Spotlight on Three Women Focused Local Nonprofits

On Tuesday the PCNRC blog posted about the importance of nonprofits working together when organizing and executing a large event like the Women’s March on Washington. This post highlights a few of the national nonprofits who worked to make the March possible and feature their local chapters here in the Northeast Indiana region.

Fort Wayne Urban League

“The Fort Wayne Urbanurban-league League empowers individuals to move toward greater independence and self-sufficiency by providing mentoring education, support and advocacy as well as securing civil rights.”

This local group was founded in 1920 by a group of “forward-thinking Fort Wayne African Americans” who realized the need for an organization to support their new communities as more folks moved from the South to Northern locations. While it started as the Fort Wayne Community Association, in 1948 it became officially known as a chapter of the Urban League and the name changed to recognize that.

The Fort Wayne Urban League provides youth and education services, employment and training services, economic development, and an advocacy program. Their most recent project is the BUILD program which helps people find careers in construction trades.

Northeast Indiana YWCA

“YWCA Northeast Indiana’s Mission is to elimYWCAinate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all in Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells, and Whitley Counties.”

This local chapter was founded in 1894 with the intention of creating a “a safe place for working women to meet”. Over the past 100+ years the Northeast Indiana YWCA has accomplished many firsts for the area. They supported women’s physical health by building the first swimming pool, offered the first Black History class, and opened the first shelter for women fighting abuse.

The Northeast Indiana YWCA provides domestic violence services, addiction services, education services, economic empowerment, and racial justice through their programming. One of their upcoming events includes their Diversity Dialogues series which will take place on February 22nd and will focus on “Celebrating Fort Wayne’s Black History”.

Fort Wayne League of Women Voters

“The League of Women league-of-women-votersVoters, a nonpartisan, multi-issue political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy at the three levels of government: local, state, and national.”

The national League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 while the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention was taking place.

You can find the local chapter around town helping Allen County citizens register to vote as well as working with other local nonprofit organizations to promote the inclusion of women’s issues and representation in politics. Look out for an upcoming event when the Fort Wayne League of Women Voters will be working with Cinema Center for one of the screenings during the Fiercely Feminist Film series in March.

Nonprofits and the Women’s March on Washington

One day after Donald Trump’s inauguration millions gathered around the world to participate in the Women’s March. The original event took place in Washington, D.C. and crowd scientists estimated there were three times more attendees at the Women’s March than Trump’s inauguration. audrey-crowd

There were hundreds of sister marches and some believe that the Women’s March was the largest one day protest ever. The Women’s March mission stated “We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

It is remarkable that so many folks mobilized to make a statement about women’s rights and the rights of marginalized groups in the United States. What made this demonstration possible? Along with a group of strong individuals who worked tirelessly since the election in November, support from nonprofit organizations around the country, both national and local, made this demonstration possible.

Planned Parenthood, a national nonprofit organization that works to provide women’s and reproductive healthcare, was both a partner and a sponsor of the March. The organization’s president, Cecile Richards, spoke to the crowd in Washington assuring them that “our doors stay open.” Like other nonprofits, Planned Parenthood works hard to remain in operation so they can continue to offer services to communities. Planned Parenthood along with other organizations came together to make the Women’s March successful.

One example of nonprofits working together locally to make an impact was the partnership between art house theatre Cinema Center and monica-crowdPlanned Parenthood a few weekends ago. Cinema Center screened the film 20th Century Women and part of the proceeds from its debut weekend were donated to Planned Parenthood. By communicating with the film distribution company A24, Cinema Center was able to help out another nonprofit in the area.

Do you work together with other local nonprofits to organize large events? How can the Women’s March inspire your organization’s programming in the future?

Click here to check out the full list of organization partnerships from the Women’s March.


top right photo credit: Audrey Leonard, bottom left photo credit: Monica Young

Grantmakers and Grantseekers

babyRecently the author, Ve Le of “Nonprofit with Balls” blog posted two pieces about the irritating and aggravating things that grantseekers and grantmakers do. The posts are humorous and relatable. Ve complied and created two lists of items that trouble grantmakers and frustrate grantseekers. He collected the lists based on comments from the Nonprofit with Balls Facebook page. Funding Logistics Aggravation, Incomprehensibility, and Laughability (FLAIL) Scale is the title for the items that bother grantseekers and Grant Response Amateurism, Vexation, and Exasperation (GRAVE) Gauge as the title for the items that bug grantmakers. As you can tell already, its comical.

You can look at Ve’s lists and perhaps complete the exercise by finding out your own FLAIL Scale score or GRAVE Gage score below.

GRAVE Gage

FLAIL Scale

Here’s Ve’s original post on the FLAIL Scale and the GRAVE Gage.

 

Philanthropy in Allen County: Jennifer Kasmier

Philanthropy in Allen County is a short series of features designed to highlight why and how members of the Fort Wayne and surrounding community support nonprofits.  Over the course of the summer, we’ll be featuring responses from different nonprofit professionals, volunteers, employees, and board members to showcase Allen County nonprofits!

Jennifer-Phil Blog
Jennifer Kasmier

Jennifer Kasmier

What nonprofit organizations are you associated with and in which capacities (employee, volunteer, board member, etc.)?

I am the Assistant Executive Director of Wellspring Interfaith Social Services and a Director on the United Way of DeKalb County’s Board.

How did you first become involved with your current organization(s)? 

