September 21, 2021
Immersive messaging will lead next-gen comm
by The NonProfit Times

Some people believe traditional webinars are quaint relics of earlier communication methods. They are heavily moderated, one-way events at a time when the value of two-way dialog has been championed for years. This trend will only accelerate as Millennials and Gen Zers, who have grown up among mediums that foster constant feedback loops, continue moving into decision-influencing positions.

Those people might not be wrong. They also might not be correct. The process is morphing.

“We’ll see people moving into learning management systems, which allow the opportunity to store video for review, have real-time conferencing and engagement, but also have threaded forums,” nonprofit support organization, said Marnie Webb, chief community impact officer for San Francisco, Calif.-based global tech nonprofit TechSoup.

Learning management systems function more like the open-table arrangements in conference halls, where individuals can review clusters of participants for both body language — if video cameras are engaged — and conversation flow before joining them. Some systems allow all participants to share their information on their personal screens, as though a napkin sketch were being passed around a table.

“It’s more in keeping with a lot of the kind of community organizing and community conversations we want to host than a traditional kind of webinar format, which is invite and watch,” Webb said.

It is possible to blend invite and watch and two-way communication. Webb pointed to Loom, a service that allows people to create short videos that serve as conversation catalysts among those in disparate locations. “They get the video. They can comment on it. It’s private. It’s not on YouTube. It’s not indexed by the web, and I can put [the dialog] in folders and organize it,” Webb explained.

Participant wellness in the era of COVID-19 and the effect on nonprofits
by Kevin Kidwell, vice president, tax-exempt sales, OneAmerica 

One unavoidable fact is how the pandemic has divided people into two groups. The first group are financially stable and held onto their jobs during the pandemic. They have avoided spending money and were able to increase their savings effort. In fact, the U.S. personal savings rate hit a record high of 33 percent in April 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The second group didn’t fare as well. According to an Employee Benefit Research Institute survey, roughly one in 10 participants have taken a loan, hardship distribution or early withdrawal from their workplace retirement plan during 2020. Unfortunately, many more individuals didn’t have the benefit of this safety net, with a quarter of adults without a retirement plan according to a Federal Reserve report.

This has had a great impact on our communities and the nonprofits that have served them. Need has increased, while the ability to provide services has changed or dramatically reduced.

While this sounds like bad news, we are optimistic because historical perspective of the 2008 recession shows the cyclical nature of our economy and how nonprofits recover.

Short-term consequences

The economic effects of the pandemic forced nonprofits to cut more than 50,000 jobs in December 2020, according to a report from Johns Hopkins University, and it could take 18 months for nonprofits’ employment numbers to return to pre-pandemic levels, per ABC News.

However, several of our clients have made great strides to ensure their nonprofit employees will continue to keep their jobs at least until the end of the year.

From manager to mentor: Taking leadership to the next level
by Allie Petty-Stone, firm administrator, Alerding

If you think about how many job titles there are in the world, your head could spin. Yet, out of all of them, many employees aspire to achieve the title of “manager.” That simple designation comes with a sense of accomplishment and purpose and checks off a big milestone in your career. It indicates that your bosses recognize your qualifications and skills to lead people and/or processes for company endeavors.

So, you finally get that promotion to manager. How exciting! You’ve finally achieved that rung on the ladder — all of the hard work, dedication, and perseverance has finally paid off. However, it means so much more. Being a member of management not only means that you have a higher responsibility for the delivery of services and guidance of people within your organization, it also means you have the opportunity to make an impact beyond the work — mentoring other people.

Managing on its own is challenging as your new title means you’re taking on new tasks with your peers and subordinates looking on. The pressure can be great. How do you manage employees who were previously your peers? You are now a part of a group of decision-makers that can impact the organization and could ultimately be deemed responsible for the success or failure of your team. Responsibilities are greater as you are now guiding the ship, and your mates need to know how you will lead them. Will this new title change how you work, and will this impact them? Will you evoke change? Will you be available?

It breaks down to a manager’s capacity to be more than just another authority figure. The position presents an opportunity to go beyond an authoritative presence by serving as a mentor. Great mentors are confident in their own abilities. They are not intimidated by the skills of others, are resourceful in meeting needs, offering employees opportunities to grow, and allowing room for error. It may be difficult and time-consuming at first, but the end goal should be a team that has evolved stronger as a result of your efforts.

Central Indiana Community Foundation has hired Emily Ambriz as marketing and communications manager for the Women's Fund. Prior, Ambriz was senior marketing coordinator at Music for All.
Central Indiana Community Foundation has named Leah Nahmias as community leadership officer. Nahmias previously was director of programs at Indiana Humanities.
EDGE Mentoring has hired Eric Smith as vice president of EDGE/Work and strategic products. Smith previously was head of business design at High Alpha.—Inside Indiana Business 
Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana has named Will Sanford as director of data and analytics. Sanford previously was a research analyst at STR, a global data and analytics firm.
Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana has named Rachel Svrchek as a fair housing specialist. Svrchek has held various positions in the nonprofit and administrative industry.
Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana has promoted Brady Ripperger to deputy director of administration and advocacy. He previously served as director of fair housing programs.
Hurricane Ida, Haiti’s earthquake, wildfires on the west coast and a refugee crisis have all led to solicitations for help. An economist at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy shares what to expect in disaster giving this year.
To invest in and grow promising organizations and programs in a way that promotes efficacy prior to significant scaling and expansion, there are three pathways to follow: piloting, testing, and iterating.
Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI  Understanding homelessness in Indianapolis

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Could you lead an organization that has assisted four thousand victims of crime and abuse victims each year and helps them move forward or start in a new life? Do you feel passionate about advocating on behalf of marginalized and traumatized individuals? Prevail has offered a full range of comprehensive, restorative services to victims for the past 35 years and is a recognized leader in victim advocacy. We empower victims of crime and abuse on their path to healing, while engaging the community to support safe, healthy relationships. Programs and services including housing opportunities are offered to teens and adults along with their children. 
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