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NonprofitMBA Podcast 1.2: What To Do When Your Nonprofits Mission and Operations Go Adrift

Podcast: What To Do When Your Nonprofits Mission and Operations Go Adrift From Its Original Vision

The Nonprofit MBA purpose is to provide new business insights and fresh creative ideas for Executive Directors and their teams that will help them improve their organizations.

Transcript and Summary of Podcast Below:

Todays Guest: Dr. Bill Anderson, Executive Director from The CITE School

Introduction of Stephen Halasnik

Welcome, everyone. My name is Stephen Halasnik and I am a CoFounder and Managing Partner of Financing Solution. Financing Solutions is the leading provider of Lines of Credit to Nonprofits. On a personal level, I have a 25-year career of building companies and I have the privilege to speak with nonprofit Executive Directors on a daily basis. If you like today’s podcast, please feel free to share it with a friend.

Introduction of Dr. Bill Anderson

Today, I am excited to be speaking with Dr. Bill Anderson….Bill… is currently the Principal &Executive Director of the Center for Individualized Training and Education also know as The CITE School, Inc, located in Providence, RI.

CITE’s mission, is to assist a student in learning self-management life skills in multiple settings in order to return to a lesser restrictive environment in less than 30 months. The CITE team, led by Bill, has re-organized a forty-five-year-old school with program drift. In 2015 Bill took over a 100+-year-old facility with 9 students that was in decline. The program is now focused on positive behavioral support, applied behavioral analysis, collaboration with parents and meeting the needs of the demographic with now over 35 students.

A trained Lawyer, Bill spent 25 years of active/reserve duty in the Navy/Coast Guard and is a Retired special educator, principal, administrator/superintendent of special education programs, a behavioral psychologist and parent of a child with profound disabilities.

Bill is recognized for accepting challenging positions in public and private school programs and has over forty years of experience with students diagnosed with multiple handicaps.

Bill Welcome to the Nonprofit MBA podcast.

Today, what we are going to talk about is what to do when your nonprofit’s mission and operations go adrift from its original vision. It’s an area that Bill has direct experience in and as we all know, experience matters!

Recommendations from Bill of What to Do When Your Nonprofits Mission and Operations Go Adrift From Its Original Vision

Summary of Podcast:

  • Experience matters more then most people want to admit.
  • One’s life experiences after north of 50 can be amazing.
  • Bill was the right man for the job because he had so much experience.
  • Bill had a lot of experience working with challenging people but not a lot of experience dealing with the nonprofit from the business side.
  • Bill spends most of his time running the nonprofit from the business side.
  • CITE lost its focus a while ago until finally Bill was brought on board by board.
  • Over 20 years CITE operations kept drift from its original vision.
  • He found the assignment as Executive Director intriguing based on asking WHY.
  • No clear direction of the program.
  • Kids had never left the program when the mission of CITE was to move kids away from needing help.
  • The hardest initial part of the job was not having financial data needed.
  • I started asking A LOT of questions to figure out what was going on. Took 2.5 months to figure out what was really going on.
  • People were very defensive about giving answers.
  • Within 2 weeks of him taking assignment 6 of the 10 board members resigned because they had been there forever and only met once per year.
  • He was pretty good at dealing with internal politics due to his experience and because people left. Plus, Bill was a straight shooter.
  • Politics was really dealing with the people outside the nonprofit and making sure people in town knew CITE.
  • Focused on Why do we need to make these changes to motivate people.
  • Immediately made changes when he saw problems. He didn’t wait. He was the leader.
  • He also has to let people go who were not on board and some people left on their own.
  • Came on board in January 2016.
  • He knew he needed to reach out to people outside of the nonprofit to help and he knew who the big influencers would be.
  • Bill was the big relationship builder and spokesperson for CITE to be noticed

NonprofitMBA Podcast 1.1: Keeping it Personal As Your Nonprofit Grows

More Nonprofit MBA podcasts and articles can be found here 

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