Displaying items by tag: leadership management

What you need to know now about the U.S. Coronavirus relief effort

by Tony Gruber, ControllerpaycheckProgram
Heartbeat International

The coronavirus is perceived by many as the largest challenge our world has faced in many decades. In answer to that challenge, the United States has enacted the largest aid package in the history of the country – with a $2.2 trillion estimated price tag. Help and aid is being offered to individuals, businesses and non-profits.

We’re going to unpack many of these benefits in a webinar next Tuesday. However, we’d like to quickly highlight one opportunity because it won’t last long!

Stay on Target! Our Mission Remains

by Jor-El Godsey, LAS, PresidentBabySaved
Heartbeat International

“Stay on target!” is a familiar line from the first Star Wars movie. The small band of intrepid rebels were being exhorted to keep focused on defeating the planet-killing Death Star. All while being attacked by Darth Vader and his Imperial cohorts.

During “normal” times the mission of pregnancy help is facing a Goliath-like giant in Big Abortion and its flagship, Planned Parenthood. Of course, these days impacted by COVID-19 (or at least the anxiety surrounding it) are far from normal. There is a very present need to reach and rescue as many lives as possible.

Are You Composed Under Pressure?

That's the question Dr. Rob McKenna has for you and all leaders leading up to the 2020 Heartbeat International Annual Conference this April.

The findings at WiLD Leaders? It's a matter of purpose. 

Check out Dr. Rob McKenna's message to you below as he prepares to share more with you through his PEG Talk and Deeper Dive at this year's Heartbeat International Annual Conference in Seattle.

 

Dr. Rob McKenna from WiLD Leaders

Life Launch Grant Assessment

Heartbeat International's Pregnancy Help Center Life Launch Grant is designed to inspire a new season of pregnancy help center start-ups by supporting individuals opening brand new centers in areas primed for more life-saving outreach. The grant is created to help start-ups open their doors and advance pregnancy help to new communities throughout the United States. Following a matching grant format, grant recipients would receive $30,000 in resources and funds upon raising $30,000 in funds.

This initial qualification assessment will help to identify if you qualify as a start-up pregnancy help center in an underserved community. Please note that if you answer "no" to any of these questions, it does not mean that you are automatically disqualified from the program. For questions related to the program, please contact the Grant Program Specialist, Sara Littlefield, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

After submitting your assessment, you will receive a follow up response concerning your submitted assessment informing you of any potential next steps within 2 weeks. Should you be invited to apply for the Life Launch grant, the application window will be open September 1 - October 31. For questions related to the program, please contact the Grant Program Specialist, Sara Littlefield, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

10 Ideas on Creating an Organization Built to Last

by Mary Peterson, Heartbeat Housing SpecialistFoundation

When studying organizational development, you learn that the shift between stages is a very challenging season. Moving from founding and early decision making into a stage of sustaining and stability demands different skills and leadership strategies. Below are a few thoughts on things you can do to help ease that transition.

  1. Get things written down. 
    Capture big decisions on paper—board policies, staff approaches, programmatic structures. Even if it is as simple as having a place to capture notes, when it is time to draft something like a board orientation or staff handbook, starting with a bunch of notes is a much easier starting place than a blank sheet of paper.  
  2. Create systems. 
    You may know how to generate payroll or the staffing schedule or handle an intake interview. But, often that is all "in your head." Think of forms, checklists, habits, communication tools, and things like them as ways to build a training program that can transfer knowledge and responsibility to other people.
  3. Take time for the big picture. 
    Trainings, retreats, and other opportunities allow you to step back from the day-to-day tasks and think about your work in a new way. It also gives you an opportunity to re-engerize during challenging seasons.
  4. Make room for planning work. 
    When it feels like you are just putting out fires all the time, taking time to think about the long-term can feel like a huge burden. But, having segments of time to think deeply allows you do infrastructure building work and create strong foundations.
  5. Invest in staff. 
    Cross-train your staff. Send staff to trainings. Take time for supervision meetings. Delegate to them. By developing leadership in your staff members, you help secure the stability of the organization and can spark an impact that reaches far beyond your organization.
  6. Put some money into savings.
    During difficult seasons, having a small savings account might be necessary to weather the storm. Make a habit of saving, even if it is a small amount.
  7. Stay nimble. 
    Predictability, structures, and plans are great for sustainability. But, change happens all the time—staff members change, laws change, financial realities change. Create an organizational culture that doesn't panic when it has to adapt.
  8. Build traditions and tell your story. 
    Organizations can create a rich identity by taking time to celebrate key moments via traditions. Create opportunities to reflect on organizational experiences and memories.
  9. Talk and pray about the future. 
    The future includes the staff who will follow, programs that will change, and volunteers and donors who will be called to the work. Set a tone and expectation that a bright future exists that involves new people and new ideas.
  10. Build an organizational identity that isn't dependent on one person. 
    Anchor people to the mission of the organization, not to a charismatic personality. Having key supporters in relationship with multiple people eases the burden on the leader and maintains continuity when transitions happen.

When One Size Doesn't Actually Fit All

by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International Presidentone size fits all

There are very few instances where the label for clothing “one size fits all” is really true. This is because, for people both “size” and “fit” can vary widely amongst the “all!”

The same is true for organizations populated by people serving communities that both have diversity within, but are also different from other communities. An organization is best when it is more like an organism – able to adapt in such a way so as to leverage its greatest strengths in the best way to meet the mission amidst the unique needs of those it serves.

Pregnancy help can take many forms, or methods – from one time visits to extended care to full-on housing – all for our life-affirming mission. Similarly, at the heart of Heartbeat International is our mission to advance pregnancy help. Sometimes, that’s been a hand-in-hand effort actively consulting a steering committee through key milestones toward a fully functioning service location. Many other times, that journey has been guided only through various written materials serving as building blocks toward that same end.

The idea of Built by Design, a manual released in 2017, was to put those two concepts together into a multi-layered resource able to go far beyond the physical limitations of Heartbeat team members.

At Heartbeat International, our approach to pregnancy help is intentionally grassroots. Heartbeat was called into existence by local pregnancy centers and medical clinics when it formed in 1971. Today, maternity homes, medical clinics, adoption agencies and pregnancy resource centers are responding to a local need. What works in New York, New York, won't be the same as what works in Inskip, California – and it's more than just a difference of urban or rural. It's the local culture, the political climate, the fundraising sources. 

Those kinds of differences affect everything in a local organization from a name for your center that will communicate a safe place for clients (as well as a worthwhile investment for donors) to the way you recruit volunteers. An organization can sometimes find a way to partner with schools teaching sexual integrity, and build a positive reputation with students who may need them in the future. Or an organization might be called to locate next door to an abortion clinic where a woman will see the pregnancy center in her scariest moments and walk a few more steps for a safer place.

Whatever a pregnancy help organization might be called to do locally, Heartbeat is ready to help. That's why our resources, conferences, and trainings draw from an experienced – and varied – team. And when a Heartbeat team member can't be there every step of the way for a new organization, the resources we've developed can.

In that way, Built by Design, a start-from-scratch guide to starting a pregnancy help organization, seeks to fulfill the key elements of Habakkuk 2:2 (NASB), “Then the LORD answered me and said, 'Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run.'”  The vision for Heartbeat is to see more pregnancy help organizations and locations reach more of those in need. We “inscribed” that vision in the form of the various elements and how-to’s in order that those who read it, may run with their own vision of pregnancy help in their community!

This guide doesn’t so much condense the wisdom of all the other Heartbeat resources, as much as it connects them together to serve those with vision for life-affirming work in a God-honoring way. That's why, in addition to making it available alone, Built by Design is the key part to our Pregnancy Help Starter Kit, which includes written resources on everything from volunteer training to fundraising, strong leadership to legal considerations. 

The Psalmist (95:1, NASB) describes himself as a “pen in the hand of a ready writer.” Our prayer for this field guide is that it would be found by “ready writers” being used by God to create new opportunities to bring life-affirming ministry to life.

Because one size does not fit all. YOUR community needs YOU, and Heartbeat is here to help.

Dear Board Member . . .

At the end of Pregnancy Help Institute, we invite our attendees to write a letter to the Board of a pregnancy center who might be trying to decide whether to send staff for training or not. Every year, we are inspired by their reactions to working with other like-minded individuals as they sharpen their skills to continue serving on the front lines of pregnancy help. Here's what a few of our 2017 Pregnancy Help Institute graduates had to say.

 

Dear Board Member,newdirector

If you are looking for one single thing that you can do to grow the ministry that you are a part of, please consider sending your director to Pregnancy Help Institute. I know when the budget is tight it is hard to spend money and allow your director to be out of the office. But it is worth every penny. Equipping your director to do his/her job better is a huge part of Pregnancy Help Institute, but the encouragement they will find there, you cannot put a price tag on.

Sincerely,
2017 Pregnancy Help Institute Graduate
New Director Track

 

Dear Board Member,preganant woman ultrasound

If you are considering sending your medical staff for ultrasound training at Pregnancy Help Institute, please do it! It will equip your staff to not only learn/be able to perform basic ultrasound exams, but to give that mother a chance to view LIFE! Not only will they learn the skill of ultrasound, but they will also be encouraged spiritually to effectively help a mother see her unborn. Your staff will leave blessed when they go in, and blessed when they leave (Deuteronomy 28:6).

Sincerely,
2017 Pregnancy Help Institute Graduate
Ultrasound Training Track

 

Dear Board Member,Grow

What I have discovered is how important it is to take some time away to refresh and rediscover our purpose and energize our soul for the work we do. Being a part of the Pregnancy Help Institute training in development has helped me not only affirm much of what I have been focused on, but also to discover new ways to take our ministry to the next level. Development involves everyone on the team, and I have taken away so many ideas that I can present to our team to help us be the best we can be.

This week, I have been challenged, affirmed, and inspired to take what we do for God to the next level. I can take my skill set and use it for so much good. I have met amazing people who I will keep in touch with and bounce new ideas off of. It is so important to value the resources we have through Heartbeat International and to allow your team to participate so that they are more equipped to serve women and their families and affect generations to come and most importantly, be able to put on the armor of God to do the work we have been called to do. It’s an investment for God.

Sincerely,
2017 Pregnancy Help Institute Graduate
Development Track

 

Dear Board Member,Leadership

The investment for the heartbeat International training is not only faith-filled, but full of amazing information that can and will be incorporated into our plans for the home. I firmly believe this is something new members, as we add them to our team, need to attend. Not only has it been an amazing and information-filled week, but it has renewed my fire and excitement for our ministry.

Thank you,
2017 Pregnancy Help Institute Graduate
Leadership Track

Propelling Pregnancy Help Leaders to New Levels of Success

PHI15SmallGroup

by Ducia Hamm

What would bring 62 diverse individuals from a variety of pregnancy help organizations, hailing from 26 states, Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas together at the offices of Heartbeat International in Columbus, Ohio? Without a doubt–that would be Heartbeat International's Pregnancy Help Institute.

One pregnancy help leader summed up her experience as, “a great boot camp and leadership training that helps ensure our future success.”

Pregnancy Help Institute consists of three separate learning tracks: New Directors, Development and Leadership. This year, attendees were able to take advantage of unique opportunities that included a tour of the offices of both Heartbeat International and our 24/7 pregnancy helpline, Option Line.

Each day of the weeklong event started out with a gathering for prayer, devotion and fellowship centered on God’s Word before everyone headed off to their respective training tracks.

At the New Directors training, 48 new executive directors, each with less than three years’ experience in their position, received in-depth training designed just for them. Using the DIRECT Well Manual as their textbook, these new directors were able to benefit from Heartbeat International leaders Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D. and Jor-El Godsey along with Senior Director of Ministry Services Betty McDowell and several of Heartbeat International's expereienced staff members.

In addition, participants gained firsthand instruction on navigating the HeartbeatServices.org website while learning the benefits that OptionLine offers to life-affirming organizations.

“Being a new director is a complex position and a role that involves many facets,” one director told us. “This training gave a comprehensive overview of many of these facets that would be valuable for [new] directors”.

The Development track, an intimate group of six leaders jumped in with both feet on a path toward building strong funding plans for the future.

“With this size, we have a lot of free-wheeling discussion and the opportunity to address a lot of situations,” Kirk Walden, Heartbeat International’s Advancement Specialist and the track’s instructor, said. “And because we had development directors and executive directors from varying-sized organizations, we touched on a little bit of everything and were able to zero in on a lot of individual needs and challenges.”

The Development track addressed everything from a biblical perspective on fundraising to finding and building eight revenue streams that, while relationships stay strong, never run dry.

“Raising funds is about connecting in a meaningful way with those who care about our work, and then providing ways for these friends to do what they want to do—which is to support our work,” Kirk said. “It’s not complicated, but there is a process to all of this.

“The goal of the track is to not only identify how to be successful in building support, but to make sure each person who attends can say, ‘Hey, we can do this.’ I want everyone to walk away with practical tools and plan that works for them individually. That’s the important thing.”

Woven throughout the Leadership track were concepts developed by Built to Lead, an executive coaching program that has trained CEOs, presidents, and ministry leaders nationwide. Kitty Allen and John Rue from Built to Lead guided the group through “The 12 Essentials of Personal Excellence©”.

One of the attendees, Heartbeat International's own Tony Gruber, was part of the Leadership track.

“The class-time was informative, inspiring, and helpful,” Tony said. “I especially appreciated the homework reading assignments. What struck me the most was the high caliber of leadership in pregnancy help organizations and the opportunity that the Institute offered to meet leaders from around the country.”

Wondering whether you should attend the Pregnancy Help Institute in 2016? Check out this endorsement:

"I am leaving this week feeling encouraged, empowered and confident to continute to do the work the Lord has called me to do."

Sound like something you want to say next year? Bookmark this page and we'll see you then!

Meet 3 Housing Leaders

by Mary Peterson, Housing Specialist

Angie Hammond

Angie Hammond has spent 27 years in pro-life work including leadership in a pregnancy center, medical clinic, child-placing agency, and three maternity homes. Years ago, as the president of a women's ministry at her church, she heard about a pregnancy center that was opening. By the 2nd training, she was on staff as the outreach coordinator. She has recently retired as the Executive Director of Hope Mansion and is now using her experience to advise other homes. When asked about her favorite part of the work of maternity housing, she noted "My greatest joy is seeing a young woman–abandoned, rejected, and abused–being given the opportunity for God to transform her life." On behalf of Heartbeat, thank you for your many years of service, Angie! Blessed retirement!! Angie can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (972) 814-5502. https://www.hopemansion.com/

Sarah

Sarah Saccone serves as the full-time Program Director for Lamb of God Maternity Home, daily giving witness to her passion for women in crisis pregnancy through the gift of adoption. Utilizing her Bachelor degree in Sociology from California State University of San Marcos, Sarah worked as a counselor of homeless youth in a shelter-home atmosphere for nine years. She has served on a number of mental health non-profit boards, been a long-time volunteer for San Diego Hospice, and spent time teaching children in East Africa. When describing Sarah, Grace noted, "She is able to mentor, inspire, and listen...but also lay down the boundaries and call the moms on their stuff. I wish I could duplicate her for each of our future homes!"

Grace and Kirk Delaney

Grace Dulaney is the Founder and CEO of Agnus Dei Foundation. Inspired by her personal experience as a birthmother, Grace established the Foundation to impact the culture of life by being a champion for adoption as a viable and positive solution to an unplanned pregnancy. The foundation opened its first Lamb of God Maternity Home in San Diego two years ago. Because of its supportive and loving environment, 100% of the birthmothers in their program have stayed committed to their adoption plan. The foundation is laying plans to replicate this unique and successful model nationwide. The stories of birthmothers who have lived at Lamb of God Maternity Home are featured in The Sidewalk Chronicles, a beautiful documentary that aired on January 24th. The film juxtaposes the hurt and regrets of women who have aborted with the joy, pride, and peace of women who have chosen adoption [watch the trailer here]. http://www.agnusdeifoundation.org/

 

Leading in a Home

Sarah, the 30-year old Program Director of Lamb of God Maternity Home acknowledged, "It's mentally exhausting. My friends will ask, 'How was your day?' and I think, 'I can't even explain to you how my day was.'"

Leaders in maternity housing face the burden of supporting staff, like Sarah, who are daily facing the complicated scenarios of the moms. Plus, they must manage the logistical challenges of keeping an organization going–keeping procedures legal, staff equipped, donors informed, and more! Up against the programmatic and administrative challenges that a maternity-home demands, the role of leadership is particularly important.

