Photo: Take a Hike Foundation
Name: Virginia Chomley
Position: Director of Communications
Organization: Take a Hike Foundation
What does any organization have to consider when refining its “Collective Why”?
Every day, we focus on the students we serve and their families. We consider our students’ needs, how we help meet those needs and what our unique offering is. Being very clear about our purpose, and the reason why we do things the way we do, shapes our program model and informs the way we develop philanthropic initiatives.
What can organizations learn from nonprofits when it comes to delivering on their deeper purpose?
Put the mission first. Every decision is made around the mission—what we do and how we do it—and that helps keep everyone in the organization aligned with the same focus. At Take a Hike, in addition to our strategic plan, we have a clearly defined Theory of Change that outlines the five key elements comprising the program’s effectiveness and empowers our program staff to be intentional in their practices.
What is the one thing that keeps you laser-focused on your mission?
Our purpose to engage vulnerable youth and help change their lives, and the understanding that if we don’t pursue our mission, young lives can slip through the cracks of the mainstream education system and never receive the help they need. Our program staff and Foundation staff all feel this sense of purpose and a sense of responsibility to our students.
To explore the Collective Why further with others in the nonprofit space, join us at TractionForce.