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  • Marty Zimmerman

Celebrating 17 Years of ZIM

On September 15th, ZIM will celebrate its 17th anniversary.

I have often likened ZIM’s growth to that of a child. We began in a hyperactive and unfocused state, similar to a toddler. Then we grew.

In our next phase, we focused on being everything for everyone, offering 32 services at one point. This was our elementary school phase. We grew again.

Then, we realized that we needed to understand our internal environment better and work on ourselves and our systems. So, we created a strategic plan focused on building our systems. Like many middle schoolers, we focused mostly on ourselves. We grew again.

As we progressed into our high school years, we accepted that we did not know everything and created taskforces to help us delve into crucial areas such as inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, learning how to bring these concepts into our work with our clients intentionally. Now, we are growing again.

As the equivalent of high school seniors, we know who we are, have a strong sense of identity, and are unsure of where we are going next year. Recognizing that we are transitioning, we engaged an expert (guidance counselor) to help us create a new plan for the future, one that reflects our current reality and provides opportunities for us to continue to grow and mature.

As a result, we have identified three key areas we are focusing on.

  • We have had a values statement for years, but what does it mean to live our values? Area One is to ensure that our values align with the services we offer and how we deliver these services.

  • Area Two addresses staffing systems to ensure our team members are highly trained, supported, growing personally and professionally, and well-equipped to provide ZIM’s services at the highest level.

  • Denver is our home, where we grew up. However, it is time to acknowledge that our expanding remote workforce and nationwide client base have transformed us into a national organization. Area Three is about managed and sustainable growth and expansion.

Growing up is hard, and we are still doing it. One of the hardest parts of growing up is embracing change, but ZIM is excited to embrace our most recent changes:

  • We have completely revamped our website. It now highlights our nationwide work, offers a more streamlined and consistent design, provides more information about our services, and is easier to navigate.

  • We have implemented a cloud-based workflow management software that has transformed how we track funders and funding opportunities. This CRM provides real-time information about which grants we’ve submitted, what’s been awarded/declined, and what’s still pending. Clients can also see what proposals and reports are coming up on their personalized dashboard. We are excited about this new technology as it has already elevated our work internally.

We anticipate that additional changes will be made in the near future, so stay tuned.

Thank you for being our friends, partners, family, and community for these past 17 years. We couldn’t have made it here without you.


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