College Students are Leaders!

When I was in my 6th grade English class, my teacher said to the entire class, “You are the next generation of leaders!” The thing is, this teacher didn’t tell us how to learn how to be a leader or when we were supposed to assume this role. Now, at age 23, I’ve been figuring out the ways I am a leader in my community and the ways that I want to lead in my future. I attribute this awareness of my experiences to the Residential College in the Arts & Humanities at Michigan State University, and my AmeriCorps VISTA term at Michigan Campus Compact.

Michigan Campus Compact (MICC), an affiliate organization of MNA, supports the civic engagement activities of colleges and their students around the state of Michigan. After the 15th year of Service Leadership Camp last fall, the MICC team thought about whether or not the program was meeting the needs of students, and also posed this question to the network of faculty and staff. The result was the decision to begin a new leadership program and I jumped at the opportunity to pioneer this project!

Throughout the last six months, I have worked with my supervisor, Shannon Zoet, and a network planning committee to coordinate the program for MICC’s first Active Leaders Student Conference this October! No participant will leave this one-day conference without recognizing that they are a leader and learning specific steps to accomplish their aspirations through community service, advocacy, and philanthropy.

“It’s exciting to be a part of something as unique as this event, even more so when you are helping to plan it. This event is very grassroots in the way that it is planned by, geared toward, and has presenters all for the same age group. Many of the leadership events at the college level are only for student leaders that belong to a certain group or specific career path. This event is geared toward leaders from every background who are entering career paths that are just as diverse.”

-Zoe K.D. Haynes, Planning Committee Member, Undergraduate Student, Wayne State University

Amber Cruz, program manager of Mobilize.org will be the keynote speaker at the event and she is excited to share Mobilize resources and ideas to organize voter engagement efforts during the 2012 election season.

For more information about the Active Leaders Student Conference, click here.

Submitted by Jessica Johnson,  AmeriCorps*VISTA, Michigan Nonprofit Association 

I WILL: Part One

It is hard to believe, but on September 11, 2011, it will have been ten years since the attacks.

I remember the events like it was yesterday… It was my senior year in high school, and I was in Mr. Christner’s Amercia in the World Today class. In the middle of our lesson someone popped their head into the classroom, said what had happened (at that time only one plane that had crashed into one of the towers), and left. Mr. Christner quickly turned the television on and we watched as events unfolded for the rest of class.

Now, I am sure many of you are gawking at the fact my teacher let us watch what was happening, but I was (and still am) thankful he did. I am also thankful that I was taking that exact class, that exact year, at that exact time because the next day Mr. Christner dived into teaching about the different religions, countries, thoughts, perspectives and how they brought us to where America was at that time; it truly was America in the World Today. He provided information that was enlightening and he helped us fully grasp what had happened. His curriculum around September 11 also taught us not to stereotype, judge, or discriminate people who were Muslim or of Middle Eastern decent. The teachings and insight he provided were a steady ship amongst the unknown and panic that was happening around us. He taught us to be informed, knowledgeable citizens.

Now, ten years later September 11 is the National Day of Service and Remembrance. The website, 911day.org, is providing a way for people to pledge what they will do this year on September 11, whether it be a good deed, charitable activity, or other plans, to honor the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those that rose in service.

After thinking of all the different activities I could put into action for my 9/11 pledge, it all came back to Mr. Christner’s class. I will: continue to learn from those around me, seek the truth, and keep myself and others educated to help dispel stereotypes and prejudice.

As you think to the past and the future, what will you do on 9/11 in Tribute? Visit www.911day.org to post your commitment.

For more information: 911day.org, michigan.gov/volunteer

Submitted by Ashley Branoff, Communications Coordinator for Michigan Nonprofit Association.

Facebook
Twitter
More...

End of an Era, or The Start of Something New

It is unbelievable that 4,000 people from around the country descended on New Orleans to either memorialize an era of remarkable achievement for volunteering and national service or to look to the future growth of this movement. I say unbelievable because this year’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service provided great content, great speakers, and untold opportunities to learn, serve and network with people who know and understand the power of service. This conference has been a bold joint convening hosted by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Points of Light Institute (POLI) – a relationship that has given rise to a number of highly successful mobilizing efforts including this, the largest gathering of leaders and practitioners in our sector.

Yet this relationship also leads to some strange scenarios like the one we witnessed last week in the Big Easy. While we celebrated the great work of thousands of volunteers who responded to the natural and man-made disasters that have plagued the Gulf Coast region, there was an underlying concern that a storm of a different kind waited just around the corner. And like the BP oil spill and levee failures that taxed the resources and spirit of the Gulf residents, the appropriations for the CNCS (or potential lack thereof) could be a tragic failure of our commitment and ingenuity.

