The Center honors and acknowledges the rich history and invaluable contributions of this nation’s first people, Native Americans. Their fight to achieve sovereignty since our founding era asks that we recognize Native American history and take action to better serve the contemporary movements of today’s world.

Critical figures in Native American movements include activists Dennis Banks, George Mitchell, and Clyde Bellecourt, who formed the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968. The protests AIM organized helped direct nationwide attention toward their goals of ensuring treaty commitments and the protection of Native American religious freedom and cultural integrity. While progress has been made, remembering the triumphs is not enough. Continued action today is crucial.

There are multiple ways to get involved. Pushing for education that includes teachings centered around Native Americans, learning about treaties and pressuring government officials to fulfill treaty obligations can help advance protections.

The Center recognizes the efforts of all who work today to achieve equity for Native American communities, including these outstanding individuals: Audra Simpson, a scholar and professor of Anthropology at Columbia University; Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, the youth director of Earth Guardians; Winona LaDuke, a leader in the hemp revolution.

If you know of other organizations and individuals who should be highlighted, please reach out to eleanors@nonprofitadvancement.org.

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National Hispanic Heritage Month is annually celebrated from September 15 to October 15 to recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.

In line with the mission of our Center for Race, Equity, Justice and Inclusion, during National Hispanic Heritage Month the Center celebrates leaders and organizations that pursue justice, inclusion and equity for Hispanic communities, particularly one of our member organizations: the Latin American Youth Center.

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Adanech Devenouges joined our team on August 1. In addition to her wide-ranging work experience, Adanech brings a strong passion for volunteering. She is excited to interact with our entire community as she coordinates the Center programs, partnerships and memberships. Please feel free to contact Adanech here.

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In 2020, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and consulting firm Brighter Strategies collaborated on a study to assess the impact of the convergence of Covid-19, incidents of racial injustice, and multiple environmental challenges on the nonprofit community at that time.    The survey included 255 organizations representing a cross-section of our region’s nonprofit sector, and the research resulted in significant changes to government partnership priorities, targeted philanthropic investments, and the Center’s work.    As we continue to address the impact of the pandemic and the shifts in our work, Brighter Strategies and the Center are embarking on a follow-up study.  While we recognize that there are many interesting questions to explore, we decided to focus on those questions that would best help us all understand our area’s current and expected capacity-building and funding needs.

With this data, we can prepare to serve you better, and will also analyze the data to understand trends by specific industry or region (county, state, ward, etc.). We intend to share the results widely.   We hope you or a leader at your nonprofit will give us a few minutes of your time to complete this survey, which should only take about 10 minutes to complete. We thank you in advance for your time in this important effort.

Begin Survey

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Find out in our guest blog provided by Fern Hernberg from Brighter Strategies

(A version of this article appeared on the Brighter Strategies blog in July 2022.)

Low pay, little opportunity for advancement, and a lack of employer respect are the main reasons employees quit their jobs last year, according to a February 2022 PEW Research Center survey. Childcare issues, little flexibility, and a lack of good benefits followed closely behind. 

Indeed’s February 2021 findings corroborate these trends. Here are some of the top reasons employees leave their jobs:

  • Needing more of a challenge
  • Looking for a higher salary
  • Feeling uninspired
  • Wanting to feel valued
  • Seeking a better management relationship
  • Searching for job growth and career advancement

Second, to wanting more money, a need for connection is the most common driver of employee attrition. This blog article will explore ways to help employees feel connected to the organization in the post-pandemic workplace.

Time is of the essence

Several years ago, HR trends showed a dip in employee engagement and an increase in attrition around 18 months post-hire. Much has changed since the pandemic, and although we’ve yet to see the longer-term impacts on the workforce, one new trend is emerging: Employers have less time than ever to engage employees. 

In years past, employers assumed that once they had a new hire hooked, that employee would stick around for at least a year or so to build their resume. The pandemic taught the workforce that time is precious. Today people will leave a company at any time if they believe the fit is poor. Some employees abandon roles weeks and even days after their start dates, and some never even show up on their first day!

Considering these employee attrition trends, consider the following tactics for engaging and retaining new talent today.

Retain employees differently from how you attract them. What secured your new hire is not going to keep them. Employers are attracting employees through flexible work, competitive salary and benefits, and claims of work-life balance. Employees will choose to stay when they feel connected to their peers, manager, organization, and work.

Start engaging employees at recruitment, not onboarding. Show candidates how your organization is one worth their investment even before they accept a new job. In a world where many HR processes are automated, organizations that take a personalized approach to hiring will make a strong impression. For example, automating tax form completion is efficient, but having a personal conversation about an employee’s start date elevates the connection experience. Handwritten notes, phone calls to check in, and introductions to fellow employees are ways to draw them in before they start.

