Organizational Sustainability: A View from 3 Perspectives


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Wednesday, 19 September 2018


Nonprofit organizations are being challenged as never before to make efficient use of the financial, community and human resources available to them to more effectively serve their clients and expand their community impact. In this measured impact mini-course we examine organizational sustainability through three essential factors:  financial stability, partnership development, and staff retention. Participants will have the opportunity to identify and explore strategies and practices in each of these areas that can help them develop more sustainable, healthy, vibrant organizations.

Over the course of these two sessions we examine:

  • Approaches to diversifying program revenue including earned/billing income and government resources. 
  • Why strong community partnerships, including public-private partnerships, are vital to developing effective, engaged organizations and several promising practices in developing community partnerships. 
  • Some of the warning signs of secondary trauma and workplace stress and some successful strategies for managing that stress. We look at how an organizational commitment to staff retention can reduce turnover and burnout, reduce gaps in staffing, and improve overall morale and performance.

Session 1: 

In this session our presenters each provide an overview of the concepts in their particular areas of Financial Stability, Partnerships, and Sustaining Staff Members as they apply to developing healthy, sustainable, organizations.


Staff of all disciplines are encouraged to attend, especially those with responsibilities in the areas of revenue generation, program development and staff supervision. After the MIW, participants will be equipped to:

  1. Further diversify their program revenue bases to advance financial sustainability.
  2. Develop collaborations and integrated partnerships in the field of torture survivor rehabilitation to expand services and enhance long-term sustainability.\
  3. Recognize and address the warning signs and impact of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma on staff and the organization.


Peter DrossDirector of External Relations, Center for Victims of Torture
Paul SteinIndependent Consultant, Denver, CO
Adeyinka (Yinka) Akinsulure-Smith, Psychologist and Trainer, the Bellevue/NYU Program for Torture Survivors in New York

Financial Sustainability:

Organizational SustainabilityThrough Effective Community Partnerships:

Addressing the Cost of Caring in Survivors of Torture Programs:

  • The study with immigration judges that Dr. Akinsulure-Smith talked about in her presentation may be found here:  Inside the Judges’ Chambers:  Narrative Responses from the National Association of Immigration Judges Stress and Burnout Survey. Stuart L. Lustig, MD, MPH;* Niranjan N Karnik,  M.D., PHD.;* Kevin Delucchi, PHD;* Lakshika Tennakoon, MSC;* Brent Kaul;** HON. Dana Leigh Marks J
  • Akinsulure-Smith, A.M., Keatley, E., & Rasmussen, A. (2012). Responding to secondary traumatic stress: A pilot study of torture treatment programs in the United States. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25, 232-235. DOI: 10.1002/jts.21684
    Abstract at:
  • Akinsulure-Smith, A.M.,& Keatley, E. (2014). Secondary trauma and local mental health professionals in post-conflict Sierra Leone. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 36(2), 125-135. DOI: 10.1007/s10447-013-9197-5
    Abstract at:
  • Akinsulure-Smith, A.M., Chu, T., Espinosa, A., & Hallock, R. (2018). Secondary traumatic stress and burnout among refugee resettlement workers: The role of coping and emotional intelligence. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 31(2), 202-212.
    Abstract at:
  • Espinosa, A., Akinsulure-Smith, A.M., & Chu, T. (in press). Emotional intelligence and occupational stress among refugee resettlement workers: The mediating role of coping behaviors.Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy

To watch the second half of this webinar click here.





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