The Embracing Disruption Cohort is a 17-month capacity building program developed to support organizations as they navigate an increasingly unpredictable world.

Graduate Feedback

Listen to program reviews and anecdotes from last year’s Embracing Disruption cohort featuring a range of nonprofit organizations from across CNY.

Program History

Embracing Disruption was created to help organizations navigate today’s changing world. Click the icon above to learn about its history and mission.

Gifford will select five organizations to participate in this pilot round of Embracing Disruption based on the following criteria:

  • Organizations must be receptive to change.
  • Reflect strong leadership at the organizational and board levels.
  • Be able to field a leadership team (a minimum 4 people is required per leadership team).
  • Leadership Team members need to be committed to stay with the team to monitor the progress of the capacity work plan and stay engaged for the entire 17-month period.
  • Organizations must have ongoing programming that is critical to the community.
  • Serve Onondaga, Madison, or Oswego Counties.

Congratulations to our Second Cohort!

We would like to highlight the incredible hard work and perseverance shown by our graduating Embracing Disruption cohort. These five organizations have showed courage, commitment, and creativity over the past 17 months as they pushed to reinvigorate their systems, programs, and philosophies. As they graduate from the program, we cannot wait to see what they go on to accomplish.

If you are considering whether or not Embracing Disruption would be a good fit for your organization, we encourage you to contact any of our past participants in order to hear their take on what the program experience was really like.

About the Program

The 21st century has been defined by rapid change and unprecedented disruption. Our methods of communication, entertainment, commerce, and so much have all changed dramatically due to technological advancements and an increasingly interconnected global community. The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated these transformations, sending shockwaves that have deeply shaken every area of our economies and communities – the nonprofit sector included.

Looking to the future, perhaps the only prediction that we can make with any certainty is that the coming years will continue to bring extreme upheaval in nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives. The institutions that survive will be those who are the most adaptive, creative, and flexible. The Gifford Foundation is committed to helping nonprofit organizations across CNY address these challenges through our capacity building program Embracing Disruption: Resilience Amidst a Changing Environment.

“In order to keep up with the world of 2050, you will need not merely to invent new ideas and products – you will above all need to reinvent yourself again and again.”

– Prof. Yuval Noah Harari

How can your nonprofit adapt to a remote work environment?

What steps can you take to diversify your funding sources?

How can you create effective contingency plans?

Learn How To Prepare

The Embracing Disruption Cohort is a 17-month capacity building program developed to support organizations as they navigate a rapidly changing environment. The curriculum uses a Nonprofit Lifecycles approach to organizational development. This program is designed to host five organizations through a self-assessment, planning process, and capacity implementation period. While similar to past Gifford programs like POWER and ADVANS, the Embracing Disruption Cohort program focuses heavily on building organizational resiliency in our increasingly unpredictable world.

The program design uses concepts developed under the direction of organizational consultant Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens. This “meet them where they are” approach is known as the Nonprofit Lifecycles Approach to capacity building. The Gifford Foundation launches this capacity building initiative with lead consultant Jennifer Bonnett, MPA, CLCC, CEO & President of the Nonprofit Lifecycles Institute.

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