Memorable Gathering in Montreal

The Coach Initiative’s (TCI) amazing growth, global successes and vast potential is aligned with many communities and organizations including Conversation Among Masters (CAM).

Each May, CAM hosts an invitation-only conference, open to Master Coaches and other remarkable high achievers from all backgrounds, from all over the world. Seeing the value in connections, conversations, collaborations and deeper relationships, TCI has partnered with CAM, as a sponsor since its inception more than a decade ago.

CAM ’17 was held at the beautiful Chateau Vaudreuil in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. And for 3.5 glorious days, attendees reveled in genuinely meaningful exercises, learning and small group interaction led by the iconic author and Master Coach, Jack Canfield and President of Jack Canfield Companies, Patty Aubery.

CAMsters (as participants are affectionately known) were also privileged to share a morning with Nelson Dellis, a man with an amazing story, personal accomplishments and a powerful advocate for a noble cause. Check out the above link to Nelson’s website for more information about his journey and mission.

This brief post would not be complete without mentioning that TCI raised more money and awareness at CAM ’17, given the commitment of TCI Board member Phyllis Haynes who staffed the TCI Sponsor Table throughout the conference. Phyllis was instrumental in signing up more volunteer coaches to serve TCI’s mission than at any previous CAM event.

Our warmest thanks to Jack, Patty, Nelson, Phyllis and all who attended for making TCI’s presence in Montreal truly significant.

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It’s Good to Be Back!

I am not one of the three people you see above. Yet, as we resume posting to this blog, it is important that our readers recognize these faces.

Eleven years ago The Coach Initiative (TCI) was founded by (l-r) Donna Steinhorn, Guy Stickney and Bobette Reeder. It was (and remains) their vision that has guided our team, that has inspired hundreds of volunteer Coaches and that ignites our powerful potential – to be in service to leaders of non-profit organizations worldwide.

None of these three visionaries seek the limelight. They prefer to (and do) encourage from the background. They may not even appreciate my highlighting them here but I’m authoring this post and want readers to understand who laid TCI’s foundation. 🙂

TCI recognizes the need for and importance in keeping our constituencies informed. One of the themes that TCI adopted this year is to: “Educate, Inform and Inspire.” Not surprisingly, part of our broadened messaging plan is to post regularly to advance this theme. We warmly invite and encourage you to subscribe and to share your comments, often. After all, we can always get better at what we do with your input.

Over the next few months look for frequent posts from a variety of authors. Each are valued members of the TCI Community who have unique perspectives on the work TCI does. In due course, we will engage a colleague to manage this blog and to serve as its primary author. We will also flavor what you read here with guest contributors.

Thank you for having us back into this blogging family. We look forward to sharing meaningful tools, valuable insights and amazing stories with each of you.

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Scarcity or Abundance: It’s a Mindset

Undoubtedly the most challenging task that nonprofit leaders have, is fundraising. Unrealistic expectations from the board create enormous pressure.  Unpredictable external forces influence organizations’ ability to reach financial goals. Leaders often feel stranded and alone.

Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, describes two types of mindset.  First, there is the fixed mindset that is risk averse and impedes development.  Second is the growth mindset that is motivated and generative.

Let’s consider a mindset of scarcity as a fixed mindset while a mindset of abundance is a growth mindset.

A scarcity mindset is anchored in the past of learned and false assumptions.  Maybe a parent was unable to support her family resulting in overwhelming fear. Perhaps tragedy and loss led to hopelessness.

How is does this dynamic play out in fund development? What does a mindset of scarcity look sound like?

  • “We better get to that funder before our competition does.”
  • “If only our board would lead by example and give and get.”
  • “We’re going to have make an exception in receiving the gift from Mr. and  Mrs.  Jones.  Even though it doesn’t fit our mission,” we need the money.

This mindset breeds a sense of being powerless and, in some cases, hopeless or desperate.

How Coaching Helps Leaders to Develop an Abundance Mindset

  • Coaching develops self-awareness and the ability to challenge assumptions of what we need and what we have.
  • Coaches create a safe and non-judgmental place to begin to make the shift.
  • Coaching encourages observation of the evidence of abundance.
  • The coach and coachee co-create practices of gratitude. 

Feeling scarcity breeds passivity and inertia while a mindset of abundance is active. It is more than a state of mind; it is a practice.

One can be in scarcity or one can live in abundance.

Organizational Awareness and Strategic Visioning

The coach and coachee create of a new map, a new journey. Coaching supports a leader’s ability to develop a personal vision propelled by curiosity, possibility and creativity.  From this new perspective, the leader can a build boards and their members to:

  • Be aware of individual and collective mindsets.
  • Adopt a growth mindset
  • Engage in strategic visioning

In this way, boards will secure financial stability and increase the organization’s growth potential.

Change is scary business for many boards. Transitioning takes time and is sometimes a painful process.

