“Everything Changes” at Momentum Nonprofit Partners

Formerly The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, Momentum announces organizational changes to transform the Memphis nonprofit community

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 7, 2017 –Momentum Nonprofit Partners, formerly The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, announced transformative changes to the organization during its Announcement Celebration Nov. 7. The organization has rebranded, will increase its staff, move to a new location, revamp its programing model, change its membership structure and expand its board. Changes to the organization’s operations are a reflection of industry best practices and data collected from Memphis citizens and members of the nonprofit sector.

Every decision made, from rebranding to Momentum to expanding membership, can be tied back to the organization’s restructured mission: We build the momentum of the nonprofit sector to drive equitable, measurable and lasting change.

“The theme of our event was ‘Everything Changes,’ and the changes we announced for Momentum tonight speak directly to that adage,” said Kevin Dean, CEO of Momentum. “But that’s the point – this organization can spur meaningful change in the nonprofit sector.”

Since Dean joined the organization in February of this year, he and his team have worked to collect impactful data, through focus groups and surveys, that demonstrates the education and support needs of the nonprofit community in Memphis. The team also found that the models for other peer organizations around the country were in flux. This left the team with a golden opportunity – to completely transform the organization to not only meet the needs of the Memphis nonprofit community but to potentially become a national model.

“The data revealed that the nonprofit community needed additional support that the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence was not offering,” said Carrie Burke, president of Momentum’s board. “So, we got to work. We collaborated, sought wise counsel and built a business plan that we’re incredibly proud to roll out.”

Momentum’s business model outlines a plan for growth in major categories including staffing, programing, location, community and business partnerships, investors, name and brand, membership structure and an expanded board. The organization has laid out how this will all roll out, with all changes set to be in place by the end of 2018. Just as data drove the development of this plan, it will also shape its future. Evaluation will be key as the organization begins the transformation process.

One notable change is in relation to membership. Momentum will no longer require membership dues, but will instead require that organizations have an account on WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth.org, the comprehensive nonprofit directory that is part of the LIVEGIVEmidsouth.org community information system. Organizations that have not yet acquired their 501(c)3 status will also have the opportunity to join and receive access to Momentum’s full range of services.

“We conducted a cost benefit analysis and found that our previous membership model was not only cost prohibitive to smaller nonprofits, but it was also not profitable for the organization,” Dean said. “Our adjusted business model uses data as currency, and this data is invaluable to our organization. It helps us create relevant programing, evaluate our successes and provide a meaningful experience to our members, which will drive participation and revenue for Momentum.”

Changes to Momentum’s programing were among the largest announcements made tonight. The new programing model is divided into three categories: essential services for organizations, learning for individuals, and learning and action for organizations. Regardless of the category, participants will be encouraged to think and work collaboratively within a group, develop as a professional, create meaningful products to support their organization, and to discuss and work to combat the issues affecting our community. While some of the programing will be offered for free, participation in many of the programs will be offered at a fixed cost that will be clearly outlined for members.

“As a longtime member of The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, I recognized some opportunities the organization had to better serve its members and community,” said Olliette Murry-Drobot, Executive Director of Family Safety Center and one of the new board members of Momentum. “This transformation will build stronger partnerships, hone the skills of emerging leaders and enable Memphis nonprofits to better fulfill their missions.”

“At the end of the day, we’re an organization that should grow and support nonprofits, and we believe our new model will allow our organization to live up to its full potential,” Burke said. “When we built this programing model, we put our members front and center. We know their time is limited, that they need tangible results and ways to track successes. Program participants will leave with action items, and oftentimes completed materials, to take back and apply to their organization.”

To make this programing model successful, Momentum knows it must create an environment where nonprofits can gather and build community. To do so, Momentum announced it will relocate to a new office space at 630 Cooper Street that is centrally located within the city, will feature classroom and meeting space to host the organization’s programs and is equipped with the newest technology. Momentum has also hired key personnel with extensive experience in adult education, nonprofit development and key areas of employment to ensure that the business plan is executed to its fullest potential. She attached bios for more details.

About Momentum Nonprofit Partners
Momentum Nonprofit Partners builds the momentum of the nonprofit sector to drive equitable, measurable and lasting change. Founded in 1992 as the Grant Information Center, and previously known as The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, the organization has evolved to become the leading provider of key nonprofit services in Memphis. Through everything it does, Momentum seeks to ensure that Memphis nonprofits are sustainable, have an equal seat at the decision-making table, are representative of the communities they serve, operate at the highest capacity, and work collaboratively to create a stronger city. Through educational and professional development programing, curated community discussions and a hunger for change, Momentum believes it can transform the Memphis nonprofit sector.

Learn More About Momentum Nonprofit Partners’ Programs


Essential Services for Organizations

Capacity Assessment: Momentum has partnered with 501Commons in Seattle, WA to deliver a new capacity assessment tool for local nonprofits. These confidential assessments will be offered free online to members and will identify specific gaps in capacity and provide specific recommendations for each organization.

Help Desk: The Help Desk will serve as the referral and information epicenter of Momentum. Individuals can call or email regarding any question related to nonprofit management. Our organization will respond with resources, helpful tips, and templates within one week. As a new replication partner with Standards for Excellence, Momentum will offer thousands of templates to members, from employee handbooks to business plans.

Learning for Individuals

Learning Labs: Unlike a traditional training, learning labs will be collaborative, interactive, hands-on learning utilizing the flipped classroom approach. Participants will be given easy online “homework” before the lab in order to maximize the time in the classroom. We believe in learning by doing rather than simply listening.

Boot Camps: A popular format offered for years continues with added features! Using the most current adult learning best practices, these multi-part learning opportunities will offer individual coaching between sessions. Individuals receive overviews of critical nonprofit best practices while participating in engaging, hands-on sessions.

Speaker Series: We will bring prominent, nationally recognized thought leaders to Memphis to address cutting edge issues, explore best practices, and provide critical insights for increased positive social impact. Speakers will provide lectures, followed by breakout sessions to connect to local work and facilitate planning for implementation.

Peer Learning Groups: In place of networking groups, Peer Learning Networks will be convened and managed by our organization. The groups will host guest speakers, facilitated conversations, networking, and other learning opportunities.

Nonprofit Symposium: Visionary local leaders from nonprofits, government, universities, and faith communities will provide talks around topics impacting the nonprofit sector. The Symposium will be fast and fun!

Learning and Action for Organizations

Design Labs: Design labs blend learning with hands-on innovation! Participants will be creative and thoughtful as they design new documents, policies, guiding principles, fundraising plans, and more. Every nonprofit will be encouraged to bring multiple staff and board members to provide different perspectives for the design process.

Cohort Learning: Beyond networking and idea sharing, this program will include teams from multiple organizations participating in sequential sessions together for up to a year that will foster peer learning communities around topics and/or service areas. Every participating organization will be encouraged to bring multiple representatives from their team.

Community Conversations: Community Conversations are the first step in building the trust and relationships that are necessary to advance equity and inclusion in the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit organizations will learn to build their cultural intelligence while dismantling the barriers that employees and service recipients face.

Community Roundtables: More than just a series of conversations, Community Roundtables will identify pressing issues in the nonprofit community, create actionable items for funders, nonprofits, and city government, and promote advocacy for addressing these issues that slow the momentum of the third sector. Roundtables will develop specific plans of action for the sector that include: development of new programming either within our organization or elsewhere; new collaborations; recommendations for training modules; recommendations to funders; data and research.


Meet the Staff of Momentum Nonprofit Partners!

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Kevin Dean, CEO

Kevin Dean is CEO of the Momentum Nonprofit Partners. His previous positions include Executive Director of Literacy Mid-South, Community Services Director at Volunteer Memphis and Director of Development at Hope House. In 2005, Kevin led the Mid-South’s Hurricane Katrina volunteer clearinghouse effort, engaging more than 5000 volunteers in disaster recovery efforts. Because of his work in disaster relief efforts, he was appointed to serve on the National Disaster Advisory Council through the Points of Light Foundation in Washington, DC.

Kevin was named one of Memphis’ Top 40 Under 40 by Memphis Business Journal in 2011. He is the 2013 recipient of the Ruth J. Colvin and Frank C. Laubach Award for Excellence in Community-Based Adult Literacy from ProLiteracy in Washington, DC. Kevin won the Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Award from the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence in 2015. Kevin was also the recipient of the 2015 Innovation Awards by Inside Memphis Business.

He was also named a Power Players by Memphis Business Quarterly/Inside Memphis Business in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2006, Kevin won a national award for his service-learning based curriculum that engaged young people in disaster relief and cleanup. The curriculum has since been nationally replicated. Kevin also helped co-author a literacy-themed service-learning curriculum for high school students that has been used across the United States.

Kevin received his Bachelor’s in Communications from the University of Memphis in 2002. In 2009, he completed his Masters Degree in Executive Leadership from Christian Brothers University.

