By Matthew Wieselthier SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Gwen Webber-McLeod has spoken to dozens of nonprofit leaders, particularly in the Central New York area. She has seen ones that succeed and ones that can do better, and it all comes down to one thing: Trust.
“When I’m observing that those who are able to do this work and do it well are doing it because there is a high level of trust between the individual leaders and organization and organization, and that is triggering their performance,” said Webber-McLeod, the President and CEO of her own company, Gwen INC.
Webber-McLeod gave another rendition of her “Trust: A Strategic Leadership Resource” presentation at the Second Annual Nonprofit Summit in Auburn, NY, which looks to encourage leaders to build trust with their clients but also within their organization.
The presentation is based on the writings of Stephen M. R. Covey, who looks at trust as the most important part of an organization, and losing that trust is what can make the difference between success and failure.
That works in the case of a nonprofit such as Meals on Wheels in Syracuse. Michael Nortman knows that the trust he has in the volunteers that come to help make it possible for Meals on Wheels to function, and most come out because it is close to their heart.
“Most of the just want to serve. A lot of them have personal connections to Meals on Wheels, maybe their grandmother, maybe their mother got our services,” said Nortman, the Community Relations Director for Meals on Wheels. “Volunteers tend to be just really nice people. I mean they’re giving their time to help others.”
Volunteers are really what make Meals on Wheels go. The volunteers can come and help with either putting food together or delivering it to people who take advantage of the service.
In 2016, nearly 600 different people volunteered to help out, varying from retired veterans to Syracuse students, all just looking to help out.
Nonprofits are extremely important to how communities can function, especially if you ask Karen Macier, the Executive Director of the Cayuga County United Way Foundation. She puts it simply to know how she and her colleagues impact society.
“We are a force economically, professionally, and in the work we do to improve the lives of our residents.”