Consider connection above all else. Retaining employees is not complex; it’s about getting the basics right. Building connection means ensuring new employees feel a tie to their work, understand how they contribute meaningfully to the organization’s mission and have a sense of belonging among their peers. People must feel these connections the second they walk in the door. And in the virtual workplace, employers must work harder to make and keep relationships. Often this means entirely revamping onboarding for greater effectiveness.  

Elevate empathy throughout the organization. Understanding and empathizing with others is part of developing a genuine connection with them. What do they care about most? What are they committed to outside of work? While many organizations talk about providing work-life balance, how empathy shows up on the job is often a different story—and one that matters. 

Show employees their future. The connection goes beyond the here and now of a current role. Employers must help candidates, and new hires see their future at the organization. Professional development opportunities are integral to an employee’s choice to remain in their role. If individuals understand how the job provides career advancement opportunities beyond their current work, they will be more motivated to stay.

Final thoughts

People today are looking for work that will be more satisfying to them in the long run—they are looking for meaning. More than half of employees who quit their jobs in 2021 did so to change careers, explains Bill Murphy in his recent Inc.com article. As your organization increasingly picks up career-switchers in the coming months, help these people know the connection in the first moments of their new career with you. Be willing to support them through the transition and connect them to that deep purpose they are seeking.

Why Creating Connection Is the Most Important Factor in Employee Retention

Fern Hernberg, Managing Director People Strategy, Brighter Strategies

Note: A version of this article appeared on the Brighter Strategies blog in July 2022.

Low pay, little opportunity for advancement, and a lack of employer respect are the main reasons employees quit their jobs last year, according to a February 2022 PEW Research Center survey. Childcare issues, little flexibility, and a lack of good benefits followed closely behind. 

Indeed’s February 2021 findings corroborate these trends. Here are some of the top reasons employees leave their jobs:

  • Needing more of a challenge
  • Looking for a higher salary
  • Feeling uninspired
  • Wanting to feel valued
  • Seeking a better management relationship
  • Searching for job growth and career advancement

Second, to wanting more money, a need for connection is the most common driver of employee attrition. This blog article will explore ways to help employees feel connected to the organization in the post-pandemic workplace.

Time is of the essence

Several years ago, HR trends showed a dip in employee engagement and an increase in attrition around 18 months post-hire. Much has changed since the pandemic, and although we’ve yet to see the longer-term impacts on the workforce, one new trend is emerging: Employers have less time than ever to engage employees. 

In years past, employers assumed that once they had a new hire hooked, that employee would stick around for at least a year or so to build their resume. The pandemic taught the workforce that time is precious. Today people will leave a company at any time if they believe the fit is poor. Some employees abandon roles weeks and even days after their start dates, and some never even show up on their first day!

Considering these employee attrition trends, consider the following tactics for engaging and retaining new talent today.

Retain employees differently from how you attract them. What secured your new hire is not going to keep them. Employers are attracting employees through flexible work, competitive salary and benefits, and claims of work-life balance. Employees will choose to stay when they feel connected to their peers, manager, organization, and work.

Start engaging employees at recruitment, not onboarding. Show candidates how your organization is one worth their investment even before they accept a new job. In a world where many HR processes are automated, organizations that take a personalized approach to hiring will make a strong impression. For example, automating tax form completion is efficient, but having a personal conversation about an employee’s start date elevates the connection experience. Handwritten notes, phone calls to check in, and introductions to fellow employees are ways to draw them in before they start.

Consider connection above all else. Retaining employees is not complex; it’s about getting the basics right. Building connection means ensuring new employees feel a tie to their work, understand how they contribute meaningfully to the organization’s mission and have a sense of belonging among their peers. People must feel these connections the second they walk in the door. And in the virtual workplace, employers must work harder to make and keep relationships. Often this means entirely revamping onboarding for greater effectiveness.  

Elevate empathy throughout the organization. Understanding and empathizing with others is part of developing a genuine connection with them. What do they care about most? What are they committed to outside of work? While many organizations talk about providing work-life balance, how empathy shows up on the job is often a different story—and one that matters. 

Show employees their future. The connection goes beyond the here and now of a current role. Employers must help candidates, and new hires see their future at the organization. Professional development opportunities are integral to an employee’s choice to remain in their role. If individuals understand how the job provides career advancement opportunities beyond their current work, they will be more motivated to stay.

Final thoughts

People today are looking for work that will be more satisfying to them in the long run—they are looking for meaning. More than half of employees who quit their jobs in 2021 did so to change careers, explains Bill Murphy in his recent Inc.com article. As your organization increasingly picks up career-switchers in the coming months, help these people know the connection in the first moments of their new career with you. Be willing to support them through the transition and connect them to that deep purpose they are seeking.

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The Center’s board of directors recently added two new members to its team of respected leaders in our region.

