A key aspect of each Leadership Toledo adult class is the opportunity for participants to expand both their knowledge of local organizations and hone leadership skills through participation in a small group project. Class members self-select their projects from those submitted through this unique process offered to nonprofit and civic organizations. Selected organizations benefit from the energy and talents of a small group of outstanding volunteers wishing to make an impact while helping Leadership Toledo encourage the further development of community awareness, critical thinking skills, and group dynamics.
Often, the best projects result from individuals who take the time to share with others the value of this program. Leadership Toledo invites and encourages all residents to help raise awareness of this opportunity--over 150 non-profit/community organizations have been served! In 2019-2020, from the many proposals submitted, the class selected eight projects from eight different organizations, including: Anne Grady Services, Children’s Theatre Workshop, First Tee of Lake Erie, Friends of Lucas County, Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, Mercy Health, The Miracle League, and Toledo School for the Arts
-The agency/organization submitting a project must be a non-profit or group working to become a nonprofit, or equivalent public sector organization (like a school, or city/county department).
-The agency/organization must be an active, collaborative partner in the project
-The project must have defined outcomes, including an outline of the resources required (materials, money, labor, etc) necessary for success, and a plan for securing these resources and a mechanism or plan for evaluating the project’s success.
-There must be an identified non-profit agency/organization staff liaison who agrees to work with the project team
-There must be clearly defined staff roles in relation to the group project team member roles
-The non-profit agency/organization cannot be the employer of a group project team member, nor can the participant currently be serving as a board member for the non-profit
-Capital improvement projects (i.e. clean up/fix up) and fundraising projects will not be considered. Any funding that may be needed to complete the project is the sole responsibility of the nonprofit/civic organization.
-Agencies should view the project as a mutual endeavor that they are equal partners with the Leadership Toledo team.
-It helps to be flexible. Sometimes projects go in a direction that is different than what the agency or the project team envisioned. The end result can be more powerful than anyone expected. It helps to be prepared to be creative and shift the focus of the project if the “vision” changes, especially if the project was “visionary” to start with.
-Projects can provide the boost your agency needs to get something started that can continue on its own after the project is completed. It is also possible that the project you propose isn’t one that can be completed in the 6 month time frame, but in stages that would allow you to present the next stage to the next LT class.
- Excellent communication is CRITICAL. If staff members don’t meet regularly with the LT group, they may make assumptions that are inaccurate. Insist on routinely attending meetings.
-Please note that class participants self-select their projects based upon their community/civic concerns, passions and interests.
-Deadline for submission is Monday, September 27,2021 at 11:59 p.m.
-You will be notified by October 11, 2021 if you have been selected to present to the class.
-Selected agencies will present their projects on Thursday, October 21, 2021
-Projects will be completed (if possible) by the middle of May 2022
Q. How big should the project be? We’re not looking for something short-term and tactical (the kind of thing you might normally use with volunteers), but rather something that will require the team to think strategically about the plan as well as the implementation. Generally, think of projects that can be completed in 3-5 months.
Q. Is my project too hard? Too easy? It should be challenging for a group of people, but something they can accomplish in the allotted time.
Q. Is my project appropriate for this? We’re not looking for projects that can be completed all in one day or that are merely tactical/short term (like working an event you already have planned) or fundraisers. Although class teams can help solicit funds or in-kind donations to accomplish the project, that should not be the focus.