Seattle Works

A blog that documents all things Seattle Works…and much much more!

The Bridge Goes to Microsoft June 20, 2012

Filed under: Lead,The Bridge — seattleworks @ 5:22 pm

Last Wednesday Seattle Works packed up and took the show on the road. And by “show” I mean The Bridge training, of course! Seattle Works started partnering with for-profit corporations in 2009 when we coordinated a Safeco Bridge and we have gone on to work with Microsoft and Boeing. A large group of Microsoft employees came to the training last week, some of them to learn more about boards and to jumpstart their service, others to gain skills and ideas for the boards on which they are currently serving.

Katherine Taylor Hurley the Volunteer Program Manager at Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs said of the day, “We had 39 trainees join us for the all-day session, which I would say was one of our most successful yet. Great turn-out, highly-engaged audience and good energy from trainers and trainees alike.”

And our participants were having a good time too! Here is what the folks at Microsoft had to say:

“Fundraising was a great opportunity to learn about the most critical aspect of serving on a board. Given my novice understanding of nonprofit financials, the financial section was also very helpful.”

“This was highly practical content focused on the “how” of serving on a board. It gave me a lot to think about!”

“My most significant takeaway is that the business and financial model for nonprofits is dramatically different from corporations and they have many different stakeholders.”

“This training consolidated all info needed for structured fundraising and organizing nonprofit boards. It was useful to see all of it in one place!”

“Excellent instructors/presenters and super relevant content.”

“It was really important to get an overview of what it takes to succeed in serving on a board. I loved the bit of resources we received to read/research more.”

“Fantastic all around! Thank you very much for offering this opportunity!”

 Thank you to our supportive partners at Microsoft and to our dedicated volunteer trainers and nonprofit partners that helped to make this event happen!


Jennifer Boehme Kumar, Nonprofit Overview

Erin Welch, Financials

Julie Bianchi, Fundraising

Mike Quinn, Microsoft in the Nonprofit World


Elizabeth Hall, Child Care Resources

Judy Pigott, ArtsWest

Peg Giffels, Springwire

Interested in taking The Bridge? Find out more.


Match Making at Board Speed Dating May 30, 2012

Filed under: Lead,The Bridge — seattleworks @ 10:56 pm

Last Wednesday we hosted our second Board Speed Dating of the year at GGLO’s Space at the Steps. Fourteen of our nonprofit partners came out to meet Bridge graduates from our last class in April and graduates from previous years who have recently decided that now’s the right time to make a board connection! Graduates got a chance to meet with organizations that interest them for five fifteen minute “dates” throughout the night.

Andy Schroeder and Jennifer Olegario were pleasantly surprised to run into each other: they had graduated from the same Bridge class in 2009! Jennifer was attending to find a good board match and Andy, a board member for Theatre Puget Sound, was there to interview potential board members.

Bridge Graduates and Bridge Partners meet for a 15 minute “date.”

A BIG thank you to our Bridge Partner organizations that attended our speed dating last Wednesday!

Seattle Music Partners

Community for Youth

Street Yoga

New Traditions

The World Is Fun

Sound Discipline

Richard Hugo House

School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts

Southeast Seattle Senior Center

Theatre Puget Sound

North Helpline

Environmental Coalition of South Seattle

Northwest Girls Coalition

Sounds cool doesn’t it?  If you want to get in on this, take The Bridge and we’ll give you the basics in nonprofit and government board service, then you’ll join the alumni network and have the opportunity to attend events like this one!

Next Bridge training course begins Thurs 6/14:


Spotlight on a Bridge Graduate:Yeletta Banks May 17, 2012

Filed under: Lead,The Bridge — seattleworks @ 4:47 pm


When did you take The Bridge?

In the Fall 2011

Who are you currently serving with? What about this organization drew you to them?

I am currently serving on the Steering Committee for Street Yoga, which is based in Portland, Oregon. I have been practicing yoga for over a decade and understand how it can change lives. Street Yoga shares yoga with kids in need. Participants may struggle with homelessness, trauma, abuse, behavioral issues, poverty or addiction.

 What was the process of becoming a member like?

The Executive Director contacted me after a missed connection at a Speed Dating event sponsored by Seattle Works. She and I met at a local teahouse to discuss the opportunity. I expressed my direct interest at that meeting. The Executive Director presented my information to the other committee members at their next meeting. Then I was invited to sit in on a meeting where I met other committee members. There were two other Seattle Works graduates visiting the same meeting, so it was a night of introductions. The committee was very welcoming. After meeting the other members, the committee voted in our absence. A week later, we were asked to join the committee. Overall, it took about 6 weeks because the committee meets only once a month.

What are you excited to work on as a board member?

Believe it or not, I am excited about fundraising and the operations of this branch of Street Yoga. Fundraising is a challenge and I like planning events that our donors will enjoy. Fundraising also builds relationships, which are important within a community. This branch is relatively new and small which makes our current operating decisions the basis for future decisions. We are figuring things out as we go and identifying what works. It gives us a great opportunity to grow and manifest the vision of the organization.

 What is one thing from The Bridge that you remember and are excited to apply in your upcoming service?

Connections. The Bridge exposed me to the many avenues of service within the nonprofit sector. Nonprofits want help and can help each other. Being new to the area, I had no idea how much help was needed.


