Hybrid training sessions for regional nonprofits
JP Morgan Chase
Spitfire has worked JP Morgan Chase to bring communication capacity building courses to their nonprofit partners in cities across the country. JP Morgan supports thousands of nonprofits in the markets they operate with a focus on affordable housing, education and workforce and economic development. They survey the nonprofits every five years to determine the most critical capacity building needs and communications is consistently rated important for their success. JP Morgan’s Office of Nonprofit Engagement reached out to Spitfire to bring a comprehensive communication training and support for their local partners. Over the past five years, Spitfire has trained over 600 organizations and 1200 participants on the Smart Chart, ethical storytelling and creating an elevator pitch. These sessions were conducted in person over the course of 1.5 days with each organization receiving coaching support from a Spitfire after the training and a follow up review session one year after the training to check in on their progress. This capacity building has been consistently rated excellent and many participants consider it the best and most useful training they have attended.
Changing times require flexible training and support. As COVID pandemic shut down much of our country’s daily routines and work, Spitfire’s Learning team went into high gear to continue the coaching, support and trainings to meet the changing needs and issues for our clients. JPMC had scheduled seven in-person trainings across the country for their local partners. The first training in New Orleans was to kick off this series in early April 2020. We decided to move it online a week before it was to start. The team scrambled to adjust the 1.5-day curriculum to meet the new zoom environment for the nonprofits across three days of three-hour sessions. Each nonprofit still had a Spitfire coach and additional follow up support for their communication needs in order to be flexible and responsive. The first session with St. Louis took place the week of George Floyd’s murder. The second session in New Orleans occurred the week after the murder and during the start of the racial reckoning across the country. Most of these nonprofits were Black-led and in communities of color. The pandemic already shifted their work to be without community contact, working from home and a doubled demand for their services beyond their mission. Food, medical support, community check ins on seniors were needs that went beyond economic or workforce development. Some of their community partners were suffering at the hands of local law enforcement and Zoom was their main connection for capacity building, morale building and support from their funders and partners. Spitfire shifted all their materials and support to meet their specific needs as coaches spent more time working with for longer hours to determine better strategies, messages and channels to connect with community members. Some groups that met with seniors at the community center shifted to use low power radio and cable access channels to stay in contact, others delivered newsletters door to door in the community (for those residents not on the internet).
Just In Time Support
In addition to the seven online trainings and coaching support for almost 100 organizations and over 200 participants, Spitfire hosted a webinar series for JPMC nonprofit partners across the country. During pre-COVID times, Spitfire led three communication-related webinars each year for the hundreds of JPMC nonprofit partners that were not able to participate in the communication capacity building trainings. As COVID disrupted much of the traditional in-person support, JPMC requested monthly webinars to support nonprofits on topics beyond traditional communications. Spitfire developed and led eight webinars for thousands of participants. This was an immediate response to the issues and needs of the nonprofits and was for many of the participants, the only external capacity building support and contact with their funders and peers. As COVID created new challenges and opportunities for nonprofits, the topics and examples were ‘just in time’ and responsive to their feedback. These webinars began immediately as the pandemic shut down the traditional levels of support. Spitfire included extensive pre-assessment and evaluation for the participants (through the Zoom registration) in order to give real time feedback to JPMC and ensure the topics were meeting their needs.
March 18 - How to communicate during a crisis and meet the community where they are
March 23 - Developing and implementing a crisis communications plan
April 22 - Virtual leadership and online meeting strategies
April 29 - Community engagement from afar and working from home best practices
June 17 - Online fundraising and scenario planning for a pandemic
June 24 – Breaking through the noise – media engagement and coverage
Sept 15 – Living your values – moving from equitable missions to action
Sept 28 – Ethical and strategic storytelling
We had over 3,500 participants from 2,800 organizations and representatives from 39 of the 50 states.