Enhancing leadership through the Nonprofit Center

Gearing Up: Multiple Ways to Support Nonprofit Leadership

It all started with peer learning says Kristin Gavin formerly of Gearing Up, an organization she founded in 2009 to use bicycling to help women in transition from abuse, addition and/or incarceration, address their physical and emotional needs.

Subsidized by the Valentine Foundation, new executive director Kristin was able to become part of a Peer Learning Circle that met monthly to provide group problem-solving and sharing.  “It was a real stepping stone for me to have a peer group,” Kristin says, “although my first thought was ‘what am I going to talk about to all these strangers?’”  She says she found out quickly that there was plenty to discuss regarding her new role as both a founder and a leader of a new nonprofit.

It was in her learning circle that she learned about the leadership development the Nonprofit Center provides to boards of directors.  “They were a young, dynamic but inexperienced board,” Kristin explained,” who needed to clearly understand its responsibilities.  The self-assessment and subsequent board training The Nonprofit Center addressed strengths and weakness and really moved the board to action.”

From the training, the board created job descriptions and committees that are active and productive.

But Kristin wasn’t done yet and her next growth step was to utilize a Nonprofit Center executive coach.  “She helped me identify the skills I had and those I needed to develop (and how to do that).  It was affordable , and worth its weight in gold,” she asserted.  Kristin said coaching gave her tangible tools that she implemented – and that work.

She credits all these pieces working together to become a large part of the growth and success of Gearing Up.