We’re proud to share the Encore Louisville project outcomes for 2020. Now in its seventh year, Encore Louisville teams have served over 100 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. The class worked with 19 nonprofits, delivering over $500,000 in value and providing over 1,800 pro bono hours. See the Class of 2020 roster.

Encore Louisville has been made possible with support from Kosair Charities and Lift a Life Foundation.

How can an Encore Louisville team help a nonprofit? Read on…

Results from October 2020 – January 2021:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana

Encore Louisville Team Members:

(from left): Sandra Dodge (facilitator), Stephanie Bateman, George Demaree, and Kim McCastle

This Encore Louisville team met with the senior leadership team of Boys & Girls Clubs Kentuckiana (BGCK) and determined the organization needed a solid marketing strategy. The BGCK leaders told them, ”If you build it, we’ll make it work!”

The team hosted a Listening Workshop with Board members, site leadership, staff, and volunteers. They then hosted a Branding and Ideation Workshop which consisted of two days on Zoom with breakout rooms and creation of marketing development goals. All in all, the team participated in 15 meetings over three months. Their ultimate delivery is a 3-year Marketing and Communications Strategy with tactics developed during these workshops.

Common Table of Catholic Charities

Encore Louisville Team Members:

(from left): Beth Dlutowski (facilitator), Cindy Adelberg, Steve Barger, Al Cornish, and Barbara Michael

The Common Table is a program within Catholic Charities. Their mission is “…to provide training in the culinary arts to those who face barriers to employment, empowering them to achieve success in their careers and personal lives.” Common Table also operates a social enterprise catering service. The request was to assist in developing a business plan in which the social enterprise income of Common Table would self-fund the Common Table training program.

This Encore Louisville team was able to focus the Common Table team on their priorities and provided outside guidance and review of their programs, with a path to achieve a sustainable financial position.

For the culinary training program, they provided feedback on the curriculum, introduced the team to a local executive chef as a volunteer trainer, and connected the Common Table team to contacts at multiple organizations who can provide job training candidates and jobs for program graduates. They provided feedback on other culinary training programs and reviewed how Common Table might get students college credits.

The Encore team recommended an Advisory Council with steps to recruit members. They introduced the Common Table team to contacts for wrap-around services and website support. They developed a financial model for the culinary training program and for the soup subscription program (one of the social enterprise catering options).

Kentucky Lions Eye Bank

Encore Louisville Team Members:
Kevin Wardell

(from left): Mike Smith (Facilitator), Steve BargerBill HenslerSteve Rungwerth, and Kevin Wardell

The Kentucky Lions Eye Bank requested help from this Encore Louisville team on branding and image identification, as well as addressing governance and strategies for the future. The team suggested specific branding, identity, and fundraising strategies. Additionally, they helped the KLEB Board identify and execute their rights under the separation agreement. Finally, the Encore team discussed strategies for strengthening the Board and identifying future partners.

“The Encore group that served us was exceptional, professional, and was organized in a way where experts from different backgrounds, experiences, and education were available to us for counsel and advice.” 
– Bradley Tennant, CEO, Kentucky Lions Eye Bank


Encore Louisville Team Members:

(from left): Nadine Brewer & Pam Greenwell (facilitators), Steve Ellis, Edie Nixon, Steve Rungwerth, and Larry Hartog

OneWest purchased 504-508 South 18th Street and is currently renting it back to Pam Haines, owner of Sweet Peaches restaurant. OneWest is allowing Pam to sub-lease the space and is setting aside part of the rent to allow her to purchase the building and expand her adjacent restaurant in the space.

OneWest requested an Encore team to aid Sweet Peaches with expansion plans, including overall design/layout, equipment planning, and budgeting. The Encore team was concerned about the likelihood of success of the intended plan given the challenges of owning a building while simultaneously trying to run a restaurant. The team, therefore, suggested a slower, more deliberate approach to both enhance Pam’s chances of success and to enable OneWest’s vision for the area. Specifically, the team recommended OneWest remain as a landlord and take over all landlord duties from Pam. The proposal included OneWest creating and owning a first-class, tenant neutral restaurant space on the first floor, then leasing the space to Pam with a long term lease and option to purchase the building once financial thresholds are met. To ensure this incubation period would allow Pam the opportunity to build business skills as well as profitability, the team suggested splitting the kitchen and business management roles and secured experienced restaurant mentors to work with Pam. The Encore team provided layouts for the first-floor restaurant space, resources to help with budgeting for construction, and recommendations for separate leasing agreements for the second floor of the building.

