Resilia | February 17, 2022
Resilia announced the launch of ELEVATE, a national program comprising 12 Funders aimed at strengthening marginalized communities through actionable programs and equity-centric data sharing.
One of the first nationwide initiatives of its kind, ELEVATE aims to leverage the power of the collective (Foundations, Government offices, Corporations) and data to help elevate the capacity and voices of BIPOC-led/serving grassroots organizations, especially those serving historically marginalized communities.
ELEVATE provides an opportunity for our Foundations to connect with other funders to learn what they are doing to engage more deeply with BIPOC-led organizations, share best practices, challenges and trends. It is our hope to listen and learn and contribute to changes in grantmaking and capacity building that will make us and other funders more accessible and ensure that we are focused on raising BIPOC-led organizations within our communities."
Jackie Downing, Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Support at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Aimed at driving systemic change, ELEVATE consists of four core components:
Trust-based capacity building support for nonprofits
Collective data sharing for funders to drive equity-centric goals
Professional development and mentorship for funder staff
Peer-to-peer learning opportunities and resource sharing
Trust-based capacity building support for BIPOC-led/serving grassroots nonprofits
As members of ELEVATE, funders will be able to deploy Trust-based capacity building solutions for local nonprofits through a combination of technology, 1:1 nonprofit coaching, and peer-to-peer learning. Acknowledging the specific needs of BIPOC-led/serving grassroots organizations, the infrastructure enables funders to be responsive in order to meet changemakers where they are.
"BIPOC-led organizations face a multitude of challenges – recruiting and training staff and board, having equitable access to social and professional networks, communicating the full scope and impact of their work, and receiving unrestricted multi-year funding. Despite all the challenges they face they continue to do transformational work in their communities. Supporting them through capacity building affirms and supports their work and it helps to build and strengthen the skills they need for sustainability and increased impact," said Aerial Ozuzu, Director of Grants & Initiatives at The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.
"Supporting grassroots nonprofits is critical. These organizations include people who are directly affected by the problems in their communities. They use collective action and bottom-up decision making, which allows them to nimbly address challenges. We need to allot resources for these grassroots organizations and help them increase capacity to do what they do well – serving with people, and not at them," said Virginia Holmes, Executive Director of Michigan Community Service Commission, an arm of the Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity for the State of Michigan.
Collective data sharing to help funders actionize equity-centric goals
Grounded in real-time data sourced from Resilia's programs, funders will be able to access quantitative insights into the capacity and advocacy needs of BIPOC-led/serving grassroots organizations throughout the country. This in turn could help funders uncover blind spots while informing their strategic plans and investments as it pertains to grassroots and equity-related initiatives in their respective communities.
"While we can capture representation of nonprofit partner leadership across identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, disability and more (to begin to understand who has access and who doesn't and to ultimately address gaps) there is an opportunity to go beyond that level of understanding. Nonprofits themselves are addressing various elements of equity within their own organizations, from approaches to fundraising, board structure, staff development, program delivery etc., so if funders have a better grasp on what those shifts are, we can then provide higher quality and more responsive capacity building and technical assistance support," said Leigh Handschuh, Senior Manager, Programs Learning and Engagement at The Boston Foundation.
Based on Trust-based philanthropy principles, the data collection methodologies would eliminate the traditional approach of nonprofits filling up surveys and reports as a way to communicate their needs. Instead Resilia's technology will automatically capture, anonymize and aggregate nonprofit capacity needs every single time a nonprofit utilizes Resilia's online platform or seeks help with Resilia's nonprofit coaches on their capacity and advocacy needs.
Peer-to-peer learning, professional development and mentorship for funder staff engaged in Equity related initiatives
Beyond the data, participating funders will benefit from peer-to-peer learning based on the mentor-mentee model wherein funder staff considering innovative capacity building and equity programs will be able to seek guidance from other funders who may have previously charted the path.
"This sharing is critical! Funders need to understand the unique challenges of small grassroots organizations and translate that understanding into real support and investment. We are invested in our growth and understanding so that we can be better partners to organizations leading equity/anti-racist work," said Lutonya Russell-Humes, Senior Director, Fund for Women and Girls at Fairfield County's Community Foundation.
Additionally, participants will have professional development opportunities led by experts in the field to help navigate the fundamentals of equitable grantmaking, bridging the "intention vs. action" divide in philanthropy, equitable evaluation practices and operationalizing equity related strategic plans.
