Photo copyright: Shun-Luoi Fong
For Chrysti Britt, Executive Director of Cultivate, participating in SVP’s Invested Leaders program stands out as “a unique opportunity to exchange experiences and share ideas with other nonprofit leaders in our community.”
Indeed, the goal of Invested Leaders is to help nonprofit executives become more effective in their work by facilitating monthly in-person, peer learning meetings that deepen relationships and promote knowledge.
“One thing I really like about Invested Leaders is that it’s local – so the issues we’re discussing are relevant and timely, and represent different service areas,” says Britt. “I also really appreciate and benefit from the trust, candor, and professionalism that underpins the program, which is unlike other group experiences.
“Too many times, people are hesitant to share because they’re worried what will happen if a candid conversation gets out. But Invested Leaders builds relationships based on trust, and all the participants are really motivated to support one another – we all feel that we can talk about sensitive issues, and that the information shared won’t leave the room.”
Adds Britt, “One of the most impactful topics we’ve explored is the diversity-inclusivity-equity conversation. It’s a highly-charged and highly-sensitive topic, especially when you’re drilling down to root causes.
“I don’t think any of us were really sure what the conversation would look like, but Invested Leaders brought in excellent facilitators that really probed the issues and asked important questions about biases that we might have been hesitant to discuss in a less ‘safe’ environment.
“It evolved into a eye-opening, learning conversation that blossomed our ability – as individuals, and as organizations – to better understand our own lived experiences, and the lived experiences of others.”
Britt then proceeded to have that conversation with her board and staff, which led to identifying DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) goals in Cultivate’s strategic plan. “Without Invested Leaders, I wouldn’t have been able to articulate those areas as well,” she says.