Increasing Nonprofit Staff Capacity

In lieu of sending holiday chocolates or branded cards in 2019, the Community Foundation of Utah asked our donors and community partners to spread the holiday cheer by voting for an organization to receive a surprise grant of $1,000. Organizations were selected due to their exceptional participation in one of the Community Foundation of Utah’s 2019 programs, either as a finalist for the EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year or an awardee of the Social Investors Forum. After over 80 votes were cast, TURN Community Services was selected as the surprise grant recipient!

While $1,000 is a relatively small grant, unexpected - and unrestricted - gifts like these have the potential to make outsized impacts. 

TURN Community Services is an organization with hundreds of staff and volunteers serving over 800 people with disabilities to enable them to live lives of dignity and choice in their community. Through their broadcast learning centers, Dave Hennesey, CEO of TURN Community Services, conducts live leadership and management development classes with his managers and directors throughout Utah. Prior to this grant, Dave had been teaching from Ty Bennett’s book, Partnership is the New Leadership. “My people are learning that, as a leader, their influence is not guaranteed, but has to be earned by building genuine relationships, bringing value to their team, collaborating with their people, genuinely listening, and making people feel valued,” Dave explained.

This message had proved both effective and well-received. Dave wanted a copy of the book in each supervisor’s hand - but lacked the funds to do so. The surprise grant of $1,000 almost entirely covered the cost of the 80 books needed. “The best part,” he added, “is as the leaders of our programs and departments improve their leadership skills, they teach and model the same to our hands-on staff and the quality of our services and our relationships with the people we serve improves. That is quite an impact!”

To donate to TURN Community Services, visit their website.

Giving Tips:

Strategic grantmaking doesn’t always equate to large gifts over multiple years. Smaller, unrestricted grants allow nonprofits the flexibility to respond to changing needs, provide professional development for staff, or pilot new, innovative initiatives. 


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