Golden 1 Gives Back

A teenager learns the joy of writing which leads to better grades and admission to college. A 6- year-old visits Golden 1 Center for the first time and squeals in delight as Moana skates on to the ice. A former foster youth living on the streets finds a safe place to sleep and receive counseling services. These are just a few of the stories that drive Golden 1 Credit Union’s commitment to giving back to the communities we serve. Golden 1 was founded in 1933 in Sacramento as a not- for-profit financial cooperative. Throughout our history, the spirit of cooperation and our guiding philosophy of people helping people have been integral to the credit union industry and Golden 1’s success.

We pride ourselves on being part of the fabric of our communities. Whether we are helping kids open their first savings accounts or newly retired couples plan for their golden years, we ensure our members can live their best financial lives. We have grown exponentially since the early days. We now serve more than one million members at 72 branches throughout California. As we have grown, our commitment to our members has not wavered, but our approach to giving has evolved. We believe that philanthropy is a natural extension of our vision to enhance the financial well-being of Californians and their diverse communities. When our communities thrive, so do our members.

To realize our vision and make the biggest impact possible, our Corporate Giving Program is focused on three pillars; increasing educational opportunities, strengthening financial well-being, and making communities great. We offer a variety of opportunities for nonprofits who align with our pillars to partner with Golden 1. Qualified organizations can apply for one of our numerous grants. Charitable organizations can submit sponsorship and employee volunteer proposals, or apply to watch a game or show at our Golden 1 Center Community Suite. And anyone can take advantage of our Financial Wellness programs.

Since its inception in 2014, our Community Grants Program has funded 56 nonprofits in the Sacramento and Fresno regions, providing more than $2.6 million to support youth literacy and transition-age foster youth. Recipients have used funds for things such as mentoring programs, youth job development, and creative writing workshops. The application process opens in the first quarter of each year for programs operating from July to June.

We also contribute to our communities by sponsoring charitable events and fundraisers and facilitating employee volunteerism. We invite nonprofits to submit their sponsorship and employee volunteer proposals to [email protected]. Proposals should include proof of 501(c) (3) status.

One of the fun ways we give back is through our Community Suite Program. Nonprofits can apply to enjoy a VIP experience at Golden 1 Center, including suite tickets and refreshments. Learn more at our Community Suite web page.

Golden 1 offers an array of free financial education to our members and the public. Anyone can visit our Financial Wellness Portal to watch videos, listen to podcasts, register for webcasts, or complete a learning lab module. Our Financial Education team can also lead in-person workshops to organizations and schools serving ages 12 and up. Email [email protected] to learn more.

Golden 1 is grateful to the charitable organizations working to improve lives throughout California. We are committed to strengthening our partnerships with nonprofits. Together, we can make our vibrant communities even better.



Founded in 1933 and serving all those who live or work in California, Golden 1 Credit Union has grown to be one of the largest credit unions in the United States with more than $12 billion in assets. Golden 1 is highly focused on delivering financial solutions with value, convenience, and exceptional service to its members. As a not-for-profit organization and dynamic, trusted leader, Golden 1 is committed to enhancing the financial well-being of Californians and their diverse communities. The Credit Union’s 1,700 employees proudly serve and care for 1 million members. Visit for more information.

What IF Feature: Kimberly Cargile of A Therapeutic Alternative

…But What’s the Most Important Thing?

I’ve had a role doing and managing projects for four decades now and I’ve been teaching project management for nearly thirty years. The basics are pretty constant. We have seen incremental improvements in processes and some nice development in tools for sharing, managing, and presenting information – but the fundamentals remain:

1) Get agreement about goals and constraints (and write them down)

2) Identify the work necessary to achieve those goals

3) Build a credible schedule

4) Estimate the effort and cost to perform the necessary work

5) Identify and address risks

6) Figure out whether the project can be accomplished within the desired timeframe and resource constraints and with acceptable levels of risk

7) If plans survive step 6, start work and monitor progress to respond to new information

8) Repeat step 7 until the project is finished or it no longer makes business sense to continue

When I’m talking with consulting clients or students about project management, one question that comes up frequently is, “Sure…. But What’s the most important thing?”. It’s a question I don’t relish… I think all of these processes are important to success. I DO have a recommendation about where to start if your organization doesn’t currently have basic processes in place, and that is DEFINITION (step 1 above).

There’s a great exchange in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” when Alice meets the Cheshire Cat. She is lost in the woods and relieved to meet someone she can ask for directions.

Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to”

Alice: “I don’t much care where – -“

Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go”

Alice: “- – so long as I get somewhere”

Cat: “Oh, you’re sure to do that, if you only walk long enough”

I’ve had variations of this conversation when brought in to consult on troubled projects. “What should we do next to get the project done?” comes the inquiry.

