Talented and hard-working staff; great mission; lacks innovation and senior leadership lacks youth.
Director (Former Employee) – Philadelphia, PA – September 10, 2011
Along with its great mission, BBBSA is a small enough national organization where you can learn a lot about non-profits, if you're willing to create learning opportunities for yourself. There are many smart and talented people from whom to learn. The work can be challenging (that's a good thing) and most employees are dedicated to performing well. This is the kind of environment where you leave the job but not the people. They stay with you.
While the org is good at vision and conceptualizing the impact of its service model and outcomes, it cannot effectively execute its strategy. It lacks innovation. The folks in the trenches have great ideas and are willing to try something new but their voices are unheard. Senior management is overly cautious, glacial in its pace to make decisions, and has lost focus on its core mission and the importance of the people doing the work. A more trusting approach with its directors and business managers would serve the organization well.
Advice to Senior Management
Despite changes in 2010, senior management needs a make-over, starting at the top. At the risk of sounding ageist, BBBSA would greatly benefit by hiring leaders less than 50 years old who are more in touch with business/working models that fit today's marketplace and who can more easily connect with the 20 to 30 somethings that make up the majority of the workforce. Its hiring practices should focus on getting the most qualified, forward-thinking individuals rather than building a "diversity profile" for the sake of how it "looks" in the eyes of potential funders.