Neda Kellogg’s Project Diva has reached out to nearly 5,000 underprivileged middle and high school black girls over the years. Almost all students graduate and 90% have improved financial literacy.
Kellogg and a cadre of part-time counselors and volunteers mentor, mentor, and introduce students to post-high school career opportunities through seminars, field trips, and hands-on experiences. He also acts as a personal coach.
The focus is on improving self-esteem, wealth accumulation, inquiry and action. Diva graduates pursue careers in education, healthcare, business, and other fields.
Kellogg quit her job at a charter school in North Minneapolis in 2015 to dedicate herself to the nonprofit organization. She was the only full-time employee and employed 12 part-time contract consultants as well as volunteers from various occupations. She was the CEO, office administrator, and development officer for the small nonprofit that has $500,000 in sales and a lot of moving parts.
“I was really overwhelmed,” Kellogg said in an interview.
When Kellogg needed to work with a consultant or attend to an office matter, she could not raise money or recruit partners, be they colleges or corporations.
Kellogg contacted HandsOn Twin Cities, a respected nonprofit that brings together ailing nonprofits and small businesses with volunteers.
Accel Energy’s James Houston volunteered to help Project Diva with the HR project.
“It started as a day of service and grew into a 40-hour project over eight to 12 weeks,” Houston quipped. “We were able to use part of Neda’s workload.”
Houston is an experienced Human Resources Manager in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, specializing in bringing people and jobs together. He and the three Xcel colleagues he recruited began by interviewing Kellogg. They began to understand the nonprofit organization and found ways to customize and document management solutions to save Kellogg some time.
“It’s a great non-profit organization,” he said. “We have built capacity [with consultants]It was also nice for us to work with this non-profit organization that serves these people.”
Kellogg was impressed.
Kellogg said, “They listened, asked good questions, had good ideas, implemented them, and helped us build a system.” “It helped me to delegate certain things to the right members of the team. And four of our consultants… eventually become employees. We are now moving into the growth phase of the organization’s growth.”
Houston occasionally asks Kellogg or a designated advisor for follow-up questions.
“He’s our man,” Kellogg said. “He is with us in fellowship.”
Tracy Nielsen, executive director of HandsOn Twin Cities, which once provided primarily day service opportunities for corporations, has moved to work more closely with nonprofit organizations and cash-strapped businesses run by people of color.
“The pandemic caused us to reconsider how we can increase our capacity,” Nielsen said. “We believe that volunteers have the power to create a better and more just community.”
For example, Target was a Day-of-Service customer of HandsOn but asked for help after the killing of George Floyd by doing 10,000 hours of pro bono work to help businesses owned by people of color.
Handson arranged 164 for free That’s a total of 144 counseling centers this year and 144 in 2021, Nielsen said.
These relationships can be meaningful beyond sales and financial advice.
One mentorship was at Kobi Candle in Minneapolis.
When a Target volunteer who worked with Coby died unexpectedly last year, his family asked those attending the memorial service to honor him by purchasing the company’s soy candles and fragrances.
“Volunteers [often] Build trust with small businesses and nonprofits that share strategy and finances with them, Nielsen said.
Other practical examples include a General Mills team that worked with Vanessa Drewes, a former paralegal at a law firm, to grow her cheesecake funk business, and a Thrivant crew working with the Neighborhood Development Center, Small Business Coach and Reviewed the lender’s procedures.
In all, HandsOn Twin Cities, with $1.4 million in revenue and 11 employees, partnered with several thousand volunteers in the past fiscal year to provide 27,000 hours of service worth more than $5 million.
Nielsen is deepening HandsOn’s work to help more social entrepreneurs meet the needs of their clients, said Kate Barr, a former commercial banker who runs the nonprofit advisory and lender business Propel.
that work leads to the reduction of racial differences Through education, employment and income.
It brings people together to form productive, mutually beneficial relationships that otherwise would not have materialized.
I thank you for that today.