Before we can stand out, we must first get clear on what we stand for. - Simon Sinek
When we birthed Evolve Giving Group in June 2020 during the early months of the pandemic, we jumped right into crisis management for our clients and the nonprofit sector through countless hours of coaching, webinars and around the clock emails. Although none of us were experts in fundraising through a pandemic, we were able to guide and support hundreds of nonprofit leaders with compassion, authenticity, collaboration and a combination of experience and commitment to learning. And at that moment, we knew we had truly evolved.
In my role as Senior Vice President for the firm, I am responsible for the experience of our people – for our clients and our team of consultants. I have the privilege of shaping our firm’s culture and leading our team in service of the community. As the immediate crisis passed and our clients were able to begin planning again, we too took a step forward to look at our future. What was our vision? Who did we want to become in a post pandemic world? How did we want to continue to lead?
As CEO Amy Schiffman embarked on a strategic visioning process that resulted in a clear vision for the next two years, I looked inward on who we are, as individuals and a firm. I reflected on how we showed up during our first few months, how we served the community, and why we had 600+ nonprofit leaders signing up to learn with us. What defined their experience? What was our impact? Inspired by the culture work of many organizations and businesses around the world, including our client UpStart, I was able to articulate what I saw and formulate a set of core values, philosophies and culture codes that define Evolve now and will guide us into the future.
I am excited to formally share these guiding principles and beliefs, and I invite you to dig into them with us. As we roll them out internally and externally, we will more deeply explore their meaning, relevance and mutuality in our work; we’ll ask ourselves some of the following questions:
- What does this value mean to each of us?
- Why is this value important to our firm and our work?
- What is required from all of us to keep this value alive?
- What will we look like if we remain true to these values? And what will we look like if we fail to do so?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on our process and our newly defined guiding principles
and beliefs. And I’ll check in from time to time to share how we are living true to them. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.