Working to advance rights and create opportunities requires a combination of passion, leadership, and practical, can-do skills. The Haas, Jr. Fund launched the Flexible Leadership Awards (FLA) program in 2005 to provide social-sector organizations and their leaders with resources and support to become even more effective.
Based on extensive input from nonprofit leaders and others, the program provides long-term, custom-tailored leadership support to selected Haas, Jr. Fund grantees. The Flexible Leadership Awards allow the board and staff of these organizations to step back and think expansively about what they want to achieve and the leadership challenges they have to meet to get there.
The FLA program consists of three elements:
Flexible funding: The Fund makes FLA grants in addition to providing ongoing support for these grantees, supporting them to address leadership opportunities and challenges over three to five years.
Peer learning: The cohort of FLA grantees meets online and offline to exchange ideas and provide mutual support.
Strategic advice: Each organization is paired with a consultant to develop and implement a leadership development plan.
Participating organizations work with consultants supported by the Haas, Jr. Fund to develop a plan for the use of their grant funds, and to identify and deploy the best resources to help them meet their leadership goals. Grantees have used their award funds to support coaching for staff and board leaders, strategic planning initiatives aimed at sharpening the focus of their organizations, board development and engagement, and succession planning, among many other activities.
The FLA program started with an initial pilot of 14 organizations in the Bay Area. The program now serves 50 local, state and national organizations whose work is crucial to achieving the Fund’s program goals on issues ranging from marriage equality to comprehensive immigration reform to education. The FLA program is a fiscal project of the Tides Center.