The River Food Pantry is the largest and busiest food pantry in Dane County, serving 700 households each week with 30,000 pounds of food – plus other vital necessities and services.

(Madison, Wisconsin, USA) – The River Food Pantry ( distributes approximately 1.3 million pounds of food each year while assisting about 28,000 Dane County families.

The nonprofit, volunteer-driven, faith-based charity is also an exemplary model of high standards when it comes to the careful administration of donated funds. The River Pantry spends more than 97 cents of every dollar it receives, for example, toward food and other critical services.

(For more information on River Food Pantry, visit: )

But during 2013 it will expand its programs even more, with organization help from local ActionCOACH Business Coach Susan Thomson.

Ms. Thomson is donating her expertise as part of the global “Coaching for a Cause” initiative, sponsored by ActionCOACH.

The campaign pairs Business Coaches with charities so that nonprofit organizations can learn innovative ways to operate more effectively and efficiently.

“As a nonprofit that has grown from $80,000 per year in 2006 to $550,000 a year in 2012, there are many organizational structures that need to be developed and implemented,” Czerkas says.

“Susan helped with providing the tools necessary for me to start documenting systems and creating scripts for clients, volunteers, and donors. She has also helped with our efforts to hire staff and start building a team to lead The River. The team building is the biggest discovery for me, because beforehand I did not know much about how to develop and motivate staff.”

Czerkas and her husband founded The River in 2006. They both had business experience, but had never before built an organization from scratch. One challenge was to figure out how to run their charity on a day-to-day basis without Czerkas being on site for 70 or more hours each week.

But they’ve learned along the way, and the collaboration with Thomson has been valuable.

Now the River Pantry has detailed task lists for volunteers, for example, plus documentation on how to train new volunteers. Soon the organization also plans to launch a life skills training program, too, and small businesses are lining up to be ready to hire those who graduate from the program.

“Having new systems in place has reduced the stress, increased productivity, and made the experience much more pleasurable for everyone involved,” Czerkas says. “Nonprofit work can be demanding,” she acknowledges. “But the reward of helping families stay afloat is priceless.”

For more information on ActionCOACH Susan Thomson, visit: .



















The nonprofit organization is benefiting from Johnson’s expertise through the global campaign “Coaching for a Cause,” which offers pro bono coaching to deserving charities.

(Miami, FL, USA) – Local ActionCOACH Business Coach Jody Johnson is helping the nonprofit organization, Shake-A-Leg Miami, by offering pro-bono services as part of the global Coaching for a Cause campaign.

The program, sponsored ActionCOACH, pairs charities with professional Business Coaches.

The goal is to teach nonprofits how to operate more effectively and efficiently, so that they can expand their outreach while continuing their good work in a sustainable fashion.

Shake-A-Leg Miami is a community water sports center that offers sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding in an accessible setting. The organization focuses on people of all ages who live with disabilities, along with their families – and also helps to inspire and encourage disadvantaged youth.

(For more information on Shake-A-Leg Miami, visit: )

They are all served in an integrated setting and everyone is welcome at Shake-A-Leg Miami, where the slogan is “A place where boats and dreams are launched.”

Kerry Grunson, the Chairman of the Board, has been collaborating with Johnson for the past year and a half, after the two met at a Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce event.

“We turned to Jody at a time when there was dissension and division on our board,” says Grunson. “She helped calm the roiled waters, focusing her attention on Harry Horgan, our CEO and President, whom she continues to coach. Jody also facilitated our board retreat last year, keeping us on track and on mission. Meanwhile she attends our regular board meetings.”

Grunson relies on Johnson for guidance, consulting her on all important matters, and says that thanks to Johnson’s input the staff is learning to work together better and the board is more organized.

Other areas that Johnson is concentrating on include human resources, marketing, donor development, cash flow, and consistent delivery of services. She’s helping Shake-A-Leg Miami not only strengthen community relations, but is also showing the group how to enhance its financial management team and overall business development model.

“Jody is helping us, for instance, to develop ‘positionals’ for our staff,” Grunson explains. “That way we can make sure they understand their roles and they can meet the goals and needs of our organization. She is also assisting us in the recruitment of a Center Manager, a key position for our growth.”

For more information on Miami ActionCOACH Jody Johnson, visit:

ActionCOACH Jody Johnson



















Founded by a war veteran, Troops to Suits offers entrepreneurial training, small business assistance, and career guidance to support returning soldiers.

