By Olga Heifets
The Boulder Institute for Psychotherapy and Research (BIPR), a nonprofit provider of affordable mental health services to children, adolescents, adults, families and couples, is an organization on the cusp of significant organizational change. Last summer, this well-respected organization benefiting the Boulder community for 15-years found itself at the precipice of a growth spurt – and with growth spurts come growing pains.
Reflects Jeanette Marquess, who’s served as BIPR’s Lead Partner since the summer of 2014: “No organization comes to SVP with one problem – instead, they’re at a point in their life cycle where they need help creating structure. SVP’s value is embracing where they’ve been and where they want to go, and understanding how to create the new model to help them succeed.” She continues, “SVP helps nonprofits whittle away in a comprehensive way, creating alignment, and a vision and path forward.”
BIPR was transitioning from a scrappy, early-stage start up, into a well-established organization with the needed infrastructure, efficiencies, and systems to help ensure their own sustainability. Says Jeanette, “SVP helps assess priorities, balance risks and rewards, connect dots and understand consequences. There’s enormous opportunity for SVP to inform BIPR’s foundation as they move forward.”
“SVP entered and brought a lot of momentum,” reflects Executive Director Cindy Divino. “Instead of muddling along, SVP brought knowledge and expertise, and an infusion of energy that enlivened the process in a different way than if our busy staff and board were going it alone.” SVP’s engagement created structure and consistency, putting the work on a timeline so that now, says Cindy, “…we’re getting stuff done continuously, rather than in spurts.”
“Jeanette is just brilliant at helping us map things out and move them forward. It’s really been a psychological shift, getting over the hurdle of inaction and showing that we’re ready for the next thing,” reflects Cindy.
One example is BIPR’s long-awaited rebranding. Despite the strides staff had been making for half a year, SVP Partners joining the team spurred action and provided the impetus for decisions to get made. Alongside BIPR Board members Ashlee and Gary, and SVP Partner Jon, Lead Partner Jeanette helped break down the process into small pieces – keeping stakeholders appraised of progress, helping the Board create and own the process, mapping project stages to a calendar, and providing a reality check on rebranding implications. Collaboratively, they reviewed staff work so far, grounded themselves in the creative brief, sorted through focus group findings, weighed option pros and cons, and finally settled on the best options to move forward.
Keeping true to the work they do each day, an essential ingredient of the collaboration has been BIPR’s staff-side willingness to think differently. SVP Lead Partner Jeanette reflects that “BIPR is made up of well-meaning, mission-driven people willing to question and be introspective. The leadership is really open to ways we can build on the great things they’ve accomplished and better position the organization for their future.”
Announced just this week, BIPR’s new name “InReach” ushers in the beginnings of what’s to come for the organization. And the SVP collaboration is just getting started…on the horizon are Board training, staff leadership development, financial modelling, and an assessment of fundraising efforts. It’s an exciting time and InReach is just getting started, 15 years after they began. And SVP is glad to stand by their side in what’s next.