New case studies highlight high-impact leadership from eight Atlanta nonprofitsMarc Schultz | July 2013
Pictured (L-R): Kelly Caffarelli (President, The Home Depot Foundation);Juliet Cohen (General Counsel, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper); Arturo Jacobus (Executive Director, Atlanta Ballet); Annette Cone-Skelton (President & CEO, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia); Pat Willis (Executive Director, Voices for Georgia's Children); and Karen Beavor (President & CEO, Georgia Center for Nonprofits)
A roomful of leaders gathered for the second annual Building Community Day Nonprofit IMPACT Awards, a joint project of The Home Depot Foundation and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits held at the corporation’s headquarters on June 26. Celebrating high-performance leadership in four categories, the Nonprofit IMPACT Awards are just the latest facet of the foundation’s seven-year-old Building Community Network (BCN), an initiative that’s invested nearly $3 million in 110 different Atlanta nonprofits over the past six years.
With the IMPACT Awards case study competition, The Home Depot Foundation and GCN have partnered not just to recognize and reward innovative, effective nonprofits, but to share the insights and best practices developed at those nonprofits with their sector peers. To that end, the GCN-Foundation partnership presented a panel discussion among the four winners and eight detailed case studies, one for each of the winners and runners-up.
Welcoming 65 BCN alumni to The Home Depot headquarters north of Atlanta, Foundation President Kelly Caffarelli called the gathering an “opportunity to come together and share our challenges and successes,” and praised the winners for “compelling stories that pointed to clear action around leadership.”
GCN CEO Karen Beavor moderated the discussion among representatives from the winning organizations: Arturo Jacobus, executive director of Atlanta Ballet (winner in the category “Building Leaders for the Sector”); Pat Willis, executive director of Voices for Georgia’s Children (“Valuing All Voices”); Juliet Cohen, general counsel for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (“Developing Strategic Alliances”), and Annette Cone-Skelton, president and CEO of The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (“Promoting Personal Leadership”).
Together, Beavor and the panelists discussed the “red thread” themes common to all eight leadership success stories: prioritizing long-term sustainability, committing to leadership development, folding that commitment into core strategy, getting your teams to buy in, and aligning all leadership goals—and the methods for reaching them—with the mission. Those methods included listening critically to the full range of stakeholders, focusing in on what’s most important, and taking risks: “These are bold, visionary, decisive leaders, doing great work,” said Beavor, but they also understand the fundamental importance of “inclusiveness.”
Calling the case studies “a prescription for how to do [leadership] in an effective way,” Beavor urged the audience to take the time to read the eight IMPACT Awards case studies, take their lessons to heart, and continue the dialogue around the principles and practicalities of high-performance leadership.
To read the case studies of Nonprofit IMPACT Award 2013 winners and runners-up, login or create a free community-user profile.