Breakfast Club Blog

Serving Through Hands-On Projects

Editors Note: A special thank you to author @jillgordon for sharing one of four of Youth Philanthropy’s webinar series. Today’s post focuses on service learning models that can be implemented in your program too!  Click on the webinar link below “Serving through Hands-on Projects” for the full program.  And, keep your eyes open in February for the next special webinar from Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana.  Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII) created a 4-part webi...Read More

The Terrifying Click of Heels in the Hall

When I was site coordinator at an elementary school in San Francisco, we were not afraid of the mice in the office, or the cold air that whipped through the poorly insulated windows on a foggy SF morning, or the cafeteria full of wildly enthusiastic pre-teens. No, but we were afraid of the click, click, click of the principal’s heels on the linoleum hallway. We could hear it about 2 minutes before she turned the corner into our closet-like office.  We’d look at each other across our desks, each ...Read More

Together We Make a Difference – FREE DOWNLOAD

Many years ago, I arrived at a middle school to evaluate an after school program. As with all site visits, I checked in to the school office and asked where the after school program was located. They were unsure of which “after school program” I was actually looking for. This school, like most, had over a dozen programs happening simultaneously throughout their campus during after school hours. I found the state-funded after school program (that I was on campus to evaluate) and quickly learned t...Read More

Releasing the Giving Hangover

It never failed. I would receive mountains of canned goods, dry goods, and cash from well-meaning donors before Christmas (always accompanied by copious amounts of cranberry jelly), but the season inevitably came: The Giving Hangover. Call it the Winter Blues, or the Post-Christmas Slump, or whatever, giving always dropped at the food bank after New Years’ and often lasted until February, sometimes even into March. People had credit card bills to pay; people had higher utility bills to pay; peop...Read More

Preserving Programs for Kids by Going Local

At the end of 2017, the nation is on the verge of one of the largest federal tax cuts in modern times. And while some in Washington celebrate, for others the Congressional tax deal holds the specter of devastating cuts to social services and education programs that rely on federal dollars. Some are bracing for budgets squeezed dry, and more and more programs, already run on a shoestring, hobbled to ineffectiveness or nonexistence. Knowing what’s at stake, people in our line of work don’t typical...Read More

What is advocacy, why does it matter, and how can you make a difference in just 10 minutes from your desk?

Why does advocacy matter? Did you know that 1 out of 3 students in California can’t identify a single caring adult at school? [1] Research shows that access to caring adults is critical for the development and success of youth, and expanded learning programs often provide these relationships that students depend on. [2] Advocating for these programs increases access to caring adults and safe spaces in and out of school that are necessary to support student success. In 2015 and 2016, the Partners...Read More

4 Tips to Cultivating Leaders in Your Organization

The singular most important role of today’s leader is growing those around them. This is not just a lofty goal, but one of intentional thought and commitment. I view nurturing those around me as a benefit not only to our organization but also as a way to develop skills that will lead to success in any organization. Gasp! Yes, I believe it is my duty to shape leaders who may someday join a competing organization. So, where to begin? Leadership development is offered for many reasons. Poor company...Read More

Collaboration, Gratitude and Birds (Yeah, Birds!)

As we enter the holiday season, I’m thankful to be coming up on my 10th year at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. As Director of Community Partnerships, I have the unique pleasure of cultivating relationships to engage communities in promoting children’s health. For this article, I wanted to share three collaborations that I am particularly excited about – each with resources I hope you can use to bring wellness to life in out-of-school time while engaging families and empowering children...Read More

The Flawed Leader… Follow Up 6 Months Later

Social Power is defined as the degree of influence that an individual or organization has among their peers and within their society as a whole. 6 months ago, I shared in this blog my challenges with my own leadership and that of the organization I started and grew over the past 15 years. I poured out on the table the comments my staff made in relation to my leadership flaws, and the ways I needed to be better for my team. Since then I have openly spoken in three different states in front of lar...Read More

Coaching And Endless Possibilities

A quick story and important reminder about how important a good coach is, and what the possibilities are when you have a great coach. My son, who is in first grade, played rookie tackle football this fall. The season ended a few weeks ago, with his team winning the 1st-grade championship. It was a spectacular finish to the season—they got to play the game on the high school football field. Our town’s high school football team won the state championship last year, and so football is a pretty big ...Read More

Not Your Mother’s Meeting (PT 2)

Welcome back to Part 2 of Not Your Mother’s Meeting!  If you missed Part 1, click here to catch up!  Breakfast Club Blogger @jillgordon provides excellent inclusionary meeting ideas in order to create more participation and engagement for your staff. Enjoy! Make the Meeting Participatory Gain greater participation by posing three questions or next steps to the meeting participants.  For small group discussions, try using small dry erase boards to generate ideas and questions.  They are ext...Read More

A Relevant Repost! Tilling the Soil: Staff Turnover

Corn as high as an elephant’s eye? Why stop there? How is farming equivalent to staff turnover? The seeds are bought. The seller promised a yield surpassing anything ever seen before. Acre upon acre of corn growing much, much higher than an elephant’s eye. The new tractor had been purchased. Much better than the old tractor. And just for show, you bought new work gloves and some new boots.  The rains had been good, the weather fair for growing. The table was set for record yields and...Read More

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