2017 Week Six: Nonprofit Management


How can we build organizational trust? This was the question that was dead center in the PowerPoint presentation to the entire staff at Baltimore Corps on Tuesday morning’s all-staff meeting. The group was then broken up into groups of three or four to discuss questions like this one and a few others – serving as an all-staff reflection brainstorming session

While Baltimore Corps connects talent with opportunity in Baltimore, I am realizing more each day that the people of Baltimore Corps also have super powers. Some might have extraordinary work ethics, others interact well with other humans, but each and every single person that makes up Baltimore Corps has an incredible sense of humility. This group of people is constantly checking and reviewing itself to ensure that its mission of equity is core to its operations and realized through every action they take. To me, it was refreshing to see the entire team come together for a serious look at not only whose voice is being heard but who is at the table at all.

As I have now become more acquainted with the personalities and backgrounds of each Baltimore Corps staff, it was also fascinating to read the feedback they give to Baltimore Corps from their perspective. What did a supervisor who’s managed teams of hundreds in the non-profit sector for thirty years suggest about our organization’s structure versus a systems developer whose first ever job is to increase equity in Baltimore Corps’ systems?

However, this session inevitably begs the question, how will this feedback be incorporated into the innerworkings of Baltimore Corps effectively? Who will be the arbitrator of which pieces of feedback is taken to heart and which ones are left unexplored and untouched?
Nevertheless, I know that the best of Baltimore Corps comes from its staff, and I cannot wait to see where this team brings Baltimore Corps in 3, 5, and 10 years.


As the summer begins to wind down I feel like I still have so much more to write and learn about at my placement site. Unlike other CIIP interns this summer I did not have one big project to work on. Instead, every Thursday I have a deadline to turn in a draft of a blog post discussing whatever topic was assigned to me that week. As an intern I would like to end the summer by leaving a good impression, so I have been focusing on meeting all my deadlines. I want to end the summer by producing all of the writing that has been asked of me.

It has been such a rewarding experience to have my blog posts published and to be able to read the feedback from readers. Whenever someone reposts an article that I have written I get excited! I never really thought of myself as a writer, but I have grown more confident in my skill set after having to produce so many pieces of writing in an organizational voice for Invested Impact. I have also really appreciated that through my writing I have a concrete product to show for the work that I have been doing this summer.

picture of Della Xu CIIPDELLA XU | IMPACT HUB

There has been a buzz at the Hub ever since we launched our new membership online and with Artscape around the corner. Already we have had 5 new members, along with offices wanting to add new employees to our membership. This week also marked the completion of many of my earlier projects—getting new business cards for everyone, completing the membership handbook and terms & conditions, membership application questions, and transferring everyone to our new platform. I was surprised when most of our staff meeting was centered around the work I have done, and glad that I could greatly contribute to the operations of Impact Hub. In a meeting with Baltimore Corps, we discussed how organizations such as them can leverage Impact Hub as a resource to engage fellows and visionary leaders directly with the community. In another meeting with two branding and marketing, we discussed how we can make workshop and training curriculums comprehensive, effective, and accessible—a tough balancing act, especially for members who have their existing priorities. I think we need to critically consider what we want our organization to be—whether an exclusive incubator program with designated curricula and mentors, or an open-to-all model that relies on mostly pro bono service. As a background project, I have been researching incubator and accelerator models, along with mapping out the service provider landscape in Baltimore. Without any concrete deadlines and with side projects coming in every day, motivating and keeping myself on track with my personal research project has been a struggle. However, I have made sure to set personal check points and meetings with my supervisors to make sure the process is going smoothly and steadily.

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