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Fleet Farming Interns and I

IMG_1682This morning I had the privilege of speaking to a group of interns from Fleeting Farming on grant writing and fundraising. These interns who are in their junior or senior year at the University of Central Florida are so eager to learn how to raise funds to support this organization they are so passionate about. The interns have had some successes but seem to be struggling to find new revenue sources. We discussed how to research and build relationships with funding sources. I critiqued some letters of interest to local and national organizations. My suggested including adding bulleted points, bolded highlights to main points and adding mini stories or quotes of impact. Funders and individuals want to know how their funding will make impact. Adding stories or quotes brings that impact down to a level of one person, or otherwise one quantifiable outcome.

 

fleet farmingFleet Farming is an urban agriculture program of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit IDEAS For Us that is transforming underutilized land into productive micro-farms to impact local food systems. The produce grown is sharecropped with their “farmlette host” with the excess sold at local SNAP-certified farmers markets. This program is supported by community members who are thinking globally and acting locally by learning and engaging in urban agriculture. Too often urban areas are food deserts with no opportunity to obtain fresh produce. Fleet Farming is changing that … one square foot at a time.

 

Overall, a great morning with time well spent. I really enjoy mentor young people.

Nova to offer FREE Nonprofit Series!

Nova Southeastern University Orlando Campus is offering free Nonprofit Professional Development Series. Yes! Free!

This is a great opportunity for those seeking to educational opportunities but don’t have a budget, or those seeking to change careers and want to learn more about the nonprofit sector.  To learn more visit their website at http://www.nova.edu/campuses/orlando/events.html

Professional Development Series

AFP Sexual Harassment Statement- Press Release

AFP Color“Having more female senior-level executives in the profession isn’t just important to preventing sexual harassment; it’s critical to furthering the entire mission of the nonprofit sector,” says AFP Chair Ann Hale, CFRE and AFP President and CEO Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA in a statement release today from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) regarding sexual harassment/gender equity in the fundraising profession.

Three main points in the statement include:

1) AFP has set a clear and decisive policy of zero tolerance for harassment.

2) The issue of harassment is part of a larger conversation about equity in the fundraising profession and the charitable sector. Women make up approximately 70 percent of the profession, yet account for only 30 percent of senior leadership positions.

3) Men need to take the initiative to speak out against harassment. Speaking out affirms that men are standing with their female colleagues and providing their unwavering support.

To read the entire statement visit the AFP website through this link:

http://www.afpnet.org/Audiences/NewsReleaseDetail.cfm?itemnumber=48071

Disney Grants 2018

Disney GrantsThe Disney Grants 2018 applications will open on January 5th! To learn more about what is exciting in this year’s process, Walt Disney World Corporate Citizenship invites nonprofit organizations to join them and the Central Florida Foundation team for a webinar on Wednesday, January 10 at 11 am. This will be an opportunity to ask questions and gain insights into the changes for 2018. The Disney Grants program supports nonprofit organizations that build a strong foundation so that children and their families can thrive as healthy, productive, compassionate, and capable citizens with the confidence to reach their highest potential. Nonprofit organizations must have a reviewed portrait at the Central Florida Foundation’s Nonprofit Search to apply. Click the here to join the webinar on January 10th! You will need to install BlueJeans App or use the browser option. https://bluejeans.com/165876413/browser.

Contact me if your organizations needs help setting up their portrait or with writing the grant. I can help.

 

EBI New Development Director Roundtable

EBIToday, I had the honor of sharing my passion for teaching others the joy of giving by being the guest speaker at the New Development Director Roundtable at the Edyth Bush Institute of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, sharing about The Association of Fundraising Professionals and the local AFP Central Florida chapter, I covered what our chapter does locally, including our monthly educational programs, scholarships, the mentorship program and CFRE Review Study Group. I also discussed what AFP does internationally providing research and industry advocacy. One of the most important things AFP provides is the Code of Ethical Standard and the Donor Bill of Rights, which is the bases of ethical fundraising best practices. Membership scholarship application are now being accepted for new, renewing and young professionals. The deadline is November 30.

Contact me if you have any questions about what AFP membership can do for you, or you can visit the website: www.afpcentralflorida.org.

Donna Hoffman shares her thoughts on volunteerism in the Orlando Sentinel

donna hoffmanOrlando Sentinel Editorial Board Member, Donna Hoffman, shares her thoughts on volunteerism and the giving spirit of our Central Florida Community. “It feels good to help others. Volunteer efforts are appreciated and rewarding and brings out the very best in us- our kindness and our humanity – an frequently bring out the best in others.” I couldn’t agree more.

