What’s New

As of May 1, 2014, Kela Associates has relocated to Potomac, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, but will continue to value and maintain our Hawaii practice (as we do our mainland practice) through video calls, periodic visits, and new partnerships.  Our contact information as of May 1, is:

Jeff Schwartz – Kela Associates – 11904 Henry Fleet Drive, Potomac, MD 20854 – Phone: 301-339-8895; Cell: 240-505-2120 – Email: jeff@kelaassociates.com; Web site: www.kelaassociates.com

Here are some other recent developments and upcoming plans for Kela Associates.

1. Hawaii Nonprofit Action Planning Workshops on “Surviving and Thriving in the New Normal”: Kela Associates has joined SAS Services, LLC, University of Hawaii School of Social Work, and the Hawaii Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers in co-sponsoring a special action-oriented workshop series on how nonprofits in Hawaii can survive and thrive in the new reality. 

  • The first workshop looked at the challenging new environment of cuts in federal, state, and local funding and the increased competition for scarce foundation and corporate sponsorship funds.  It helped focus on nonprofits’ needs to build their adaptive capacity and develop new business models to survive and thrive. 
  • The second workshop focused on new ways and new tools to strengthen fund raising, other revenue generation, board recruitment and board engagement. 
  • The third workshop focused on how to measure demonstrate and communicate your nonprofit’s impact and make one or more persuasive case statements aimed at the most important stakeholders — funders, investors, potential partners, board and staff recruits, etc.
  • The final workshop held in mid-May focused on five strategies for increasing impact without increasing overhead. In each workshop we have sought to provide new insights, concrete and practical tools and solutions, and opportunities for shared action.

Participant evaluations praised the second and third workshop even more than the first. One participant summed it all up: “I got way more value for this workshop than my registration fee cost.”

2. Kela Coaching for 5 Sustainable Home Ownership Organizations in the NeighborWorks America Network. In April 2014, Kela Associates began a new coaching assignment for NeighborWorks America’s Sustainable Home Ownership Program. Jeff is providing coaching support to leaders from from three New York state NeighborWorks affiliates and one South Carolina affiliate.  These include Ithaca (NY) Neighborhood Housing Services, NeighborWorks Rochester, and the Home Ownership Center (serving 6 counties and headquartered in Utica, NY).  The fourth group Jeff is providing coaching support to is Family Services, Inc. (North Charleston, SC). In September 2015, Jeff began coaching for NeighborWorks Green Bay (Green Bay, WI) to help them prepare for readiness to participate versions of the SHOP that may be sponsored in the future. 

3.  Barter Theatre 2015-2017 Strategic Planning: In January 2014, Kela Associates facilitated a “break through” strategic planning retreat for the board and staff of Barter Theatre, a nonprofit regional theater company in Abingdon, VA.  The focus of the Retreat was explore how the current business model of the theater can be significantly improved to increase its financial sustainability while preserving its artistic freedom and authentic voice. One participant called it “the best, most productive strategic planning meeting of any I’ve participated in over my entire 30 year plus career.” An entirely new set of business model initiatives was identified during the retreat. Post-retreat follow up plans include changing board meeting agendas to highlight discussion of the organization’s most important strategic challenges and opportunities.  In June 2014, Kela Associated facilitated a 6 month follow up board meeting of Barter Theatre board.  The meeting was held in the new tent on the Green, which was not even imagined six months before. Other important progress steps include the remodeling and reopening of Bob’s as a high end dining facility and the expansion of Barter Youth Academy from 1 to 5 communities and to less than 85 children enrolled to almost 300.

4. Jessie Ball duPont Fund Board Chair-Executive Director Leadership Institute: In March 2014, Kela Associates presented, facilitated, and provided coaching for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund’s sixth Board Chair-Executive Director Leadership Institute.  Participants in the Institute in prior years provided feedback reviews calling it “fantastic,” “enormously beneficial,” “wonderful,” and “exceptional.” This year’s reviews were equally stellar.
We Excel by Helping You Excel

5. Chattanooga Theatre Centre Strategic Planing Design and Facilitation (Chattanooga, TN): In September 2015, Kela Associates completed a strategic planning process for the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. The process was regarded by the Director and Board leadership to be sufficiently beneficial to warrant retaining Jeff for help in implementation and execution of the new plan.

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