Victor Valentine

Victor serves as the executive director of National Assembly Business Services, Inc. (NABS), a for-profit subsidiary of National Assembly. NABS operates PurchasingPoint®, a discount group purchasing program that leverages $45 billion in annual purchasing. Nabs has saved nonprofits an estimated $198 million for mission-related activities since 2004.

Victor’s professional career includes founder and CEO of Nfrastruct, LLC, a nonprofit capacity-building consultancy, and leadership positions with the Maryland Philanthropy Network, the New York City Urban League, the United Way of New York City, the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, and the Maryland General Assembly.

Victor is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and Wilmington University where he earned his BA in Political Science and MA in Public Administration respectively. He is also an alumnus of the American Express Leadership Academy for Nonprofit Leaders.

 

LaJuana Warren

LaJuana is the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Guest Services and the Founder of Tapestry Solutions for Inclusion, a diversity consulting firm. Her team at the consulting firm helps clients with training, assessments, focus groups, strategy development and coaching.

LaJuana is a frequent guest speaker at Society for Human Resource Management conferences, has consulted with two leading DEI firms that work with fortune 500 organizations, and was the DEI manager for State Personnel for the State of Indiana. She is a qualified administrator of Intercultural Development Inventory, which measures cultural competencies, as well as a member of the International Coaching Federation. LaJuana completed her coach training with Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and her diversity certification through University of South Florida. She holds her Masters in HR and her PHR. LaJuana is a mom of two wonderful young men and one fur baby.

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We are excited to announce the Center will be working together with Nonprofit Village to assist the Montgomery County organization in its operations while also determining the best path toward a strong, successful future.

Nonprofit Village expands reach and effectiveness for nonprofits by reducing operating and administrative costs. The Maryland based organization provides affordable office space, education, opportunities for collaboration, capacity-building, and a variety of office services. Seeking to enhance its sustainability and impact, Nonprofit Village reached out to the Center for guidance, support, and strategic planning that will ensure community needs continue to be met well into the future.

Center CEO Glen O’gilvie was very receptive to their request. “We know firsthand the positive impact Nonprofit Village has in the nonprofit sector and in the community. We are happy to have a partnership role in developing sound strategies that lead to its ongoing success.”  

The focus of this exploratory partnership will include data driven evaluation and stakeholder interviews to analyze organization and community needs, identifying ways to diversify revenue streams, expanding funding support, increasing occupancy, and maintaining Nonprofit Village’s commitment to inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility. During the partnership evaluation and transition process, all services and programs will continue as planned.

“In searching for a partner, the Center stood out for us,” comments Nonprofit Village board chair, Mark McMahon. “We have worked together in the past and are very familiar with their reputation and high level of expertise. We are excited to move forward together.”

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Yesterday, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development (DMPED) announced the recipients for this round of the Great Streets Retail Small Business Grant.

Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street, in partnership with SEAS Community Partners and using funds from the Department of Small and Local Business Development’s (DSLBD’s) Technical Assistance program, assisted four businesses with the Great Streets application process, three of whom received awards. Zuri Bistro (7317 Georgia Ave NW), Kukus Beauty Supply (7327 Georgia Ave NW), and J&J Mex-Taqueria (6231 Georgia Ave NW) were awarded a one-time grant of $50,000 each, which is the highest amount available per business.

Kuku Smith expressed excitement and said, “this grant will give me the opportunity to expand my business by installing more security features within my store to make it a safe place for people in the community to shop, and to continue providing the best customer service at Kuku’s Beauty Supply.”

Deset Ethiopian (6128 Georgia Ave NW) also received an award for $50,000. Altogether, these grants total $200,000 in investment for the Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street corridor’s small business community.

Jessica Mailander, Interim Executive Director for UGAMS, congratulates the awardees and says, “Grant funding can be truly transformative and provides the unique opportunity for businesses to reimagine their strategy, expand, and fully grow. We are excited for our neighbors and all of the possibilities for their futures.”

The Great Streets Retail Small Business Grant is the hallmark grant opportunity for the Great Streets program and has helped hundreds of small businesses renovate their storefront to attract new customers and drive profitability.

The Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street was created in 2019 to provide support to local businesses in Brightwood, Manor Park, Shepherd Park, Takoma, and the Parks at Walter Reed. By applying the transformative Main Street Four Points Approach of Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion, and Organization, UGAMS works on strengthening the economic corridor. For additional information and to access the 2022 UGAMS Impact Report, visit here.

UGAMS is a program of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement.

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The Center would like to recognize and uplift those nonprofits supporting the AAPI community, and celebrates the integral role it plays in our city.

The broad Asian/Pacific term encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Because of the variety of history and lived experiences, there is no single story of the AAPI community and how it has strengthened our culture and society.

Last year, the Center commemorated the diverse experience of AAPI leaders through the I Am the Change series.

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During April, Earth Month, we are proud to highlight some of the region's most prominent organizations that focus their missions on protecting and preserving the environment. These organizations tackle both large and small scale issues to improve our daily community and its future.

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