Music has been one of the most powerful ways causes, celebrities, and communities can connect to raise money for serious issues. We recently caught up with Art Taylor, president of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, who shared his insight on why these events can be so successful for nonprofits of all sizes.Legacy of Aid: August is the Anniversary of the Benefit ConcertFor over forty years, the benefit concert has served as one of the most popular, easily recognizable forms of aid for charitable organizations. It all started back in August 1971 when George Harrison called a few friends—Ringo, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, to name a few—to play at the world’s first benefit concert. The Concert for Bangladesh played from Madison Square Garden with ticket and recording sales helping to raise $18 million. These stars likely didn’t realize they were forever changing charitable giving in time of a disaster. Concerts are now a popular vehicle for causes around the world to raise visibility and funds—often targeting a younger crowd or introducing their campaign to an audience not yet familiar with it. “Music is a universal pleasure that cuts across cultures and backgrounds,” says H. Art Taylor, president of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. “Music is a unifying experience—it’s a natural choice for charities to turn to benefit concerts as a means to raise funds.” Star power can play a big role but doesn’t always spell success. In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, Wyclef Jean’s charity, Yele Haiti, came under scrutiny about its finances. This controversy underscores the importance for charities to make sure they are fully transparent and accountable before implementing a benefit concert which can attract a lot of media attention. And star power isn’t the only way to go. Charities across the country have seen great success with smaller scale benefit concerts ranging from high school bands to regional bands. The principles and watch-outs apply regardless of your headliner. 7 Do’s and Don’ts when planning a benefit concert for your organization:1. Know your partners. If you are co-hosting the benefit concert with another charity, take a moment to investigate them by pulling their report at Give.org. Don’t assume it is well managed just because it has a 501(c)(3) charitable tax exempt status. 2. Pay attention to regulations. Make sure any state regulatory requirements have been met, including verifying your ability to solicit. 3. Check tax deductibility disclosures.If the benefit concert tickets are sold in a charitable fundraising context, seek out a tax advisor to find out about tax deductibility disclosures that may need to be made. 4. Beware of cheaters. Take reasonable measures to reduce ticket scalping. Examples might be: limiting the number of tickets sold to a single purchaser and ensuring computer safeguards are in place to avoid someone “snatching” all the tickets as soon as they are made available. 5. Practice your FAQ.Make sure answers are readily available for reasonable questions about your mission, target amounts to be raised, and how collected funds will be used. 6. Be clear. If the intention is to collect funds restricted for a specific purpose (i.e., disaster relief) make sure that all charity participants agree to this restriction and are able to carry out this work as soon as possible.7. Be transparent about finances. Share information on the total amount collected, the cost to hold the concert, and how much went to the cause. Post this information on the charity’s and concert’s websites. The Future of Benefit Concerts“Charity benefit concerts will continue to play a role in generating funds and advocating issues,” says Taylor. “Large events work well in times of major crisis or when a big star has a personal stake in a cause. Smaller, targeted local events can be successful as well.”Whether packing a large event venue or a local concert hall, organizers should be creative and coordinate effectively to ensure that benefit concerts are a useful tool for raising awareness and charitable dollars. A benefit with local bands and resources combined with a coordinated effort between multiple nonprofits may be a good option for some charities. Whether large or small, however, the expense and coordination efforts for events can be prohibitive and should be considered carefully in terms of the investment of time and resources. Often charities will measure ROI through funds raised as well as impact to the audience. For more helpful tips on nonprofit collaboration, including information on accreditation, visit the BBB Wise Giving Alliance at Give.org. For advice on planning a successful fundraising event, download Network for Good’s guide to Hosting Your Most Fabulous Fundraising Event Ever.
Running a successful fundraising event is easier said than done.You put in weeks of planning with the ultimate goal of getting as many people as involved as possible, and you want to make sure your hard work pays off.One of the most important tools you have to promote your next fundraising event is email marketing.With email campaigns, you can reach your audience members directly and send targeted messages that build enthusiasm and provide the information they need to get involved.Here are 5 ways you can use email to drive participation at your next fundraiser:1. Save-the-dateA successful event relies on advanced planning. Once you have a date nailed down for your event, make sure you get the word out so your guests can add it to their calendars ahead of time.This initial email doesn’t have to include all the details — the point is to give some notice and get your audience excited early so you can build on that interest in the weeks ahead.If the event is open to the public, you can also post about the date on your social media accounts. Encourage your social media fans to join your mailing list so they won’t miss any future details.2. Send a formal invitationAs more of the specifics come together, you’re ready to let your contacts know all about the great things you have planned.The more personalized you can make your invitation the better. For example, if your fundraiser is an annual event, start by following up with last year’s attendees with a “Hope to see you again this year!” themed message.Or, if you’re sending the event to media contacts, consider sending them a press release rather than a general email invite. Think about how you can deliver the right message to the right people for best results.Make sure all the information is clear, concise, and easy to read from a mobile device. Your invitation should also link to a landing page for more extensive details. This landing page can be hosted on your website, or you can build one through your Constant Contact account.3. Make your emails socialEmail and social media marketing work best when they’re working together. Each email you send out should include social share buttons that make it easy for your contacts to share your email and invite others.You should also encourage your contacts to forward your email to anyone they think might be interested in attending.4. Send last-minute remindersEven if you feel like you’ve been building up your event for weeks, don’t underestimate the power of a last-minute reminder. Even an email 24-48 hours in advance can drive some last-minute registrants.Make sure you’re subject line reflects the timeliness of the message by adding the event date or a countdown.This is also a good time to remind people that there’s more than one way to support your event. You can add a line to your email like: Can’t make the event? We’ll miss you! Consider supporting our event goal by making an online donation.”Hopefully some of your audience members that have a scheduling conflict will take you up on your offer!5. Follow up after the eventDon’t let the momentum of a successful event end when the event is over. Sending a thank you email or a quick recap will extend the life of all your hard work.If you didn’t quite hit your fundraising goal, this is also a good time to encourage contacts to help you out.Try to include multimedia in this email where you can. If you took pictures during the event, link off to an album. You want your registrants to relive the good times, and motivate those who didn’t attend to make it a priority the next time around!Incorporating these 5 tips into your email marketing strategy will ensure your fundraising event generates real results.Add these ideas to your calendar when promoting your next fundraiser and see which emails receive the highest opens, clicks, and registrations for you.Have any advice we didn’t cover? Let us know how email boosts event involvement for your organization by Tweeting to us: @Network4Good and @ConstantContact
Founded in 2005, Ovarian Cancer Connection (OCC) is no stranger to fundraising success during its 11-year history. In fact, this Ohio-based nonprofit has raised $36,000 just for their program that provides financial assistance to women undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer.This fundraising success, however, came with its own challenges. Without the right tools in place, the OCC’s system for tracking donors and donations ended up being a lot of manual work.Gini Steinke, OCC’s founder and executive director, knew that there was a better way to track OCC’s donor data. Gini decided getting a new database, known as donor management software or a donor management system (DMS), would help the OCC get all their donor data in one location. After exploring different options, OCC migrated their donor data from spreadsheets into Network for Good’s donor management system.Gini recently shared how she manages OCC’s donor information and fundraising now that they have a system better equipped to get the job done.Tracking Individual FundraisingLike many small nonprofits, the OCC raises most of their funds through individual gifts. These donations either come in through events or donations from individuals who have a personal connection with organization. Currently, the OCC has more than 3,000 donors in their database.Before Network for Good’s DMS, the OCC’s donor database was a detailed spreadsheet with tabs representing each year’s gifts. Although it’s not ideal, this system for tracking gifts is pretty standard among many nonprofits. Network for Good’s donor management system brings it all together. The primary problem with this practice is that a spreadsheet isn’t ideal for accessing donor information. If Gini was looking for a specific donor, she’d have to search through multiple tabs to find the donor’s complete giving history over the course of his or her relationship with the organization. According to Gini, transitioning to a system built to manage donor information has made this process much easier:“We did track donations through spreadsheets, but I’d have to go through all the tabs to find a donation. But now, Network for Good’s donor management system brings it all together.“Transforming Online Giving Gini estimates that she saves about 2 hours of work a day by using Network for Good’s donor management software. The Ovarian Cancer Connection has an incredible mission and is fortunate to have a savvy executive director like Gini who has created fundraising strategies that work. Gini estimates that she saves about 2 hours of work a day by using Network for Good’s donor management software. And during events season, she estimates she’ll save 3 hours of manual work every day.Now that they have the tools to help save time, keep donor records organized, and raise more money, the Ovarian Cancer Connection can focus what matters most: their mission.Are you ready to make the switch from spreadsheets to a donor management system that will save you time and help you streamline your fundraising processes? Schedule a demo and see Network for Good’s donor management software for yourself! Our easy-to-use system that’s helping organizations like Ovarian Cancer Connection save time everyday can help your organization too. Schedule a demo today! I went into the donor management system and the online donation was right there. Everything was already entered. It was like a miracle! It was wonderful! Before using Network for Good’s online donation page and donor management software, OCC was collecting online gifts through PayPal, which made tracking a very cumbersome process:“Donations would come in through PayPal. We’d get an email notification and transfer the money to our bank. Then, I’d input the donation in QuickBooks and enter it into a spreadsheet. It was time consuming to make sure everything was recorded accurately.” Now, online donations are automatically added to OCC’s DMS. Using Network for Good’s donation page and donor management system together means there’s no manual lift required:“I went into the donor management system and the online donation was right there. Everything was already entered. It was like a miracle! It was wonderful!”Gini is especially excited to use the donor management system and donation pages during the organization’s big events.“This is going to be great when it comes time for our major events! More and more people are getting comfortable with online giving. This is great because it makes it easier for [donors] and it saves us money.”Managing Offline GiftsDonor management software isn’t just for tracking online donors, it can track offline gifts too. If Gini gets a check handed to her at an event, she can easily log the donation in the DMS and track specifics like the gift’s designation or if the gift is made in someone’s honor or memory. Notes on why the donor gave can be attached to a donation too.Making Segmentation EasierSmart fundraisers like Gini use segmentation to send more relevant (and more effective) messages to different groups of supporters.And, because of the nature of their work, they need to be especially diligent with keeping track of those supporters who are survivors of ovarian cancer.Using the group feature in Network for Good’s donor management system allows the OCC to track survivors easily. When Gini is inviting survivors to a luncheon, she can seamlessly send the email through the system by simply selecting the group labeled “Survivors.” There’s no need to sort through a list, run a filter again, or import/export a spreadsheet.Ovarian Cancer Connection’s executive director saves 2-3 hours of work a day after switching from Excel to Network for Good’s donor management software.Keeping Track of Donor NotesGini truly understands that fundraising is about relationships, not transactions. For this reason, Gini needs to keep notes on every donor she speaks with. But with thousands of donors, details about important donor conversations can’t be kept organized with post-it notes or in someone’s memory. This is why Network for Good’s donor management system’s notes feature is so important to the OCC and Gini in particular:“In the donor management software, I can pull up the [donor’s] records and see my notes so the next time I talk to them, I can ask them ‘how was your son’s move?’ Otherwise, it would be in a paper file. But now, everything is right there in the donor record.”Reporting Success to the Board Network for Good’s donor management system offers built-in dashboards that are easy to understand and can help people like Gini explain the organization’s financials to those who aren’t digging into the numbers on a regular basis:“At board meetings, I plan to give a snapshot of our fundraising efforts so far. The dashboard clearly explains to everyone, especially to those without a finance background, the most important information: average donation and giving to date. I think our Board will be surprised with what our average donation really is!”Saving Time by Getting Out of Spreadsheets
The secret to better campaign results, more engaged donors, and board buy-in is a thoughtful and clear fundraising plan. While we all know we need a plan, sometimes it’s not always easy to make time to create a realistic plan and in many cases, we may not have the information we need to make the right strategic decisions. If you’re like most small nonprofits, it’s likely that your plan is missing a critical element—clean, accurate fundraising data.Your Fundraising Plan Must Be Based on Accurate Fundraising DataHaving the right data on your campaign performance, funding sources, donor history, and giving patterns will allow you to make smarter decisions on how to spend your time and resources going forward. Why is this so important?You’ll know what’s working, and what’s not.Sounds obvious, right? But most nonprofits are surprised when they see their aggregated fundraising results and campaign data. As trends emerge, you can make better decisions on what to do more of…and what to stop doing in the coming year. You can double down on the tactics and messages that work best for your supporters.You can identify donor segments and create strategies for them.Once you understand who your new, major, recurring, lapsed, and event donors are, you can develop tailored outreach to best reach and convert them. (Just getting started with donor segmentation? We have a simple planning template that will help you maximize your communications.)You’ll have more credibility with your board.You can feel more confident presenting your plan to your board when you have the data to back it up vs. relying on a hunch or opinions. Having a data-backed plan will also help you answer questions and fend off “creative tinkering” from well-meaning board members.You’ll know what you need to spend to meet your fundraising goals.Armed with the data about your past fundraising results and donor opportunities, you can project how much you’ll need to spend (and which resources to allocate) to make the plan happen.Need some help getting a better fundraising plan in place and figuring out how to collect, compile, and understand the data you need? Check out this upcoming webinar to learn simple steps for quickly creating a solid plan that will allow you to reach your small nonprofit’s funding goals this year.Register for this webinar now and learn How to Create Your 12-Month Fundraising Plan!
mHealth for Maternal Health: Digital Health Solutions Addressing Rising Tide of Diabetes in Pregnancy
Posted on April 4, 2014August 18, 2017By: Dr. Jane Hirst, Nuffield Medical Fellow, University of OxfordClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes rise around the world, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is becoming increasingly common. GDM is a condition where blood glucose levels in pregnancy are too high, which has potentially serious consequences for both mother and baby, most commonly with the baby growing too large resulting in birth trauma. Keeping maternal blood glucose levels within the normal range can largely prevent complications of GDM. This is achieved through diet and exercise, often requiring the addition of medications such as insulin or metformin. More women with GDM has led to increasingly overcrowded outpatient clinics, with many women coming only for review of their blood glucose results.GDm-Health is an interactive remote blood glucose monitoring system developed in response to increasing numbers of women with GDM in the UK. The aim was to develop a digital solution to help women better monitor and control their blood glucose levels at home with less frequent outpatient appointments. The technology uses a Bluetooth enabled blood glucose meter to automatically transmit readings to a smartphone application and secure website. A midwife then reviews the results and can contact the women via SMS or phone call if any changes are required.Preliminary results from a service development cohort of 50 women were extremely encouraging. Women found the system convenient to use, appreciating the extra support from the health care team without the need for long waits in the outpatient department. For the success of any mHealth application, It is vital that users be involved at all stages in the development process. An example of this from our initiative was modification of the technology to improve bilateral communication with the introduction of a function for patients to signal to the midwife that they would like a phone call. Seemingly small additions like this can help improve compliance.A randomized controlled trial evaluating whether the system can actually improve clinical outcomes with the system is currently underway. If we can demonstrate that this technology can improve clinical outcomes as well as patient satisfaction, the next challenge will be effective scale up, both within the UK and abroad.While the uptake of smartphones isn’t a challenge to scale-up in our case given the setting, scaling faces several other challenges. Firstly, the security and confidentiality of the patient’s data must be paramount. Currently all information is hosted on a secure NHS server, however if the system were to be used elsewhere this would have to be negotiated. The second major consideration is the ongoing costs of the system. Blood glucose test strips compatible with the system are expensive, limiting enthusiasm for uptake. Additionally, the cost of data transmission via 3G networks must also be considered.And yet the key rate-limiting step to scale-up in many settings is likely to be gaining support of the health professionals required for the system to work. A phone itself does not save lives. It is the people using it and their experience and ability to effectively communicate advice through the technology.It is hoped that working with hospitals in our region, industry partners and learning from experiences abroad these issues will be able to be overcome and outcomes for women with GDM improved.Do you have an opinion on the role mHealth can play to improve maternal health? What do you see as the biggest advantages of mHealth? The limitations? If you are interested in submitting a blog post for our ongoing guest blog series on mHealth for Maternal Health, please email MHTF Research Assistant Yogeeta Manglani at email@example.com.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on May 16, 2014November 4, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Some view the rate of Cesarean sections as ubiquitous, others scarce. Either way, rates that deviate far from the WHO’s recommended rate of 15 percent are undesirable and pose health risks to both moms and babies. To highlight this fact, the birth story of the MHTF’s very own Kate Mitchell was recently featured in PRI’s article, “Why are Cesarean sections so common when most agree they shouldn’t be?” From the PRI story:Kate’s birth story“‘I constantly meet women who have very similar experiences to me,’ says Mitchell, ‘where they were committed to having a low-intervention vaginal birth, and their providers were also committed to support them in that, and somehow they still ended up having a C-section. That’s the mystery to me. I don’t understand how that happens… The evidence suggests that a C-section is a more risky route of delivery than a vaginal birth,’ she says. ‘So why are we delivering more and more babies in a risky way?’”Lack of clear clinical guidelines“One problem, experts say, has been a lack of clear guidelines specifying the circumstances under which a C-section is medically necessary, leading to a wide variation in the prevalence of Cesareans across hospitals. A study published in March of last year found that the C-section rates across Massachusetts ranged from 14 to 39 percent, with no differences in the condition of the patients that might explain the variation. ‘It really comes down to a difference in styles across hospitals,’ says Sakala. ‘We need to rein in those differences.’In an attempt to do that, this February the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued joint guidelines that call on doctors and hospitals to avoid Cesarean sections, even if it means letting first-time mothers remain in labor longer and push harder. The guidelines recommend letting first-time mothers push for three hours or more during labor. They also recommend using forceps to get the baby out vaginally.”Kate’s story is not uncommon. While the under medicalization of birth is a problem in many countries, so is over medicalization. A combination of legal, clinical, and cultural factors have brought us to a dangerous new normal for birth. To review the implications of an increase in Cesarean sections on maternal health and rights, see our previous post.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on January 7, 2015February 6, 2015Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Young mother and child,India.The International Development Design Summit (IDDS) is an intense, hands-on design experience that brings together people from all walks of life to co-create low cost technologies that improve the livelihoods of people living in poverty. Coming to India in July 2015, IDDS Aarogyam is a four-week summit that will focus on designing low-cost technologies that address global health challenges in remote and resource-poor settings. Hosted by HIVE—a nonprofit organization in Chennai, India that focuses on providing a space for innovations to come to life and thrive—the summit will be a one-stop shop for all innovators – giving them access to knowledge, expert advice and market information & networks.With expert instruction by Zubaida Bai, founder of ayzh, and prominent instructors from MIT’s Design Lab, summit participants will learn about the collaborative design process and work closely with local communities to be able to develop contextually relevant solutions that can be deployed to strengthen the healthcare system and empower the various stakeholders in the process. Participants will also create prototypes and business models designed specifically to support the creation of inclusive healthcare solutions in the communities where the summit is organized. However, the intention is that the models will have the potential to be replicated and scaled up across geographies that need access to quality healthcare.Quality healthcare, especially in rural India, is inaccessible to the masses due to weaknesses in accessibility, health systems, and human resources. This leads to 700 million people without any access to specialized care and one million deaths every year. IDDS Aarogyam aims to facilitate holistic healthcare solutions that meet people where they are and acknowledge their status, aspirations and dignity by bringing together a global and specialized mix of participants who undergo intensive modules that nurture co-creation to create practical technologies that improve the quality of healthcare services and render it accessible to the masses in resource-poor settings.Who will be thereThe intense, hands on summit will bring together frontline community representatives and members from the host town, health workers, midwives, students, business leaders, engineers and designers from across the globe who will be engaged in an intensive ecosystem of learning and development working closely with local communities to be able to develop contextually relevant solutions that can be deployed to strengthen the healthcare system and empower the various stakeholders in the process.Apply to participateWe are looking to bring together a mix of 45 participants who have the following characteristics:Expertise or a background in public health, engineering, design, business, government, or local community vocations (farmers, mothers, welders, mechanics, etc.)Enjoy creating things with their hands and believe they can solve problemsShow passion and enthusiasm for improving livelihoods with technology, even if they are not a technologistHave a strong likelihood to continue working on their project and/or another IDIN activity after the summitExcellent team playersRepresent a diversity of nationalities, cultures, ages, genders, professions, interests, and backgroundsStandard application criteriaApplicants must complete an application by 5 pm EST on January 20, 2015 – no late or incomplete applications will be reviewedApplicants must be 18 years of age to applyApplicants must be able to attend the entire summit: July 6,2015 – August 1, 2015Apply online or print and mail an applicationScholarshipsA limited number of scholarships to attend the summit are available. These will cover the cost of travel and stay during the summit and will be offered based on financial need of the applicant. Please apply here on or before 20th of January 2015.Questions?Visit the IDDS Aarogyam website to learn more details about participating in the event.For any additional questions, contact the lead organizer, Habib Anwar, by email or phone.email: firstname.lastname@example.org | INDIA: +91 74011 76711 | USA: +1 617 949 1057 ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: < Young mother and child>©<2009>< Steve Evans> used under a Creative Commons Attribution license:< https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/>Share this:
Want to know a secret? There’s a trick to crafting the perfect marketing message for your nonprofit. Put your audience first.We all know people who are all about “me, me, me.” We tolerate them when we need to, but we avoid them as much as we can. On the other hand, we gravitate towards people who show interest in our lives, while also sharing information about themselves. It’s a reciprocal relationship that feels good.Crafting a message for your nonprofit follows the same rule of thumb. “You” marketing centers around your organization. “Me” marketing focuses on the benefits of what you are offering to people. How do you speak to their needs? How can you be of service to them?Craft Your MessageThese simple touchstones will help you create campaigns that are Connected, Rewarding, Actionable, and Memorable (CRAM), so you can catch your donors’ attention.Connect to things your audience cares about; such as making a difference, being part of a community, feeling good about themselves, feeling heard, etc.Reward people for taking action, both emotionally and tangibly. The most effective rewards are immediate, personal, credible, and reflective of your audience’s values.Action that is specific, easy to do, and measurably advances your mission offers an immediate sense of gratification.Memorable campaigns are unique, catchy, personal, tangible, desirable, and closely tied to your cause.Once they’ve taken action, thank them for participating. Encourage them to tell their friends about their support of your campaign or organization by providing a link to share on Facebook, Twitter, and email.OK, that’s one secret. Want to know the other three? Check out Insights, our new line of fundraising resources. These short bursts of information offer quick tips on how to make your nonprofit marketing and fundraising a success.Download 4 Essential Nonprofit Messaging Secrets today!
Kim O’Brien, Executive Director of Network for Good customer, Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, works with nonprofit leaders in the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin to provide opportunities for leadership development and learning to better achieve their missions. Like most executive directors, O’Brien has 100 balls in the air on any given day, meeting with new executive directors and board members about the tools and resources NPLI provides.Building Stronger Nonprofits“I do a lot of connecting the dots. My work is about connecting nonprofit leaders to the resources in the community that can help them with whatever they’re working on at the time.”What does the NPLI do?We provide different programs for the nonprofits in our community, including Leadership Forums, a Leadership Institute, Board Effectiveness, and a quarterly Join a Board event.The centerpiece of our programs is our Leadership Institute, a year-long series of seminars equivalent to a master’s degree in nonprofit management. Each cohort consists of 14 people—a combination of executive directors and senior leaders such as development directors or program managers—who spend a full year together learning nonprofit leadership best practices. We start with a DiSC assessment to determine their individual leadership style. Throughout the year, an expert in the field is hired for each session, ranging from the role of nonprofit boards to finance to human resources and much more. The Institute creates a tight cohort among the 14 participants. When they leave the program, they have someone to call and talk to about similar programs or issues. There’s a lot of sharing in the class.In addition to the Institute, our Leadership Forums offer executives and board members expert training on everything from aligning human resources with their mission to leadership skills to board roles and responsibilities. Our Board Effectiveness program consists of small, facilitated group discussions with board chairs and vice chairs about their role and responsibilities—what a board is supposed to look like, self-assessments, hands on training, etc. Finally, our Join a Board program brings the whole community together on a quarterly basis to learn about what it means to be on a nonprofit board or committee. Our corporate partners—large companies in the area—send their employees to us to learn about board service. Employees who are engaged in the community, stay in the community. Plus, board or committee service helps grow their leadership skills by helping expand critical thinking and communications skills and improving the ability to work collaboratively and within a team. It benefits everyone.All of our trainings route leaders back to our Nonprofit Next platform. This is an information rich website offering tools, tips, templates, and local resources in one location. Nonprofit Next is hosted by the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits and available to the nonprofits in our service area.For each program, our goal is to provide nonprofit leaders and board members a place to be in a room together, face to face, to build trust and relationships. They share their best practices and successes so other leaders can learn from them. It’s inspiring. Even though they’re competing for donor dollars, they’re sharing with each other quite a bit and building a trusting, collaborative relationship. Nothing builds up a community better than when the nonprofits take hold of this collaborative mindframe.How did the NPLI start?This work all came out of a group of funders in our local community who approached the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region to profess, “We are tired of funding failing nonprofits. What can you do to help?” United Way, the Community Foundation, Thrivent, and Community First Credit Union put together some money in the beginning to start us off. And now we’re coming up on three years in June. We’re an integral part of the community, helping to build stronger nonprofits and stronger leaders. Most of our nonprofits staff under 10 employees and they don’t put dollars aside for leadership or technology, so this helps them think a little differently about how they approach running their business.How long have you been with the organization?My background is in HR. I started in 2015 on a three-month part-time project, and a year later I was still a part-time employee. I wrote a job description in that first year for an executive director position. At the time I wasn’t interested in the job, but when they finally posted it I thought, “I have to apply for this. I really love this work.” And I got the job!What attracts you to nonprofit work?My mother started the Meals on Wheels program in my hometown and pulled us all in as kids to help. She instilled in me a belief in helping the community by helping the people who live and work in your neighborhood. And according to my mother, everyone lives in our neighborhood. I volunteered for a nonprofit in college and then my first job was with a nonprofit, and it stuck. I’ve always worked for a nonprofit and can’t imagine myself in any other setting.The people I work with in the nonprofit community are highly passionate. Every day, we help our community by helping these leaders who are improving everyone around us and building a stronger community for all. I cannot advocate for them enough. The nonprofit leaders that I work with drive my own passion for this work.What advice do you have for other nonprofit leaders or aspiring leaders?It takes a village to make this work. I get to be collaborative and have conversations and bring the work of these nonprofits forward in a lot of different ways. I never turn down a coffee or a lunch request because you never know where it’s going to lead. In this industry, you need to stay open to collaboration in whatever form you can find it. The Fox Valley is a special place as it allows for the collaborative work we do as a community every day. That way we all succeed in the long run. Thus, my advice to nonprofit leaders is, “Everyone leads, so build strong relationships around you with everyone and anyone you can.”Women in Philanthropy is an ongoing blog series in celebration of Women’s History Month, featuring some of the incredible women Network for Good has the pleasure to work with. Read more on The Nonprofit Blog
To view more on Capital Projects, CLICK HERE Ryan Harvey, Communications Director for the City of Fort St. John shares the Parkour Park will open later this week.“We want to remind people that the majority of the park is still under construction and ask that they stay out of the construction zones,” said Harvey.The budget for the project was $5.5 million for the redevelopment of the park to facilitate a new permanent stage, picnic shelter, a pedestrian walkway, formal garden, washroom, and two playgrounds. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The new playground at Centennial Park is now open to the public for use.