(Santa Rosa, CA, USA) – Kathie Ittel, an ActionCOACH Business Coach, is donating her time and expertise to Troops to Suits, a nonprofit that is devoted to helping military veterans make a healthy, successful transition back into civilian life.

The collaboration is part of Coaching for a Cause, an initiative sponsored by the worldwide ActionCOACH business coaching franchise.

“I met Rita Constantini, the founder of Troops to Suits, through the local chapter of Business Networking International where we are both members,” Ittel explains. “We began working together recently, and Troops to Suits is still in development stage. So we are currently focused on organizational structure, vision, and goals – including better ways to finance its programs.”

(For more information on Troops to Suits, visit: )

Troops to Suits offers military vets entrepreneurial coaching, for example, along with assistance in career selection, to help them transition back to civilian life. The inspiration for the organization came from Constantini’s own profound experience as a veteran returning home from the war in Iraq.

“The time spent in Iraq took an emotional, spiritual, and physical toll on me,” the former Black Hawk helicopter crew chief acknowledges. “That ultimately led to the development of Troops to Suits. I realized that if I can create a positive from the negative I would truly be able to heal the wounds that lie deep within my being.”

Although Constantini returned home from Iraq to a supportive family and quickly entered the local workforce as a business owner, she found that it was still, at times, a terribly difficult transition.

“I believe that one of the keys to a successful transition is to find or create work in your area of passion, so that you can live a purpose-driven life. Those who volunteer for military service have a deep sense of purpose, and without that their lives may feel pointless and empty. But if my program offers services that help them thrive, at a time when our veteran suicide rates are skyrocketing, then maybe more of them will stay alive.”

Constantini and Ittel are currently collaborating to create a dynamic business plan, establish strong relationships within the business community, contact veterans between the ages of 19 and 45, and raise enough money to smoothly run the Troops to Suits operation.

“Coaching with Kathie is exactly what I need to prioritize tasks and to specifically and deliberately set goals, timelines, and action plans,” Constantini says. “Kathie’s program is broken down into specific components and is result-oriented to ensure that the organization functions successfully and continually.”

The two women are also deliberately designing the Troops to Suits program to be easy to replicate, so that in the future it can be a worldwide effort reaching veterans everywhere.

For more information on ActionCOACH Business Coach Kathie Ittel, visit: .




















The Coaching for a Cause program teams up charities with professional coaches to teach nonprofits innovative ways to fulfill their missions with more efficiency and effectiveness.

(Miami, FL, USA) – Miami ActionCOACH Business Coach Jody Johnson has been offering pro-bono services to the University of Miami’s Good Government Initiative as a participant in the global “Coaching for a Cause” campaign.

The initiative, sponsored by ActionCOACH, provides expert coaching to nonprofits. The goal is to share cutting edge business strategies that give charities the organizational strength and structure to thrive, prosper, and grow – even in tough economic times.

(For more information on the Good Government Initiative, visit: )

The Good Government Initiative is devoted to transparent leadership from elected officials who clearly communicate their ideas to an active, aware, engaged citizenry. The Initiative offers a certificate of completion for early-career elected officials, for instance, who receive more than 60 hours of training in the nuts and bolts of government in South Florida.

The Initiative also sponsors a series of “Community Conversations.”

During those sessions, elected officials and the public come together to discuss issues of importance related to governance in the community.

Ever since they were introduced at a Chamber of Commerce event back in early 2012, Johnson has been coaching the organization’s President and CEO, Katy Sorenson.

During this type of coaching relationship and interaction the business coach not only offers ideas and strategies for enhancing an organization’s structure and business processes, but also becomes a trusted and resourceful collaborative partner.

“Jody and ActionCOACH have helped me with planning, setting priorities and goals, and working to achieve them in a timely manner,” Sorenson says.

Sorenson explains that coaching has helped her deal with some difficult personnel issues, for example, while ensuring that the right systems are in place to keep the organization running smoothly.

“The challenges faced by the Good Government Initiative included human resources, cash flow, funding, marketing, and communications,” explains Johnson. “But through our efforts we have been able to restructure the team and outsource several functions that used to be performed in-house. That provided the organization with greater efficiency, which simultaneously improved the financial bottom line.”

As a result, the Good Government Initiative not only met but exceeded its recent fundraising goals. The group also completed a fresh new redesign of its website and its marketing collateral.

