In Philadelphia, there is huge momentum and excitement about the Phillies! After over a decade of not being in contention, the Phillies are in the World Series! The entire city and region is celebrating and there is an outrageous sense of anticipation! One fan recently said, ”It has become real when you feel it!”
This idea made me think about growth in a non-profit organization that is making an impact. Most of us as non-profit leaders envision the excitement of our mission expanding. We dream, strategically plan, prepare, create program designs, develop our staff and work diligently to ensure that we will be successful. Often, the climb is slow, methodical and deliberate. We rarely have the funding to accelerate the pace of growth like for profit corporations. Therefore, we often need to have a great deal of patience over many years to have the impact that we dream about. I know some non-profit leaders who do all the planning and do not see the impact of their dedication and many efforts.
As a non-profit leader who tends to be a visionary about what our potential can be, I have spent a great deal of time visioning, planning, hoping and persevering. I must say that I have always believed that Lakeside would be a major force in helping thousands of students and having a major impact in our systems of care. Sometimes it felt discouraging but I always had that sense of intuitiveness about our capacity in spite of the obstacles, changes and even a pandemic.
Yes, there have been difficult days, but we lived in anticipation, growing where we could, taking opportunities and managing the normal risks of growth. In times where many organizations struggled our staff and programs adapted, continued our mission and felt the momentum of the possibilities. It wasn’t always easy, but it became glaringly apparent that we had opportunities to help our community, our state and our country by leading a movement of care and training to help others become aware and dedicated to trauma-informed and trauma-responsive care.
We now are annually serving over 5800 students, thousands of professionals and are in a position to have a state-wide opportunity to train an entire system of care. We are moving ahead with many organizations who want to be certified in trauma-responsive care. We are releasing live, virtual live and now asynchronous training for all our training courses. We are planning a public relations campaign for our training to become national in scope and the plans continue.
A sense of intuitive growth has always been a part of our organizational culture and now that commitment and years of effort has brought a new sense of momentum and potential. Part of sustaining our non-profit has been the sense of rightness for our future as we care for students, staff and those that serve them. What great fun it has been to feel it and to live it!
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO