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In the heart of Denver, Lincoln Hills Cares is on a mission to develop the next generation of leaders through outdoor education, cultural history, exploration, and workforce development. In 2023, Becky Balliet, an SVP Denver Partner, and J.R. Lapierre, Managing Director of Lincoln Hills Cares, collaborated as a coach in a 9-week Theory of Change cohort facilitated by SVP Denver – a program designed to help nonprofits to better define and communicate the impact of their organizations. Through their collaboration, Becky and the Lincoln Hills Cares team developed a mutual appreciation that helped them move the organization forward into the future. 

Fostering Access to Nature and Equitable Opportunities

Lincoln Hills Cares’ programs reach far beyond the beautiful landscapes of Lincoln Hills. Through their local outdoor education and environmental STEM programs, they extend their impact throughout the Denver Metro area, breaking barriers for youth facing economic, social, or familial challenges. Lincoln Hills Cares is increasing access to nature, providing avenues for social and emotional development, and fostering a sense of community stewardship.

One inspiring aspect was how personal access to the outdoors and equity in open spaces is approached by Lincoln Hills Cares. They see this as a component of equity and justice, especially in Colorado.” – Becky

The Ripple Effect: Community Impact and Stories of Change

The impact of Lincoln Hills Cares is tangible, especially through their career pathways workforce program where participants start as crew members and grow into leadership positions. Their initiatives create a ripple effect, cultivating a sense of pride and positivity that resonates throughout the community.

“Our work with Lincoln Hills Cares gives us a great sense of pride. There’s satisfaction in knowing we’re having a positive impact. It’s a great feeling.” – J.R.

Navigating Change with the Theory of Change Cohort

In their pursuit of excellence, Lincoln Hills Cares joined in SVP Denver’s Theory of Change cohort with Becky as their coach, guiding them along the way. While going through the Theory of Change cohort, their organization received affirmation that they were heading in the right direction. It provided more alignment with their programs, clarified their goals, and produced an informative narrative and graphic for storytelling. 

“The Theory of Change cohort provided by SVP Denver was challenging and very rewarding… It affirmed where we were as an organization. I want to reiterate how helpful and supportive the experience was. If other organizations are thinking about it, they should go for it – it’s valuable. We’re grateful that SVP Denver chose us for this opportunity. – J.R.

Becky’s Role: Nurturing Collaboration and Strategic Clarity

Becky, a dedicated volunteer and coach, was initially unfamiliar with Lincoln Hills Cares. However, her commitment to leveraging her unique abilities led her to play a pivotal role in supporting the Lincoln Hills Care team. With extensive experience in strategy and goal-setting, Becky brought a fresh perspective to the table. Her ability to identify misalignments and guide the team towards clarity proved instrumental.

“I want to help an organization like Lincoln Hills Cares clarify what they’re trying to achieve. Helping them do that clears the path so they can focus and be successful at what they want to do. From an outcomes perspective, having something Lincoln Hills Cares can use, point to, and integrate into their world is priceless. The most challenging aspect was not stepping in as they were finding their way. We’re not supposed to give the answers – Lincoln Hills Cares needed to identify the door, turn the knob, and walk through it. – Becky

The Power of Collaboration: SVP Denver and Lincoln Hills Cares

Becky expressed her love for being a part of the Theory of Change cohort and acknowledged its well-organized structure. The highly-engaging nature of the program, coupled with the active engagement of Lincoln Hills Cares, made the collaboration dynamic and fruitful. Becky found fulfillment in assisting a meaningful organization like Lincoln Hills Cares to operate more effectively.

“I felt like I was helping people doing meaningful work do it more effectively. It was a fulfilling process, and I missed them when it was over.” – Becky

Long-Term Impact: Building a Better Future

Looking ahead, both Becky and J.R. envision a long-term impact arising from their collaboration. For J.R., the cohort provided a launching point and a valuable template to share with partners, funders, and the community. For Becky, it’s about Lincoln Hills Cares doing more of what they do, reaching more participants, and becoming their best organization. 

“The long-term impact I hope for is that Lincoln Hills Cares can do more of what they do and do it better, and for more children, and for longer.” – Becky

In a world where purpose-driven collaborations can spark transformative change, the story of Lincoln Hills Cares and their relationship with Becky and the SVP Denver team inspires us. This collaboration has provided Lincoln Hills Cares with more tools so they can amplify their impact as they support the environment, promote outdoor equity and nurture the next generation of young leaders. 

If you would like to leverage more of your time, skills and resources as a change maker in Metro Denver, learn more about how you can become an SVP Denver Partner here

If you are a part of a social mission organization and would like to explore our free impact programs – like our Theory of Change training cohort – you can learn more here