StepUP Ministry taps executive director

RALEIGH, N.C. — StepUP Ministry in Raleigh, an interfaith nonprofit that provides job-skills and life-skills for individuals and families who are in transition, has named a veteran of human services and nonprofit administration as its executive director.

Jennie Armstrong, a native of Nashville, Tenn., who most recently served as executive director of Crittenton Centers in Peoria, Ill., succeeds John Bush, who resigned this summer after seven years on the job, saying he wanted to take time to think about his next task.

Armstrong says key goals for StepUP include increasing its visibility, expanding and diversifying its donor base to include individuals making smaller gifts, and serving a new group of clients in Wake County either by opening a satellite office or finding a new religious congregation to serve as a partner.

In partnership with White Memorial Presbyterian Church and Temple Beth Or, and with 13 other congregations that support it, StepUP serves 250 adults and 75 children a year.

The nonprofit employs eight people full-time and counts on 100 volunteers, and operates with an annual budget of $680,000.

Of those funds, StepUP receives 25 percent from individuals, 20 percent from foundations and corporations, and 10 percent from congregations.

Philanthropic Advisory Group in Raleigh conducted the search that led to the hiring of Armstrong, who in Illinois also served as executive director of a community health clinic, director of sales and marketing for a marketing firm, and field director and office manager for political campaigns.

Armstrong says other key goals for StepUP will be to improve training for staff and volunteers, and to develop the organization’s board.

“You can have the best development plan in the world,” she says, “but if you don’t have the people engaged with the agency who can tell the story, you’re not going to have growth.”

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