Vidhya R. Kelly, LMSW
Associate Executive Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City
"The class that I was a part of was the largest yet, with a diverse group of professionals from both small and large organizations, coming from our own community in New York and from as far away as India and Peru. We all shared a vision to help those who are in need and I felt fortunate to be among such a strong set of leaders, from whom I was able to learn so much."
I enrolled in the program to continue to build on my leadership skills as my role at Big Brothers Big Sisters has expanded from being a social worker in 1997 to Associate Executive Director today.
The program exposed me to a number of new leadership techniques and encouraged me to examine our agency's best practices. The course was especially beneficial in the areas of development and strategic planning. The high caliber of my classmates provided an enriching atmosphere, fostering thought provoking discussion ultimately generating new ideas that I have been able to apply within my organization.
"The experience reaffirms and strengthens many of the skills and tools necessary to successfully lead nonprofit organizations."
My entire career has been dedicated to the nonprofit sector; the knowledge and skills I have are built largely through hands-on experience and practice rather than theoretical training or formal education.
The program provides a strong framework; information is presented in a practical and accessible way and offers tangible tools—strategy, finance and marketing skills—to support the daily operations and mission of nonprofits.
Director of Programs
The Doe Fund
"The Program prepared me to expand on a national scale The Doe Fund's mission of helping homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals become self-sufficient, law-abiding members of society."
I entered the Program shortly after The Doe Fund began to look toward national scaling of Ready, Willing & Able, our award-winning transitional employment program. Because the program began in New York City, our challenge is to adapt our model to make it work in other cities that have their own unique set of circumstances.
The Program provided me the tools I need to help The Doe Fund replicate our program while simultaneously allowing other localities the flexibility to address their diverse needs.
Deputy Executive Director-External Affairs
New York Cares
"INM was one of the best opportunities—from both an educational and professional perspective—of my life."
My tenure at New York Cares and other social service agencies beforehand gave me great real-world experience in nonprofit management, but without formal management training I often found myself basing too many strategic decisions on intuition rather than core knowledge of theories and best practices.
The INM Program changed this. The curriculum was fantastic, and the professors were among Columbia Business School's most renowned. The takeaways, especially those related to strategic management, negotiation, and financial analysis, were immediately applicable. Because of the Program I make smarter decisions with greater efficacy for New York Cares and our stakeholders.
Charles Barrett Adams
Head of School
The SEED Public Charter School of Washington, DC
"The program welcomed me as a leader with all of my flaws, rough edges, current abilities and hopeful potential."
Being new to the world of charter schools, Charles Barrett Adams faced a number of challenges, including working with a Board of Trustees, understanding budget priorities and developing long-term strategy. He also needed to learn the difference between leading and managing in his new role: in particular, how to motivate various stakeholders.
The four-week Institute for Not-for-Profit Management Program allowed Charles to step back and view these challenges from a new angle. "That distance and time, coupled with the creative and immense brain power of both my colleagues and our instructors, gave me the perspective I needed to craft the next steps for our organization. I often hear myself thinking, 'What would (insert INM colleague's name) do?' The program welcomed me as a leader with all of my flaws, rough edges, current abilities and hopeful potential."
Staten Island Not for Profit Association
"The strategic framework I learned, and practiced, during the INM Program gave me a long-term vision of our organization that settled a lot of short-term issues."
The primary challenge I hoped to address through the INM Program was to figure out how to grow the Staten Island NFP Association in a thoughtful way without chasing every funding source that came to our attention, which is not easy to do in tough economic times like these.
The applied part of the Program gave me the opportunity to create a strategic plan for my organization which has become a roadmap for deciding which new opportunities—and funding sources—are appropriate for us, and which are not.