Need: Taking resource development “to the next level”
Service: Leadership coaching
Needing to “take their development program to the next level,” The Arthritis Foundation, Ohio River Valley Chapter, asked Smith Beers Yunker & Company to provide coaching services to members of the Executive and Development committees of their Board in a joint session. Prior to the special session, Jim Yunker engaged each participant in a confidential conversation to ascertain expectations of the joint meeting, relative comfort with fundraising in general, and desire to increase involvement in friendraising and fundraising activities. These conversations enabled Jim to gain valuable insight into each board member’s experiences, talents, and concerns.
According to President and CEO Barbara Perez, working with Jim was an extremely positive experience. “Jim is a skilled facilitator who was able to gain the trust of our board members in a very short period of time. We had complete confidence in Jim’s ability to communicate effectively with our volunteers as an objective third party. He was insightful about our challenges and his diplomacy skills combined with integrity and solid knowledge of the topic enabled him to bring back information we could not have learned otherwise.”
Jim helped the Foundation frame a comprehensive plan of action. Commenting on this process, Board Chair Mike Whittaker says, “Jim did not give us the answers to our development needs; rather he worked with us very closely to help us find our own answers.” Barbara Perez concurs, explaining that Smith Beers Yunker was selected for the project because their approach stood out as clearly different from that of others being considered. “Others offered a cookie-cutter approach,” she says, “but we did not get that from Smith Beers Yunker.”
Corroborating these observations is Vice President of Development Tracy Hearn Jodrey who says, “Smith Beers Yunker was the perfect fit for our team. It’s so important in any organization to bring in a fresh, outside perspective from time to time, when looking at your processes and systems. Jim provided us with a safe, trusting environment to take a critical look at our areas for improvement. The services provided by Smith Beers Yunker catapulted us to the level we always knew we could reach. It was a rewarding experience.”
Summing up, Barbara Perez confirms that The Arthritis Foundation “already has recommended Smith Beers Yunker to other nonprofits and would call them ‘in a heartbeat’ for counsel.”