Donna knows the joy of giving. Donna serves as the President of the Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic raising money to support. The Friends were recognized at National Philanthropy Day as a YMCA Central Florida Volunteerism Honoree. This category honors individuals, groups or organizations who demonstrate an exceptional passion for volunteerism, along with a commitment to the advancement of philanthropy throughout the community.

The Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic is the orchestra’s official volunteer organization, providing opportunities to be a hands-on volunteer, enjoy special events and meet new friends with similar interests. Since their initial meeting in 1996, the Friends have raised nearly $1 million in support of the orchestra. Additionally, they contribute nearly $200,000 per year in in-kind services.

Read her editorial comment in the Friday, November 10, 2017 Orlando Sentinel:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-philanthropy-volunteerism-rewarding-myword-20171107-htmlstory.html

If you need help with expanding your volunteer base, contact me. I can help.

Victory Cup Initiative

VCIThis morning I took off my fundraising hat and put on my funder hat, as I had the opportunity to be part of the review process of applications for the Victory Cup Initiative (VCI).

The VCI is a platform where companies come together for philanthropic investing with a twist. This unique event is designed to provide a high-profile opportunity for charitable organizations to tell their stories, build their strategies and partner with business and community leaders to make a difference in Central Florida. During this breakfast event, 10 of Central Florida’s top nonprofits present a 2 minute, 30 second pitch on who they are, how they are changing lives and how they are serving the community to a room of philanthropists who will vote to determine the winner of the $20,000 grand prize. Organizations also compete for second ($15,000) and third place ($10,000) financial awards. All remaining organizations will be awarded a $1,000 participation grant. The Ten finalists are selected through an application process to compete in main event for cash awards. In its first two years, the victory cup initiative received applications from 132 nonprofits and distributed $84,000 in awards to 20 local nonprofits.

IMG_0975 (1)About 6 weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Ashley Vann, VCI Founder, as part of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Central Florida Chapter’s National Philanthropy Day. VCI was to be recognized as an honoree in the AFP social enterprise and community service category. This honor recognizes organizations – specifically non-profits, civic or service groups – that are actively engaged in philanthropy through social enterprise or a “hybrid” nonprofit business model, or engaged in exceptional community service.

Ashely’s enthusiasm was very infectious. I wanted to be involved. So, I signed up to be part of the application judging committee. The 2018 event won’t take place until February 7, but the behind the scenes efforts are well under way including the application process, which is where I came in.

The application was fairly simple compared to most grant application. Each of the applicates were asked:

What is your organization’s mission?

Briefly describe your major programs and activities.

What is your elevator speech? (90 seconds or less description)

Give one of the best examples of a constituent has been positively impacted by your organization.

Describe your organization’s vision for furthering your mission over the next 3-5 years.

I received 10 applications via a secure portal. The evaluation review instructions called for me to rank 1-10 how I felt about the nonprofit answered the following questions:

Does the nonprofit have a compelling story that needs to be shared with the community?

What is the magnitude of the impact of the nonprofit organization’s programs and activities?

How comprehensive is the nonprofit organization’s programs and activities?

How comprehensive is the nonprofit organization’s vision for serving their constituents?

Then the last question was: Should this nonprofit organizations be one of the finalist which presents in the Victory Cup Initiative 2018? Yes. No. Or Maybe.

VCI $20KSounds simple, right? No! It was a lot harder than it looked. I was familiar with a couple of the applicants, but there a couple I had never heard about. None of which I have any association with, or I would have recuse myself. All were worthy of support, but I couldn’t just send them all along to in the finalist. I felt I had a responsibility to really think about these charities and the causes they represented and what they said in their application. There was a lot of money on the line, and the opportunity to spread awareness for their cause.

The VCI is dedicated to equipping Central Florida nonprofits with the skills and training to better tell their story and ultimately raise more funds. Now that is a cause I can get behind.  Here’s the website is you want to learn more or buy tickets for the 2018 VCI. http://www.victorycupinitiative.com/

If you are reading this and your organization didn’t get into the finalist, don’t get mad at me. I only reviewed 10 of the applications, there were 20 other reviewers. Giving away money is hard. I am glad I had my small part. It was a learning experience. Not only did I learn about some really neat nonprofit organizations, but I gained experience looking at applications through funders eyes.

Ashley’s passion for uniting donors with the causes they care about sparked her idea for the inaugural VCI. Ashley knows the joy of giving.

If your organization could use help in spreading the message about your cause, call me. Let’s talk.