Funding opportunity from NECAT
Funding opportunity from NECAT
The Ripple Effect
Summer 2017 newsletter
The Necessity of Stepping Away: How a Local Nonprofit Leader used Sabbatical to Become a Better Leader
The Refuge Center for Counseling is the first nonprofit to receive a Sabbatical Grant from The Healing Trust.  Sabbatical Grants provide support for a nonprofit organization during a period of Sabbatical for the nonprofit CEOs/Executive Director’s renewal. Amy Alexander, LMFT and Executive Director of The Refuge Center, shares her experience utilizing this unique opportunity.
What did you do during your Sabbatical?
Amy: During the Sabbatical I utilized the resources of this grant to do personal work with a spiritual director, yoga instructor, therapist, integrative health coach, and a massage/acupuncture/nutrition clinic. I worked with these professionals throughout the 10week Sabbatical. Each of these professionals were aware of my health (mental, physical, spiritual) goals for this time and helped me to gain perspective on areas where I could grow, expand my awareness and receive healing. I had shared with them that I wanted to focus on my sense of (over) responsibility and the impact that had on my spirit and body (and thus, leadership) and also needed to process some professional losses and explore a new narrative with those. The healing I experienced in this work was profound and transformative.
What changed for you after your Sabbatical?
Amy: I was able to identify that personally, I brought more to my organization than "hustle." And that honestly, when I was working my hardest/fastest, that I often did not have access to the core aspects of my true self and my best leadership qualities, which are: courage, creativity, discernment, intentionality, and gratitude (which leads to kindness.)
There are many great books and articles that talk about what traits make a great Executive Director. They state things like: Create vision and strategy, Mobilize People, Uphold Integrity and Respect, Collaborate with partners and stakeholders, Promote Innovation, Guide Change/Transition, and Achieve Results. These are powerful and helpful markers, especially for evaluation. However, during this time I was able to explore those parts of myself that are the "intangibles" that do lead to results, but are deeply congruent with my values and true self. Authenticity, conviction, joy, and bravery, and connection being a few of the most important.  
I also realized that my personality type (Reformer, per Enneagram) often wants to be "helpful" and "useful" in service. However, in overdoing these things for our staff I was, at times, crippling their efforts by not giving them the autonomy they needed to wrestle through a challenge or find a creative solution. I also let go of trying to fit too much work into each day, overscheduling myself, saying "yes" to every person who needed/asked something of me, checking/responding to emails all through the day and evening, and feeling (overly) responsible for the organization and staff members.

How was the staff impacted by your Sabbatical?Amy: Both senior staff and board members stepped up, learned new skills, took on new tasks, and made decisions. They reported feeling empowered and had developed an increased trust in each other.  Upon returning, I could sense that team members had a great deal of pride in their accomplishments and were excited to share their ideas about the future during our re-entry meetings.
What would you share with other Executive Directors/CEOs about this experience?
I would strongly and highly recommend that area Executive Directors utilize this opportunity. Leading well means we embrace and model the self-care and self-awareness that we know to be fundamental to good leadership. This opportunity is an opportunity to practice what we preach. Leading well also means to be appropriately differentiated from the organization—the organization is not your identity. I also recommend reading Beth Sirull’s article about how sabbatical benefits nonprofits leaders.  
Learn more about our Sabbatical Grants program here
Feeling the Burn(out): Creating Self-Care Cultures in Challenging Times 
Are you struggling to prevent staff burnout when there’s always a fire to put out? Are you noticing burnout in yourself and your staff? Do you like the idea of implementing a staff-care plan but aren’t sure where to start? 
Join us August 30th from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. to begin creating solutions to these problems and learn practical ways to create/maintain a staff-care culture in an ever-changing environment.
Register Now
Here are a few of the books that our staff is reading.

Curious About Collective Impact?

Collective impact engages nonprofits, government, philanthropy, and businesses to work together to make progress on a complex community issue. At the upcoming Nashville Collective Impact Forum, national and local experts will share the key elements of collective impact and how this framework has been successful in helping communities across the nation make progress on complex issues. Join us August 9th from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Lipscomb University.
Save My Spot
Q3 2017 full proposals are due July 26, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
NECAT applications are due August 31, 2017 at midnight.
Q4 2017 preliminary applications to The Trust are due September 7, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
Nashville Collective Impact Forum: August 9, 2017 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Lipscomb University 
Join us in welcoming our newest Board Members
We are excited to welcome Dr. Stephanie Bailey, Senior Associate Dean for Public Health Practice at Meharry Medical College and Kim Thomason, CEO of Kim Thomason Financial to our board!
What We're Listening To
Here are a few podcasts that our staff thinks are great.

Share Your Story!

Does your nonprofit's story need to reach a wider audience? Twenty nonprofits will be featured on NECAT's new local TV series, our Nashville. Complete the one-page application by midnight on August 31, 2017.
Advocacy Retreat
We are hosting a 2-day Advocacy Retreat on September 14th and 15th in partnership with CNM.  Save the date and stay tuned for more details.  

Congratulations to the 30 nonprofits that were collectively awarded over $1,000,000 in our Q2 2017 Grant Cycle! This quarter’s funding brings our grantmaking to over $77 million since 2002.
View Grant Recipients
Questions? Let’s Get In Touch! 615.284.8271 |
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.