“Thank YOU! What a phenomenal experience. So many ideas, so much helpful guidance, and loads of positive interaction with other councils like ours.”
We had 20 Council Directors attend our Annual and Education Summit, some of whom brought an additional 12 Board Members and Board Chairs.
Estimated girls & women affected
This number includes the coaches and mothers of girls and Council staff that had Directors attend the training.
Estimated community members affected
It has been one year since you chose to support scholarships to 25 Girls on the Run (GOTR) Council Directors and Board Members to attend the Girls on the Run International (GOTRI) Summit so that they could more effectively lead a youth development program and better serve girls in their communities. The event consists of a 3-day Annual Summit preceded by the Educational Summit, which provides an extra day of professional development and growth. The GOTRI Summit program includes breakout sessions focusing on all areas of non-profit and program management, and provides an opportunity where participants can network, learn best practices for council success and growth, and interact with leadership from the national office.
Many Girls on the Run Councils are small, with limited budgets and often comprised of an unpaid volunteer Directors. Nearly half of Council Directors have never attended the Summit, which is vital to their personal and professional development. Without the support training provided, Council Director turnover, and even council termination, occurs. When a council terminates, it is the young women they serves who are most impacted.
By providing professional development scholarships to small and mid-size GOTR Council Directors to attend the Summit, we provide an opportunity for them to enhance their confidence and ability to lead, cultivate program excellence, and increase program participation and organizational sustainability.
One Council Director wrote: “Thank YOU! What a phenomenal experience. So many ideas, so much helpful guidance, and loads of positive interaction with other councils like ours. Start to finish, just awesome. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend.”
And another wrote: “Lisa – the thanks are for you and to the staff that made it all possible…I continue to focus on the overall strides our Council has made and desire to create a solid foundation to allow it to continue and grow.”
Risks and challenges
The greatest challenges that this project encountered were tied to location and time. We hosted the Annual and Education Summit in San Antonio, Texas. Because those GOTR Councils that were invited to attend the Summit are located throughout the United States and Canada, it meant that it was not easily accessible to everyone. Additionally, some Council Directors encountered travel difficulties due to weather or travel delays. Finally, there was a time constraint in holding the GOTRI Summit over a 3-day period and several participants expressed a desire for more time for learning and growth opportunities.
What we’ve learned
We believe that providing professional development opportunities to develop strong leadership qualities among its Council Directors and Board Members is vital to the success of all councils. This is especially beneficial to small and mid-size councils with limited budgets who do not have the ability to support professional development opportunities. Through the project experience, we learned several things that could enhance this critical leadership developmental tool. Specifically these include:
- Providing additional time for learning and getting to know each other.
- Providing more subject matter experts to trainees to answer specific questions after the Summit ends.
- Providing more time for sharing experiences/ideas, as well as for a longer question/answer time.
We had a Summit planning meeting in July to address specific outcomes and lessons learned from the GOTRI Catapult Summit scholarship project. We will look at the benefits of the project and learn more about continuing it in a way that would make it a more impactful professional development opportunity..
The original budget of $12,500 was exceeded as we realized some of the smaller GOTR councils who were attending and receiving scholarships needed extra support to cover hotel costs. These additional hotel expenses were funded by corporate sponsorships.
Amount spent so far
25 training scholraships
The 20 attendees spent their first day participating in a Leadership Training program that addressed key components of non-profit management such as:
- Council Planning: Vision Exercise, Models, Council Self-Assessment and Council Plan;
- Fund development: Overview, Building Your Plan and Making the Ask; Building a Great
- Board: Board Best Practices, Board Evaluation Policy, Establishing a Give and Get Policy.
Attendees came from all over the United States.
The Girls on the Run Education Summit is a key component to equipping council staff and volunteers to better serve girls in their community. Council Directors, program staff board members and other key volunteers come together for professional development, in a collaborative environment, where participants can network with other councils, learn best practices for council success and growth and interact with leadership from the national office.
The program includes breakout sessions focusing on all area of council management and includes training on board governance, fund development, program delivery, event management, social media and financial management.
With more than 200 councils around the country, nearly half of all directors have never attended the Education Summit vital to their personal and professional development. Many councils are small and often comprised of unpaid Directors without the budget to attend.
Without the support training provides, Council Director turnover, and even council termination, occurs. Since receiving the generous Catapult grant, Girls on the Run has awarded 18 scholarships to Council Directors to attend our national Summit in San Antonio on Jan 19-22. In addition, this group of leaders will have a special half day of training to prior to the start of the Summit to help maximize their learning outcomes.
Risks and challenges
So far the process has been very easy to manage. The recipients were informed they received a scholarship to attend the annual Summit and we've had very positive feedback. We will do a qualitative debrief with the recipients at the end of the Summit to see which learning outcomes had the most impact.
We hope to have specific comment and quotes after our scholarship recipients attend the Summit in January.
We will be communicating with this group prior to the Summit about learning outcomes and helping them maximize this experience. After the Summit we will get feedback from the attendees about the scholarship application process and how we can improve it.
Targeted leadership development increases the effectiveness of Girls on the Run programs.
Why we care: Girls on the Run Council directors lead our physical activity based youth development program where volunteers teach critical life skills to girls.
How we’re solving this: Provide scholarships for 25 council directors to attend leadership training so they can more effectively lead a youth development program.
Girls on the Run is a non-profit focused on girls during the critical, formative years of 3rd to 8th grade. Our mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experienced-based curriculum, which creatively integrates running. The organization serves more than 120,000 girls annually with its program (47 states, D.C. and Canada) and continues to grow at an average of 20% per year. The 12-week program culminates with a 5K ( run, totally 200 events annually.
The Girls on the Run Education Summit is a key component to equipping council staff and volunteers to better serve girls in their community. Council Directors, program staff, board members and other key volunteers come together for professional development, in a collaborative environment, where participants can network with other councils, learn best practices for council success and growth and interact with leadership from the national office. The program includes breakout sessions focusing on all areas of council management and includes training on board governance, fund development, program delivery, event management, social media and financial management. Attendees leave feeling energized and supported in their efforts to facilitate growth in their communities, therefore increasing the effectiveness of Girls on the Run to reach and inspire more pre-teen girls in every community.
With more than 200 councils around the country, nearly half of all directors have never attended the Education Summit vital to their personal and professional development. Many councils are small and often comprised of unpaid volunteer Directors without the budget to attend. Without the support training provides, Council Director turnover, and even council termination, occurs. When a council terminates, it is the young women Girls on the Run serves who are most impacted. Council Directors, staff and key volunteers need more than just passion; they need the knowledge and experience to motivate, inspire and lead their councils to grow and achieve greater impact in their community.
Funding will provide scholarships for 25 council directors to attend the Education Summit enhancing their confidence and ability to lead, cultivating program excellence and increase participation an organizational growth.