“What is it, exactly, that you are trying to do?” I ask.

A scary answer I’ve gotten more than once is, “We don’t have time for that now, we are behind schedule!”

Effective project management practices start with developing an effective (written) project definition – a clear and unambiguous description of what “done” and “success” look like. This

takes practice, and it sounds a lot easier than it is. One of the most challenging parts is identifying who gets to define success. Who should we be asking? What does that person want? How would we know if we satisfied them? These can be difficult questions because sometimes there are multiple constituencies that must be satisfied, and sometimes we can’t satisfy them all.

That’s why project definition is so important. If we can’t build a written definition that all key stakeholders agree to, the best course of action might be not to do the project. That thought can be frightening to an organization, but if key stakeholders don’t agree what the goals of the project are it is better to discover that BEFORE expectations have been set and the money has all been spent.

Article by Payson Hall.  Payson Hall is a Consulting Project Manager with Catalysis Group, Inc. in Sacramento.  He is scheduled to teach a 3-day Project Management Course at Impact Foundry June 13-15.  For more information click here!

What IF Feature: Tyra Jarvis

Tyra Jarvis was one of our speakers at the What If Conference earlier this year. She is a life reinvention mentor, leadership coach, and avid golfer. As founder and president of Kefi Coaching LLC, she works with leaders from all sectors facing career and life transitions. Whatever their challenge, she makes a difference for her clients by helping them get focused, motivated, and moving forward. Her specialties include leadership development, business and executive coaching, and career/life transition.
A proven leader with demonstrated professional experience built upon a 30-plus-year career in the “hyper-competitive” telecommunications industry planning and implementing enterprise-wide technology and business projects, and 10+ years as a volunteer leader. She currently serves on the Boards of Stand Up Placer, supporting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, and the Sacramento Chapter of the LPGA Amateur Golf Association, supporting women to learn, play, and enjoy the game of golf for business and for life. Tyra is also a co-author of “Teeing Up for Success,” a compilation of insightful and inspirational stories from extraordinary women on how they have used golf to achieve their goals.
She is a trained member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in organizational behavior and environment from California State University, Sacramento and an MBA from the University of San Francisco.  We are pleased to announce that Tyra is now a member of our faculty.
To create a supportive community for Executive Directors, Tyra is offering ED Impact – a 3-month transformation group mentorship and mastermind program for Executive Directors, June 5th – August 27th. This exclusive opportunity is designed to help Executive Directors get clarity to focus on what is most important and the next right actions to take now to move their cause and life forward. If you are interested in having more freedom, fulfillment and fun, along with more significant influence and impact navigating your mission drive organization, check it out!

The Cheeseburger Talk: Non-Profit Edition

One of the most important meetings in the life of a project should happen at the project’s inception.  I call it the “Cheeseburger Talk”.  This essay describes the purpose and process of the cheeseburger talk so that you can consider the trade-offs between your cholesterol levels and project orientation and definition on your project.

Anyone who’s engaged in marketing that involved schmoozy lunches with clients or donors knows the first rule of the business lunch: Never eat messy food.  No ribs, no spaghetti, no drippy cheeseburgers.  The reason?  It’s difficult to maintain an aura of dignity and propriety when you have ketchup on your chin.  The cheeseburger talk is designed to capitalize on this effect.

Before we go on, let’s define what we mean by a “project”.  A project is a temporary undertaking (it has a beginning and an end), to accomplish a specific purpose (creation of a product or service or achieving a specific outcome), within defined boundaries of resources (people and funding).  Examples of projects in a non-profit context might include:

  • putting on a conference,
  • writing a grant proposal,
  • performing the work described by a grant, or
  • moving operations from one facility to another.

At the start of a project there is an important discussion that must occur between the project’s sponsor and the project manager.  To be effective, this discussion needs to be relaxed and candid.  Getting the sponsor away from the workplace, away from the trappings of his or her office (the credenza, secretary, and that BIG desk) to engage in one-on-one dialog is essential.  If you can get a little sauce on the sponsor’s hands or chin, you get extra credit.

The relationship between the project manager and the sponsor is special.  The sponsor has a business problem to solve or an objective to accomplish and controls the organization’s priorities and resources.  The project manager’s job is to work with the sponsor to define a project that addresses the business need and look for a credible way to perform that project within the schedule and resource targets of the sponsor.  The project manager is there to support the sponsor’s decision making as well as to define, plan and manage the project.  To do this well, it is essential that the project manager understand the sponsor’s goals.  In my experience, the best way to discover what someone wants is to ask.

