicate the impact we’re having on several levels.

“With different stakeholders interested in different measures, SVP is rising to the challenge to capture our role, function, and impacts in the community in more accessible, relatable ways.

“Like all assessments, it’s an iterative process. By establishing new indicators and better tracking what we’ve set out to do, we’ll be poised to continue making adjustments and refinements over time … and we’ll continue to thrive and do good, quality work, upholding our reputation.”

For Program and Volunteer Officer Spencer Downing, updating SVP Boulder County’s goals for impact means really knowing and elucidating how our work advances Boulder County nonprofits. For example, “How do we know that our work is improving nonprofit capacity?” he says. “We asked ourselves that question and thought about it globally, which is why our indicators are as broad as they are.

“To improve nonprofit capacity, one thing that stands out is SVP’s work to enhance connection and help build networks. We believe we’re a trusted broker of relationships, striving to help nonprofits know each other better and do their work better.”

According to Spencer, one way in which SVP enhances connection is through our Invested Leaders program. “In one Invested Leaders group, two organizations that work with at-risk children developed a closer working relationship that led to a partnership, reinforcing their work,” he says.

Another updated SVP impact priority for nonprofits – to intensify action and sustainability – expands capacity by helping executives and boards improve their governance and ability to achieve their missions. “We set that goal because that’s where we think SVP can be the most helpful to nonprofits,” Spencer says.

Also growing the capacity of local nonprofits – while providing more volunteer and learning opportunities for SVP Partners – Resource Teams conduct short-term consulting services for nonprofits ranging from change management to technology.

What’s next? “The Task Force has fulfilled its work and turned everything over to staff to operationalize,” says CEO Jennie Arbogash. “We’re updating our assessment practices to make sure we’re gathering the right data, which lets us know how we’re doing, and how we can improve what we report back to our community.”

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