From Vision to Impact: Three Recent Impact and Strategic Clarity Module Participants Share Their Stories!

May 22, 2014

Guests gather at the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation in Montréal to celebrate the newest graduates of Innoweave's Impact and Strategic Clarity Module!

Guests gather at the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation in Montréal to celebrate the newest graduates of Innoweave’s Impact and Strategic Clarity Module!

Three participating organizations from the third wave of Innoweave’s Impact and Strategic Clarity module explain how the process has helped them achieve greater clarity and hone in on their organization’s intended impact.

On a sunny spring afternoon recently, the wood-paneled conference room at the Jean Sauvé Foundation buzzed with a palpable sense of excitement as Montreal-based participants of Innoweave’s third cohort of the Impact and Strategic Clarity  module reflected on their experience with the 5-month facilitated coaching process. Executive Directors and CEOs from three diverse nonprofits shared stories of their breakthrough moments with members from the broader community.

“As the CEO of an organization that’s 139 years old, I was looking for a way that gets every member of my team working together, coherently and in consensus.” says Hélène Lépine of the Montreal YWCA. “I am frankly delighted. Because thanks to Innoweave, we’re in a place to do just that.”

For Lépine, having the YWCA’s programs strategically aligned with one another and with their mission – instead of siloed – is a major win. So is her ability to clearly communicate the organization’s goals and impact: “I can say with confidence to anyone– the media, funders, other organizations, this is who we are and this is what we do. It’s all very clear now.”

Nancy Wright, Director of Jeanne Sauvé Scholars Foundation agrees. “It’s the kind of exercise that I really think is very useful. Innoweave provided us with a structure to take what we agreed on for mission and vision and actually put it into practice. Because missions and visions are huge and really, you have to figure out what you can’t do, because typically everybody wants to do everything and then nothing gets done.”

As the founder of a smaller and younger organization, Fabrice Vil of Pour 3 Points also found the big-picture aspect of the module useful. “We have a lot of diversity within our team; we have people with a background in business, I have experience on the ground, we have volunteers from academia. Doing the research that brings it all together– to understand that despite the diversity, we were really working towards the same goal. That was a real AHA moment for us.”

Fabrice Vil, Founder, Pour 3 Points

Fabrice Vil, Founder, Pour 3 Points

Three Teams Share Their Organization’s Vision

The YWCA, the Jean Sauvé Foundation and Pour 3 Points presented their biggest insights to a room packed with participants ranging from alumni of the Impact and Strategic Clarity module, board members and directors of various foundations who were interested in learning more about the Innoweave process.

Innoweave Program Officer, Doug Brodhead said, “The response has been really positive. We, along with many of our Impact and Strategic Clarity participants knew that the process was going to be really beneficial for their organization, but I don’t think we quite realized how powerful and transformative the process really is. Hearing the lessons learned and key moments for organizations was a really valuable exercise, and solidified our belief in the importance of supporting organizations along this path.”

After the presentations, Impact and Strategic Clarity coaches Stephanie Garrow and Lara Evoy, opened up the floor to questions.

“It is extremely rewarding to see how the groups have digested their learning over the past six months, and then to watch them interact and share this learning with each other,” says Garrow.  We also listened carefully to questions from groups who are interested in joining a future cohort – what are their real needs,  as well to our alumni of past cohorts who shared where they are at one year after completing the process.”

Saman Ahsan, Executive Director, Girls Action Foundation

Saman Ahsan, Executive Director, Girls Action Foundation

Teams agree that going through the ISC process has also helped them prioritize activities that offer the greatest potential to enhance their intended impact, making it easier to choose what to focus on when confronted with multiple opportunities. And that can make things feel much less overwhelming.

One year after her organization completed the program, Saman Ahsan, Executive Director of Girls Action Foundation says, “In my view all our programs are worth investing in, and if we had the resources, we would do them all, and then some! But alas in the situation of financial limitations and constraints, we can’t do it all. Innoweave helped us start thinking about prioritizing which programs would we consider as core to the organisation and we would continue to invest in, and which programs would we let go.”

To find out more about the ISC module and to see if it’s a good fit for your own organization, take our self assessment quiz here. Applications to participate in the next round of the module are open until July 2nd – click here to learn more.