Some of the questions that must be asked may be perceived as insubordinate or challenging of the sponsor’s authority or wisdom… particularly if they are initially asked in a public forum or in an environment that encourages the sponsor to wear their “boss” hat.  The intention of the cheeseburger talk (and the cheeseburger questions below) is to help the project manager get to the heart of the sponsor’s motivation and to lay a foundation for defining and running the project.  My preference is to approach the questions the first time in a casual setting.

Here is a cheat sheet of what I think are good questions for your cheeseburger talk:


  • What do you want?
  • Why is our organization interesting in doing this?
  • What would a successful project produce?
  • How will we know we are done and successful?
  • What is the successful project worth to our organization?


  • When do you want it?
  • Why then?
  • What is the business impact of delivery a day or a week or a month later than your target?
  • Is there value in early delivery?


  • What resources are you willing to commit to the project (people, equipment, materials, facilities, $$$)?
  • What is the source of this budget?
  • When will the resources be available?


  • How did we come to be here?
  • Why haven’t we done this sooner?
  • Has this project (or anything like it) been attempted before?  What happened?


  • As the project progresses, what status information would you like to receive?
  • How often do you want regular status?
  • How do I contact you if I have questions or issues with the project?
  • Who is authorized to change the schedule, scope and resources of the project once we have agreed to a written project definition?
  • If at any time I have concerns about the viability of the project, when do you want to know?

These few questions make a great agenda for lunch.  They can be covered in casual conversation to provide the project context and history as well as the schedule, scope and resource boundaries.  The questions may seem simple, but it is surprising how many project managers I work with who could not answer these “simple” questions for projects that have been underway for months.

This conversation sets a tone for the project.  It establishes a foundation for the project manager prior to project definition and it reinforces the sponsor/project manager relationship.  All this and a cheeseburger too… and the sponsor should probably pick up the tab… it doesn’t get any better than this.

Article by Payson Hall.  Payson Hall is a Consulting Project Manager with Catalysis Group, Inc. in Sacramento.  He is scheduled to teach a 3-day Project Management Course at Impact Foundry June 13-15.  For more information click here!




9:00 AM – 4:00 PM





Since 2002, Third Sector Company has acquired nearly two decades of experience developing, testing, and refining interim management tools, service protocols, leadership models, training curricula, and other support services aimed at shaping the practice of professional interim executive leadership for nonprofit organizations.

In Sacramento, the organization offers its expertise to aspiring and practicing interims across the nation with the new subsidiary, Interim Executives Academy, which will be launched in partnership with The Impact Foundry on April 3 and April 4.

The Impact Foundry has served California’s northern Central Valley and Sierra Nevada regions since 1989. This area is second only to Washington D.C. in terms of nonprofit organizations per capita, according to John Adams, Business Development Director for The Impact Foundry.

“We wanted to do more to help nonprofit boards and leaders to navigate the inevitable challenges that can occur when a leader leaves an organization,” said John about the partnership with Third Sector Company. “The Third Sector Company approach to interim executive work is to not only provide a vetted and experienced associate to the day-to-day tasks but to also structure the engagement to be a capacity-building exercise as well,” John said.

“This is one of the reasons that The Impact Foundry and Third Sector Company work so well. We both focus our work on building the capacity and long term sustainability of nonprofit organizations.”


John added, “The Interim Executives Academy will target seasoned nonprofit executives, who have a desire to work in this high-profile, mission-critical role, as well as to help nonprofits through transition and come out the other end even stronger. This is an exciting new chapter in our partnership and candidly an exciting opportunity for many who seek this type of rewarding opportunity to serve!”


Launching in Long Beach, Seattle and the San Fernando Valley!

Here’s What You Will Learn About Strategic Transitional Leadership for Nonprofit Organizations…

  • The Seven Types of Interim Executive Leadership
  • Setting the Stage for a Successful Interim Engagement
  • Recognizing the Vital Signs of Nonprofit Health
  • The Nine Fundamental Protocols of Strategic Transitional Leadership
  • The Interim as Facilitative Leader
  • The Fundraising “Quick Hits” Every Interim Should Know and Cultivate
  • The Strategic Role of an Interim in the Executive Search Process
  • The Interim as Agent of Change in Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Access
  • The Strategic Transition from Interim to the Interim’s Successor

At the conclusion of the Academy, aspiring and practicing interim executives will be granted a Certificate of Completion, an iconic electronic badge, and will join an esteemed group of alumni from across the nation with access to a menu of technical assistance and support services for themselves and the nonprofits that they serve.

For more information contact Helen Wardner, Senior Strategist for Client Services,

(562) 484-8281 or [email protected]