Despite the dark cloud on the horizon that CNCS funding cuts represented, the thousands gathered were not, and could not, be empowered to have a robust dialogue on how to overcome this challenge. Why? Because the CNCS cannot be in a position to lobby its own constituencies in support of their own existence. Strange, yet true. So, while conservative icon and successful Governor Haley Barbour thanks the national service field for coming to the rescue of Mississippi, participants are left to say, you’re welcome and not, you’re welcome and please tell your friends. As a POLI board member, I felt somewhat like the married couple that doesn’t talk about the challenges brought on by the in-laws. On the one hand they can be troubling and meddlesome, and on the other, without them, neither of us would be here.

Next year’s conference will be held in Chicago, and will not be in partnership with the CNCS. Correctly, in my opinion, the CNCS has decided not to renew its contract with the POLI and seek other means to provide professional development opportunities for grantees that may or may not involve the Chicago gathering. I concur with their decision because it will allow them to demonstrate that they are making prudent and careful future decisions on their resources that a national conference with high profile champions could give lawmakers a chance to call into question.

We have to convince our support network to communicate the tremendous value of our mutual work and the need for financial support of our cause. This summer is an excellent time to engage elected officials in their districts and educate and explain the power, impact, and genuine need for national service, especially as we seek to make every public dollar go further. If we don’t, we may well have celebrated the end of an era in the Crescent City rather than realizing the dawn of a new beginning.


Submitted by Kyle Caldwell, president and CEO, for the Michigan Nonprofit Association.

add to del.icio.us    add to blinkslist    add to furl    digg this    add to ma.gnolia    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit    add to fark    tailrank this    post to facebook

Honoring Civically Engaged College Students


To say that I felt inspired is an understatement. Earlier this month I had the privilege of attending Michigan Campus Compact’s Fifteenth Annual Outstanding Student Service Awards. At first glance, this event was similar to other awards ceremonies I have attended. Students and families ate lunch, received certificates and clapped for award winners. However, it was unlike any other awards ceremony I’ve attended when considering the great amount of energy and passion in the room. Thirty-eight private, public, two-year and four-year colleges from across the state came together to honor over 350 students for devoting their time and talents to building stronger, safer and more connected Michigan communities.

Keynote speakers, Neel Hajra, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Community Investment at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and Bridget Clark Whitney, Executive Director of Kids’ Food Basket in Grand Rapids shared their respective paths of discovering service and committing to lifelong community engagement. I’m confident that students identified with these community leaders and could visualize such success for themselves.

From opening local food pantries, to planning campus-wide service projects, and coaching youth sports teams, our Michigan college students are making this state a better place to live. I encourage you to honor these students by getting involved in your own community today. Students’ stories encourage the spirit of service and should move you to action. To see the full list of award recipients and learn more about the Outstanding Student Service Awards go to www.micampuscompact.org/studentawards.aspx.


Submitted by Ashley Gulker, Program Specialist for Michigan Campus Compact and Volunteer Centers of Michigan.

add to del.icio.us    add to blinkslist    add to furl    digg this    add to ma.gnolia    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit    add to fark    tailrank this    post to facebook

Why You Should Attend Conferences

There are countless professional development opportunities where we can meet people and develop our skills. Some of these are short one-time local events, while others are large state-wide and national conferences. While I believe strongly that each of us should take advantage of every professional opportunity we can fit in our schedules and budgets, I am partial to attending conferences. Why? Here are my three reasons for attending the 2011 MNA SuperConference and other large state-wide and national conferences:

Inspiration – If you arrive at a conference looking to be inspired, I can guarantee that you won’t be let down. Whether it is by a plenary speaker, a breakout session presenter, or someone you will meet during lunch, there are tons of inspirational stories waiting to be shared at every conference. Inspiration is what drives you to have a big vision and give the most to your work. For me, at the 2010 SuperConference it was John Wood, Founder of Room to Read. His story was inspirational and motivated me to think big, dream bigger and GSD. With a great line up of speakers for 2011 I will have to wait and see which one inspires me the most, but I attend SuperConference, each year, with confidence that I will walk away inspired.