For more information on Miami ActionCOACH Jody Johnson, visit:

Miami ActionCOACH Jody Johnson’s website


























Carman donates his services during the international Coaching for a Cause campaign and the United Way is seeing outstanding results as it continues to expand its outreach.

(Milwaukee, WI, USA) – Elm Grove ActionCOACH Business Coach Chris Carman has teamed-up with the United Way of Waukesha County as a participant in a global initiative that strengthens nonprofits for the benefit of local communities.

For about a year and a half Carman has been donating his time and expertise to coach the organization’s leadership, train members of the United Way team, and ensure that the operation runs more effectively and efficiently.

(For more information on the United Way of Waukesha County, visit: )

The partnership is part of the international “Coaching for a Cause” campaign, which is sponsored by the business coaching franchise ActionCOACH.

“The United Way was referred to me by another Coaching for a Cause client,” Carman explains. “Since then I’ve been coaching Jayne Thoma, Executive Director of United Way in Waukesha County. Our focus has been on aligning the team with the mission of the organization and empowering team members to achieve their goals. We’ve also worked to clarify the organization’s marketing message and broadcast its unique value to the community.”

Thoma describes her collaboration with Carman as extremely valuable – both to her and to the organization she leads.

“His guidance and expertise have helped me to become a much more focused leader, working on strategies to help grow our team and our organization. Areas of learning have included how to improve our employee recruitment strategies; creating a culture of ownership, accountability, and responsibility; and focusing on a few key goals each quarter to drive results,” she said.

“We were also fortunate to have his facilitation of an all-day staff team-building session. It’s great to have community-minded organizations like ActionCOACH share their expertise with nonprofit leaders. This was time well spent in my journey of continuous learning.”

The coaching has paid off, too.

United Way of Waukesha County recently announced that it achieved its 2012 fundraising campaign goal of $4.5 million, a 3.5% increase over the previous year. Meanwhile, within the past year more than 71,000 people received needed services or participated in programs funded by United Way of Waukesha County.

Now the organization is busy with a new challenge, dubbed the “Strive for 5 Campaign.”

During this 2-year effort the organization hopes to raise $5 million and recruit 500 new volunteers to serve as readers, tutors, and mentors.

For more information on ActionCOACH Chris Carman, visit: .






















The faith-based organization fights hunger with life-saving food and the means to become permanently self-sufficient, for families and communities both in the USA and abroad.

(North Richland Hills, TX, USA) – Bread for a Hungry World, headquartered in North Richland Hills, Texas, has teamed up with local ActionCOACH Business Coach Trey Finley to reach new goals in its effort to solve the problem of world hunger.

The partnership is part of a global initiative sponsored by ActionCOACH called “Coaching for a Cause,” – designed to strengthen charities around the globe by giving them the skills, resources, and business strategies they need to operate more effectively and efficiently.
Bread for a Hungry World volunteers delivered much-needed food to people caught in disaster zones during and after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ike, for example, and also in the aftermath of the 2009 floods in Iowa.

(For more information on Bread for a Hungry World, visit: )

Meanwhile, the organization is active in at least different countries around the world, and that kind of broad outreach requires steady, reliable support and contributions.

“When I took over as the director at Bread for a Hungry World,” Director of Bread for a Hungry World Bobby Moore said. “The organization was bringing in about $450,000 a year in donations.  In 2011, the goal was $800,000 and we came up a little shy. But in 2012, we hoped to raise $1 million and will be right on target. Our goal for 2013 is $1.5 million, and Trey Finley is helping us now to lay out a game plan for this kind of ambitious growth.”

Donors can be assured that their contributions are invested wisely.

“We not only feed families,” Moore explains. “We also teach them the importance of diet and nutrition so they learn how to better care for and fuel their bodies.”

The approach taken by Bread for a Hungry World to combat hunger is multifaceted, with the goal of establishing a permanent environment of overall well-being. The organization believes that by satisfying people’s basic needs and then teaching them to share their resources, a sense of belonging is established that unites communities in a dynamic way.

After a family is provided with livestock, for instance, they then teach their neighbors how to care for livestock and share their herd with them as it reproduces and grows. Training families how to raise livestock and grow gardens produces a source of sustainable nutrition while also empowering communities with economic independence.

At the same time, Bread for a Hungry World instructs families in the importance of core diet and nutrition principles in order to help ensure disease prevention and the healthy growth of children.

Along the way, ActionCOACH Business Coach Trey Finley is instructing Bread for a Hungry World how to continue that vital mission.

