The Power of Culture April 21st & 22nd 2015

Please join us for the April 21st and 22nd sessions of the Learning Center for Nonprofits

Susan Newton of Development Strategies Plus will present:


How Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

 Click Here to Register 

The greatest leverage point to enhance an organization’s performance is culture.  It provides the foundation for an organization, enabling the execution of strategy, achievement of goals, and fulfillment of mission. The conscious design of changing an organization’s culture should occur to foster employee commitment and participation, model the desired culture itself, and deliver intended business outcomes.

Since culture is a state of mind, it must be led, nurtured, constantly monitored, and adjusted.  Cultural norms, values, and rituals are increasingly recognized as key factors in the success and sustainability of many nonprofits. 

So, please join Susan and learn about what “it” really is, including a high level assessment of your culture, your pivotal role in impacting it, and the creation of an action plan to address “what’s next” for your individual organization.


An initial session from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. will be on April 21st and repeated on April 22nd.  Both will be held at the Walla Walla Community College’s William A. Grant Water & Environmental Center.

The sessions are designed for both staff and board members.  Executive directors are encouraged to bring board members to learn together as a team!

See you at the Learning Center!!

2015 Non Profit Learning Center Sessions at WWCC's Water Center

April 21/22, 2015

May 21/22, 2015

June 9/10, 2015

September 15/16, 2015

October 20/21, 2015

November 17/18, 2015

Please note that the content for each session is repeated on the second date, i.e. these are not 2-day sessions with new material at each session.  Also, any PowerPoint presentation and handout material will be posted on the Learning Center's webpage, i.e.



Sustainability among nonprofit organizations


Sustainability is a popular topic among nonprofit organizations.  What exactly is it?  How is it achieved?  Is it only about financial resiliency?  Some argue not.


For those nonprofit organizations interested in exploring more deeply, here are a few resources:


  • A small, but insightful book takes you on a journey to learn more deeply about those factors that are essential to real organizational sustainability.  A copy of Focus on Sustainability by Dennis McMillian of The Foraker Group is available for those interested.  Please contact Susan at 525-8863 or


  • Jeanne Bell, CEO of CompassPoint, has an article titled Beyond Financial Oversight: Expanding the Board’s Role in the Pursuit of Sustainability.  It is available at or on the Learning Center’s webpage under Resources, Article/Book/DVD’s.


Articles Worth Reading

PDF Nimble Nonprofits: Taking Nothing for Granted in an Era of Constant Change 

In the spring of 2012, a group of graduate students from the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington interviewed leaders of nonprofit organizations in the Puget Sound Area to determine how they were handling the challenges caused by the steep economic downturn beginning in 2008. The result is a summary of important insights into the resiliency of certain nonprofits that are determined to build resilient organizations that can adapt quickly to change.

Check out the article PDF "Bright Spots - Leadership in the Pacific Northwest".  The article is based on a six-month exploration by the Helicon Collaborative and describes the five characterisitics, Bright Spot Principles, shared by cultural organizations that are successfully adapting to changing conditions.

Books Available at WWCC Library

The library at Walla Walla Community College has acquired the following books:

  • Donor-Centered Fundraising by Penelope Burke
  • Governance as Leadership; Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards by Richard Chalt et. al.
  • Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations by Michael Allison and Jude Kaye
  • Boards on Fire! Inspiring Leaders to Raise Money Joyfully by Susan Howlett
  • Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block
  • Be Quiet and Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion by Susan and Peter Glaser

These books are housed at the WWCC library. They can be picked up at the Walla Walla campus or requested online and picked up at any of the WALNET Libraries. A WALNET library card is needed to check the materials out of the library. Seach for the above titles and their availabilty at or call 509.527.4294.

A Book Worth Reading on Fundraising!!

Boards on Fire: Inspiring Leaders to Raise Money Joyfully is a new book published by Susan Howlett, a national consultant to nonprofit organizations. For more information go to

Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea by Gary Kinder (1998). On the surface, this is a story of recovering gold from the 1857 shipwreck of the steamship Central America off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Underneath, this may be the most instructional book ever written on the art of fundraising.

Remember the Glasers!

Re-visit the wisdom of Drs. Susan and Peter Glaser, PhD Communications, through an intergrated, 3-part video learning system titled "Mastery of Leadership Communication".

The DVD set includes:

  • Breakthrough Conflict
  • Hardwiring Teamwork
  • Persuasion and Influence

These DVD's will enable nonprofit organizations to teach their staff the Glaser's communication models, which have been featured at several Sherwood Trust workshops at Whitman College.

The DVD's are available for no cost and can be checked out by contacting Walla Walla Council Camp Fire office (525-3180) at 414 S. Park Street.