A Gathering Of Those Who Give
New Strategies to Bring Non-Profit Orgs Together
One of the ironies of tough economic times is that non-profits are generally more in need than ever but fewer dollars are available for them to work with.
That’s where leadership has to become very creative.
The Prince George’s County Office of the County Executive presented several workshops April 21 entitled Reshaping Priorities: New Strategies and Partnerships for Prince George’s County Non-Profits.
“This is an excellent opportunity for area non-profits to hear how we are reshaping agency services in the county and the role they can play in helping us to meet our goals,” says County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, who led the event along with county staff and resource professionals who were available on-site.
The workshops were intended to address daily operations and challenges that all non-profits experience, especially during these difficult economic times. Among the workshops offered were Reshaping Priorities: Connect for Success, Fit to Serve, Building your Brand, and Stretching Your Financial Resources.
“We have an impressive roster of non-profit organizations right here in Prince George’s County doing great work in our community. The conference is also designed to build upon these organizations’s mission and ultimately maximize their outreach and fundraising efforts,” Baker continued.
At its core, the conference was designed to create greater synergy between groups and the county.
"It seemed that the conference fulfilled an unmet need of the county's non-profit sector. It validated their purpose in their service to county residents while challenging them to evaluate their organizations’ work for the greater benefit of those they serve," says LaVonn Reedy Thomas, division chief at the Office of Community Relations. Reedy Thomas crafted the event.
“We thought it would be important to bring these groups together for several reasons,” says Musa Eubanks, director of the Office of Community Relations. “First, the conference was an opportunity for non-profits to hear from county reps with regards to the new processes in working with the county government. Second, we wanted them to get the chance to meet and network in order to find potential ways that they can work together and share resources. For example, if you have groups who do similar work, they may be able to get together to accomplish shared goals. Third, they got some insight as to where the county would be focusing its resources on areas that really need attention, such as crime or truancy. We consider those to be our red areas or hot areas.”
Eubanks says sharing the focus on hot areas will give non-profit planning decision-makers a heads up on where county dollars are going.
The conference, which was held at Ernest Just Middle School in Mitchellville, was pulled together reflecting numerous agencies and departments. Event partners included the Community Foundation for Prince George’s County, the Human Services Coalition of Prince George's County, and Grant Professionals Association of the National Capital Area.
Eubanks believed the response to the call for the conference was successful. “There are nearly 4,000 non profits in Prince George’s and we had a few hundred represented here today [in spite of the Saturday date and the change of venue].”