We’re proud to share highlights of the Encore Louisville project outcomes so far this year. Now in its sixth year, Encore Louisville teams have served nearly 90 nonprofit organizations. Participants are members of the Leadership Louisville Center and most are graduates of our other civic programs, who are retired or transitioning in their careers. The class works in teams to provide strategic guidance to local nonprofits who requested help with specific issues and has become even more valuable to the nonprofit community throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Since last summer, Encore Louisville participants have worked with 17 nonprofits, providing over $250,000 in value. See the Class of 2020 roster.
How can an Encore Louisville team help a nonprofit?
Here are a few examples of the work the Class of 2020 has accomplished so far – all pro bono – in partnership with the following local nonprofits:
Decode Project, Inc.
(left to right) John Fleming (EL ’15-’20); Chenoweth Allen, Decode Project; Amy Cubbage, Decode Project; LaToya Whitlock, Decode Project, LaQuita Wornor, Decode Project, Al Cornish (EL ’19-’20), Closing the Gap Consulting & Culture Docs; Steve Barger (EL ’15, ’16, ’19, ’20), Steve Barger Consulting Inc.; Chris Hermann (EL ’15, ’16, ’19, ’20), Christa Rounsavall, Decode Project; and Beth Dlutowski (EL ’15-’20), Dlutowski Project Partners.
Decode Project is an organization that provides one-on-one mentoring for kids to learn to read. They are relatively new, and a small team. Their requests for the Encore team were to assist with: developing a sustainable model, messaging, board development, networking, and website update. The team opted to work with them for two cycles because as a new-ish organization, they had needs in most of the areas of their organization. The Encore team defined their product (one-on-one mentoring programs and a summer program), identified their customers, introduced multiple subject matter experts to provide feedback and coaching, held multiple workshops, and provided tools and training for their work. The Encore Louisville team invested more than 300 hours in the project.
Learn more about Decode Project
(left to right) George Demaree (EL ’20), Real Results Consulting Solutions; Pam Greenwell (EL ’16-’20, FL ’15), Seller Waterman LLC; Karen Philley (EL ’20, FL ’15), Paula Hale (EL ’20, BF ’97, LL ’82), Paula Turner Hale Consulting in Philanthropy; Linda Valentine (EL ’16-’20, LL ’11, FL ’09), Valentine Consulting; Susan Lehmann (EL ’20, BF ’08, ’03, LL ’02)
ElderServe is devoted to supporting older adults with programs focusing on socialization, wellness, maintaining independence, and protecting seniors. ElderServe’s initial request was for assistance in helping the Adult Day Care (ADHC) increase profitability and put it on a path to becoming self-sustaining, which would help fund their other programs. After providing financial analysis of client mix and revenues and observations about operational factors affecting revenue and profitability, the project was further focused on two primary drivers of sustainability:
- A multi-year plan for increasing client enrollment and managing to it; and
- Creating a pipeline of new clients
The team provided ElderServe with a useful, dynamic spreadsheet tool that ElderServe can use to plan and monitor client mix and revenues from a variety of reimbursement plans. They also provided a number of specific recommendations for increasing awareness and client enrollment, and for creating a pipeline of potential clients in order to maintain enrollment when turnover occurs.
USA Cares, Inc.
Encore Louisville team members collaborating with Ignite Louisville Class of Fall 2019 members who also partnered with USA Cares: (around the table from left to right): Harold Butler (EL ’18-20, FL); Sandra Dodge (EL ’20, FL 19), Oliver Group; Rick King (EL ’15, ’16, ’20, LL ’11, BF ’12, FL ’09), AIMM Services; Ken Middleton (deceased) (EL ’15-20, LL ’00); Doug Butler (EL ’15-’20, BF ’10, LL ’93); Carla Wright, Greater Louisville Inc.; Raelyn Adkins, Beam Suntory; Elizabeth Strehl, Humana Inc.
USA Cares is a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial assistance to post 9/11 active military and veterans and their families. The organization wanted help developing goals and plans to significantly expand fundraising and infrastructure to meet the requests which were beyond its current capacity. The team reviewed USA Cares’ plans and working with the CEO, made recommendations on fundraising, marketing, expanding its national footprint, supporting organization structure, and board recruitment. They also arranged for a pro bono assessment of its leadership team and connected USA Cares with Encore members who have expertise in fundraising and grant writing. As a result of the mandated restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, pursuit of many of the team’s longer-range recommendations were put on hold as USA Cares shifted focus to maintaining its ability to deliver on its mission. However, the team continued their support even after the conclusion of the engagement by providing consultation when requested.
Communities in Schools of Clark County (Indiana)
(left to right) Bill Hensler (EL ’20); Diane Kyle (EL ’18-’20, FL ’17); Cindy Adelberg (EL ’15-’20; BF ’02, LL ’81), Governance Consulting; Marty Bell (EL ’15-’20, BF ’07, ’96, LL ’82), Stephanie Bateman (EL ’15-’17, ’20, BF ’04, 01, LL ’84), Semonin Realtors Sales Associate; Mimi Zinniel (EL ’19-’20, BF ’10)
This Encore Louisville team was able to clarify issues related to community awareness and marketing and make recommendations about:
- Re-energizing the Board
- Renaming the organization
- Enhancing school-based awareness
- Expanding external communication
- Improving marketing strategies
- Establishing a way of involving corporate volunteers
- Developing a systematic process to determine results and impact
- Considering immediate fund development
The team’s deliverables included:
- Tools for Board development
- A visual representing the work of Communities in Schools of Clark County and the relationship among components of the organization
Metro United Way
Members of the Encore Louisville met with a representative from Metro United Way during a program day to learn about their interest in partnering with a team. Encore Louisville team members: Jim Gravitt (EL ’18-’20, FL ’14), MCM CPAs; Michael Bateman (EL ’18-’20, LL ’89); Harold Butler (EL ’18-20, FL); J-R Curtin (EL ’15-’20, BF ’91, LL ’85), 4Civility Institute; and Kevin Wardell (EL ’16-’20, BF ’08, LL ’05, FL ’03)
Metro United Way’s (MUW) annual fundraising effort was losing ground and the organization realized that a new approach was needed to have the resources needed to impact the community in significant, measurable ways. A new position, Development Director, had been created to turn things around, and MUW engaged Encore Lousiville to assist this effort as the first Fundraising Strategic Plan was developed.
As MUW transitions itself from being a “fundraising intermediary” to a “focused convener” of community solutions, the Encore Louisville team helped with developing a Fundraising Strategic Plan in the following ways:
- Participated in meetings of the three planning subgroups (maximize current approaches, build legacy philanthropy, develop new fundraising approaches)
- Served as a “sounding board” for the Development Director, meeting regularly with the Director to provide coaching and ask challenging questions
- Proposed several “mid-course corrections” during the process
- Researched successful “peer” United Way organizations to identify key success factors and metrics
- Proposed key performance indicators for each of the six strategies under development
- Sought and received perspective from past MUW volunteers
- Conducted an exercise that emphasized the critical importance of the communications effort to strategy success
- Met separately with the Marketing Director to suggest public relations efforts
From the outset, the Encore Louisville team realized the importance of the Strategic Fundraising Plan as being MUW’s plan and knew that it should reflect MUW’s ownership and effort, rather than become a plan produced primarily by Encore for MUW. This has resulted in a stronger and more sustained MUW planning effort, assisted by the Encore Louisville team.
Stay tuned for more results from Encore Louisville teams in 2020.