Get Ready for Get Connected: Nonprofit Speed Dating!

Canva Get Connected 12.3.15-BLOGWhat is Get Connected? It is an evening of networking and fast, structured one-on-one “speed dating” rounds.

Individuals who are interested in board service will have the opportunity to meet with approximately 15 representatives from nonprofits.

Who should attend? (1) Nonprofits and (2) individuals interested in board service.

When?  Thursday, December 3, 2015 5:30-8:00pm

Where? On the Boulevard 3413 N. Anthony Blvd. Fort Wayne

Details? 5:30-6 pm Networking; 6-7:30 pm “Speed Dating” rounds; 7:30-8 pm Closing

Appetizers from Club Soda will be served.

Individuals can register online here by November 30th.

Nonprofit Organizations can register here by November 23rd.

Get Connected is a program of the PCNRC’s Get on Board initiative supported by a grant from Foellinger Foundation.

Volunteering During the Holidays

The Holiday Season always seems to bring out the best in people. They feel the need to go out and volunteer and they usually start calling all the hospitals, soup kitchens and other non-profits in the community. And those sites most likely will have all their volunteer positions filled. We in the human service world can only accommodate a limited number of unscreened/spontaneous volunteers! Where do we send them?

Here are some ideas:

Nursing Homes and Senior Living Communities

Sad to say, there are some people in facilities who will not have any visitors during the Holidays. The staff can identify residents who could use a visit and a cheerful face during a short visit. Many residents love children and would welcome a drawing and a song.

Group Homes for Developmentally Disabled Adults

Call prior to going! A number of group homes welcome a short visit and a wish for a “Happy Holiday”.happy holidays

Easter Seal ARC – (260) 456-4534

Benchmark Human Services – (260) 744-6145

Pathfinders – (260) 456-2584

Salvation Army

Always a way to help the community with the Salvation Army! It might be too late to be a bell-ringer but they have a number of facilities who house the homeless and would welcome a short visit and a tray of Christmas cookies. Call them at (260) 744-2311.

Shelters for Homeless Veterans

Local Veterans living in shelters could use a short visit, a child’s drawing, or a plate of homemade cookies.

Shepherd’s House (260) 424-2500

Lugar Safe Haven (260)387-5295

Liberty Landing (260) 260-755-6154

Family Homeless Shelters

A basket of fruit, a board game, or Christmas Cookies would be most welcome.

Vincent Village

Just Neighbors

Community Harvest Food Bank and Associated Churches

They may not be open Christmas Day but the greatest need for food supplies comes in January. So maybe a “food collection drive” in the neighborhood might put everyone in the right spirit of giving.

Coats of Kids – warm winter children’s coats

Lots of opportunities for families to help at the sorting and packing site. Schools and social service agencies place orders by gender and sizes. It takes a lot of people to help pack the orders and get them ready for delivery. Call them at (260)424-3505.

Written by Jean Joley, Executive Director of Volunteer Center for PCNRC. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Volunteer Center or the PCNRC.

Holiday Giving

gt_logo6After Turkey day and shopping galore there is Giving Tuesday. It’s the kickoff to charitable giving around the world at a time when many focus on end-of-year campaigns. In it’s fourth year, Giving Tuesday is a movement celebrating and supporting philanthropy. The power of social media has been harnessed to connect generous people to support their communities. There is a collective power in Giving Tuesday to bring all people together, encouraging small acts of kindness.

2015-eat-sleep-give-300x300Here are some statistics about Giving Tuesday*:

  • 30,000+ partners in 68 countries
  • Estimated 470% increase in online donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving since 2012
  • 750,000+ hashtag mentions

Any nonprofit can be a part of the Giving Tuesday movement. In fact, the Giving Tuesday’s website provides tools and graphics for free. Also on their website are case studies, videos, and ideas for campaigns.

Do you have Giving Tuesday plans? If so, please share with us in the comment section.

*Giving Tuesday statistics from their website –

Nonprofit Accounting Terms and Facebook Donate Button – from DWD “Mission-Minded” blog

CarrieMinnichwebNonprofit CPA, Carrie Minnich, recently posted two new articles on the Mission Minded, Dulin, Ward & DeWald, Inc.’s blog.

Like all other industries, accounting professionals have their own lingo and acronyms. Carrie provides a list of terminology used by accountants specifically for the nonprofit sector. Do you know what GAAP stands for? Read the full post here to brush up your vocabulary next time you speak with your accountant.

Did you know Facebook introduced the “Donate Now” button in August 2015 for all nonprofits? Initially, Facebook partnered with 19 nonprofits in 2013 to test the feature. Carrie writes about the “Donate Now” button and your organization’s responsibilities for those online contributions. Read her post here.

DeKalb Community Growth Network (DCGN) Executive Director

Ambassador Enterprises has one available position.

1. DCGN Executive Director

Position Purpose

To provide strategic and tactical leadership to community development networks that help individuals and organizations in DeKalb County reach their full potential.