"The prospective shared learning from other foundations working in this space made us commit to ELEVATE. Health Forward is embarking on a new journey in the way we achieve our mission and looking forward to sharing and hearing lessons learned from others across the country while potentially identifying some collaborators along the way," said Jason Williams, Program Officer at Health Forward Foundation.
National representation aimed at driving change in urban, suburban and rural communities
Members of ELEVATE's launch cohort includes The Boston Foundation (MA), Silicon Valley Community Foundation (CA), Hawaii Community Foundation (HI), Michigan Community Service Commission (MI), Metro United Way (KY), The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation (OH), Community Foundation of Greater Memphis (TN), Health Forward Foundation (MO), The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (CT), Valley Community Foundation (CT), Fairfield County's Community Foundation (CT) and Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo (NY)
In order to ensure ELEVATE prioritizes action and execution over conversations, participation criteria for funders includes, (1) stated focus on empowering BIPOC-led/serving nonprofits, grassroots organizations, and/or changemakers serving marginalized communities, (2) same launch cycle with the Resilia Funder Program to align data collection with phases of program maturity.
"Participating in ELEVATE was really a no-brainer. Being able to connect and collaborate with other funders who have prioritized leaders, organizations, and communities that are typically overlooked will help inform and strengthen our work. We're looking forward to learning what work our peers are doing to increase grantee voice and power and move to be more inclusive and equitable in their communities," said Aerial Ozuzu, Director of Grants & Initiatives at The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.
Resilia plans to onboard new cohorts of funders through 2022 to bring in more expertise and collective might with the ultimate objective of helping foster equitable communities throughout the country.
National Alliance on Mental Illness | March 03, 2022
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) released the following statement from its CEO, Dan Gillison Jr., after the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum awarded NAMI the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Organization of the Year:
"The Forum's recognition of the remarkable success of NAMIWalks Your Way was only made possible by the awe-inspiring work and unrelenting dedication across our Alliance of 48 State Organizations and more than 600 Local Affiliates. I also commend NAMI National's staff who played a critical role.
"Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, our Alliance came together creatively to raise awareness and unprecedented financial support for NAMI's programs nationwide. NAMI created hybrid and virtual events, allowing participants to choose any activity and join remotely with other NAMIWalks events and hundreds of thousands of mental health advocates across the country. Every step is in the right direction when we all join forces to raise money and awareness for mental illness.
Now, more than ever, our communities need increased mental health services. NAMI wants everyone to know that they are not alone, and resources are available to help anyone experiencing mental health concerns for themselves or a loved one."
Dan Gillison Jr., CEO of National Alliance on Mental Illness
In peer-to-peer fundraising, participants in activities like walks, bike rides or video gaming challenges reach out to other people for donations. The Forum surveys U.S. nonprofits annually to rank, by the amount raised, the top 30 largest programs. The list features events such as the American Heart Association Heart Walk, the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Relay or Life.
In 2021, NAMIWalks Your Way's fundraising total was up 31% over 2020, increasing to $13.1 million from $10 million. The 2021 total also outperformed the 2019 NAMIWalks pre-pandemic level of $12.5 million, a fundraising feat accomplished by very few leading programs. The recently released 2021 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Top Thirty list ranked NAMIWalks Your Way as the 28th largest peer-to-peer fundraising program.
About National Alliance on Mental Illness
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
VolunteerNow | May 11, 2022
The 2022 Texas Volunteer Management Conference (TVMC), powered by VolunteerNow, will be held virtually on June 2-3, 2022. The conference's theme, "Brave New World: Leaning into Challenges," will explore the challenges of reengaging volunteers in a post-COVID-19 world. The two-day national conference includes 20 breakout sessions, a keynote presentation, two plenaries and three networking opportunities for volunteer management professionals.
VolunteerNow has been a proud partner of TVMC since its inception 31 years ago. The conference is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to learn important skills and gain knowledge of how they can best engage volunteers to serve their missions. We are honored to feature Dr. Staciá Alexander LPC-S, a licensed professional counselor, as the keynote speaker to talk about prioritizing positive mental health practices and emotional intelligence development in the nonprofit sector."