Seed to Oaks

Encore Louisville Team Members:

(from left): John Fleming (facilitator), Stuart Goldberg, Michael Bateman, and Michael Shaikun

Seed to Oaks is an organization utilizing a consortium of churches to identify, train, and coach hard-to-place employee candidates into good jobs. An Encore Louisville team was formed to assist Seed to Oaks in answering the question, “How do we get businesses excited about us?” The Encore team examined Seed to Oaks’ current system and determined it worked well on the identification, training, and coaching side, but lacked a sufficient number of businesses to place these candidates.

The Encore Louisville Team developed five deliverables:

  • A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis
  • A potential partnership with a local staffing agency that offered a fee for placement
  • An “informal” board of directors that would be a source of support and counsel
  • A legal review of its nonprofit status
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that could be used with emerging partnerships


Encore Louisville Team Members:

Encore Louisville Team Members (left to right): Jim Gravitt (facilitator), Chris Hermann, Rick King, Joe Mitchell, and Susan Zepeda

Whitney/Strong is a 501(c) 3 organization created in 2019 by Whitney Austin, who has turned her own survival of a 12-bullet attack in the September 6, 2018, Cincinnati mass shooting into a life’s mission to support responsible gun ownership and reduce gun violence. The organization asked for Encore’s assistance to “outline and build the best approach to financial sustainability, including a 5-year operating budget along with SMART goals.”

The Encore team provided an outside perspective to the organization’s founder with the following deliverables: 1) Identified the need for a comprehensive multi-year strategic plan before a fundraising plan can be developed around the strategic plan objectives; and 2) Located strategic plan resources (such as Kellogg Foundation Logic Model). The team suggested greater clarity was needed for the mission statement and offered further assistance as the organization matures.

“I would encourage other nonprofits to apply outside of a strategic planning cycle and once short and long term goals are solidified.”
– Whitney Austin, Executive Director, Whitney/Strong

Results from June – October 2020:

Center for Neighborhoods

Encore Louisville Team Members:

(from left): Ginger Wallace (facilitator), Cindy Adelberg, Michael Bateman, Cindy Emig, Chris Hermann, and Tom Monahan

The Center for Neighborhoods asked the Encore Louisville team to assist them in further developing a new organization that is now part of the center, the Louisville Community Development Network (LCDN.) LCDN is about one year old and is a grassroots organization made up of community developers ranging from robust nonprofits to individuals. The team’s focus was on organizational structure and sustainability. They researched similar organizations in other cities to determine which structures might be the best fit for LCDN. The team then worked with LCDN’s organizational structure committee to determine the next steps toward formalizing their organization. They also provided them examples of membership types to help them decide on a membership structure. This is a new organization and there is more work to be done. They have a way forward for the near term. However, once CFN/LCDN makes some progress, CFN may want to ask for another Encore team.

“Working with the Encore team gave us the opportunity to have additional brainpower on some critical strategy, which we will use to build our collaborative work and have a quicker, more effective impact on Louisville neighborhoods. The Encore team was committed, thoughtful, engaging, and their partnership was extremely beneficial to us.” 
– Jessica Brown, Planning Director, Center for Neighborhoods

Dancing Well (the Soldier Project)

Encore Louisville Team Members:

(from left): Steve Ellis (facilitator), Susan Lehman, and David Thurmond

Dancing Well: The Soldier Project has provided proven, life-changing programming to veterans and families affected by PTSD since 2014 under a fiscal sponsor. Now an independent 501(c)(3), they are struggling to cover operating costs and needed help examining sustainability options. They wanted guidance on creating an informed plan, with action steps, for a sustainable organization. Specifically, they wanted the Encore team’s thoughts on three topics:

  • Developing a major fundraising campaign for funds to hire a business manager/fundraiser, freeing the founder’s time to focus on programming.
  • Finding another veteran service organization that would acquire them and manage their business and fundraising tasks, leaving the founder to focus on programming.
  • Recruiting an intern/volunteer to help with office and bookkeeping tasks.

The Encore team met virtually with the executive director and board members and were able to provide advice on these and other matters.

