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Cornerstone International Youth Camp, Atlanta, Georgia
Direct link to the website for Cornerstone International Youth Camp

Laying the Foundation for Success

Established in 1998, Cornerstone International Youth Camp is the visionary dream of co-founders Demetrius and Maryam Jordan. The camp’s mission is “to develop and nurture young global leaders worldwide in cross-cultural relations.” To achieve its mission, Cornerstone brings teens together in a camp setting for team-building, indoor and outdoor activities, cultural exchanges, problem-solving workshops, and more. To date, youths from 13 countries have participated in summer sessions held at various camping facilities in North Georgia.

As with many young nonprofits, Cornerstone had its share of organizational challenges. Board members, recruited from friends and family, were performing tasks normally assigned to paid staff. Demetrius Jordan, Executive Director and Board Chair, was impossibly burdened with overlapping responsibilities. Recognizing its situation, Cornerstone applied for and received a grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation for an organizational assessment. It then selected Ellen Mazer Consulting through the oversight of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

Ellen Mazer Consulting first provided a comprehensive organizational assessment, focusing on Cornerstone’s administrative infrastructure. Areas addressed included delineation of board and staff roles, board governance, human resources, financial management, fundraising, marketing, and camp accreditation. With a follow-up grant from the Blank Foundation, we then provided technical assistance in two key areas: board development and income planning. We helped revamp the board’s organizational structure, added several new committees, and provided position profiles for each officer, board member, and standing committee chair. The board then reviewed its own needs and began recruiting new talent.

On the financial side, Ellen Mazer Consulting helped develop a comprehensive income plan which included goals for both earned and contributed income. Altogether, our work sets Cornerstone on the path to organizational stability and financial independence — and closer to its founders’ vision.

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