Meet a Finalist: Scott Beale of Atlas Service Corps

Leading up to the Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s Annual Celebration & Meeting on November 9, we are delighted to share with you insights from the finalists for the Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman 2010 EXCEL Award. This award recognizes and spotlights outstanding leadership among Washington-area nonprofit chief executives.

To address critical social issues, Atlas Corps develops leaders, strengthens organizations and promotes innovation through an overseas fellowship of skilled professionals. Meet finalist Scott Beale, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Service Corps

Tell us about your leadership style and how this contributes to your organization’s success.

Through every aspect of my leadership I am trying to empower others and give them ownership of the organization, our mission and our goals. From every volunteer who contributes three hours a year to interns who come in 20 hours a week; from donors who give ten dollars in online contests to Board Members who donated thousands of dollars; I want everyone invested in Atlas Corps and excited about our growth and success. This collective ownership has contributed to our success because we have a broad base of supporters who have helped us win five online contests winning $400,000 and also by mobilizing nearly 3,000 volunteers and donors to help advance our organization.

What advice would you offer for other nonprofit leaders?

Atlas Corps has been very successful in using cutting edge technologies (social media, Salesforce, etc) to advance an old fashion tool (the volunteer efforts of thousands).  I always encourage nonprofit leaders to invest in the capacity of their organization to be able to leverage the support of thousands of individuals. This effort does not cost a lot of money, but is an investment in time.  Tools like Google Apps, Salesforce, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and VerticalResponse are all free for nonprofits and by leveraging these tools you can build a community of volunteers and donors that will advance your organization and your cause for years.

What does this award mean for you and your organization?

Atlas Corps is very honored to receive this award and be recognized for our leadership. Fundamentally we are a leadership development organization, so being recognized for our organization’s leadership is very gratifying. In addition, we are a young organization (four years old) and still small and growing (almost a $1 million budget), so we hope this award will not only bring more attention to our innovative model of international exchange and leadership development, but also show other organizations that small size is not an excuse for poor leadership. We hope people learn more about Atlas Corps and that we are able to develop new partnerships because of this award.