Meaningfully Integrating Core Values into Your Work with Chad Zibelman

How are you integrating core values into your nonprofit’s everyday work? Are you utilizing these values as a decision tool and a means for navigating your organization through changes? How do all of your employees, from those on the front lines to the leadership team embody core values every day? 

In this episode, special guest Chad Zibelman talks about how he and his organization integrate core values into their everyday work. He discusses how to use these values to help your organization grow by leveraging your professional network, building a flexible organization, and strategically looking at “failure.” Chad also gives us practical tips for building relationships with donors all while advocating for your organization’s mission, and turning to these values to know when to say no. On top of all of that, Chad also tells us how he lands the ever-sought-after corporate partnerships. 

About Chad

Chad Zibelman is the CEO of The Sonder Project, an international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to empower impoverished communities through high-impact, sustainable development. Chad grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Temple University with a degree in Education. He then joined the Peace Corps and taught in a rural school in the African country of Namibia. Upon completion of his service, Chad returned to the US and began an 8-year career with the non-profit organization buildOn. 

buildOn constructs schools in developing countries and Chad worked his way up to become Trek Director, responsible for a program that brought over 1,000 volunteers/year abroad to immerse in communities and help build schools. The founders of The Sonder Project came to know Chad when they participated in a buildOn Trek to Burkina Faso in 2015, and three years later, they asked him to lead the organization. Chad resides with his wife, two daughters, and their pet rabbit in Sonoma County, CA.

Read the podcast transcript here.

Episode Summary

In today’s episode, you’ll learn strategies for meaningfully integrating your organization’s core values into your everyday work including:

•Leveraging your professional network to help your organization grow (9:05)

•Strategies to implement for a more flexible organization (10:45)

•A different way to look at “failure” (14:10)

•Building relationships with donors and supporters (16:30)

•Advocating for your organization’s vision (20:15)

•Exemplifying your core values in your everyday work (22:30)

•Utilizing your core values as a decision-making tool (24:20)

•Landing corporate partnerships (27:25)

•Incorporating core values into your interview process (36:00)


“We really try to live by our values. One of our values is to listen to others, and that includes our beneficiaries, includes partners on the ground, includes our donors, but we take that seriously.”

“I think it’s important for individuals working, whether it’s a small organization or a big organization, to not be afraid of the vision that you set and to make sure you are a constant advocate for that vision.”

“It was a really collaborative experience with all of our board members and our staff to understand what drives us.”

“Creating an environment where people are not afraid to speak their minds and share in a safe space only allows the whole organization to be more prosperous.”

Huge thank you to our sponsor, Grants Works!

With billions of dollars in federal grant funding available, now is the time to learn about how to apply for and manage federal grants from Patrice Davis, an expert who simplifies federal grants. Her Federal Grants Simplified Bootcamp is a six-week hybrid training that gives you the freedom to access on-demand training on your schedule and to attend live weekly Q&A sessions with Patrice. Plus, GrantsWorks is an ACFRE approved continuing education provider. Use code DEGREES for 10% off your registration.


Connect with Chad on LinkedIn:

The Sonder Project: 


Keep up to date with the podcast: @100degreesconsulting

Follow Stephanie on Instagram: @stephanie.skry/ 

Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn: 

Visit the podcast page:

Want more of the podcast?

New episodes are released weekly! Find them all plus show notes and exclusive bonus content at

Leave us a review! Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.” Let me know what you loved most about this episode!

Subscribe to the show so you don’t miss a thing!