With an End to the Pandemic in Sight, Edyth Bush Institute Helps Nonprofits Position Themselves for a Redefined Future

Crummer welcomes Min Sun Kim to her new role as the interim executive director for the Edyth Bush Institute, taking over from recently-retired Gary Blanchette.

Over the past year, many sectors of the economy have been adversely affected by the pandemic—perhaps none more so than the nonprofit sector.  While the community experienced a greater need for the services they provide, nonprofit organizations have had to overcome many new obstacles to delivering services while balancing their budgets with less funding.

In these turbulent times for business, the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership’s commitment to its mission to develop the strongest nonprofit sector through education and management assistance remains steadfast.

Entering 2021, it’s clear that pre-pandemic “business as usual” is not returning anytime soon, and likely never will.

In March 2020, when news of the COVID-19 pandemic started shift the way the world works, the Edyth Bush Institute moved all of its nonprofit programming to a virtual synchronous environment overnight.

“EBI took the lead when the pandemic hit, in terms of ‘what now?’,” said recently retired executive director Gary Blanchette. “When nonprofits were worried about what’s around the corner, EBI needed to already be around that corner to help the nonprofits to calm down and take a look at the facts and situation.”

The Edyth Bush Institute remains focused on helping the nonprofit community address pressing issues and harness the capabilities of the increasingly virtual world.

The center will continue to host its “Timely Talks” programs with the nonprofit community: helping, coaching, and training nonprofit leaders on how to navigate through the uncertainty. These forums serve as community convener events, offering a support system for nonprofits in the community to come together and share their thoughts on the current times.

Of course, the high-quality trainings continue as well, including the Crescendo to Impact program, a refreshed fundraising program that helps organizations build compelling stories, resilient funding teams, and generate sustainable revenue.

Other upcoming programming this spring includes Finding Grant Funding, Strategic Planning for Nonprofits, Understanding Endowments, Corporate Partnership Success, and the four part-series, Certificate in Proposal Writing.

“As we have previously done with Pulse, the hurricanes, and COVID-19, we will continue to make sure those meaningful conversations continue to happen as conveners of the community,” said Min Sun Kim, incoming interim executive director of the Edyth Bush Institute.

One such important issue that touches on the work of all nonprofits is the renewed national effort to address racial inequality. In addition to featuring the issue in the Timely Talks Series, the Edyth Bush Institute is excited to host Evoking Change in 2021, a series of events and a toolkit designed to make Central Florida nonprofits a pipeline for a more racially equitable community.

“At the end of the day, our job is to develop the strongest nonprofit sector and we will continue to be a trusted resource, thought leader, convener and the biggest supporter of the nonprofits that support this community,” said Kim.

Welcoming Min, Thank you Gary

As Gary Blanchette transitions into retirement, Min Sun Kim`18MBA will lead the Edyth Bush Institute as the interim director.

Throughout her career, Kim’s keen eye for details, fresh outlook to improve or maintain current processes, and her ability to bring a diverse team together, has moved organizations towards positive change and a unified brand.

If her name sounds familiar, Kim is a long-time member of the Edyth Bush Team, having previously served as a program manager before being appointed to serve as the assistant director under Blanchette.

Kim will bring a comprehensive view of the inner-workings of the Edyth Bush Institute, with the knowledge and experience of seeing how the Center for Excellence operates from the bottom up.

Her experience with trainings, in particular, has allowed her to build strong relationships with folks in the nonprofit sector and to better understand their wants and needs.

“Trainings are a special place because they are a place where people learn, they connect, and there is openness to be authentic about what their challenges are,” said Kim. “The power of education is something I strongly believe in, and it’s a part of who I am.”

Upon retiring, outgoing Executive Director Gary Blanchette is still planning to remain an integral part of the nonprofit community after his nearly four decade-long career in nonprofit fundraising, management, and institutional advancement. He plans to serve of the Central Florida Goodwill Board and become a guardian ad-litem in Seminole County. The increased flexibility will also allow him and his family to achieve a lifelong dream of visiting some of the most beautiful National Parks in the country.

“Having brought such a rich history of experience in nonprofit leadership to Crummer, Gary was instrumental in guiding EBI through a period of change, collaboration, and pandemic challenges,” said Deborah Crown, Dean of the Crummer Graduate School of Business. “In addition to refining and streamlining the Institute’s slate of open-enrollment offerings, Gary also expanded outreach to the wider community. We thank him for his dedication and service, and look forward to our continued work together in the community.”

Beyond his deep appreciation for those in the community with whom he has worked, Blanchette will greatly miss the Edyth Bush Institute team.

“What brought me joy everyday was the EBI team, they are handworkers, and they care about advancing the mission. I was blessed to be able to have such a great team to work with,” said Blanchette. “As assistant director, Min was a dedicated, integral part of the team. Having the respect of the nonprofit sector and business community leaders, Min will be able to move EBI’s mission forward with speed and grace.”