The Sustainability & Impact (SI) project is an executive education program designed for non-profit, youth-serving organizations that receive funding     from Bader Philanthropies, Inc. The S&I project will impart Social Innovation as a framework for achieving positive, sustainable social change – a        departure from conventional charity.


This Executive Education Project is designed for nonprofit organizations that receive funding from Bader Philanthropies, Inc. The Sustainability & Impact (S&I) Project will impart social innovation as a framework to achieve positive, sustainable social change - a departure from conventional charity. With expert guidance and coaching, participants will design and implement their own social-innovation model that aims for sustainability and impact for their nonprofit organization.
While S&I is a newer project in the Greater Milwaukee area, it’s modeled after the Social Innovation Leadership Experience serving the Fox Valley – an Executive Education Program started in 2010 now serving a third cohort (40 executives total). Past participants in the Fox Valley have launched award-winning models of social innovation/social entrepreneurship, including, among others, Riverview Gardens in Appleton (national SE finalist, June 2014, The Manhattan Institute) and The Farmory in Green Bay (winner, best marketing, The Venture Center business model competition, Oshkosh, November, 2014). 2016 S&I participants will be expected to implement socially innovative models, as well.
The S&I cohort will consist of 10-14 nonprofit organization leaders chosen by the project selection committee. Individuals invited to participate will apply using a straightforward application that assesses their commitment to the project, including a willingness to design and implement a socially innovative model aligned with their mission.
Each participant is expected to attend 6 sessions over 7 days from April-October, 2016. In addition, program participants will meet independently with Steve Kuper as part of the coaching model. Participants will also have assignments to complete between sessions and to engage youth served (to the extent possible).

2015 cohort graduates reported spending 2-5 hours per week on external assignments and reading.

  • Develop a framework in which they can define leadership from both a broad and narrow perspective in relation to social innovation;
  • Enhance their leadership via a 360-Review process, receiving professional feedback as well as individual coaching, in improve their effectiveness.
  • Learn different approaches to leading change initiatives and innovation, managing conflict and interacting with different personality styles; and
  • Design and implement a socially innovative approach to fulfilling their organizational mission, either incubated within their existing organization or as a stand-alone external enterprise.
  • Understand the conventional non-profit charity model, and the forces that influence and challenge its sustainability;
  • Know and articulate the fundamentals of social innovation/social entrepreneurship, including nomenclature, key concepts, and models;
  • Assess and conceptualize their own, and their organization’s, capacity for contributing to systematic change; and
  • Design and implement a start-up plan for a socially-innovative enterprise, including the identification of strategic resources.
Each organization is asked to invest $1,000 into the program. However, the $1,000 will be refunded to the organization upon successful completion of the S&I program. Books and the hotel stay for the retreat is paid for through the grant from Bader Philanthropies, Inc.
Board approval is required to participate in the S&I project.



Jeff Snell, PhD

Jeff will serve as the primary facilitator and instructor, and is responsible for including special guests for content delivery on a session-by-session basis.

Jeff is the Executive Director of the International Folk Art Alliance and the founder of Midwest Social Innovation LLC and co-founder of the Midwest Consortium for Social Innovation, a regional platform to promote cross-sector, enterprise-based solutions to social problems. Social Innovation projects include a partnership with the New York Times to embed Social Innovation across the curriculum globally (FixesU, selected by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as one of 10 winners in a field of 1,000 proposals from 85 countries); the Brady Corp Good Money Challenge, the first regional start-up competition for social entrepreneurship; and a Cristo Rey Network school in Milwaukee, the first university-backed feasibility effort of 26 schools nationally and a new model going forward.


Steve Kuper

Steve will serve as a facilitator and instructor. Steve will also meet with the executive directors and their leadership teams, as they choose, apart from the larger group.

Steve believes in living your passion and choosing your attitude! As President of Innovative Learning Strategies, LLC, (ILS) Steve does both on a daily basis! If you’ve ever experienced one of his training sessions, you know Steve fuses creativity, innovation, fun, interaction and practicality to directly impact performance in the workplace. Steve is called on to work with leaders at various levels of organizations to increase their effectiveness with their respective teams. He serves as an executive coach to CEO’s and other high level executives in a variety of industries as well as a coach to first line and mid-level managers. Using the suite of 360 Degree Assessments from The Center for Creative Leadership, Steve appreciates the power of feedback in professional development.



Project funded by: