Neighborhood Builders: Focused on Leadership

It’s a simple concept. Pick up food and deliver it to those in need. But let’s be honest, nothing is ever really that simple. Table to Table, like all nonprofits, faces a variety of challenges each day, as we translate the idea of food rescue to actually feeding our hungry neighbors.  The daily operation of our program requires funding, which comes from sources such as special events, corporate and foundation grants, and individual donations.  And as most organizations find, success in these areas is only as good as the infrastructure it has developed and the people it has working to make it all happen.

In January we excitedly announced our Neighborhood Builders Award from Bank of America. Being a recipient of this prestigious award not only provides funding for Table to Table, but also a number of Networking and Leadership events throughout the year that help to lay the groundwork for developing a solid infrastructure while enhancing the skill-sets of our staff.

Each of the approximately 80 Neighborhood Builder recipient organizations from throughout the country are invited to send their Executive Director and an Emerging Leader for a very intensive, week-long conference filled with formal workshops, informal sharing, and many networking and skill building opportunities. Held in February in Houston, Texas, the first session was attended by Emily Force, our Director of Community Engagement and Marketing Programs. Emily returned to work overflowing with information that will have a significant impact on the way she works to achieve our goals and serve our communities.

As Emily explained, “Being in an arena with peers doing similar work was beneficial beyond measure.  We learned a lot from each other and by the end of the week, I not only developed a support group filled with wonderful people to lean on, but the foundation needed to become more proficient in the work I am doing.” Emily further stated she was able to immediately put into practice many of the skills learned and most of the information gained.

Here is a look at a few of the topics covered during the first leadership meeting.

  • Leadership Inside Out – Targeting our corporate persona. Who are we as an organization and how to project that message from the moment we enter a room.
  • How to Identify & Overcome Hidden Biases – Focusing on the impact hidden bias has on decision-making, this session enabled each individual to identify the psychological preconceptions that hinder finding appropriate solutions for our individual missions.
  • Change the Story, Change the World – We all have a story. Over time, the story can get lost or diluted but the story, the raison d’être, is critical to the success and authenticity of any organization. This workshop focused on understanding and communicating why we do what we do.
  • The Power of Storytelling in Social Media Marketing – Learning to tell that story in order to create awareness.
  • Financial Sustainability – How to assess our financial position in a way that fosters financial sustainability.

Bank of America has created an extremely multi-faceted, diverse and relevant program that brings together a network of leaders from all over the country.  Each bringing to the table their expertise in a different social or human service need, everyone emerged from the week ready to bolster one another as each works to build and support their own communities.

The Neighborhood Builders program has been around since 2004.  Table to Table continues to be honored to have been selected for this award and is thrilled to be able to share its benefits with our followers, donors and recipients. Best yet, there’s more to come. Stay tuned to our social media channels and here for more about the Neighborhood Builders experience.


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