Meet Ian Cook: Our New Nonprofit Services Specialist!

We are excited to announce that Ian Cook will be joining our team at Charities Review Council!

Ian graduated from St. Olaf College with a BA in Music, an emphasis in Music Theory and Composition, a concentration in Educational Studies, and a K-12 Instrumental Music teaching license. Aside from Ian’s love for all things music, he also currently serves as the Operations Manager for the Academy of Voices, having previously served as Treasurer on the board. Ian brings to the Council an array of nonprofit experience having worked with Northfield Youth Choirs, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Minnesota Music Educators Association, and the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts.

Ian is very interested in the role nonprofits play in the community and is excited to partner with nonprofit organizations to build their organizational capacity so that they can continue to do great work. Ian will be joining our Nonprofit Services Team as the Nonprofit Services Specialist, where he will provide support and technical assistance to nonprofits as they work through the Accountability Wizard® review process.

To better get to know Ian, we sat down to ask the tough questions, like, what’s your favorite dessert, and more seriously, what’s your favorite Accountability Standard. See what he had to say here:

What is your favorite Accountability Standard®?

The Annual Report & Communication standard. This standard encourages nonprofits to engage with the community they serve by reporting on the work of the organization over the previous year in a transparent way. This keeps nonprofits accountable to the public they serve and allows for the organization to work with its constituents, rather than just for its constituents, by creating a space for the public to respond and engage with the nonprofit’s work.

2. How have you seen nonprofits play a role in our community?

Most of my direct experience with nonprofits has been with arts organizations, particularly with youth-related music programs. These organizations can have a profound impact on the community by 1) developing musical skills for youth, even while many schools cut their music programs, 2) helping students develop deeper relationships with their peers, including students from different schools, and 3) creating a space where youth feel safe and willing to be vulnerable with each other.

3. When you’re not strengthening the capacity of nonprofit organizations, what do you like to do for fun?

I am an active musician in the Twin Cities. I sing tenor in the National Lutheran Choir and in the Academy of Voices, and play trombone in several musical pits and substitute in a few symphony orchestras in the Cities. I also write my own music, working as a freelance composer and engraver (typesetting music so that it’s publishable). I also love languages, reading, photography, designing websites, and constantly seeking new things to learn.

4. What is your favorite dessert?

I have a very big sweet tooth, and I like a lot of desserts, but my favorites are almost always pies (the occasional exceptions being brownies and flourless chocolate tortes). The very best dessert I have ever had was for my birthday a couple years ago when we made a pear cardamom chocolate ganache tart.

5. What are you most excited for as you begin your journey with Charities Review Council?

I am very excited to grow my skills and knowledge of nonprofit governance, management, and reporting. I am also excited to collaborate and build relationships with nonprofits as they work to strengthen their capacity to do great work.

We’re thrilled to have Ian on our team! Welcome Ian to Charities Review Council by sending him a tweet, email, or by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

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