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How have the growing demands for "high-performance nonprofit" impacted some of the oldest philanthropic organizations in the United States? In this panel discussion, the CEOs of three organizations reflect upon the speed and tact with which they must adapt their strategies and directions in a new century. Peter Goldberg opens on the importance of fostering a culture of innovation, so that one might effectively bridge the gap between a "high touch" and a "high tech" strategy. Cathy Tisdale discusses both the value of having an iconic brand and the potential pitfalls of overextending legacy procedures. Jim Gibbons emphasizes the need for reinvention in nonprofit, such that you can remain relevant to the communities that you serve. Leadership 18 members Peter Goldberg, Cathy Tisdale, and Jim Gibbons were invited by the Center for Social Innovation's Public Management Program and the Center for Leadership Development and Research at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Peter Goldberg is the president and CEO of the Alliance for Children and Families, as well as of Alliance’s parent holding company, Families International (FI). The Alliance for Children and Families is a membership association that provides a variety of services to its 350 private nonprofit member organizations throughout the United States and Canada. In this role, Goldberg oversees a unique corporate structure that allows four organizations—the Alliance, FEI Behavioral Health, United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA), and Ways to Work—to operate under one parent company. This allows each organization to maintain financial independence while encouraging collaboration and creating cost-savings as a result of pooling resources. Prior to joining the FI group of companies in 1994, Goldberg was President of the Prudential Foundation (1990-94) and Head of Primerica's social responsibility programs (1982-88).
Cathy Tisdale is the president and CEO of Campfire USA, a nationwide American youth development organization founded in 1910 as the first non-sectarian organization for girls in the United States. Campfire USA became coeducational in 1975 and now has 85 councils across the country charged with the mission of "building caring, confident youth and future leaders." Campfire USA is inclusive, welcoming youth and adults regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or other aspect of diversity. Before joining Campfire USA in 2010, Ms. Tisdale developed a broad range of nonprofit management expertise during her 28 year career at American Red Cross, serving at both the local and national level, and most recently as a Vice President for three years at the Girl Scouts USA Corporate Headquarters in New York.
Jim Gibbons is the President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, a network of independent, community-based agencies in the United States, Canada and 14 other countries. Founded in Boston in 1902, Goodwill Industries first put people to work hiring them to repair and sell donated goods. Goodwill trains people for careers in fields such as financial services, computer programming and healthcare. The organization does so by selling donated goods in retail stores and online using the proceeds to fund job training and other support programs that benefit hundreds of thousands of people each year. The organization earns 98 percent of its revenues through its various business lines, and channels 83 percent of its revenues directly into services. Before coming to Goodwill in April 2008, Gibbons served as president and CEO of National Industries for the Blind (NIB).