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THRIVE Participant Perspective: Richmond Hill

Our Fourth Cohort of THRIVE: An Accelerator for Social Good, facilitated with our partners at The Spark Mill, began in early September. Each week, we'll bring you the perspective of a participating nonprofit and share a little about their organization.

About Richmond Hill:

Founded in 1987 in Richmond, Virginia, Richmond Hill is an ecumenical Christian fellowship and residential community who serve as stewards of an urban retreat center within the setting of a historic monastery. Their Mission is to seek God’s healing of Metropolitan Richmond through prayer, hospitality, racial reconciliation and spiritual development.

FB/IG @RichmondHillVA

The Richmond Hill Team

What are you hoping to get out of this program?

Kelsey Hawisher, Faul, Resident & Office Coordinator: I’m hoping that as a team, we can gain clarity on the actual role of the intentional residential community at the heart of Richmond Hill, so that we can restructure the residential community in a way that aligns with the vision we have for the future of Richmond Hill and metropolitan Richmond.

Lisa Johnson, Co-Pastoral Director: Not only do I pray for a restructuring of the intentional residential community, but for a reimagining of the residents beginning to use their spiritual gifts for the edification of the body of Christ.

What did you learn or feel spoke to you about today?

Kelsey: Something that caught my attention and spoke to our group as a whole was the statement that people don’t resist change… they resist loss or coercion. As Richmond Hill adapts to the changes in our wider world, I wonder what we as a community are afraid to lose? And how can we change in ways that are intentional, and that honor our history while also living into our calling in a new way?

Tim Holtz, Administrator: We managed to successfully articulate a mental model that really helps frame our residency question. It should provide a good base for us as we go forward with further conversations.

Tell us about your experience in the program.

Kelsey: What I appreciate about this program is the urgency to get to the heart of the matter, instead of getting stuck in the weeds! We’ve also benefited so much from the mentors, who have helped us stay on track and have asked us thought-provoking questions.

Tim: The mentors have been eager to help and quick to pick up on our organization, mission and focused question/issue.

Lisa: I continue, since week one, to consider the three tangible ways we want the world to be different because we fully lived out our mission at Richmond Hill; and what part did Richmond Hill residents play in the manifestation of this transformation.

How do you see this applying to your organization?

Kelsey: We are in a time of transition as an organization. I see the work that we are doing in this program giving us a stronger sense of our identity and what’s important to us, specifically regarding the intentional residential community. We delved into what our assumptions are about the residential community and that revealed some unwritten rules that we can let go of in order to strengthen the health of our community.


Are you interested in applying for THRIVE Cohort 5? Complete our interest form today!

The THRIVE accelerator program provides an opportunity for nonprofits to look beyond current challenges and obstacles and plan out a direct and streamlined path forward. Organizations will tackle a specific hurdle they want to clear to get to the next level of impact with the community and will spend concentrated time with staff and board planning and executing real-time solutions with guided facilitation. We will utilize accelerator techniques to build a cohort-responsive program.

THRIVE was created through collaboration between The Collaboratory of Virginia and The Spark Mill.

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