A coach is the voice of encouragement helps leaders to initiate a new conversation.

  • Instead of: “How are we going to right a sinking ship?” To…“How can we chart uncharted waters?”


  • Instead of: “We need to compete with other organizations for the money.” To…“How can we leverage our internal and external resources? How can we collaborate with other organizations who may be serving the same population?”


  • Instead of: “We have to take what we can get and risk mission creep.” To…Are we in alignment with our strategic vision?


“How can we become a storytelling culture that creates an organizational vision?  How can we go from transactional fundraising to transformational philanthropy?”


How do you practice gratitude?  We’d love to hear from you!



Editor:  G. Meredith Betz , M.S. Ed.; MSOD


Nonprofit Leaders Out the Door in Three Years.  Leadership Coaching Can Stem the Tide

Non Profit word cloud collage concept, presentation background

Why is leadership attrition so high in the nonprofit industry?  Nonprofit top and potential leaders are switching organizations after brief stints.  The root problem is lack of opportunity for leadership development.

Support for current leaders is vitally important.  Considering that soon we will have a wave of new leaders, many of them Millennials, development programs are critical to their leading healthy organizations.  While a study by Deloitte refers to for profit workers, the same could apply to nonprofit employees.

More than 70 percent of employees want to be creative at work; and more than two-thirds believe it is management’s job to provide them with accelerated development opportunities in order for them to stay.6

The Bridgespan Group writes that nonprofit leadership development programs require financial resources, but because of limited funds, boards are choosing to designate such programs, including leadership coaching, to the bottom of the list.

At the same time, nonprofit leaders face many issues, some of which are specific to the industry.  In a recent article, Forbes listed five challenges these leaders face.

  1.  Being comfortable with receiving help
  2.  Being coachable
  3.  Balancing innovation and productivity
  4.  Having inconclusive deadlines
  5.  Working with complex models, (including funding priorities and balancing the  needs of internal and external constituents)

The pressure to raise funds, lead effective boards and highly productive teams is enormous.  Support through coaching provides them with the tools for professional development and maintaining personal well being.

The Center for Nonprofit Management cites the 5 reasons why nonprofit professionals want coaching: 

  1.  To optimize individual and/or team performances
  2.  To expand professional career opportunities
  3.  To improve business management strategies
  4.  To Increase self-confidence
  5.  To manage work/life balance

Compass Point, dedicated to social impact, provides nonprofit leadership programs and coaching and works with organizations like Next Generation Leaders of Color Program.  The Bridgespan Group, a leader in improving the performance of social service organizations provides coaching as well.

Because many nonprofits can’t afford coaching, there are organizations who provide probono coaching.

The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits offers free coaching on a limited basis.  Taproot and The Coach initiative  also provide no cost coaching to eligible organizations.


G. Meredith Betz is the editor of the Coach Initiative blog.  She is an organizational consultant and executive coach for nonprofit and for profit organizations.

Playing a Bigger Game: The Coach Initiative Goes Blogging


Welcome to The Coach Initiative’s new blog! Those of you who have been our friends for some time have read in our newsletters many stories about TCI’s partnerships. By providing pro bono coaching to nonprofit organizations we continue to make a significant impact in facilitating sustainable change in the global community.

This blog will serve as another vehicle for bringing awareness to a broader audience about TCI’s accomplishments as well as our intentions and plans for future growth, as they evolve.

Expect to hear from us often (at least weekly) . We want to hear from you as well so that we can together open up a larger conversation about the powerful potential that coaching has in the nonprofit space. Learn about how increased collaboration and leveraging our collective wisdom contributes to meaningful work that nonprofit organizations are doing around the world! TCI’s blog invites you to:

  • Enter into amazing journeys as we move forward in our work.
  • Learn about our unique successes and challenges, and synergies for collaborative growth.
  • Expect posts about how coaching contributes to lifting the human spirit.
  • Discover the power of storytelling as seen and experienced through coaching.
  • Explore leadership development through coaching and emerging practices in the field.
  • Investigate how coaching supports social entrepreneurs in developing countries around the world.
  • Look forward to interviews with our nonprofit partners and stories about the compassionate actions that define what they do.
  • Read about our coaches and how they help nonprofit organizations become better at what they are already good at doing.
  • Gain understanding of the role that philanthropy plays in advancing noble causes
  • Hear from guest authors and thought leaders.
  • Find out how you and others can get involved.

Subscribe to this blog; it’s free! Simply click the “Follow” button in the lower, right-hand corner. We invite you to consider sharing thought-provoking posts with others via the “Share” button.

Your feedback and participation in the conversation is welcomed.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Photo credit: 1449507952812-72b63ac83cf1

G. Meredith Betz is the editor of the Coach Initiative blog.  She is an organizational consultant and executive coach for nonprofit and for profit organizations.