Interested in taking The Bridge? Check out the upcoming dates and course information:


#SWDay Update… Featuring Percival! May 10, 2012

Filed under: Our Team,Seattle Works Day,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 5:32 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

We are up to 54 teams joining us for a day of service and celebration on Sat 5/19!  We still have a ways to go until we reach 1,300 volunteers – but we have faith in our last minute city and know that “if you build it, they will come.” And build it we have!

For those of you that haven’t met Percival yet, say hello! Percival is our SWD mascot and generally the most incredible unicorn you’ll ever meet.

Join Percival for Seattle Works Day! There’s still time to sign up for a team, or sign up for the Seattle Works team and you’ll be serving at an elementary school in Fremont.


Seattle Works Day – Six Weeks To Go! April 4, 2012

Filed under: Seattle Works Day,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 11:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Well technically we’re halfway through the week, but just go with it.

Here are Page, Andy and their two thumbs up for Seattle Works Day recruitment!  We’re over 100 people so far (woo yeah hooray!) and are making a huge push to recruit Team Captains.


Team Captain Happy Hour is Thurs 4/12 6pm at Pike Brewery (1415 1st Ave).  Sign up to be a Team Captain before then so you can get in on all the fun! We’ll be providing drinks and food, and giving the Team Captains a chance to get to know each other, chat with the Seattle Works Day committee and learn all about how awesome Sat May 19th is going to be.

Sign up to be a Team Captain:


Rebecca recounts her experience with The Bridge, connecting to a nonprofit and now serving on their board! April 2, 2012

Filed under: Lead,The Bridge — seattleworks @ 3:53 pm

When did you take The Bridge?

I took The Bridge in January 2010 if I recall. Along with many other great people and organizations, I met Ryan Hodgson, President and Founder of Team Up for Nonprofits at the conclusion of The Bridge program.

Who are you currently serving with? What about this organization drew you to them?

I currently serve with Team Up for Nonprofits as the Nonprofit Director, and previously as the Secretary on the Executive Team. I was intrigued by Team Up as they were such a young organization at the time I was introduced and they were in the infancy stages of development. With an Industrial Engineering background and process-focused mind, I saw opportunities to use my business and strategy skills to establish processes, practices and provide organization internally to Team Up. Team Up also struck me as a fun organization with a great group of people, and provided an opportunity to learn a lot more about the music industry and event production.

I was also, and continue to be, excited about the access that Team Up for Nonprofits provides for young people to dabble in philanthropy and get to know their community nonprofits. It is motivating to team up with a great group of volunteers to produce music events that drive awareness and funding for nonprofits throughout our community. I am always impressed with the number of new young people who are learning about what Team Up is doing for nonprofits, and how they want to get involved, whether through social media, attending events, promoting the causes we support, buying tickets, volunteering, etc. I think Team Up is changing Seattle and making it a more approachable and fun community for young people to get involved, get to know each other, and make a difference in their communities.

What was the process of becoming a board member like?

I met with the President and Founder after the Seattle Works’ Bridge program at the Hard Rock Cafe and we talked about the direction that Team Up was heading and the people needed to get the organization established. I agreed to attend a few board meetings and meet the other people on the board to further assess what level of participation I could commit to. It wasn’t long after that I officially joined the board and joined the Strategic Planning Subcommittee (aka Executive Team) and the Nonprofit Partner Team.  And then on May 27, 2010, Team Up produced its first Gigs4Good event at the Hard Rock Cafe in support of Seattle Against Slavery.

What are you excited to work on as a board member?

I am always excited about process evaluation/design and look forward to providing standardization and best practice tools where needed in our organization. This year in particular I am dedicating my commitment to expanding our partnership with nonprofit organizations by serving as the Nonprofit Director. I am excited about leading the Nonprofit Team in the evaluation and selection of nonprofit partners for our Gigs4Good music event series, and strengthening our communication and partnership with these nonprofits to maximize their experience working with Team Up.

What is one thing from The Bridge that you remember and are excited to apply in your upcoming service?

The Bridge was very helpful in expanding my understanding of the various types of boards and the different levels of commitment and involvement expected by serving on a board. My board experience with Team Up has been a much more active board role than I have experienced in the past, and my participation in The Bridge has prepared me well for managing that greater commitment.


Thank you Rebecca for sharing your experience with us! We’re thrilled to hear that you are happily serving alongside another Bridge graduate on Team Up for Nonprofit’s Board of Directors.  We wish you continued success.

More info on The Bridge:

Are you interested in joining a board?  Or maybe just learning more about what it would take to serve on a board or public commission? Join us for an upcoming session of The Bridge and find out if it’s a good fit for you. Sign up!

  • Tues 4/10, 4/24 & 5/8 – 6-9pm at HSDC (1625 19th Ave)  Sign up! 

Quick Feedback from The Bridge February 28, 2012

Filed under: Lead,The Bridge — seattleworks @ 1:32 am

Over the weekend we kicked off another session of The Bridge training course.  28 people spent four hours of their Saturday learning what it takes to be an effective board member. After each session we request some quick feedback about the course and thought we’d share some with you:

What did you find most beneficial during today’s course?

“I really enjoyed the nonprofit leadership sector. I felt extremely motivated and excited to find a board that shares a similar passion!”


“Hearing from an ED and using an actual organization’s balance sheet in the finance presentation.”


“Interaction mixed with the training was really helpful. I loved the different facilitation techniques used.”


“I came in with basically no knowledge, so the general overview was great. Especially just realizing that there are so many different types of boards.”


“All of it was great – starting with ice breakers to having different presenters. Thought having Era (ED) speak was most insightful.”