BBB Charity Symposium Puts Focus On Impact

Art Taylor

Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, surprised the symposium with his rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

By Jerri Stroud, BBB Editor

This year’s BBB Charity Symposium, Charting Your Impact, featured speakers who focused on how charities and nonprofits can gauge their effectiveness and keep themselves on track as they pursue their goals. The symposium was Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac.

Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, started off his keynote address with a surprising rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” using the analogy of baseball heroes as examples of how organizations build trust with the public with five basic questions in a process called Charting Impact. Taylor has been a driving force behind vetting charities nationally through the Wise Giving Alliance. He’s also worked with local BBBs who accredit charities in their service areas.

Dennis O'Brien of Nonprofit Advancement, was a discussion leader at one table.

Dennis O’Brien of Nonprofit Advancement, was a discussion leader at one table.

Anne Kessen Lowell, executive director of SouthSide Early Childhood Center, talked about how her organization uses performance metrics. Lowell has spent her career working with cities and nonprofit organizations to revitalize and strengthen urban neighborhoods across the country. Under Anne’s leadership SouthSide has build a state-of-the-art 19,000-square-foot early childhood center, only the third building in the organization’s 128-year history. Anne and her team oversaw the capital campaign, construction and tax credit financing of this $4.2 million project.

Kristen Slaughter, chief operation officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, said that data metrics can keep an organization on track, but charities also need to share stories that illustrate their mission and how they meet it with their board and donors. The organization also shares metrics of board members’ own performance with the directors.

Kevin Drollinger presented an update on BBB’s Charity Information Service, including the recent addition of an online Accredited Charity Guide. Drollinger is chair of BBB’s CIS committee as well as executive director of Epworth Children & Family Services.

We’ve posted pictures from the event below for your enjoyment.

Anne Lowell and Scott Walker

Speaker Anne Kessen Lowell of SouthSide Early Childhood Center talks after the presentation with Scott Walker of Kingdom House.


Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, with Robert Hoffmann, president of Hoffmann Brothers Heating & Cooling and chair of BBB’s board of directors.


BBB Investigator Bill Smith, right, leads a discussion at his table on charity best practices.


Carole Bellmann, BBB director of charity review, reports on the discussion at her table.


The discussion at Charity Director Carole Bellman’s table.


The breakfast buffet got everyone off to a good start with delicious fruit and pastries – plus some good strong coffee.

GeGe Mix and Steve Finkelstein.

GeGe Mix and Steve Finkelstein of Experience on Demand, a sponsor for the Charity Symposium.

Chris Thetford, Karen Nolte.

Chris Thetford, right, greets nonprofit executives as they arrive at the Charity Symposium.


Susan Kidder, right, executive director of Safe Connections, talks with others before the symposium begins.


Intent discussions at the table gave charity leaders a chance to share best practices.


Karen Nolte, second from left, talks about best practices at her organization, the Children’s Home Society of Missouri.


Anne Kessen Lowell, executive director at SouthSide Early Childhood Center, talks about using metrics to support her organization’s capital campaign for a new building. At left is Kristen Slaughter, chief operating officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. Art Taylor, president of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance is at right.


Michelle Corey, right, BBB president and CEO, greeting a charity leader at the symposium.


Art Taylor, right, answers a question while the rest of the panel looks on. At left is Kevin Drollinger, chair of the Charity Information Service committee, with Kristen Slaughter, center, and Anne Kessen Lowell.


The table discussion gets off to a good start.


Kristen Slaughter, chief operating officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, makes a point in the panel discussion, while Anne Kessen Lowell and Art Taylor listen.


Lee McRaven and David Pruitt of St. Anthony’s Health Center in Alton, listen to a discussion at their table.


Tracy Hardgrove, right, BBB vice president of operations and administration, leads a discussion at her table.


Lisa Dinga of YouthBridge Community Foundation, right, listens intently.

Jim Judge and Karen Nolte.

Jim Judge of Judge Evaluations, with Karen Nolte, executive director of the Children’s Home Society of Missouri.

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