Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seven things you should know about Keely Schallock

Keely Schallock has recently joined the Charities Review Council as a full-time Development Assistant serving as the Council’s primary grant writer and fundraising support to the Executive Director and Development Committee. Keely first joined the Council as a Fund Development Intern in February 2011.

Get to know Keely:

1.) What excites you most about the Twin Cities' philanthropic sector?
The idea of organizations, corporations, and foundations all working together to improve our communities through collective impact.

2.) Where might someone bump into you around the Twin Cities?
Down by the river – running, biking, taking photos, or enjoying happy hour!

3.) Three songs that would be in a hit autobiographical movie about your life?

  • “Do You Hear What I Hear”– for that scene where I sang a solo at the Christmas pageant in 2nd grade, but none of my family members remember it.

  • “Summer of ’69”– for that scene where I’m running across the finish line of my first race.

  • “A Boy Named Sue”– for that scene where I meet my fiancĂ© (luckily his name isn’t Sue, we just love Johnny Cash).

I’d probably throw a little salsa music and some Enya in there, as well.

4.) What books or blogs are you reading now? How do you stay up on the happenings in the nonprofit sector?
I’m currently reading "Writing for a Good Cause" by Danielle Furlich, among many other random blogs and articles I come across via twitter.

5.) What excites you most to learn about in the next year?
How all the pieces of the fundraising and development puzzle fit together over the course of the year to make for a successful campaign.

6.) Best experience working with the Council thus far?
It’s been wonderful making my way from intern, to part-time employee, and now as a full-time staff member – I have learned so much already and I’ve had the opportunity to be part of many exciting experiences, with a highlight being last year’s Annual Forum. I am definitely looking forward to the year to come!

7.) A little bird around the office mentioned you have a Pinterest and Twitter account? Would you mind sharing the links?
Yes, thanks to our Communications Coordinator, Jamie, I can be found on Twitter @keschallock, and my pinterest page is: (but beware, it’s mostly full of wedding planning ideas…)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Engaging Diverse Stakeholders in the Nonprofit Sector

Lively, well-attended discussions like last week’s first Diversity and Inclusion Networking Lunch, “Engaging Diverse Stakeholders in the Nonprofit Sector,” not only reinforce the passion around diversity and inclusion, but also reveal the delicate and long process involved in transforming thought and leadership paradigms in our sector.

With an experienced and thoughtful facilitator, like Dr. Mai Moua, when the right questions are asked, the discussion takes off. It’s amazing how quickly an hour goes by. Here were key questions posed and discussed from the conversation:

  • There are many variables in place when trying to make the paradigm shift needed to transform organizational and community culture. It’s a long process that requires patience, thoughtfulness, and trust.

  • Leadership buy-in is key. How can staff manage upwards and influence cultural shifts when leadership is not leading on this issue?

  • Many organizations are working through what it means to be diverse as opposed to “looking” diverse. How does inclusion become a core value of an organization’s personality?

  • Does the nature of nonprofit work inherently hold our sector to higher standards for diversity and inclusion practices?

  • Organizations and staff working towards creating a more diverse and inclusive culture struggle with measuring this progress. What are accepted indicators?

  • What role does funding play in the work of creating more diverse and inclusive organizational culture?

The group engaged in energetic and meaty discussion and to continue our thinking, Dr. Mai Moua recommended these resources:

  • "Influence Without Authority": A book to help staff push change upwards and get that needed buy-in from leadership. Authored by Allan Cohen and David Bradford.

  • Intercultural Development Inventory: A cross-culturally valid measure of intercultural competence. The instrument is easy to complete and can generate an in-depth graphic profile of groups' predominant level of intercultural competence (facilitation by a Qualified IDI Administrator is required).

Please add your comments and share with us your experiences and go-to resources for engaging diverse stakeholders in the nonprofit sector.

Join us next month, February 16th, for a lunch discussion on “Cultural Intelligence Matters: Tools to Build Cultural Competence and Agility.”

This post is a recap of the first Diversity and Inclusion Networking Lunch—a monthly discussion co-hosted between Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Charities Review Council. In the true spirit of inclusion, these lunches take place at rotating nonprofits that serve diverse communities. Thanks to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for being this month’s host.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Next Steps After Volunteering

Rooted in the heart of the nonprofit ecosystem, volunteerism connects many needed services to our communities. On days like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, also widely known as the MLK Day of Service, the importance of service and volunteering in our communities jumps to the forefront of our minds. Sites like and campaigns like President Obama’s United We Serve, not only encourage and reward citizens for taking part in volunteering, but actually go a step further and make the process easy through searchable databases that will match a volunteer with a local project. It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of Americans of all ages use this federal holiday to join in service projects across the country.

This is wonderful.

But it’s important to remember that the intention of days like MLK Day of Service is not to dedicate one day a year to volunteering, but to incorporate service into our lifestyles.

What steps can you take after a volunteer experience to connect those activities to the work you do year round?

  • Find an on-going project. If you volunteered for a one-time project, connect with that organization and find out if they have an on-going volunteer opportunity.

  • Inquire about possible openings on the organization’s board of directors (or board committee if you’re looking for a little less commitment). Just because your day job is in accounting, marketing, or IT, doesn’t mean you don’t have valuable skills to contribute to a nonprofit working towards solving homelessness—in fact, your skill set might be exactly what a board is looking for to grow their capacity.

  • Become an advocate for the cause. Just because you’re not spending hours in an organization’s office or providing direct service to their constituents, doesn’t mean you can’t build awareness for the cause with your own network. Tell your friends, family, and co-workers about the organization with which you volunteered. Share articles and updates about the cause with your network via social media or word-of-mouth.

Nonprofit staff tremendously value the role volunteers play, but it’s important to remember the time and energy these organizations dedicate towards engaging volunteers takes a very real impact on staff capacity. Making sure your interests and the needs of the organization align is key to any successful volunteer relationship. If you take your time in finding the right fit for your volunteering goals, the return and joy from the experience will be well worth the wait. If you need help, checkout or

It’s estimated that over 60 million people volunteer officially through an organization at least once a year in the United States. What part do you play in this movement of service?