The leadership exercised during the start-up stage has unique aspects. When reflecting on her experience of founding a home, Grace Delaney, the founder of Lamb of God Maternity Home, offered this leadership advice, "The most important aspect is to have things lined up before you move forward. There is such a temptation to put the cart before the horse." She continued, "Reign in and be more deliberate. Set realistic goals; have the right people in place; have the right physical location. Because once it begins, things really start happening!"

Once the home is operational, the challenge of finding "right fit" staff is common. Grace noted, "When it comes to getting the right staff, its 10% knowledge, 10% skills and 80% mindset. Mindset includes things like desire to serve, people skills, and flexibility. You need to find those with absolute passion--where it is a vocation!" Continuing on this theme, Sarah quipped, "Every job description should end with 'and it will be ever changing.' There is just something about the work that demands flexibility." After sharing her gratitude for the wonderful staff with which she worked, Angie Hammond, a long-term leader of multiple life-affirming ministries, reflected that recruitment is a work of God, "You have to pray them in."

Reflecting on the different types of authority with a maternity home, Angie described a lesson that she learned, "My office was in the house, so directing things back to the house parents was essential. If a mom wanted to tell me something, I needed to hear it from my house parents. It also went the other way; if a mom needed to hear something, it came from the house parents. That way, I was teaching the moms to honor authority and to follow protocol."

"As leaders, our responsibility is to create safe, positive environment for everyone to learn," noted Angie. "Our staff need the freedom and safe place to share their experiences, concerns and disappointments." As one of the staff working directly with moms, Sarah described her experience, "There are rough days and there are beautiful days... but there are so many little miracles that it makes it joy to be part of."

 

What do these wonderful leaders have to say about the mindset of a leader?

Angie Hammond

  • "Do things, not like another leader, do them in the way that God designed for you. That means leaders must pray."
  • "Keep your cool and keep it simple. In the face of difficult situations, operate in grace. When the questions are big, ask yourself: 1) Is what we are doing honoring God? and 2) Is it in her best interest?"
  • "Ask your staff lots of questions. Empower your team and give them ownership. Invite their total involvement. Make sure that your staff have everything that they need to fulfill their calling."

Sarah Saccone

  • "Understand the reality of staff experience and fill their cup! Show gratitude; allow them to do things that help them to get re-energized in the deeper purpose."
  • "Encourage your staff not to take things personally. Most of us can't even imagine the life of the moms prior to coming into the home. It's their past and their stories talking when they say awful things."

Grace Delaney

  • "Establish clear-cut job descriptions and roles and have detailed policies and procedures. Then, when difficult situations arise, you are able to default to policies so that it isn't personal and there isn't a battle of the wills."
  • "The best leaders are the ones who empower other people—who don't try to do it all. A big part of our success is partnering in our community in a significant way—with PRCs, with individuals, with the pro-life community, and beyond. Maternity homes provide a missing link. We rely on relationships and partnerships to be effective."

 

The Real 'Advantage' for Missional Impact

by Jor-El Godsey, President

Best practices and powerful tools will only carry the effort so far... And maybe not as far as we'd think or want.

Even from the title of his book, "The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business," Patrick Lencioni tells it straight. Our best tips, tools, and techniques won't carry the day beyond the operational health of our organization.

Sounds too "touchy-feely"? Lencioni anticipates this objection, noting, "[M]any leaders struggle to embrace organizational health because they quietly believe they are too sophisticated, too busy, or too analytical to bother with it. In other words, they think it's beneath them." (Emphasis added)

Lencioni, well-known for best-selling leadership and management books such as "Five Dysfunctions of a Team," "Death by Meeting," and "The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive," pulls from each of these and others to reveal how a business or non-profit can learn to function in a healthy way.

Setting aside his customary "fable" format, Lencioni uses real-life examples to illustrate and emphasize the challenge and importance of working toward organizational health.

"Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage." Lencioni says.

If you're new to Lencioni, you might start with his "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" to ease into these weighty concepts. His books are neither long nor difficult to read, but offer powerful insights for any non-profit organization.

 

Page 1 of 3