Networking – I’m not talking about your everyday networking where you meet a bunch of people you may never meet again. I’m talking about identifying people you want to meet, finding them and talking with them to build your network. Conferences are where you will find the rockstars of your field. The CEOs, founders, and powerbrokers of the nonprofit sector are most easily accessible at conferences. Once you’ve met the people you want to meet, remember that it takes at least two significant interactions with someone for them to remember you. You can either find that person a second time during the same conference (this may involve going out of your way, but it’s worth it!) or email them afterward. On my way home I always make a list of 4-5 people I want to “reconnect” with when I get home. It can be as simple as emailing them saying how great it was nice to meet them, but you need that second interaction to make your networking count.

3 Great New Ideas – You will be exposed to a large number of ideas at a conference, but not all of them will be new or great. I have discovered that if I can find three great new ideas at a conference it is a successful use of my time and resources. Three core changes to my day-to-day work, my organization at large, or my personal philosophy is a significant amount of improvement. If you bring back many more than three (and aren’t able to prioritize them), you run the risk of not implementing any changes due to being overwhelmed. With specific tracks of programming, the 2011 Super Conference has new ideas waiting for every type of nonprofit professional.

I’m not here to advocate any one particular conference over another, but I will encourage every professional to find a way to attend at least one conference a year. You will be inspired, networked and you’ll have 3 great new ideas to improve your professional and personal life. See you at the 2011 MNA Super Conference in May!

For a further look at why you should attend SuperConference, click here!


Submitted by Mike Goorhouse, Private Foundations Coordinator and Grants Manager for the Council of Michigan Foundations

add to del.icio.us    add to blinkslist    add to furl    digg this    add to ma.gnolia    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit    add to fark    tailrank this    post to facebook

SuperConference 2011, Not Your Ordinary Workshops

This year the SuperConference planning committee has hand selected presenters for the 30+ workshops that will be taking place at SuperConference on May 10th and 11th. Presenters include speakers from our plenary sessions as well as speakers from across the U.S. Not only that, workshops are divided into six topic-based tracks that appeal to those at both an intermediate and advanced level.

Below, is a sneak peek at some of the workshops and presenters from each track that are being featured this year.

Planned Giving Strategies to Meet Donor Expectations and Current Funding Goals
Advanced Fund Development Course
Facilitated By: Christopher L. Kelly, Vice President/Senior Philanthropic Advisor – Comerica Charitable Services Group

“Opportunities and Options” are the requirement of today’s donor. Our donors would like to see multiple ways to meet current gifting goals for their beloved organization, as well as paths toward leaving a lasting legacy. In this workshop we will discuss various planned giving vehicles; how they function traditionally, but more importantly, how they can function to meet the challenges presented by today’s sophisticated donor base. The result will provide opportunities for donors to gift from their accumulated wealth, rather than their disposable income, which translates into potentially larger and concrete financial commitments, and the opportunity to generate new relationships with the next generations of your current donor base.

The Game Plan
Intermediate Public Policy and Advocacy Course
Facilitated By: Abby Levine, Legal Director of Advocacy Programs – Alliance for Justice.

This interactive session helps organizations strategize how best to employ the advocacy tools at their disposal. It includes a discussion of advocacy fundamentals that help participants define their goals and objectives, appropriate targets, and effective advocacy tools, as well as assessing advocacy capacity and evaluating advocacy activities and planning for future campaigns.

Communications & Collaborations
Cross Track Communication Course
Facilitated By: David Stillman and Debra (Fiterman) Arbit, BridgeWorks

Join our Keynote Speakers, David & Debra, as they take you on a deeper dive of working through generational issues to keep your organization relevant in today’s changing world!

Five Crazy Habits
Intermediate Governance/Professional Development Course
Facilitated By: Robin Lynn Grinnell, Program Officer – Cook Family Foundation

Is your board agenda chock full of lengthy (ugh) program reports? Are you stuck in a perpetual cycle of fundraising events that are “just fine”? Do you sometimes sit at your desk and wonder if your board and/or staff will ever really get it together? If you answered ‘yes’ to any (or all) of these questions, don’t dismay… Many nonprofits have adopted Five Crazy Habits that simply trip us up. None of them are blatantly obvious and they’re certainly not illegal – they just make our work harder. Join us for a fast-paced session in which we’ll laugh (and groan) at our collective goofs and we’ll share some simple fixes that – with a little dedication – will get you back on the right path!

Google Grant & Apps!
Cross Track Planning Course
Facilitated By: Elyse Guilfoyle, AdWords Account Strategist – Google, Mary Elizabeth Ulliman, AdWords Account Manager – Google, and Jon Fraiser, Google

You are changing the world, and we want to help! Google employees from the Ann Arbor office will introduce you to Google’s free product offerings for nonprofits. They will touch on a wide variety of products that can help you: Reach and engage your supporters, improve your organization’s operations, Raise awareness for your cause .This session will focus specifically on the Google Grants program and Google Apps for Nonprofits. The Google Grants program empowers select nonprofit organizations to achieve their goals by helping them promote their websites via advertising on Google.com. As a Google Grants recipient, your organization can solicit donations, recruit volunteers, promote events and programs, and much more through Google Grants ads.

Catch the Spirit of Service
Intermediate Civic Engagement Course
Facilitated By: Jeanine Yard, Program Officer – Michigan Community Service Commission and Evan Albert, State Program Director – Corporation for National & Community Service

Is your organization interested in making connections with National Service programs such as AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve? Do you wonder what a strong national service program looks like and how you might become that strong program effectively utilizing national service members. Join us for this interactive workshop and get answers to all your National Service questions. Learn how to ready your organization to apply for a grant or to host a member, identify opportunities for collaboration with other service programs, and find out how national service can add value to your organization.

For more information on SuperConference 2011, the workshops, keynote speakers, and other conference features, visit www.MNAonline.org/superconference.aspx .

Submitted by Ashley Branoff, Communications Coordinator for Michigan Nonprofit Association.

add to del.icio.us    add to blinkslist    add to furl    digg this    add to ma.gnolia    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit    add to fark    tailrank this    post to facebook

Read Books. Give Books.


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

Crowe Horwath LLP and The LEAGUE Michigan, are once again partnering up for the month of March to promote National Reading Month through the Read n’ Give program. Read n’ Give was started in 2008 by Crowe Horwath with a mission to collect, share, read, donate and pass on books in a continuous cycle of giving. During the month of March, students in grades K-12 “pay it forward” in support of reading and raising awareness for community literacy programs by collecting books, sharing the literature amongst themselves and then donating the books to local organizations that focus on literacy. Crowe Horwath and The LEAGUE Michigan have a goal of collecting 50,000 books statewide this year.

Participating Schools as of February 22, 2011

West Michigan Schools
• Alpine Elementary, Appleview 3-5, Buchanan Elementary, Chandler Woods, Crossroads Middle School, Discovery Alternative High School, Godfrey-Lee Elementary, Grand River Preparatory High School, Harrison Park, Kelloggsville High School, North Park School, North Rockford Elementary, Pine Creek Elementary, Ridge Park, Ridgeview K-2, St. Stephens, St. Thomas the Apostle, Sparta Middle School, Sparta High SchoolWealthy Elementary, Tri-County High, Wealthy Elemenatry, Westwood Middle School
Battle Creek Schools
• Ann J Kellogg Elementary, Focus Academy, Kellogg Community College
Eastern Upper Peninsula Schools
• Malcolm High School, St. Mary’s Catholic School, Sault Middle School
Jackson Schools
• Cascades Elementary, Dibble Elementary, Frost Elementary, Hunt Elementary, Northeast Elementary, Northwest Elementary, Western Options
Pinckney Schools
• Country Elementary, Farley Elementary, Lakeland Elementary, Pathfinder School, Pinckney High School

Partnering Organizations as of February 22, 2011
• Crowe Horwath LLP • Custer Office Environments • Feyen Zylstra • Irwin Seating Company • Kellogg Company • Literary Life Book Store • RiverRun Press • Rockford Corner Bar • Schools of Hope • Schuler’s Book Store • Sparrows Coffee Shop • Michigan Nonprofit Association • Michigan Community Service Commission • Battle Creek Parks and Recreation • Boys And Girls Club of Battle Creek • Post Foods • River Oaks Apartments • Voces – Hispanic Women’s Group

For more information or to participate please contact Corinne Spencer at
616-331-9036 or leaguevista3@mnaonline.org.

Read n’ Give is also on Facebook!

Submitted by Julie Eisen, AmeriCorps Vista for The LEAGUE Michigan

add to del.icio.us    add to blinkslist    add to furl    digg this    add to ma.gnolia    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit    add to fark    tailrank this    post to facebook

Member Spotlight: Nonprofit Network

Nonprofit Network is a membership organization that provides services to nonprofits in the extended Jackson County region. As the recognized local management support organization, Nonprofit Network provides professional development, technical support and consulting services to over 100 nonprofit organizations and the more than 800 individuals who serve as board members, volunteers or employees.

Nonprofit Network serves the greater Jackson County region by:

- Operating as a hotline for basic nonprofit management policies and procedures,
- Functioning as an encyclopedia of governance knowledge,
- Offering professional development opportunities through basic training and advanced curriculum and
- Supporting nonprofit leaders as a mentor, coach, teacher, advocate, mediator and consultant.

2010 Census

Nonprofit Network served as the regional distribution center and nonprofit advocate for the 2010 Census in Jackson County. Working with partners like United Way of Jackson County and their census Complete Count Committee, Nonprofit Network provided area nonprofits with materials and resources they needed to ensure their clients were counted. Other partner organizations included the Center for Family Health, Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul and the area food banks. Nonprofit Network also hosted the Census Bus, which made more than 800 stops at events nationwide to raise awareness about the importance of everyone participating in the Census. In addition, Nonprofit Network assisted with neighborhood canvassing projects by partnering with volunteers from the American Red Cross to promote the benefits of being counted to more than 4,000 homes in hard to count areas.

“The Census is extremely important to organizations like Nonprofit Network and the many nonprofits we serve. The census count determines how much of the $400 billion in federal funds is allocated to services like foster care, Medicare and school funding. It also helps to determine congressional representation through the redistricting process in which congressional and district lines are drawn,“ said Regina Funkhouser, executive director.

Trainings and Events

Nonprofit Network provides the areas nonprofit community with a number of affordable trainings on a large variety of topics including:

- Basic information technology
- Building alliances and other beneficial relationships with the for-profit sector
- Team building and morale boosting
- Strategic planning
- Evaluation
- Fundraising

An example of one of the training offerings is Board 101 – Basic Responsibilities. This bi-monthly class covers the legal responsibilities of a board, the overall responsibilities of the board as a whole, and the individual responsibilities of each board member. In addition, the course covers the expectations of the IRS, the 990 reporting form and how the changes in the 990 illustrate the IRS’s governing expectations of board members. This training is free and open to the public.

A new offering this year is the Fall Conference planned for November 9, 2010, from 8:00 AM-3:00 PM at the First Church of the Nazarene in Jackson. “We are thrilled that so many respected nonprofit leaders will join us to share critical information about how our sector is changing, how we can prepare for these changes and how we can be instrumental in the economic recovery of our communities,” said Regina Funkhouser. Nonprofit leaders planning to attended include; Kyle Caldwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association, Diana Kern, vice president of programs for NEW, Lynn Wooten, faculty co-director from the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship, and many more. For more information as well as a complete list of workshops and presenters, please visit www.nonprofnetwork.org/fallconference.

To learn more about Nonprofit Network, visit www.nonprofnetwork.org. Nonprofit Network has been a MNA member since 1999.

All MNA members can feature their story in our online storybank. If your member organization would like to be featured in any upcoming MNA publication, contact Bill Gesaman, Director of Member Services at 517-492-2416 or bgesaman@MNAonline.org

add to del.icio.us    add to blinkslist    add to furl    digg this    add to ma.gnolia    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit    add to fark    tailrank this    post to facebook

Finding Your Passion

Do you remember why you work for a nonprofit or volunteer your time with a specific organization? Is it because of your passion for the cause and impact you make in the community? Was there a certain “spark” that ignited your passion?

We’re all spending our time and talent with a nonprofit for a reason, but it’s easy to lose sight of your passion when pushing through the shuffle of day-to-day tasks. We get forced into a routine and the passion for the cause gets clouded by the necessity of accomplishing the day’s task.

This year’s SuperConference closing keynote, John Wood, will share his journey of finding his “spark” during a 200-mile trek in the Himalayas. John was a 35-year-old, burned out Microsoft executive who decided to take an 18-day escape from the day-to-day shuffle. While passing along the Nepal/Tibet border, he saw a need and decided he was going meet it.

Since leaving Microsoft in 1999, John created Room to Read, an award-winning nonprofit that helps more than one million children across the developing work break the cycle of poverty through the power of education. If you want to learn more about his journey to find his “spark” and the impact Room to Read is making across the globe, check out his guest blog post for Fortune Magazine or this video from his Leaving Microsoft to Change the World book tour.

What was your “spark” moment? Is your passion alive and present in your daily routine? If you’re wrestling with a cycle of routine and finding your passion, take a vacation! Ok, maybe an 18-day, 200-mile trek in the Himalayas is not for everyone, but we hope you can take a break from the daily routine to join us at the 2010 Michigan Nonprofit SuperConference where you might be inspired by John’s journey to change the world and reignite your fire!

Submitted by Jamie-Lee Venable, Michigan NOW! and Recover Michigan Program Manager for Michigan Nonprofit Association.

Bookmark and share : post to facebookadd to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vine

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,063 other followers