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(June 7, 2016) Phoenix, Ariz. - Eide Bailly, LLP, CPAs and Business Advisors is one of the top 25 Certified Public Accountant firms in the nation. It has over 54,000 clients, 1,600 talented professionals, 29 offices in 13 states, and has been in business since 1917. Despite it’s significant size and reach, however, Eide Bailly is remarkably focused on serving the local communities within which it operates. The accounting firm has written community development on the local level right into its organizational culture. In a document recently published on their website, titled “Firm in Motion: 2015-16 Year in Review,” Eide Bailly sets forth its ideological principles and business ethics. It states that Eide Bailly finds it “rewarding to give back to our communities by supporting existing programs, developing new initiatives, providing direction for our youth and offering support in times of need,” as well as “actively [participating] and [contributing] to our communities in meaningful ways.”
Among its many philanthropic efforts, Eide Bailly has recently chosen to champion the development of nonprofit leadership at the highest organizational levels. Specifically, the accounting firm’s Phoenix office has chosen to sponsor two participants in the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Management Certificate program by providing them with full tuition scholarships.
With more than 28 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, Rob Leslie, a Partner with Eide Bailly’s Phoenix location, is especially passionate about serving through philanthropy and nonprofit engagement. He recently spoke with the ASU Lodestar Center about his firm’s commitment to promoting effective executive leadership in nonprofit organizations. Mr. Leslie explained that his firm routinely encounters a “void that is out there of qualified executive leadership.” He elaborates: “Occasionally, what we see is that individuals get promoted into a key executive position, not based on their skill-sets as a leader, but based on tenure related to their service and their mission. They may be a great counselor, or a director of a program, but now they are a CEO and may lack some much needed finance, board governance, or management skills.”
Brenda Blunt is another Partner with Eide Bailly’s Phoenix office who is fully committed to serving the nonprofit sector’s financial needs. She has been providing financial services to tax exempt organizations for more than 30 years. She similarly points out that, “Often, nonprofit executives come up through the ranks with great experience in programming, development, or finance; but to be an effective leader requires an understanding of all three. I have been privileged to work with executive leaders who learned all three the hard way—through trial and error over the years of their career.”
Eide Bailly’s sponsorship of two individuals to participate in the ASU Lodestar Center’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate program, delivered through its Nonprofit Management Institute, is designed to help alleviate this fairly common scenario in a small, but meaningful and highly targeted way. The Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate program is designed specifically to fill in the gaps that many new executive directors may have as they arrive at their new position from previous nonprofit leadership roles. Unlike many leadership development programs here in the Valley of the Sun, Rob Leslie and Brenda Blunt feel that the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate is uniquely suited to helping new or future executive leaders prepare for this higher level of leadership. Ms. Blunt explains, “The Nonprofit Management Institute's Executive Leadership Certificate program gives both experienced and developing nonprofit executives a way to avoid the expense of lessons learned ‘the hard way,’ not only from the curriculum, but also from the real-life experiences of their peers. Rob and I have often recommended the program to our clients, and we are proud to be partners of a firm that recognizes the value of sponsoring it.”
Rob and Brenda recognize that sponsoring two individuals to participate in this program does not approach solving the whole problem of underprepared executive leaders within the nonprofit sector. But, it will help two specific organizations to be directed more effectively, and they hope that Eide Bailly’s investment in this area can serve as an example to other socially-conscious businesses and philanthropic institutions. They feel that sponsoring effective leadership has a trickle-down effect that will ultimately improve society as a whole. Mr. Leslie observes, “if you want to be involved and make a difference, this sponsorship is a great way to start.” He feels that Eide Bailly’s investment has an immediate return on investment, because “it is a way to help the nonprofit industry become more financially sophisticated. It benefits everyone, the community, the organizations, the service providers, and particularly the donors and funders.”
If you would like to invest in local nonprofit executive leadership, please consider following Eide Bailly’s lead by sponsoring an individual or two in the Nonprofit Management Institute’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate program through the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation. Sponsorships can be arranged by contacting Cindi Thiede at 602-496-1061 or by emailing her at email@example.com.