Striving for MOMENTUM in 2020

Emily H. Benham, CEO, NLC Stories

Research shows that our human attention spans are less than that of a goldfish — about eight seconds. True story! As our share of mind continues to shrink, it’s no surprise that the idea of New Year’s resolutions are shrinking as well. Somewhere along the way, Americans started trading our once lengthy resolution lists in for one-word mantras to define our year. Guilty as charged.

As lifelong learners at NLC, we had to find out where this tradition originated. While the answer remains somewhat of a mystery, we did uncover that selecting a word of the year (a word that defined public use or culture during the year) is a German tradition that started in 1971. (You can thank Wikipedia for that trivia answer.)  Today, we choose all sorts of sentiments to define our desired intentions, behaviors and actions.

At our first 2020 board of directors meeting, our volunteer leaders decided to adopt a word for NLC. Our new board chair Mary Lallucci, the executive vice president of talent management and an executive coach with Right Management’s Florida/Caribbean Region, asked everyone to think about the word that should define our organization this year — something we can all embrace and work toward together, not just as individual parts.

NLC Board Chair Mary Lallucci leading her first meeting of 2020
Mary leading NLC’s first board meeting of 2020

Many words came out of this discussion, as you can see from this lovely word cloud that summarizes the comments.

NLC's word cloud of 2020 intentions

But the word that rose to the top was MOMENTUM. As a nonprofit that exists to support other nonprofits, Mary emphasized our responsibility to be relentless in our commitment to increase our impact and build on our great successes from 2019 to strengthen our sector and community.

“We are excited to take all the work we have done and keep up the momentum to continue to raise the bar at NLC!

Mary Lallucci

So what does “momentum” look like? Here’s what we pledge to do as your nonprofit partner in 2020 to keep up the momentum:

  • Increase our presence in Pinellas County, while enhancing the robust training classes we offer at our training center in Tampa
  • Lead courageously by bringing nonprofit leaders the best content, programming and speakers at the 10th anniversary of our Leadership Conference in June
  • Establish new partnerships and enhance existing ones with funders like Florida Blue, Conn Memorial Foundation, the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, United Way and more to bring new opportunities and possibilities to nonprofits to strengthen our community
  • Focus even more deeply on building relationships and listening and responding to our community’s needs
  • Increase our board’s engagement with our mission
NLC CEO Emily Benham with Board Chair Mary Lallucci excited about momentum
Mary and me (Emily Benham, CEO, NLC) during NLC’s first board meeting of 2020

In addition to thinking about your word for 2020, we encourage you to think about the word that will define your team and organization — the intention you can rally around together to improve our lives, organizations and communities. We’re excited for all that’s in store for nonprofits in Tampa Bay during the year and decade ahead.


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