Duties and Responsibilities

Collaborate: Develop | Assist
o Initiate and develop relationships in a manner consistent with Ambassador Enterprises’ culture and values.
o Forge new relationships with potential partners, whether permanent, visiting, or referral based.
o Focus on results with metrics tied to financial, eternal, and cultural returns.
o Address issues before they become problems.
o Develop plans and processes to guide DCGN toward its strategic goals.
o Research cultural trends; work with partners and within networks to introduce creative and innovative programming in accordance with those trends.
o Drive the development of production and delivery of products with county and regional members.
o Demonstrate an optimistic, resilient attitude and perspective.
o Communicate effectively in written and verbal form with Ambassador Enterprises’ management.
o Work collaboratively as well as independently.
o Research funding sources, oversee the development of fund raising plans, and write funding proposals.

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Creative Fundraising Ideas

Katrina Pieri for wordpress

We’ve all been to the tried-and-true fundraising events: The Silent Auction, The Car Wash, The Nelson’s Chicken Sale, The Golf Tournament, The Walk-A-Thon, etc. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with these standby fundraisers, but what if your nonprofit is looking to spice things up and add a new, creative fundraiser to the mix? If that’s the case, then you, my nonprofit friend, have come to the right place! Take a look at the list below, which features some generalized creative fundraising ideas as well as some real-life examples of successful fundraisers.

Creative Fundraising Ideas

1. Comedy (or Talent) Night

Double the Donation brings us our first fundraising idea: a comedy night! Is your nonprofit located in an area with a good number of aspiring (or established) comedians? If so, consider hosting a fundraiser (at a number of venues such as a bar, theater, school gymnasium, outdoor venue equipped with a sound system, etc.) that raises money by: 1) charging the local comedians a small fee to perform and 2) charging audience members an admission fee.

You could even have a contest during the event where audience membersCanva Creative Fundraisers blog post image 2 vote for their favorite comedian of the night via their dollars! Or, you could partner with a local business to provide concessions, the proceeds of which would hopefully go toward your nonprofit.

You could easily turn this into a more generalized talent night fundraiser featuring local musicians and other performers.

2. Dance Marathon/Party

Also brought to you by Double the Donation, a dance marathon or dance party would function in a manner similar to a comedy/talent night. Participants would pay an admission fee to attend the event.

Here’s a little something in the way of a real-life example: I recently graduated from Ball State University, home of the annual BSU Dance Marathon. This wildly successful fundraiser is one of over 60 held annually in high schools and colleges across Indiana on behalf of Riley Hospital for Children. Students donate money and then participate in a dance marathon during which they must remain standing (and awake!) for many, many hours. In 2015 Ball State’s Dance Marathon raised a little over $500,000 for Riley Hospital for Children. In the case of a dance marathon, it might help to gear the event toward younger generations.

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Marketing on Zero Dollars: The Elevator Speech

Kelly picA Fundraiser’s Journey

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

My friends call me a media hog.

Actually, hog is the tame version because the real word is not fit for a G-rated readership.

You can expend no money on marketing and still have robust awareness in the community at large. I’m proud to say this is more accurately called public relations, since that was my college major. I really love PR strategies because they often cost nothing and drill down into people’s awareness.

First is to be mindful that everyone is responsible for public relations. An easy way to do that is to create an elevator speech. That is, what you’ll reply when someone says, “Hey, I hear you work (or volunteer) at X.” TV people call it a sound bite. Print people call it a factoid.

The best elevator speechifier I know is Becky Weimerskirch of Community Transportation Network (CTN) in Fort Wayne. When asked to introduce herself and briefly state what she does for her organization, she always and I mean always has a 10-second update on CTN. Even when not specifically asked about CTN, she will give that update. And it’s always fresh and thus interesting. Way to go, Becky!

You can do that, too. You know what’s going on at your organization. Start by becoming aware of opportunities to share the good news. And provide a few of those bullet points regularly to your board, staffers and volunteers. You could list them at the bottom of the board agenda. That way, they’ll always have something to say when someone asks, “How’s it going?” or “What’ve you been up to?”

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

Strengthening Your Board Service Muscles

Mike Stone from Impact Strategies recently gave another engaging Board Bootcamp workshop Saturday November 7th. For those who are not familiar with the Board Bootcamp Get on Board program, it is for emerging leaders or new nonprofit board members with two years or less board experience. Bootcamp is also beneficial for Executive Directors to reinvigorate their knowledge of Board responsibilities or to learn from the discussions in the room.

IMG_2570In this 3 1/2 hour course, Mike spoke about the nonprofit sector and nonprofit boards, board roles and structures, and how to find your place with an organization. As a first time attendee, there was a lot of valuable information packed into a short time period! The combination of facts, core principles, and group discussion made this workshop significantly useful.

A key conversation for me was the life-cycle of a nonprofit. Where are they in their life-cycle? Start-up? Growth? Maturity? Decline? Turnaround? Board service is not only having the tools to successfully carry out the mission, or fulfilling the Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards, but to know yourself and what you do best. For me, I handle change well and like to create. I know that certain stages in a nonprofit life-cycle would best fit my personality and skill set. I then seek those opportunities.

Cheers to all the “Bootcampers” who have strengthened your board service muscles and are contributing to our community!