Executive Service Corps of Cincinnati
Executive Service Corps of Cincinnati (ESCC) has recently opened The Greenhouse in partnership with CMC Office Center. The Greenhouse ESCC is committed to helping nonprofits in the area succeed by offering a variety of consulting, coaching, and training services.
Executive Service Corp of Cincinnati Equips Local Nonprofits to Succeed
Executive Service Corp of Cincinnati (ESCC) matches experienced marketplace professionals with nonprofit organizations to help the groups strengthen their community services. Founded in 1995, ESCC averages 60 to 90 client-requested projects per year that are handled by its volunteer workforce of over 100 talented individuals.
ESCC gains most of its volunteers through word of mouth. It is careful to select volunteers that have management experience and a passion to give back to the community. ESCC then engages their volunteers in a training program to acquaint them with nonprofit issues and subculture. Volunteers also may receive specific training in Board Development, Strategic Planning, and coaching to help them be best prepared to serve the nonprofit community.
Darlyne Koretos, ESCC’s Director of Marketing/PR, praises the organization’s volunteers as highly skilled and committed. Volunteers serve in one of three different areas: consulting, training nonprofit leaders, and coaching. Roughly 35 percent of ESCC’s clients are nonprofits engaged in education. Another 21 percent are involved in social services and the rest in a variety of community programs ranging from arts to health to economic development. Roughly half of the time, ESCC volunteers work with nonprofits on “business improvement”–that is, strengthening their operations such as finance or human resources. ESCC volunteers also assist in the areas of Board development and strategic planning.
ESCC’s “value-add” to nonprofits can be seen in their service to Partners in Prime. Partners in Prime is a nonprofit serving adults aged 55 and above. It turned to ESCC for help in evaluating the possibilities for a merger of its Meals and Wheels program with that of another local nonprofit—called Colonial. Meals on Wheels accounted for up to 60 percent of Partners’ revenue but made up fewer than 5 percent of Colonial’s. A team of ESCC volunteer consultants analyzed program costs, staff time, and production capacity to identify potential efficiencies and cost savings. The findings showed overlap in delivery routes, as well as synergies in production capabilities. Since both organizations used the same size packaging equipment and meal trays, bringing them together afforded economies of scale. The merger resulted in excellent benefits: a per-meal cost reduction from $6.15 to $5.75 and an increase in the number of meals prepared by Partners in Prime from 500 meals daily to800.
ESCC also serves staff at nonprofits through its Nonprofit Leadership Institute launched in 2008. This nine-month leadership program for nonprofit executive directors and senior staff has graduated over 100 individuals. Each leader that attends the training is paired with a volunteer coach from ESCC to help guide them through the program.
Recently ESCC pioneered another initiative to serve nonprofits in the Blue Ash community: The Greenhouse. This is a shared office space resource available to nonprofit tenants in the Blue Ash CMC Office Center. The conveniently located facility offers conference rooms and a large space for training sessions in addition to traditional office space. The animating idea behind the concept was not only to provide nonprofits with affordable office space, but also to increase their productivity through a sharing of resources and an encouragement of strategic alliances to help each nonprofit grow. A dozen nonprofits are currently housed at The Greenhouse.