Greenlights Strengthens EcoRise Youth Innovations
A nationally acclaimed organization, EcoRise Youth Innovations offers a compelling program to underserved high schools, introducing students to promising “green” careers and helping them design and implement projects to promote an environmentally sustainable campus. In 2010, EcoRise Youth Innovations graduated 155 students from its environmental leadership course, brought 20 design professionals into the classroom, and worked with 120 volunteers who gave more than 5,000 hours.
Founded in 2008, EcoRise Youth Innovations is a small but growing nonprofit facing issues that are common to organizations transitioning from the start-up phase of development to enhanced growth and impact. With three board members and one staff member - founder and Executive Director Gina LaMotte - EcoRise Youth Innovations’ resources were strained and the board was functioning primarily as a working board.
“We were struggling as a board to professionalize ourselves, get the right people on board, and create a strong infrastructure,” said Gina. “In order for our organization to be successful, we knew we had to take our board to the next level.”
EcoRise Youth Innovations applied for and received a 501 Council Grant from Greenlights to fund an organizational assessment in February 2010. Through the organizational assessment, Greenlights helped determine that EcoRise Youth Innovations would benefit from improving their board processes and structure.
Greenlights helped the organization develop a plan that prioritized immediate needs, including clarifying appropriate board roles and responsibilities, recruiting new, diverse board members with significant governance experience, and restructuring committees to focus on strategic issues.
"Because of the 501 Council Grant, Greenlights has enabled us to develop more relationships for our organization within the community, and has made me feel more integrated as a nonprofit leader in Austin,” said LaMotte.
After participating in Greenlights’ 2010 Board Summit, EcoRise Youth Innovations brought on three new board members, increasing the capacity and skill sets represented on their board. EcoRise Youth Innovations also participated in the 2011 Board Summit and recruited four additional board members as a result.
The organization has now fully incorporated Greenlights’ recommendations and has effectively improved board structure, allowing for a deeper impact on the community that EcoRise Youth Innovations serves.
Greenlights strengthens nonprofits for extraordinary performance and impact by providing valuable management consulting services, professional development workshops and conferences, in-depth research, a membership program and more. Nonprofits pay about half the cost of our services, thanks to the generosity of our donors.
For more information about our consulting services, contact Tara Kirkland, Director of Consulting, at (512) 477-5955, x262.
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