From The Heart

Posted by GVT Admin on Jun 12, 2024 11:30:00 AM

Leadership for Nonprofits keeping the heart in nonprofit work

The impulse to care for one another is at the heart of the nonprofit movement. Over the years nonprofits have grown to proportions no one could have imagined or predicted. The nonprofit sector has become a significant portion of "big business". A quick glance at some of the most well-known charities in America tells quite a success story:

  Charity                                                                  2023 Revenues in Billions

 

  1. Providence St. Joseph Health                                                         28.56
  2. Mayo Clinic                                                                                         17.90
  3. YMCA                                                                                                     7.86
  4. Goodwill Industries                                                                              7.63
  5. Feeding America                                                                                  4.36
  6. United Way                                                                                            3.51
  7. Red Cross                                                                                              3.42
  8. Boys & Girls Clubs                                                                                2.60
  9. Habitat for Humanity                                                                           2.29

 

That's BILLIONS of dollars. The collective generosity of the American public has transformed what started as the kindly impulse of an individual toward a less fortunate neighbor into massive nonprofit corporations that because of their success are ironically in danger of losing their soul.

Verde Valley School

Verde Valley School (VVS) is an international college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12. Located in Sedona, Arizona, its program fosters intercultural understanding and world citizenship, environmental stewardship, the value of physical labor, and service to humanity with a willing spirit.

Verde Valley School graduates are ethical individuals, possessed of a strong sense of personal and social responsibility, skilled in ways that will enable them to participate effectively in community building and decision making. They are taught to be generous in spirit, mindful of the importance of world citizenship and ready to practice its privileges and obligations.

Caroline Diehl

Caroline Diehl joined the faculty of Verde Valley School seventeen years ago as the Director of Global Goals. Her two young daughters registered in a nearby elementary school and made new friends. They quickly realized that many of their friends relied on the lunch provided at school as the only square meal they would receive each day, and they would have little to eat over the weekend.

"I never realized how many normal school children in America were going hungry every day,” said Caroline. “I began to buy staples at the local grocery to give to my daughters' friends to take home for dinner. Very quickly the word spread, and the need outstripped my humble ability to feed the shocking number of hungry children in my own daughters' elementary school."

The Backpack Program

What came to be known as the "backpack program" was born. Caroline solicited donations of food from local grocery stores, neighbors, and small local nonprofits. She decided to deliver the donated food to the local children in backpacks so they wouldn't look like just handouts from a food bank and the children could transport the food staples home. This food donation program has grown across the entire region for the last seventeen years but Caroline and her students at Verde Valley School continue to personally fill and hand deliver the now hundreds of backpacks. "I've kept the backpack program close to home so that my students can experience what kindness and generosity actually feel like. I believe that this is one way to ignite the character spark that leads to dedicated social service careers. These careers come from the heart, not from the head."

From The Heart

Massive corporate nonprofits only exist because millions of small donors across the country give from the heart. Nonprofit leadership and management teams who keep this in mind have the best chance of maintaining the spirit of kindness and generosity that keeps any nonprofit mission on track. "Get out from behind the desk and go out and work in the field. You'll be amazed at how refreshing and renewing this experience can be. That's the only way to keep the spirit alive," said Caroline.

 

Topics: Nonprofit General

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