About a year and a half ago, Wendy and I started to meet regularly in the basement of Chicco Baccello coffee shop in Washington, PA, to discuss what we envisioned for our partnership. Over coffee and incredi-salads, we discussed our love of the sector, the desire to support all nonprofit organizations regardless of size, and the need to provide more leadership development opportunities for everyone that chose the nonprofit sector as their career path.
One year ago today, July 6, 2022, we launched our partnership, combining Wendy’s background in building the nuts and bolts of nonprofit leadership and my background in building the heart and soul of nonprofit culture.
Nonprofit SideKick is now a full-service leadership development and consulting firm serving the nonprofit sector. We work with nonprofit organizations to equip them with the strategy, knowledge, networks, and support they need to build sustainable organizations and advance their missions. Consulting and coaching services are the backbone of our work, but we also host a unique online community of passionate, determined, and resourceful nonprofit leaders working together to make the world a better place. The community is packed with resources, templates, and workshops, and we have live coaching sessions every week to serve smaller organizations and start-ups.
Through Nonprofit SideKick, we holistically support organizations, creating a framework for success, building shared vision and direction, unifying leadership and the team toward shared goals, and developing the talent within the organization to have a greater impact on their clients, customers, and missions.
In this first year, we have celebrated our existing partnerships, developed new ones, and uncovered new areas of development to support and coach nonprofit leaders.
- Leadership Washington County. Both of us have worked with LWC for a number of years and we are thrilled to continue the partnership as Nonprofit SideKick. Through our work with LWC, we have met incredible community partners that help build a richer perspective of our region. The program has provided us the opportunity to balance advocating and supporting nonprofit organizations and identifying community leaders to join boards or volunteer where their passion and purpose align. We will continue to support the program through the Class of 2024.
- Nonprofit Boards. Wendy and I have partnered with many organizations to customize their board retreats, coaching the board to understand their strengths and areas of growth and empower individual board members to leverage their strengths toward the mission. We have also coached boards and staff to uncover their unique collaborative leadership styles and implement collaborative leadership frameworks that work for them.
- Training. Nonprofit SideKick signature programs meet the needs of nonprofit leadership – no matter the size of the budget or experience level of those involved. Our Executive Director Boot Camp empowers new and emerging Executive Directors with the nuts and bolts of nonprofit management they need to start off on the right foot. We launched our Leadership Accelerator Program in September of 2022, working with emerging leaders to understand their CliftonStrengths and where their strengths align with their work in the social sector. And our newest program, Action Planning for Managers, helps leaders and emerging leaders unbundle “all the things” and build an individualized leadership development plan based on their unique strengths. Next up: we are launching our IMPACT Leadership Program in December of 2023. This 6-Month immersive cohort leadership program helps existing and emerging leaders master the unique balancing act of nonprofit leadership. This program will include business and strategic planning, developing budgets and financials, building an engaging culture, and how to lead and manage change initiatives. We are combining the nuts and bolts with the heart and soul of nonprofit leadership.
- The Online Community: Our Nonprofit Sidekick community has been a space for Executive Directors and emerging leaders to connect, collaborate and learn from one another. Wendy continues to lead weekly huddles for anyone wanting to discuss current challenges or brainstorm ideas. Stephanie launched the Book Club in January 2023 and has hosted three books thus far; we’ll be starting our fourth in late July. Together we have created accessible content for learning and operational best practices that provide ad hoc support as leaders need it – at an affordable price for smaller organizations.
- The HQ@CNX. In March, Nonprofit SideKick moved into our new home at the HQ@CNX . The HQ provides us the offices to collaborate and work closely to support our clients, the training space to host our workshops and the opportunity to connect with other community based organizations.
What’s next? Wendy and Steph continue to create and build content that supports nonprofit leaders, workshops for strategic planning and business planning, project management, change management, and creating strong workplace culture. Our vision is to be the SideKick every nonprofit leader needs.
We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with so many wonderful organizations along the way, such as the Peters Chamber of Commerce, NonProfit People, Monkeypod, Brentwood Bank, the SBA of Washington, and many more.
Wendy and Steph want to thank everyone for their unwavering support, advocacy, and opportunity to work with incredible organizations across our region.