Tammy Richards, CEO of VolunteerNow
Both those in the non-profit and for-profit sectors will find value from the conference, including those in the private sector responsible for engaging volunteers including program managers, executive directors, development and communications team members as well as staff in community relations and corporate social responsibility. In 2021, TVMC achieved record-breaking attendance with 500 registrants.
TVMC will feature leading volunteer engagement specialists, including Martin J. Cowling, Betsy McFarland, CVA, and Faiza Venzant, CVA. The virtual conference will also include presentations on topics such as how to work with teenagers, ethics in volunteer administration, DEI and burnout.
In addition to VolunteerNow's support, the conference is made possible through partnerships with the Dallas Association of Directors of Volunteers (DADV) and the Directors of Volunteers in Agencies (DOVIA) of Tarrant County. OneStar Foundation will serve as presenting sponsor.
With 50 years of experience, VolunteerNow transforms lives through volunteerism and community engagement. In a typical year, VolunteerNow mobilizes more than 310,000 volunteers who give 1.6 million hours to 3,500 local nonprofits, driving a $46 million economic impact. VOLY.org, powered by VolunteerNow, is the 24/7 connection between volunteers and local service opportunities. As a national thought leader in volunteerism and one of the largest volunteer centers in the country, VolunteerNow provides a wide range of programs and services that build capacity for school districts, nonprofits, and municipalities.
Bourbon Charity | January 25, 2022
Bourbon Charity, a non-profit organization which has raised nearly $1.5M for more than 30 charitable organizations by combining charity with bourbon to #drinkforachange, has added John Edwards to its Board of Directors. He joins the current Bourbon Charity Board of Directors which includes: Brandon Hunt (Chairman of the Board), Brian Hunt (Treasurer), Chris Adams (Secretary) and Charles Murrell (Director of Donor Relations). John will spearhead community relations for the organization.
In 2016, John combined his experience in technology and radio to co-found the popular Dads Drinking Bourbon podcast along with Zeke Baker. The podcast goes behind the labels, featuring honest and straightforward reviews and candid interviews with industry professionals in a casual news setting. Originally from Massachusetts, John now lives and works in Nashville in Technology. Prior to that, he served as Operations Manager for ESPN Radio and SuperTalk 96.1 in Lexington and was the Director of Operations and Affiliate Relations for the Horse Racing Radio Network.
"I’m excited to join the Bourbon Charity board and to use my knowledge of bourbon and the distilled spirits industry to raise funds for worthy charities and make a difference in people’s lives,” said Edwards.
We’re absolutely thrilled to have John join the leadership of Bourbon Charity. His extensive knowledge of the American whiskey industry and deep connections he has made through his podcasting platform will be an invaluable resource. John's eagerness and ability to help us grow our mission as a charity has our entire team inspired."
Brandon Hunt, Founder & Chairman of the Board of Bourbon Charity
Founded in 2019 when his “Pops” was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Brandon Hunt donated his bourbon collection to start the organization. Since then, Bourbon Charity has enlisted 20,000+ supporters whose passion for combining charity with bourbon to #drinkforachange has raised nearly $1.5M for more than 30 charitable causes, including: Prostate Cancer Foundation, Children's Tumor Foundation, Fisher House Foundation, Dare to Care, and charity: water. All donations are tax deductible. In 2021, Bourbon Charity became a 100% public donation charity, meaning every dollar pledged during fundraisers goes directly to the charitable organizations being supported.
The online fundraising model has served the organization well, especially given the current state of the world. In addition to barrel picks, Bourbon Charity hosts several online fundraising events throughout the year, featuring rare and allocated whiskey, such as Pappy Van Winkle, Eagle Rare, Weller, Sazerac, George T. Stagg and more.
Join the Bourbon Hood
Another way to get involved with Bourbon Charity is to join the Bourbon Hood, a passionate community of more than 650 monthly givers that help to ensure every public dollar donated goes to the supported charities. Bourbon Hood members receive ticket entries in each fundraiser as well as exclusive merchandise and discounts.
About Bourbon Charity
Bourbon Charity is a nonprofit organization of more than 20,000 supporters and growing that raises money for charity. Core supported charities include: Prostate Cancer Foundation, Children's Tumor Foundation, Fisher House Foundation, Dare to Care, and charity: water. Bourbon Charity is registered as Bourbon Charity. We are a tax exempt organization.