Workshops to address common non-profit needs

Workshops will be held this fall in Cranbrook, Fernie, Golden, Nelson and Revelstoke.

Adults learn in a classroom

Columbia Basin Trust’s non-profit advisors program is offering a series of workshops for non-profits this fall. — Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust

Does your non-profit find it challenging to recruit and retain board members? Is it testing the waters of social media? How do you effectively raise funds and manage budgets? Explore answers to questions like these and more at upcoming workshops put on by Columbia Basin Trust in partnership with College of the Rockies, Kootenay Career Development Society and Okanagan College Revelstoke Campus.

The Trust helps non-profit organizations build capacity, become more sustainable and become more efficient through its non-profit advisors program. Non-profits can have their organizations assessed for free, receive subsidies for expert consulting and access other resources. This new series of workshops will complement these services.

“Non-profit organizations of all types contribute immensely to the well-being of Basin communities and residents, which is why helping to strengthen them is one of our strategic priorities,” said Wayne Lundeberg, Columbia Basin Trust Director, Delivery of Benefits. “We’ve had success aiding non-profits one on one, and now these workshops will allow multiple groups in a single location to benefit simultaneously from expert guidance. They will also serve as networking opportunities between groups with similar needs.”

Workshops will be held this fall in Cranbrook, Fernie, Golden, Nelson and Revelstoke. Topics include fundraising, board recruitment and retention, effective meetings, financial management, communications and social media. To learn more and register, visit ourtrust.org/nonprofit.

When it had difficulties attracting board members and its museum was in danger of closing, the Silvery Slocan Historical Society in New Denver turned to the Non-profit Advisors program.

“It helped us to identify our problems and offered solutions to address them,” said Paula Cravens, Society president. “Some ideas have helped with maintaining and improving the museum, but we are still struggling with board issues.” The upcoming workshops will give the society the opportunity to explore additional solutions. “In a town of less than 500 residents, it is very difficult to get board members. Also, I hope by attending a social media and communications workshop I can create better marketing for the museum.”

Val Mayes provides support to non-profits through the non-profit advisors program and will be helping to put on the workshops. “People very often join a non-profit because they’re passionate about the cause, but they may not have experience running a meeting, making a budget or recruiting volunteers,” she said. In addition to building skills, “the beauty of these workshops is that people realize they’re not alone, even though their area of focus may be different, from a dance group to an environmental organization to a historical society. It feels better to know that other people are going through the same things.”

About 130 non-profits have received free assessments through the non-profit advisors program since 2015, and 60 have gone on to receive subsidized consulting support. Learn more about the program at ourtrust.org/nonprofit.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1-800-505-8998.

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