A Sixth Sense
Sixth Semi-annual Nonprofit Networking Breakfast Brought Collaborations, Community Strength
In a casual setting, with bagels and coffee in hand, local businesses and non-profits came together December 1 at the sixth semi-annual Nonprofit Networking Breakfast at the Center for Educational Partnership in Riverdale, MD. Hosted by Prince George’s County Council member Dannielle M. Glaros (District 3), the event connected non-profits in Prince George’s County, MD. with supportive businesses in partnership.
What started as a one-time event by Glaros who joined the Prince George’s County Council three years ago, and who most recently became its new chair, the Nonprofit Networking Breakfast quickly evolved into a semi-annual event.
“During my first few months in office,” Glaros says, “I realized that I knew most of the nonprofit organizations doing work in District 3 but they didn’t necessarily know each other. Perhaps food distribution organizations knew about other food distribution organizations, but a food bank may have a family they support monthly and a mentoring group may be working with the kids from that same family. I thought it would make a lot of sense to bring them all together in the same room to connect. Back in 2015, I thought it would be a one-time event. Just a few weeks after the first event, three people asked me when the next one would be, so I started to plan the next one and committed to doing them twice a year.”
Glaros saw the need for representatives of nonprofits working with District 3 residents to come together to find creative ways to reach residents. It made sense for the nonprofits to come together and meet with local businesses with the hope that connections would be made that would be a win for the nonprofits, the businesses and residents.
More than 60 individuals from nonprofit organizations attended the event and met with representatives from MGM National Harbor, Whole Foods, CMT Services, PepcoConnect, the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce, Nonprofit Prince George’s, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente Thrive, Venture Philanthropy Partners, and others. With business cards, brochures and flyers to share, attendees enjoyed the light breakfast, introduced themselves, listened to speakers and then networked. Some stayed as long as two hours post-event.
The breakfasts have been successful.
“They keep growing,” says District 3 Chief of Staff, Aimee Olivo. “I believe the word is spreading among the nonprofit community that the District 3 Nonprofit Networking Breakfasts are well worth their time.”
Olivo shared a success story. “Through these events the Family Healing and Restoration Center connected with the Central Kenilworth Avenue Community Development Corporation and now Family Healing and Restoration Center is a partner with CKAR at the Greater Riverdale Career Empowerment Center.”
In October 2015, Glaros was honored with the 2015 Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award from the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, in large part due to her work with nonprofits in her district.
As new council chair, Glaros says she hopes to expand the breakfasts across the entire county. She’s already spoken with David Harrington, President and CEO of the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce, and Hillary Lindeman, President of Nonprofit Prince George’s, about doing more to connect the business and nonprofit communities across the county.
“As chair, I look forward to making something happen as well as continuing the County Council nonprofits initiatives [combatting] domestic violence and growing capacity within our nonprofit sector,” Glaros says.
The take-away from the Dec. 1 event is exactly what Glaros’ District 3 motto is, “Together Strengthening Our Community.” And she adds, “Neither government, our schools, nor a single nonprofit can do all that needs to be done in our community. By connecting and working together we can do so much more.”