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Dorian Spears, VP – Community Initiatives

Dorian Spears is a native South Memphian and community based thought leader who has a passion for building authentic relationships and serving the community, and she continues to expand her knowledge and experience. Dorian earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Christian Brothers University.

As a volunteer, Dorian has been involved in numerous organizations in Memphis, TN, and Atlanta, GA. As a team member and employee, she has served with the best and brightest in multiple institutions including the Corporation for National and Community Service – AmeriCorps, Volunteer Memphis, Seedco, the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team – Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis and Shelby County (EDGE). She also assisted with the transition process for Mayor Jim Strickland through serving on the Poverty, Community, Minority Business Development, and City Planning teams. She worked with business and community leaders to present recommendations for the new administration. In her most recent role as a consultant, she has worked with government, businesses, and various nonprofit entities in strategic planning, program development and implementation, business expansion, and marketing campaigns.

Dorian is a graduate of the Leadership Memphis Grassroots Program and The New Memphis Institute Fellows Program. She supports organizations such as Collage Dance Collective and also serves of the boards of Birth Strides, the Center for Transforming Communities, and is a member of Watch Love Work — a video project to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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John Bazzanella, VP – Finance and Operations

John Bazzanella joined Momentum Nonprofit Partners in December 2010. John currently serves as the Vice President of Finance & Operations, and is responsible for financial management and all aspects of daily operations, including administration, human resources, and marketing. Previously, John served as the Director of Programs and Consulting and was responsible for the management of the Momentum’s consulting and training programs and the Program for Nonprofit Excellence. John has facilitated a range of consulting projects for Momentum and managed and monitored Momentum consulting engagements. John has also developed and presented training classes for Momentum, including the Executive Director Boot Camp series and Financial Sustainability Cohort series as well as customized trainings on Finance, Board Governance, Leadership, and Revenue & Business Strategy.
Prior to relocating to Memphis and joining the Momentum staff, John spent six years as the Director of Camp ReCreation, a nonprofit residential camp program in northern California, serving children and adults with developmental disabilities. John has also served as a nonprofit board chair and done consulting work with nonprofits in areas of strategic and business planning, team building, board governance, and fundraising. John holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a Master of Nonprofit Administration degree. He wrote his Master’s thesis on the correlation between strategic planning and organizational effectiveness for nonprofit organizations.

Since 1996, John has been a women’s lacrosse umpire, earning a national rating in 2004. He has served as a training clinician for United States Lacrosse, been a regular presenter at the US Lacrosse National Convention, and currently serves as the Chair of the US Lacrosse Officials Development Committee.

Cheryl Green, VP – Training

Cheryl Green has more than 20 years of service in the education sector with experiences including teacher, school leader, district leadership, program development and leadership training and development. Regardless of the role, she has always had a desire to focus on helping adults and organizations serve people and communities in better ways.

Prior to working at Momentum Nonprofit Partners, Cheryl consulted with a variety of non-profits and schools helping them to search out and cultivate internal solutions to organizational challenges. Her work with leadership and organizational development has included working with school leaders across the country as Managing Director at Insight Education Group and leading partnership work at New Leaders-Memphis.

Her experiences with non-profit work includes being co-founder of the REACH (Revitalizing Educational Awareness for Change) Institute, a regional educational nonprofit that provided college awareness and preparatory services for youth across the Mississippi Delta. Additionally, she has provided training, development and coaching for a variety of nonprofits and educational organizations such as Delta State University, Consortium for Educational Change, ArtPlace America and Agape Family and Children Services.  Her community service includes being a founding board member with the Boys and Girls Club of Clarksdale and Freedom Preparatory Academy and a mentor with Families of Incarcerated Individuals.

A native of Tarrytown, New York, Cheryl has a BS in Secondary Education from Alabama A&M University and an M.Ed in Educational Administration from Delta State University with additional coursework at the Ohio State University and Mississippi State University.

Troy Wiggins
Troy Wiggins, Individual Learning Manager

Troy Wiggins is the Individual Learning Manager at Momentum Nonprofit Partners. As Learning Manager, Troy collaborates with business leaders, trainers, consultants, and community partners to create and execute on a strategy to bring long-term experiential training to nonprofit staff. Prior to serving at Momentum, Troy was Adult Learning Manager at Literacy Mid-South.

He has developed training curricula and facilitated training programs for Knowledge Quest, Literacy Mid-South, and Leadership Memphis, among other organizations. In addition to his experience as a trainer and facilitator, Troy is a Science Fiction writer whose essays and short stories have been featured in several anthologies and online magazines. Troy holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Memphis.

