When you’re a nonprofit geek—and if you’ve worked for an organization like the Charities Review Council, then you’re definitely a nonprofit geek—you get how energizing it is to be a capacity builder.
Yes, “capacity building” is common nonprofit jargon.
Wikipedia describes it as:
A conceptual approach to development that focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhibit people and organizations from realizing their developmental goals while enhancing the abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results.
I describe it as:
A rising tide lifts all boats.
As a nonprofit geek and capacity building die-heard, I found my home in the sector at the Charities Review Council. Our work to build stronger nonprofits by developing and maintaining state-of-the-art Accountability Standards that represent a balance of sound practices for nonprofits and working directly with those nonprofits to help them implement the internal changes needed to become a more trustworthy organization that donors feel confident in supporting, well, that’s the rising tide.
While I’m sad to announce that I’ll be transitioning out of the nonprofit sector for my daily work, and on paper leaving the Charities Review Council, I’ll always be a banner carrier for nonprofit capacity building; if you ever try and talk to me about a nonprofit, don’t be surprised if I ask “Do they meet the Charities Review Council’s Standards??”
Starting September 10, I’ll be joining the team at Fast Horse, an innovative, integrated agency offering a full range of traditional and non-traditional marketing services to all sorts of wonderful clients (from some of the world’s most famous brands to some of my favorite local nonprofits).
As I’ve been mentally preparing for this transition, I’ve spent some time thinking about the core aspect of the Council’s work—accountability and transparency. A belief in these values pulled me to this work and over time I’ve had the pleasure of becoming increasingly familiar with how those values translate to nonprofit governance and mission fulfillment.
But beyond our core work of doing reviews, staying on top of sector trends, and continually refining and improving our Accountability Standards, I’ve learned a little something about myself. Accountability and transparency will always play a role in how I live my life—way beyond applying standards to nonprofits. When you value accountability and transparency, you have the right mindset to build deep, trusting relationships. It’s the philosophy that spurs nonprofits to go through our review, so they can form those deep, trusting relationships with their donors and clients. It’s a philosophy that I will take with me and fold into all of my future relationships and work.
Thanks to the Charities Review Council, the staff, volunteers, and board members behind this mission. To everyone else, keep your eye on this organization—the next few years are going to be big.
Jamie Millard joined the Charities Review Council as an intern in February of 2010 and then full-time as a Communications Specialist in February 2011. In this role, Jamie provided overall marketing and communication support for the Council's programs to donors and nonprofits.