Leadership Development: The Center For Bronx Nonprofits

The Challenge

The Center for Bronx Nonprofits (CBNP) strengthens the capacity of local community leaders and organizations serving the Bronx and other boroughs through convening, training, and resource-sharing. In 2015 CBNP saw a compelling need for leadership development among mid level managers at Bronx-based nonprofits. Because the Executive Director knew of CRE’s reputation for leadership development programming and had worked with CRE on a previous engagement, the group turned to CRE to replicate our High Performing Managers Initiative (HPMI) for nonprofit leaders in the Bronx.

What We Did

CRE developed and ran a 10-month leadership development program for a cohort of 25 managers from Bronx-based organizations, running from March 2016 through January 2017. While CBNP had approached CRE because of our experience with leadership development programming, we needed to ensure that this program was tailored to middle managers working in very diverse environments — from large hospital systems to small community-based organizations. It was especially important that group learning sessions be held in the Bronx. This not only made attendance easier for participants, but being together in their home borough brought a special relevance to our sessions. The program included three key components:

 

  1. Issue Discussions in which participants were introduced to best practices of nonprofit management
  2. Peer Learning Groups in which participants shared strategies and problem solved together on issues of importance to them as managers at or around the same level in their organizations
  3. One-to-One Coaching using the StrengthsFinder Assessment to help participants grow their strengths and manage supervisory gaps

Impact

As a result of our work together, this group of middle managers from Bronx-based nonprofits increased their general knowledge of best practices of nonprofit management, gained tools to lead and manage in a complex nonprofit environment, and increased their self-awareness about their own management practices and style. All the managers were able to grow their network of fellow Bronx-based managers, an important factor when trying to best serve constituents in an environment of fluctuating funding and complex, varied client needs. This network ensures managers can not only seek advice from other trusted nonprofit leaders, but can also refer their clients to other organizations as needed. Additionally at least two participants have received promotions or were able to take on increased responsibility as a result of what they learned in the leadership development program.

“Our work with CRE on the Executive Management Certificate Program has been a true partnership. The Center staff and CRE consultants worked together on the creation of the program, and CRE has continued to guide us through changes and growth. We look forward to many more years of partnership together!”

- Eileen Newman, Executive Director