There is nothing that makes us happier than seeing our clients succeed. The BTS team is proud to work with these fine organizations and individuals that are committed to making the world a better place. We hope the spotlights below give you a sense of our collaborations and the successful outcomes.
A group of physicians, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, educators and other communication professionals met to discuss why, of the estimated population of candidates who could benefit from a cochlear implant in treating deafness, only a small percentage had received one. They determined that while there were a number of organizations in the field of hearing loss representing professionals, consumer and parents, there was no organization that sought to bring together the various parties and interests with a comprehensive focus on cochlear implants. Hence the American Cochlear Implant (ACI) Alliance was formed to bring together the expertise and passion among these groups and advance access to the gift of hearing provided by cochlear implantation through research, advocacy and awareness.
How do you take such a noble concept and turn it into the reality of a working organization?
BTS developed and executed a strategy that laid the foundation for an independent non-profit organization to emphasize accountability and outreach in addressing access to information, technology and care related to cochlear implantation.
BTS collaborated with ACI Alliance stakeholders to achieve their aspirations and within six months had incorporated the organization as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit corporation. From the preparation and adoption of governing by-laws and policies, election of a board of directors, establishment of committees, financial oversight, website development, membership recruitment and management of third party vendors, BTS made their vision a reality, culminating one year later in the recruitment and hiring of a full-time permanent Executive Director. The ED continues to thrive in their role today, focused on advancing the mission and moving the organization to the national stage.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
As America’s premier mentoring organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change a child’s life for the better, forever. After an annual evaluation of and by its board of directors, BBBS of Metro Chicago took steps to create a new process to hold its board members accountable to a series of responsibilities, including required give/get threshold at a significantly higher amount.
A board member agreed with this shift and voted for the change yet was concerned about achieving the threshold without corporate support, which they did not have in their network. A strong believer in the organization and its mission, they wish to remain on the board, but were uncomfortable leveraging their personal network.
BTS worked directly with the board member, mentored them on stewardship and cultivation techniques and demystified “the art of fundraising”. Together they collaborated on developing a reception event hosted in the home of the board member, as well as the supporting strategic activities preceding and following the event.
The board member and spouse hosted an afternoon outdoor reception in their home, including light refreshments. Attended by family, friends and colleagues, whom the board member felt had giving potential, the evening’s highlights include the board member’s personal testimonial for their involvement, the CEO’s overview of the mission, a Big and Little’s story and a video showcasing the agency’s impact. As a result of the event, the organization received more than $10,000 in donations, the board member went on to meet the give/get threshold and the event became an annual activity raising more than $60,000 in four years.
Over the course of its history, CURE has led a dramatic shift in the epilepsy research community from simply treating seizures to enhancing understanding of underlying mechanisms and causes, so that cures and preventative strategies can be found. In 2009 the board of directors approved a new five year strategic plan to address the challenges in epilepsy research and accelerate the impact of CURE’S mission. The guiding principles of the plan included four key strategic initiatives, a timeline for specific activities required within each initiative and assignment of leadership to manage each function. The timeline was aggressive in order to keep the plan moving forward and to begin executing the new strategic priorities.
CURE was operating with both a lean personnel structure and board membership at the time and everyone was actively engaged in managing a number of key activities. The organization didn’t have the resources or capacity to move forward without negatively impacting the current programs and fundraising activities. At the same time, they did not want to lose ground on implementation of the new strategic plan.
The board prioritized the four initiatives and brought BTS on board in 2010 to lead the management and implementation of two initiatives with a tightly focused set of deliverables.
Over a period of eight months, BTS collaborated with CURE stakeholders. Activities required for implementation of the two initiatives were completed and many of the aspirations over the strategic plan period were achieved. Progress was also made on a number of other activities with the remaining two initiatives. Many of the deliverables from the original plan remain in use today by CURE stakeholders and staff with positive results.