Rachel Brooks
Rachel Brooks, Organizational Learning Manager

As a multi-generational Tennessean, Rachel Brooks is proud to call Memphis home. Before joining Momentum Nonprofit Partners, Rachel worked in a variety of nonprofit environments both locally and nationally, including working remotely across the South and Central U.S. to support innovation, speaking race to power and social change. Rachel also brings with her experience in policy and advocacy education, including working with individuals living with HIV to advocate for the needs of their community. With an eye on the intersections of our multi-issue lives, Rachel works to meet individuals and organizations where they are, get curious and learn about what is important to them, and develop a collaborative and accessible plan for action. As a connector, Rachel works to bring together people and issues so that we might develop more effective practices and deeper relationships to see sustained improvement for all of us who call Memphis home. When not working, you can find her reading, discovering new podcasts, and trying out overly ambitious culinary or crafting projects.

Carol Gaudino, Training and Consulting Manager

Carol Gaudino has extensive experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Her most recent experience has centered on philanthropy and community engagement. She consulted with a variety of organizations, served as Director of Volunteer Memphis, an action initiative of Leadership Memphis, community outreach with Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, and led Corporate Services at Volunteer Mid-South working with companies on their community engagement programs. She also helped companies develop and enhance their community involvement programs through strategy development, program design and measurement, and board training.

She has served in a variety of community leadership roles including co-chair of the Memphis Grantmaker’s Forum, Tennessee State commission – Volunteer Tennessee, and the Corporate Volunteer Council (CVC) National Advisory board for HandsOn Network, Allocations Team for United Way of the Mid-South, and an AmeriCorps VISTA Grant Reviewer for Volunteer Tennessee.

Juanita White, Community Engagement Manager

Juanita White spent more than twenty-five years of service in child welfare, juvenile justice, afterschool education, health and child advocacy as an administrator, manager, supervisor, practitioner, advocate, trainer, and consultant. She served as Regional Administrator of the Dept. of Children’s Services, Regional Coordinator of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth and managed the establishment of afterschool programs within the Memphis City Schools.

Juanita White served on numerous boards, among them The National School Age Care Alliance and the Community Institute for Early Childhood. She has previously served as a consultant for the National Center on Children in Poverty at Columbia University and as the Memphis Consultant for New York-based PASE, Partnership for Afterschool Education. She is past Chair of the Boards of Mothers of the Nile, Inc., and the Black Children’s Institute of Tennessee. She presently sits on the Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative Leadership Team, The Early Success Coalition Leadership Group, the Connect to Protect Advisory Council, and the Community PreK Advisory Council.

White has written opinion articles for the Commercial Appeal and was a contributing writer at Grace Magazine for many years. Most recently she worked as the Community Building Manager for the Binghampton Development Corporation, leading its efforts to bring change to an urban community.

Juanita White received a BA from Yale University and completed post graduate work at Memphis State University, now the University of Memphis.

April Carter, Marketing and Communications Manager

In her early years, a quote by Dr. Seuss transformed April Carter‘s perspective of life and serving her community. “Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s Not.”  Motivated by these words, April dedicated her professional career to the nonprofit sector in her hometown of Memphis, TN. April served over a decade at the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, starting her career as Executive Assistant, and later serving in the roles of Training Coordinator and Membership Manager. She has completed countless hours of training in Nonprofit Management and has accumulated hundreds of volunteer hours, serving dozens of organizations across the city of Memphis. April has formed trusted, lasting relationships with numerous nonprofit professionals and has become well respected within her field.

Outside of her professional career, April loves to write and recite spoken word poetry and host game nights for her friends and family. She serves as Director of Leadership Development at Faith Church and as an Inspirational Speaker for various ministries across the city.

Kate Moss, Information Manager

Kate Moss currently serves as the Information Manager at Momentum Nonprofit Partners in Memphis, TN, overseeing the Help Desk and Resource Center, providing a variety of support to members, as well as supporting the Momentum staff in the daily operations of the organization.

She recently completed the Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant training program, an exclusive professional development initiative that gives independent consultants the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to provide training, consulting, and support on the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.

Kate is currently enrolled in the Certified Nonprofit Professional program through Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, and earned her first e-certificate in Foundations of Nonprofit Management in September of 2017. Presently, she is studying Nonprofit Marketing and Communications, with an emphasis on marketing as a function in a nonprofit organization and the external factors that impact nonprofit decision-making.

She is an avid reader and a member of the Momentum Nonprofit Book Club. She is active in the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, as well as DOVIA Memphis (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies).