“I never served on a board and learned quite a bit about the purpose, the roles, the makeup, and the effectiveness. I plan to brief our organization on this and hopefully we can make some small improvements.”
“As a new organization, we can begin cultivating donors with a solid understanding of how to best retain them as supporters for years to come.”
These are the thoughts from attendees of the capacity building workshops facilitated recently by Danosky & Associates.
The work of nonprofits is more than important, it is crucial and life saving. But every day can be a struggle to maintain funding and quality services. Nonprofits need to stay on top of skills that will ensure not only their survival in these difficult times, but their growth as well.
Community foundations and experienced facilitators can provide useful, relevant tools through focused workshops — in this case, a series of capacity building workshops for smaller to mid-sized nonprofit organizations.
Danosky & Associates facilitated a series of these intensive workshops from April through October for Greater New Britain nonprofits, offering a top-to-bottom view on how to survive and thrive in challenging times.
Supported by funding from The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain (CFGNB) and American Savings Foundation, the capacity building workshops hit on topics such as building a strong team, fundraising in good times and bad, and public relations.
“As I sat in on some of these workshops, I heard many interesting questions coming from attendees, so I knew that the information was resonating with them,” said Maria Sanchez, Director of Grantmaking & Community Investment at American Savings Foundation. “I learned through these workshops that are many new tools available to nonprofits. And since many of these organizations don’t have the resources to research these things, they rely on workshops like these to come away with the latest information that they can immediately use to their benefit.”
In order to accommodate an optimal number of organizations, two sets of workshops ran concurrently: a set of six intensive workshops, and another set of three less intensive sessions covering similar topics. The workshops were offered free of charge to nonprofit executive directors, their board members, and senior staff. As an added bonus, those who attended at least four of the six intensive workshops were eligible to apply for a grant of up to $2,000 toward implementation of a strategy learned during the workshop series. Those who attended all three of the 3-workshop set were eligible for the same grant.
“In today’s nonprofit environment, smaller and mid-size organizations are often struggling – the landscape has changed, and funding has changed.” said Joeline Wruck, Director of Community Initiatives & Program Services for CFGNB. “By providing these organizations with tools, resources and information that they can take away and apply, we are able to help strengthen them. And when we strengthen our nonprofits, we make the overall community stronger.”
The sessions ran the gamut of critical nonprofit skill sets:
- Engaged Board Members Make a Difference
- Build a Strong Team of Staff & Volunteers that can do more with less
- Strategic Planning
- Fundraising in Good and Bad Times – the Basics and Measuring Effectivenes
- Major Gifts and Capital Campaigns for Organizations of Any Size
- PR, Marketing and the Effective Use of New Media
Organizations need to embrace capacity building proactively to ensure that they are prepared for all events. When capacity building works, it strengthens a nonprofit’s ability to provide services and fulfill its mission over time, enhancing the organization’s ability to have a positive impact on the communities it serves.