In 2012, through my education at IPFW (earning my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Services), I was privileged to complete a senior level internship working under Mr. Frank Zirille, the Executive Director of Wellspring. Following the completion of my internship, I was offered the opportunity to work at Wellspring gaining valuable experience in each of the direct service programs (Summer Day Camp, After School Program, Older Adult Program, Food Bank, Parent Club and Wellspring Shoppe, free clothing bank) as well as experiences in marketing, fund development, grant writing and methods of evaluation.

Since April of 2015, I have been proud to be the organization’s Assistant Executive Director and I look forward to seeing Wellspring continue to thrive! I joined the Board of Directors for the United Way of DeKalb County in January of 2016. Prior that, I served on the Board of Directors for A Day Away Adult Daycare and Birchwood. Continue reading

Swimming in the Deep End – A Fundraiser’s Journey

Kelly UpdikeKelly Updike for PCNRC

When you dive into a task or new project, how do you start?

I’d not really thought about it until working with staffers who were struggling with how to plan for an event that was either new to them or new to the organization.

When I suggested they use a checklist and then followed up by asking to see said checklist, I got blank stares and shifting of feet. Heads would hang and hands would wring. Cries of, “What is a checklist?” “How do I start?” and “How do I use it?” filled the air.

A checklist is simply a list of things you gotta do. If you want to exceed expectations, a great checklist also contains the due date for each item and who is responsible for doing it. For teammates, it’s a way to communicate with each other. For supervisors, it’s most excellent in keeping track of your staffers’ progress.

I’m not sure why this is a new concept or even a foreign one. So I’ll keep my smarty-mouth comments to myself and instead offer some guidance on how to make a checklist.

  1. Gaze raptly at a blank sheet of paper, hard copy or on screen.
  2. Start writing down all the things you have to do for your project, event, meeting, whatever. Don’t worry if you forget something, you can count on someone to remind you by the time you reach step #7.
  3. Rearrange the items so that they fall in order of what needs to happen first, second, third and so on.
  4. It’s okay to categorize tasks or put them into subsets. Use color or bold and italics. Hey, it’s your list.
  5. Put in deadlines or due dates.
  6. Assign people to the tasks.
  7. Show off your fancy work, you’re a corporate super star. Use the list with your board, staff and volunteers as a way to chart progress.
  8. Change the checklist as you go. It’s a living document.
  9. Your living document needs air – pull it out or open it up every time you work on your project, event, meeting, whatever. Keep it up to date.
  10. Reward yourself with a piece of chocolate when you complete a task on the list. Now you know why I really like checklists.

Key things to remember about checklists (some people call this an executive summary): Just start, darn it. You’re in charge. The list will change every time you use it and that’s okay. Share it.

There are some great resources out there for checklists.

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2014/02/the_art_of_using_checklists_in_the_classroom.html

http://mediashift.org/2015/02/journalism-professors-should-teach-accuracy-checklists/ .

 

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

Philanthropy in Allen County: Lauren Brune

Philanthropy in Allen County is a short series of features designed to highlight why and how members of the Fort Wayne and surrounding community support nonprofits.  Over the course of the summer, we’ll be featuring responses from different nonprofit professionals, volunteers, employees, and board members to showcase Allen County nonprofits!

Lauren Brune

Lauren Brune
Lauren Brune

What nonprofit organizations are you associated with and in which capacities (employee, volunteer, board member, etc.)?

LEARN Resource Center, employee.

How did you first become involved with your current organization(s)? 

I was job hunting and saw an open position at LEARN Resource Center for a communications and special events coordinator. I applied for the position and have been with the organization since February 2016.

What is your favorite part of the organization(s) you work with? Why?

My favorite part of working for LEARN Resource Center is the interactions I get to have with the kids and people within the community. Working for a small nonprofit makes networking critical, and I love attending community functions and getting to know other doers in town. Also, a lot of my work happens behind the scenes, but when I do get to interact with the kids in our program it reminds me that what I do matters to each and every one of them. Continue reading

Would you rather have a shark or a teddy bear?

Personally, I would like a teddy bear. They are soft, you can snuggle with it, and they are cute. Sharks on the other hand, not so much. I am sure they are great animals, just not in my house. So, what is your answer? Why the question in the first place? What does this have to do with the nonprofit sector? Well, let me tell you.

teddyA recent study from the University of Toronto was published about faces of leaders in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. The results of the three different studies were that “facial features of successful non-profit CEOs are noticeably different from leaders of for-profit companies.” Guess which one was the teddy bear and which one was the shark?! If you picked teddy bear for nonprofits, you’d be correct.

For the study, 169 participants were shown black and white head-shots of CEOs. They were asked to rank on “dominance, likability, facial maturing, trustworthiness, leadership, age, attractiveness, and happiness.” Scores were grouped together to determine what they called “power” and “warmth.” The for-profit CEO faces were scored as more “powerful” than nonprofit CEOs.

Daniel Re, co-author of the study, said that cut-throat sharks may not be the key to good leadership and “people who come off as more powerful won’t get as far or do as well working at non-profits.” My favorite quote from Re is – “[it’s] not necessarily that non-profits are picking softer-looking people, it’s that such people – perhaps drawn to working for a nobler cause…”

Long story short – get your organization a teddy bear.

Source: http://phys.org/news/2016-06-good-nonprofit-ceo-teddy-shark.html