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NJBIA’s Not-for-Profit Council was created to bring together traditional for-profit businesses and New Jersey’s many charitable organizations, so the first meeting could best be described as a getting-to-know-you session. Turns out, the two very different groups have a lot of the same challenges.

At the inaugural meeting Feb. 18, Fred Wasiak, CEO & president of Food Bank of South Jersey and one of six regional leaders coordinating council activities, kicked things off with an active listening exercise.  That got everyone relaxed and a little more comfortable, serving as launch pad for the next step.

All attendees were given a survey asking to share the top three challenges facing their organizations and their top two accomplishments of 2019. They then shared those challenges and successes with everyone at their table and looked for synergies among them. They then reported their conclusions to the entire attendee group, focusing on commonalities and areas of accomplishments that may help someone else in the room.

Turns out whether you’re a for-profit business or a not-for-profit organization, finding the right workers is at the top of the list of headaches. It’s not surprising, given this era of chronic labor shortages. Many in both camps also struggled to find new and effective ways to share their stories as an organization.

Obviously, successes were more upbeat, and they ran the gamut from hiring staff (and obviously overcoming a big challenge in doing so) to creating collaborative programs.

For NJBIA Business Relations Representative Jodi Grinwald, who coordinates the Not-for-Profit Council, the first meeting was successful.

“We want to make sure that we craft our next steps by listening to the voices of our membership community,” Grinwald said. “We will work with the six Not-For-Profit Regional Leads on the agenda for our next meeting in May, keeping in mind all that we uncovered in our launch. We are still providing the survey to other members if they would like to have their voice heard.”

To learn more about participating in NJBIA’s councils, go here.