Brain Hacking for Fun and Nonprofits: Using Behavioral Science to Build Stronger Project Teams

Now, perhaps more than ever, major initiatives in health, hunger, education and more require big wins. Rapidly accelerating need for services, increasingly arduous funder expectations and bizarre politics have resulted in thinner margins and higher expectations of success (the nonprofit starvation cycle, as documented by Stanford Social Innovation Review).

Within a lean nonprofit, bigger/riskier ventures that divert resources from "core" services can fail harder. in this session, you will how the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation has used behavioral research and predictive tools to build teams that are more likely to succeed.

Specifically, we will focus on the Builder Profile tool. Through years of validated research, Gallup behavioral scientists have determined ten talents that must be accounted for in any successful venture. In our experience, using the Builder Profile tool to ensure each project team has the most beneficial balance of skills has yielded more positive results in our pro bono and large grantmaking investments.

Led by the Foundation's in-house Gallup-certified Strengths and Builder coach, participants will learn 1) their own innate builder talents and how to maximize them, 2) how to design teams based on this profile, 3) best practices in ongoing coaching and 4) how to deploy this assessment.

This will be divided into two parts with the second part being the deeper dive.

GPC Competencies Addressed:
Strategies for effective program and project design and development
Organizational development as it pertains to grant seeking
Post-award grant management practices sufficient to inform effective grant design and development
Practices and services that raise the level of professionalism of grant developers


Ben Mahoney joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana in 2009 as a writer in the Corporate Communications department. He is a marketing and development professional with over a decade of experience in strategic planning, communications, advertising and fundraising. He has worked with teams in healthcare, the arts, higher education and economic development. Since 2015, he has led initiatives in the Community Relations department and the Foundation. He is a Gallup-certified Strengths coach.