To learn more about Bread for a Hungry World, please visit the organization’s official website (

To learn more about ActionCOACH Trey Finley, visit: .



















Liebhauser is volunteering his time and expertise to help the Denver Gives organization enhance its mission of promoting volunteerism and supporting small Denver-area charities.

(Denver, CO, USA) – The nonprofit organization Denver Gives has teamed up with Denver area ActionCOACH Business Coach Bob Liebhauser as part of the international Coaching for a Cause project.

The Coaching for a Cause initiative enlists volunteer coaches from the global business coaching franchise ActionCOACH. Then those generous coaches offer their expertise and professional services free of charge to designated not-for-profit organizations throughout the world.

(For more information on Denver Gives, visit: )

Liebhauser began donating his services to Denver Gives about a year and a half ago, when he first found out about the inspiring organization.

“I was intrigued with the overall concept of Denver Gives,”  Bog says. “They assist lots of smaller, non-national nonprofits, working regionally to support charities in the Denver area. They do a great job of ensuring that those organizations succeed by helping provide them with education, funding, and other critical resources.”

Denver Gives is based on a unique business model and fun format. A membership organization for professionals, the organization holds semi-monthly parties at various venues throughout the Greater Denver Metro Area, plus four signature fundraising events per year.

Through its parties and events, Denver Gives attracts valuable resources including volunteers, corporate contacts, and donated funding. Then it puts all of those key resources to work to provide quality programs and services for the growing community of small nonprofits that operate within the greater Denver area.

One of the primary goals that Liebhauser is helping the organization to achieve is to significantly increase membership and program attendance over the coming months.

To that end, he has been collaborating with Denver Gives to incorporate many of the business systems, structures, and procedures that help make for-profit organizations successful.

Meanwhile Kevin White, the founder of Denver Gives, says that the business coaching relationship has helped him become much more goal-oriented, proactive, and determined.

“Thanks to Bob I have a new fire in my belly to do more,” he says, “Business coaching has definitely increased my desire for action planning and learning more about financials and other aspects that we in the nonprofit sector sometimes take for granted or ignore.”

As Liebhauser explains, running a nonprofit can present lots of challenges that a board of directors or workforce in the for-profit sector might not face.

But by applying the kinds of strategies that he uses in his work with for-profit businesses, Liebhauser hopes to contribute significantly to the sustainable success of Denver Gives.

For more information on Denver ActionCOACH Bob Liebhauser, visit: .

















When Simon Williams, an ActionCOACH Business Coach based in Worcester, became aware of the organisation’s Coaching for a Cause campaign to help charities across the world, he was determined to get involved.

“My key objective was to identify a local charity doing great work that benefitted local people,” Mr. Williams explains. “But as there were so many to choose from, my staff and I decided to put a democratic process in place to choose the best charity for us. We asked our clients to nominate charities they thought could benefit from business coaching, before asking those that wanted to participate to fill in a short questionnaire.  We then put together a decision-making panel comprising representatives from our business and two well-respected and well-known community figures – a high profile business owner who is known for her contributions to charity and a senior player from the public sector – to select the charity.”

The result of this process was that Worcester Snoezelen was chosen as Mr. Williams’ Coaching for a Cause charity, and he is now donating time each month to helping the organisation achieve its objectives.

(For more information on Worcester Snoezelen, visit: )

Worcester Snoezelen is a UK registered charity that provides sensory happiness to a vibrant and diverse community of people with learning disabilities and individual needs.
Core services are delivered within The Sensory Centre – a unique, purpose-built location that comprises a magical village of private spaces offering a range of pursuits that are based around the principles of Snoezelen Leisure Therapy – a pioneering therapeutic technique designed to stimulate various senses through lighting effects, colour, sounds, music and scents.

The Centre also offers an active program of dance, music and creative arts.

“It’s a real pleasure to be working with the team at Worcester Snoezelen,” Mr. Williams says. “They are passionate about what they do and are very good at it, working hard to provide sensory happiness to people and make a tangible difference to their quality of life.”
The charity needs to raise £300,000 over the next 18 months to fund an annexed space to its existing site that will alleviate overcrowding and offer extra facilities.

Mr. Williams is helping to implement strategies that will help achieve this within a revised timescale of one year.

“As a Business Coach, it is my mission to help the team at Worcester Snoezelen systemize their approach to marketing and fundraising, focus on key activities and in so doing help them achieve the proposed financial target within twelve months,” Williams says.

