An Invermere non-profit plans how to better serve its clients
“When emotional attachments pull on your heartstrings, having a facilitator to focus the organization on what’s realistic is incredibly valuable.” As the President of WeCONNECT, an organization for people with diverse abilities, Corinne Tansowny knows all about emotional tugs. That’s why, when it came to prioritizing the organizations goals and activities, the non-profit benefited from the expertise provided by Columbia Basin Trust’s Non-profit Advisors Program.
Formally the Windermere District Social Service Society, Invermere-based WeCONNECT has a 50-year history of enabling people of varying abilities to engage in the community and feel a sense of belonging. Manager Donna Jefferson says the organization is much like a family for its clients, some of whom live in its Mount Nelson Place, an eight-bed staffed residential home.
“I have such passion for WeCONNECT’s mission,” says Jefferson. “And so do all of our dedicated staff and volunteers.”
To keep its Board moving in a well-planned direction; however, the organization needed some information and resources. It found this through the Non-profit Advisors Program, which provides advisory support so that non-profits in the Columbia Basin can build capacity and sustainability.
“Working with a professional helped us look at the big picture and kept us on track,” says Tansowny. “We all have a wish list, but there are certain parameters to consider when it comes to planning and guiding a non-profit.”
The consultant-led planning session helped the Board set priorities and how to move forward with them. For example, it decided to conduct a survey to capture the voices and needs of Columbia Valley community members; the results are guiding the shape of its future programs and initiatives. The outcomes will make a huge difference for clients like Jarret, one of Mount Nelson Place’s youngest residents, who has cerebral palsy and loves strapping into a sit ski to enjoy fresh powder at Panorama Mountain Resort.
“It’s incredibly rewarding for all of us to see smiles on the faces of clients like Jarrett,” says Jefferson.
With solid plans for its future, WeCONNECT can continue to promote such personal growth and joy.