The Digital Collaboration Workshop

The Gifford Foundation is working with The CNY Community Foundation, Mindflower Studio, and MXD Arts to provide a virtual workshop series and consultant services to the CNY nonprofit community. The goal is to improve board development and teach new strategies for working remotely.

            The sudden arrival of the coronavirus pandemic left businesses and nonprofits struggling to reinvent their operations remotely. The implications of this transition have not only been technical: even after Zoom licenses were secured and laptops distributed, many organizations have been grappling with altered group dynamics, communication challenges, low morale, and the difficulty of converting in-person events to a virtual format. In recognition of these new barriers, The Gifford Foundation has partnered with The Central New York Community Foundation to offer a three-session virtual training webinar led by Mindflower Studio and MDX Arts.

            Each class will be highly interactive and is designed to encourage collaboration and reflection. Session leaders Kim Larkin and Abby Wilkymacky are based in Arizona but have worldwide experience teaching empathy-driven, creative, and transformational strategies to businesses and nonprofits alike – including Fortune 100 and 500 companies.

Helping lead the webinar series is Mindflower Studio, a consulting group that helps organizations improve their teamwork and problem solving strategies.

Session Information and Dates

Engaging Board Meetings

Thursday, November 5th: 12-1:30 EST

A (virtual) board meeting does not just have to be a report-out, it should maximize the time you have with the unique perspectives of each board member. We will cover tips and tricks for hosting virtual board meetings, share new ice-breakers for social engagement, and work on framing key questions to foster strategic conversations in a more dynamic way.

Value-aligned Planning Meetings

Thursday, November 12th: 12-1:30 EST
In times of ambiguity, organizational values are our guideposts. We will teach simple and effective methods to ensure that planning and decisions align with an organization’s core mission and values, especially when meeting remotely. Participants will have the opportunity to create a Decision-Making Filter to apply to their own organization.

Actionable Committee Meetings

Thursday, November 19th: 12-1:30 EST

Actionable Committee Meetings: In this workshop, we will share essential tools to plan and prime committees for meaningful contributions, even when you are not face-to-face. We will showcase ways to delegate, generate ideas, share updates, and plan for action.
How to Sign Up

The Gifford Foundation will select a total of 25 organizations with up to four members participating from each. Our preference is for the organization’s participants to include at least two board members and key staff members. In addition to the three-session webinar series, accepted applicants will receive three hours in personalized one-on-one consulting services from the instructors. 

  • Please note that if you choose to participate, you must attend all three sessions. 

  • Participating organizations must be based in either Onondaga, Madison, or Oswego counties.
  • Nonprofits are encouraged to apply on or before Monday, November 2nd using the Zoom registration portal below.
What to Expect

Abby (Mindflower Studio) and Kim (MXD Arts) facilitate digital training series that help nonprofit leaders, teams, and boards build their skills and confidence in planning, facilitating, and participating in engaging virtual experiences. The training will emphasize:

  • Designing engaging board meetings
  • Leading actionable and effective committee meetings
  • Facilitating strategic dialogues
  • Building a more engaged and collaborative board
  • Translating social events to the virtual environment
  • Generating proactive solutions/ideas
  • Planning for action
  • Engaging all voices

The types of skills taught during the webinar will include:

  • Achieving clarity of purpose
  • Storytelling for Scenario Planning
  • Supporting emotional wellness
  • Values-based decision making
  • Empathy tools
  • Deep listening
  • Creativity boosters
  • Meaningful problem-framing
Questions? Send us a message

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