“The fact that this is all happening through Coaching for a Cause is fantastic. As Business Coaches, we can make a huge difference to charitable organisations in helping them to systemize and focus their limited resources on key priorities that deliver real value. In so doing they can extend their reach and focus on what is really important – helping others.”

For more information on ActionCOACH Business Coach Simon Williams, visit: .












Christina Jackson – an ActionCOACH Business Coach based in South-West London – has been helping a small charity called Operation Wellfound through the ActionCOACH Coaching for a Cause campaign.

Operation Wellfound is a charity based in Greenford, West London that works to provide fresh, clean drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities to those most in need across Romania and Africa.

(For more information on Operation Wellfound, visit: )

For years, Ms. Jackson has been a supporter of charities that work in this field and when she met a representative of Operation Wellfound at a local networking group, she was determined to help.

Ms. Jackson is currently devoting around four hours a month to Operation Wellfound and sees her role as one that can help boost much-needed funds.

The way Operation Wellfound has been set up means that 100% of all donations go directly to the charity’s work on the ground and it has been Ms. Jackson’s mission to help grow the amount of regular donors and strengthen the organisation’s financial base through establishing a stable income stream.

“Helping Operation Wellfound taps into one of my deeply held convictions, which is that everybody should have access to clean water and hygienic toilet facilities,” she says. “I have supported many larger charities that work in this sector over the years but with big organisations it is sometimes difficult to see where your money and help is making a difference, purely because of their size.

“When I heard about Operation Wellfound, which is based near me in London, I was determined to help. It is my mission to help Operation Wellfound to not only survive but to thrive and ensure that the fantastic work they carry out will continue for a long time to come.”

Coaching for a Cause has given Ms. Jackson the ideal opportunity to help Operation Wellfound and her regular sessions with Chief Operations Officer David Pearce are ensuring that the charity can find its financial feet and move forward with confidence.

“I think the Coaching for a Cause campaign is an absolutely fabulous idea,” Ms. Jackson said. “Charities do an amazing job but many of them, especially the smaller ones, struggle to operate as a business, which is exactly what needs to happen to maximise funds and ensure ongoing stability. By working with an ActionCOACH, whose job it is to transform business practices and increase revenue, it is possible to ensure that charities can establish better working practices and raise more money, which is great news for everyone.”

For more information on ActionCOACH Christina Jackson, visit:










ActionCOACH Business Coach Rob McTague met Richard Benge, Executive Director of Access Arts Aotearoa at a conference in New Zealand where Rob had been invited to speak.

His audience were people who manage community art organizations for disabled people.

They got together afterwards and Rob listened to Richard’s story. Arts Access Aotearoa was founded in 1995 as a not-for-profit that gives people with a disability access to the life-transforming effects of the arts. Participants develop their self expression and creativity through the mediums of painting, writing, music, theatre and film.

(For more information on Access Arts, click here: )

The long-term vision of the organization is, “to close the gap between disabled artists and the market,” Richard explained.

“I also want to grow our capacity to get more disabled artists involved with the arts either as audience members or creators.”

What they were doing struck a chord with Rob.

“I knew they were struggling as the government was cutting back on funding,” he said.

“That made it hard for them. They are broad in their offering but they really do help those who need help.”

And so began Rob’s Coaching with a Cause journey.

Richard Benge is upbeat about the initiative.

“By ActionCOACH helping charities and non-profits to be more financially sustainable and better at their overall business they are having a positive impact in terms of social stability and security, as well as the physical and mental well-being of people,” he said.

Rob donates between four to six hours of his time each month to Arts Access Aotearoa.

The main objective for the organization was to expand and diversify income streams so they can cover project costs and end up with a surplus. People were not being given the opportunity to donate, Rob believed, as their messages were not clear. He decided to help devise strategies to turn this situation around.

“The first thing to do,” Rob said, “was to go after the emotional appeal. Rather than being formal, AAA needed to talk to people as if they were sitting next to Grandma and explaining how it worked to her. We want $20 as much as we want $10,000.”

The long term goal for Arts Access Aotearoa and Rob is to increase funding by 17 percent – to $265,000.

To do this, they will be working together to identify a broader range of income streams.
Richard stressed that for his organization, the Coaching for a Cause initiative is very important and valuable.

Rob agrees.

“I donate time rather than money. The beauty is that my time can’t be spent. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” he said.

“Hopefully my coaching has fed Arts Access Aotearoa for a lifetime.”

For more information on ActionCOACH Business Coach Rob McTague, visit: .