Charting Impact: A Long Term View of our Work

NLC staff and board participated in the Charting Impact process because we wanted to clarify where we were going as an organization, our strategies, and what we measure and why.

We found this process tremendously valuable.  It has made us feel stronger and better able to communicate our focus for the next three to five years.  We realize that the document is not static.  We will be updating it as things change in our work.

We hope you will find it useful to review our work as you think about going through this process with your organization. 

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about the process

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?                  

The mission of the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay is to develop and connect nonprofit leaders to strengthen organizations and our community. It is the goal of the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay to:
1. Strengthen the Tampa Bay nonprofit sector by developing and supporting leaders, providing the highest quality education through in-person classroom instruction, relevant online resources, custom training, certificate programs, one-on-one coaching, peer facilitated exchange groups and conferences.
2. Increase our impact by growing the number of individuals and nonprofit organizations served each year as well as the depth of engagement with each.
3. Increase the pool of knowledgeable, experienced, diverse and talented board members for nonprofits.
4. Create and deliver innovative training while modeling best practices in nonprofit management utilizing a suite of engagement opportunities.
5. Provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for personal and professional growth.

We believe the work of nonprofits drives positive change in society. It is our ultimate goal to promote the impact, adaptability, and sustainability of each organization we touch.

What are the organization’s key strategies for making this happen?

We believe deeper relationships with nonprofits and their leaders are effective in driving behavioral change.

We deliver professional development and training at every level – from program staff to executive leadership to the board.

We are specialists in nonprofit board governance issues as well as fund development. Other areas of distinction include executive leadership, financial management, marketing and communications as well as grant writing and volunteer management.

Priority focus areas from our strategic plan:

  • Create and Deliver Innovative Programming
    • Launch a peer facilitated exchange model branded as the NLC leadership Circles.
    • Expand the Board Governance curriculum and the audience who receives it, i.e. nonprofit and for-profit leaders
    • Pilot classroom innovation with flipped and ladder classes
    • Grow custom training solutions
  • Invest in Exceptional Leadership and Talent
    • Re-organize NLC team to meet growing sector need and support ongoing professional development
    • Recruit and audition new trainers to ensure highest quality
    • Grow the NLC Board leadership bench through focused recruitment and training
  • Support Dynamic Financial Management
    • Launch innovative earned revenue strategies: Custom Training Solutions
    • Create expansive philanthropic engagement opportunities
  • Broaden Strategic Communications and Branding
    • Complete brand refresh process and debut new logo, mission and vision statements
    • Expand the Leadership Conference format to include additional educational opportunities
    • Craft new messaging strategies for key audiences
  • Make Data Driven Decisions
    • Incorporate assessments into our culture and menu of solutions
    • Revamp evaluation tools to better measure impact
    • Improve internal capability of capturing and accessing data

What are the organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Our core assets, both internal and external, are all directed to excellent customer service and the delivery of high quality, innovative, relevant programs and resources to the nonprofit sector.

Our internal strengths:
1. Experienced and talented staff with deep knowledge of the nonprofit community
2. A team of knowledgeable and experienced subject matter experts
3. A culture built around our guiding principle of “living by the education we deliver” with “Wow” customer service and dedication
4. A board of directors passionate and trained about our mission, serving as role models for the sector
5. A growing reserve allowing the organization to weather unforeseen financial challenges
6. A diverse curriculum and a vast array of online resources
7. A comfortable and welcoming Training Center
8. A commitment to state of the art technology.

Our organization’s external strengths:
1. A 20+ year history of serving nonprofit leaders and their organizations in the Tampa Bay area
2. Committed, long-term funding sources that understand that an investment in the NLC has a ripple effect across the Tampa Bay area nonprofit sector
3. Long term partnership with the University of Tampa and a Nonprofit Management Certificate Program ranked 25th in the nation
4. A growing community perception that our organization is the go-to source for excellence in nonprofit management and capacity building strategies
5. Multi-year contracts with funding sources that develop our own capacity and ability to do our work
6. A strong collaborative network with similar organizations throughout the state and nation.

As an organization with the potential to improve outcomes across the nonprofit sector in our community, it is our goal to grow internal resources and build upon our external strengths in order to provide maximum impact with the nonprofit leaders and organizations that we touch.

How will they know if they are making progress?

Our participants tell us if we are making progress by evaluating each program they attend at our training center. Therefore, our assessment process is ongoing on a daily basis. We measure those areas we can control. We control our content and its quality. There are additional indicators that signal progress and success as well.

Participants complete an evaluation form at the end of every program rating the following:
1. Quality of Presenter.
2. Value received relative to time and money invested.
3.  Would they recommend the training/program to a colleague?
4. Did they increase their knowledge, understanding or skill level?
5. Can they use what they learned in their position to increase organizational efficiency or effectiveness?

For every program we target a minimum 4.5 overall rating (out of 5) with at least 90% of the participants rating the program at 4.5 or better. If a program is rated lower than 4.5, we immediately work with the presenter to improve the issues identified by the participants or eliminate the program if necessary. In addition, we distribute a post program evaluation 45 days after training to measure if the attendee has applied at least one concept learned at his or her place of business.

Other major indicators signaling progress towards our goals:
1. New program offerings
2. Number of program participants
3. Number of repeat participants
4. Number of unduplicated organizations
5. Number of board members attending or teaching programs
6. Open rate of program emails and newsletters
7. Website visits 8. Social media likes and shares.

What have and haven’t they accomplished so far?

Progress towards long term goals:

  • Historic high of 4,004 students in 2016
  • Eight+ years of a positive operating bottom line
  • University of Tampa/NLC Nonprofit Management Certificate Program ranked 25th nationally in the 2016 Top 50 Nonprofit Masters/Certificate Programs (Top Management Programs)
  • 1 of 10 organizations in the nation to receive a capacity building grant in 2016 from JP Morgan Chase and the Aspen Institute for Social Innovation
  • NLC Leadership Circles launched with over 30 nonprofit CEO’s engaged in peer facilitated problem solving in CEO Circles
  • 98% of our students rating programs 4 or higher (on a scale of 1-5)
  • Piloted classroom innovation with flipped and ladder classes
  • Created new staff positions to meet growing sector need
  • Recruited and auditioned new trainers to ensure highest quality engagements
  • Launched innovative earned revenue strategies in Custom Training Solutions
  • Debuted brand refresh with new logo, vision and mission statements in 2016
  • Completed facilitator training and launched the CCAT (Core Capacity Assessment Tool) in a process to more effectively diagnose capacity building priorities.


There is an abundance of need in the nonprofit sector for capacity building. As clients demand more services and funders call for greater impact, nonprofits find themselves with too few resources to meet those needs, both human (the need for increased staff) and financial (the need for funding to support future growth) terms. Our challenge is to grow our resources accordingly to meet the demand for our services.