This presentation represents a culmination of work conducted by Jamie Wright as part of a Non-Profit Leadership Strategy Project for Penn State University over the Fall 2013 semester.
CEG is the local non-profit arm of Calpine Corporation, a company that owns and operates power plants across the United States. As a way of giving back to the communities in which they operate, CEG holds various community events throughout the year.
One of the ways CEG give back to the community is to organize quarterly highway clean-ups. The purpose of this event is to show the CEG is a good steward within the communities they live in, and as a method of beautifying the highways. Each event is always a big success with much turnout from regular employees willing to donate their time to serving their community.
One of the bonuses that comes from the highway cleanup efforts is the increased camaraderie among co-workers. Working together in a light-hearted manner brings together employees from many different departments, operations, maintenance, and office staff all working together for the common good.
Who doesn’t love a good smoked and well cooked rib? One of the more popular events that takes place is the annual rib cook-off.
This event brings competitors from all around to test their ribs against the best. This event includes community participation, not all participants are employees of the company. This allows for greater company and community integration in a friendly competitive manner. In the past this event has created much goodwill with community residents and is something to look forward to year after year.
Four! The biggest event of the year is the annual Sutter Projects golf tournament. Sponsored by CEG, the golf tournament has brought competitors from as far away as Houston, Texas. Proceeds raised from the golf tournament and the accompanying luncheon are put back into the community through various corporate sponsorship programs.
Attendance for the golf tournament ranges anywhere from 40-100 people. This is a fun event that people plan for every year, looking forward to the small rivalries that exist, while doing a good turn for the community.
Each event planned by CEG is staffed by volunteers. Because of this, recruiting volunteers to help plan and organize these events has been the biggest challenge in the past.
Another major issue is that of organization. Because of the use of volunteers, the talents available for use in the project are a bit mixed. Some years have gone smoothly and others have been a complete mess.
From my point of view, solutions are readily evident. One of the component of the yearly employee goal making process is that of public service. Every year, each employee is required to participate in at least one community service event. If at the beginning of the year employees were to choose which events they were willing to participate in, then when the time comes for planning and implementing the project, the project leader will have a better idea of the manpower and talents available, creating less of a headache once the project is underway.
To help with the issue of organization, I have been introducing staff to Microsoft Project. While this program is in use in other areas of the organization, its use has never been applied to the community events. Since these events take place every year, taking the time to plan and plot them with MS Project creates a template that can be used year after year. This way, regardless of the talents available, staff will know what tasks need to be done and in what order so all bases are covered. This will reduce the stress placed on the project leaders caused by poorly planned events.
Where are the leaders. Because CEG relies mainly on volunteers, waiting for a leader to arise may never come. What can be done in the interim? One of the methods that CEG can employ is enabling all employees to be leaders throughout their day to day duties. Leadership skills do not come overnight, they need to be developed and cultivated. By giving employees leadership opportunities every step of the way will create an organization full of people with leadership skills. So, when the time comes, anyone can potentially stand up and successfully lead the community service events.
This project has given me a better insight into the actions of a non-profit organization. I have learned that doing good needs to be a conscious effort, that nothing great comes from a half-hearted attempt. Many of the no-profits in existence today are all taking great strides to make a difference in our world, and in order to accomplish this, effective leaders are needed. Before taking on this project, I never put much thought into the amount of work required to organize many of the charity events I see everyday, such as 5K runs, or food kitchen service. As with any project, staff needs direction and this can only come through proper leadership that sees the vision of the organization and is able to effectively communicate this vision through his/her actions. Going forward, regardless of the role I take within my organization, I will always look for opportunities to practice and develop my leadership skills, because I never know when I will be called upon to act on those skills.
Wrightj final non profit project
0 Who we are
0 What we do
0 Who we serve
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