“I encourage nonprofits to apply for an Encore Louisville team. They are seasoned professionals and can provide advice, resources, and mentoring during their tenure. Dancing Well: The Soldier Project is definitely in a stronger position now to meet the needs of our veteran families affected by PTSD, after working with the team.”
– Deborah Denenfeld, Dancing Well: Executive Director

Louisville Literary Arts

Encore Louisville Team Members:

(from left): Beth Dlutowski (facilitator), Lynn Ashton, Stephanie Bateman, and Jim Gravitt

Louisville Literary Arts provides a space for writers to connect, attend workshops and seminars, and receive feedback on their writing. The ask of LLA was to provide a rebranding and marketing plan, infrastructure and capacity building plan, and a fundraising plan. The Encore Louisville team collected information about past work, current work, and goals and aspirations for LLA. They met multiple times with the Executive Director and provided feedback on their observations. The team also provided historical profit and loss statements for the organization for the prior year as they don’t have a treasurer.

“The Encore Louisville team identified where our organization is struggling and offered detailed analysis and recommendations for our board and staff to use as guidelines as we prioritize the next steps in capacity building, marketing, and board development. With so many new board members, the Encore team’s combined expertise has been invaluable.”
– Amy Miller, Executive Director, Louisville Literary Arts


Encore Louisville Team Members:

(from left): Sandra Dodge (facilitator), Bill BrownRick KingKim McCastleMichael Shaikun, and Linda Valentine

Make-A-Wish had a dual ask: 1) to strategize on the local expansion of their board membership/participation; and 2) to increase community engagement within Kentucky. The Encore Louisville team initially met with the Kentucky Director along with the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana regional Make-A-Wish CEO to learn of current planning with respect to branding, development, and outreach programs. The team then worked directly with the KY Director and current local board members to create a Kentucky-specific strategic initiative to re-frame and promote the organization for both community outreach and board development. They created, managed, executed, and collected results from a focused workshop directed at these issues.

“Working with an Encore team was an extremely valuable experience. The breadth of knowledge and expertise the team brings to the table and commitment to ensuring the project fulfilled the need of our organization helped move us forward in a way we would not have been able to do on our own or without significant financial cost.”
– Kim Hales, Market Director of Advancement, Make-A-Wish

Sowing Seeds with Faith

Encore Louisville Team Members:

(from left): Karen Philley (facilitator), Nadine Brewer, John Fleming, Pam Greenwell, Paula Hale, and Larry Hartog

Sowing Seeds with Faith (SSwF) engages Louisville youth in academic and social activities, providing structure and mentoring while raising educational expectations and requiring individual accountability. SSwF programming combines tutoring and summer academic enrichment, coupled with character and leadership development to give young people a positive and effective platform to prepare them for success in life. SSwF’s initial request was for an Encore team to help the organization: 1) Strengthen and develop its Board, 2) Achieve long-term financial sustainability, and 3) Find or develop options for a physical home for offices and programming activities. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, short-term programming priorities became critical, and the Encore team and SSwF leadership agreed that it was necessary to change the project plan. The Encore team became an operational resource to help SSwF navigate the required transformation of its tutoring business model from in-person to virtual. The team also committed to developing a road map for SSwF to use to achieve the original three project objectives of Board Development, Sustainability, and a home.

“Our Encore Team did the unthinkable while accomplishing the undoable. They created direct outcomes forms for the tutoring program. They restructured the finances and created an outline for the 2021 Budget. They spent hours creating informational forms that update educators on who we are and what value we bring to each scholar. They conducted study groups to make sure we were able to create the correct information, and so much more.”
– Da’Marrion Fleming, Executive Director, Sowing Seeds with Faith

Results from January – April 2020:

Decode Project, Inc.

Encore Louisville team working with Decode Louisville
(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


Encore Louisville 2020 team who worked with ElderServe
(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.

Learn more about ElderServe

USA Cares, Inc.

Encore Louisville team working with USA Cares
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.

Learn more about USA Cares

Communities in Schools of Clark County (Indiana)

Encore Louisville team who worked with Communities in Schools of Clark County
(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

Learn more about Communities in Schools of Clark County

Metro United Way

Encore Louisville working with 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.

Learn more about Metro United Way

Stay tuned for more results from Encore Louisville teams in 2020.

See outcomes from the Class of 2019