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The Schimel Lode: Encouraging Innovation and Collaboration for the Public Good

Archives 1998-2008

Our Purpose from 1998-2008

Traditional assistance to nonprofits tends to focus on financial support. We recognize such resources are crucial for sustenance and sometimes survival. But we believe that money is not enough to bring out the best in Board, staff, and volunteers, to fulfil the mission of each organization.

Beginning in 1998, we've developed a way to assist nonprofits that complements traditional philanthropy. Our Board promotes effectiveness and self-sufficiency by offering free consulting services to the nonprofits who become participants in The Schimel Lode.

Professionals on our Board provide these consulting services, collaborating with participants to help them meet their goals. Since we believe this process takes a while, we prefer longer-term relationships. In time, small amounts of seed money for projects related to our collaboration may be provided.

We also encourage and assist partnerships and alliances. Such collaborations may include nonprofits, foundations, government and for-profit organizations.

As a donor-advised fund within The Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, The Schimel Lode focuses on the Washington, DC area.

What We Offered from 1998-2008

If your needs and interests relate to the free consulting services offered by The Schimel Lode, let us know. We are also open to your ideas about how you want to collaborate.

The list below describes the range of our experience and the services we offer. You'll notice that they often overlap and inter-relate.

Keep in mind that how we provide these services and work with Lode participants honors their specific cultures and concerns. We also offer referrals to existing resources such as classes, books, and online programs as well as tailored coaching.

When you want to revisit the mission and vision of your organization, we can assist you with:

If you want to choose your Board, improve current relationships, or encourage more effective results, we can help you to:

When you want to move your organization beyond crisis management, we can assist you with improving:

When you want to collaborate and build alliances with other groups and organizations, learn how to:

When you want to overcome barriers to progress and create a more effective organizational culture, we can help you to:

Examples of How The Schimel Lode Has Worked with Participants until 2008

The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange ( received support and guidance for community development tools related to their “Animating Democracy Project.” The Lode also provided coaching on how to:

The DC Prisoners Legal Services Project ( received guidance over a two-year period while in transition. When the District of Columbia dispersed most of its prison population, many prisoners where far away from family and other supports. To help the Project address this change, The Lode assisted with their:

Eco-Ventures International ( has projects in Africa and the District of Columbia that combine youth development with environmental entrepreneurship. We are providing guidance and support related to:

Already clear and original in its vision, Eco-Ventures has a continuing relationship with the Lode that builds on its commitment to improving effectiveness and self-sufficiency.

The Partnership for Prince George's County will be launched in early 2008. We are participating in its development and implementation. Aspects of our focus may include capacity-building for leadership and management development as well as advocacy.

The mission of this Partnership is to connect the people who live, work, learn and play in Prince George's County to one another and the region. The Partnership will do this by: