Tides Center worked under the banner of Tides Foundation and later became an independent fiscal sponsor dedicated to serving individuals and groups working for a social change. It provided legal and administrative services to various organizations.
Throughout the country, Tides Center had full responsibility for over 250 organizations referred to as ‘projects’. Depending upon their size they were charged with 6-9% of their annual revenue. It has been in the field for more than 20 years and has been providing administrative infrastructure to many progressive organizations and as a result allowing them to focus their time and energy on different planning programs and fundraising.
The organization was founded by Drummond Pike. The organization developed a very detailed set of services with a motive of fulfilling the programmatic and administrative needs of the people working to transform their ideas from start to sustainability. The organization expanded and gained considerable trust among funders and social entrepreneurs.
The purpose of the organization is to promote change and was founded by Pike on the principles of social justice robust democratic process, sustainable environmental processes and broad shaped economic opportunity. The services that it engages in are financial management and processing, administrative oversight, grant administration, comprehensive employee benefits and expert human resource services.
Unlike the other management service organizations (MSOs) that provide fiscal sponsorship, Tides has made a complex mechanism that can be used by a wide variety of charitable initiatives no matter what size or location. It has attracted some of the most innovative and forward thinking new programs in the sector.
Another important aspect of the Tides Center is that it works with a family of multiple organizations linked by the same nature of work. They include Tides foundation, Groundspring.org, Tsunami Fund, Thoreau Center for Sustainability and lastly, Tides foundation Canada. The family is led by the founder Drummond Pike, he is also responsible for the recruitment of the Executive Director, and this is because this designation demands a person with special qualities. The role is responsible for operations, planning and the overall development of the entity. Also, the Executive Director reports to both the Board of Directors and the President.
The organization did no advertising or any other kind of formal marketing still it grew dramatically. It was basically a non-profit organization and was going very well until late 2002, when it experienced lowering revenues. The downfall was to the extent that it had to lay off employees. Fifty employees remained who had to bare the load of the laid off employees. Another dilemma was the departure of the Executive Director. The organization needed a new well versed person for that position.
It was a critical decision for the management to recruit Willa Seldon as Executive Director, because she had loads of experience but on the for-profit side. She had worked in multiple companies on high positions and had managed multibillion dollar deals. She even handled the situation of a company efficiently under Milepost ventures where everything was mismanaged.
One of the reasons for Willa joining a non-profit organization was her adoption of Sonia. After a long recruitment process she got the position in Tides Center as Executive Director. She was also offered another lucrative position in the same area, but she chose Tides Center because she thought that she could have more of an impact on this organization.
The leadership model that Willa Seldon followed at Tides Center was a complete set of tool box. It can be stated that Willa followed a full range transformational leadership model.
A full range leader is considered to be one who is equipped with a comprehensive tool box from which he can select the leadership style or behavior that is best suited to any situation or context. Transformational leadership is where a leader is given the charge of identifying the needed change in the organization, to create a vision to guide that change through inspiration and the execution of that change with help of committed members………………
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