10 Nonprofit Organizations Graduate from Healthy Organization Institute

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On Friday, May 15th, ten local nonprofit organizations graduated from the Healthy Organization Institute, a five-month program designed to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the organizations they serve.  The Graduation Ceremony was held at The Piedmont Club, and included special remarks by Clarence Batts, community leader, and action plan presentations by each of the participating nonprofit organizations.

The Healthy Organization Institute is a partnership of the Mary Black Foundation, The Spartanburg County Foundation, Spartanburg Regional Foundation, United Way of the Piedmont and the University of South Carolina Upstate’s George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics.  This comprehensive best practices training program for nonprofit executive directors and board members incorporates peer learning, classroom instruction, and creative problem solving to allow leaders to take back to their organizations solid, practical concepts and build them into the framework of their organizations.

“The sessions provided great tools and information to myself and key board members to further grow our organization.  We are extremely grateful to be chosen to participate in HOI 2015,” said Liberty Canzater, executive director of The Butterfly Foundation.

The Program consisted of monthly sessions from January to April, which incorporated the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organization’s (SCANPO) Guiding Principles and Best Practices Third Edition, and Western North Carolina’s Nonprofit Pathways Four Key Capacities Model.

“The Healthy Organizations Institute was an amazing learning experience.  Every session held multiple actionable items for each of the participating organizations,” said Matthew Myers, board member of St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic.  “The investment the Four Funders and USC Upstate have made in our community will have impact beyond the 10 non-profit organizations graduating Executive Directors and Board Chairs today.  The skills and best practices are portable.  Each participant will be able to apply them to other organizations in which they are involved.”

The ten organizations that participated in the Program include:  The Butterfly Foundation; The Children’s Security Blanket; Christmas in Action; Divinity Care Facility; Helping Hands Ministries of Woodruff; Hope Remains Youth Ranch; Partners for Active Living; Spartanburg Art Museum; St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic; and Westgate Family Therapy Institute.

The Joint Funders, a group consisting of the Mary Black Foundation, The Spartanburg County Foundation, Spartanburg Regional Foundation and United Way of the Piedmont, began collaborating to design the Healthy Organization Institute in 2012.  In 2013, the University of South Carolina Upstate joined the partnership, completing the HOI Partnership Team.  In 2014, a pilot session of the HOI was launched and graduated twelve organizations.