Submitted by Annalisa Bardi, ACC, ICF Italia
Coaching provided to leaders and team members of nonprofit organizations

When the pandemic arrived, we started asking ourselves what we could do as an ICF community of coaches. We came up with a few activities to respond to the pandemic situation, both internally to our ICF coaches and externally to the community. 

After the initial emergency period, Italy began reopening in May and quantifying the negative economic impact of the lockdown. We did the same and decided to offer the 2020 Gift of Coaching to nonprofit associations in order to help those who help others — to support them in the present and help them move into the future with a vision to trust for a better tomorrow.

During our screening of nonprofits, we recognized that choosing only one wouldn’t be enough to support the industry that had been seriously damaged by the pandemic. Their people were distracted from their work, and they struggled to carry out their spring events, normally a major source of fundraising. Moreover, they recognized the need for a new way of working for their organizations.

We chose three organizations that varied in scope, size and mission, who were good representatives of nonprofits in Italy.

Peter Pan supports cancer-stricken kids and teenagers, as well as their families. It offers them hospitality services and homes where they can stay during their child’s hospitalization in Rome. We coached their staff to improve their self-awareness, to identify their personal and professional purpose and understand their impact on the organization. We wanted to help them enjoy their current role and see their own professional development. We also coached the board through the development of a new three-year strategic plan. Changes are coming more rapidly than expected, and they need to be ready to give effective support to families based on their values, driven by their mission and empowering their people. 

AIMS is the Italian Association against multiple sclerosis, an association of people with MS who work to support other affected people by developing scientific research and providing information, advocacy and operational support. The complex context they’ve been working in has become even more difficult with the pandemic. Coaches worked with them to improve their soft skills and adopt a “digital mindset,” an innovative way of working together and developing agile thinking. We wanted to see them improve their team work, move to a matrix organization and feel free to express themselves by flattening the hierarchy.

The AIRC Foundation has been committed to promoting cancer research in Italy since 1965. It funds cancer research at universities, hospitals and scientific institutes, offering grants and fellowships to young cancer researchers in Italy and abroad, informing the public and raising awareness of the disease. We coached them to become a more self-aware, purposeful and agile organization, able to deal with both the internal changes of the organization itself and the external challenges of a more complex world. 

Together with the 65 Coaches that joined the program, we are gifting the three associations with 107 individual coaching and 10 team coaching sessions, for a total of 1,083 hour of pro bono coaching.

The initiative will wrap up in January 2021.