In Focus: New Initiative Foundation Program Helps Nonprofits Increase Financial Resiliency
The Initiative Foundation recently launched a new year-long program working with nonprofit organizations to help them be able to continue their success long into the future. The area nonprofits gathered in Little Falls Thursday for the foundation’s kickoff to their Non-Profit Resiliency program.
Though nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses are different in many ways, they have one thing in common: the need for financial resiliency.
“Nonprofits are really a vital aspect of both the community and the economy of our region and the country as a whole,” said Zach Tabatt, Initiative Foundation Nonprofit Development Specialist. “12 percent roughly of Minnesota’s working population works inside of nonprofits.”
That is why the Initiative Foundation recently launched a new program, “Becoming a High-Performing Nonprofit.”
“We definitely want to learn how to view our nonprofit as a business and if nonprofits move towards that kind of thinking, it really ends up building your understandings of how to be sustainable far into the future,” explained Cate Belleveau, Leech Lake Area Boys & Girls Club Resource Development Director.
The Nonprofit Financial Resiliency program was made possible through a grant from the Otto Bremer Trust, the USDA’s Rural Community Development Initiative, and a partnership with Sourcewell.
“We’ve had several different previous iterations of this program. What we’ve done is paired it down to focus on the business model and how we can improve the organization operations of nonprofits throughout the region,” Tabatt explained.
The program is offered at no cost to the just-under 12 participants and addresses topics from the nonprofit business model, board governance, communications, branding, and more. The nonprofits involved vary from youth centers and legal aid services to the CLC Food Pantry.
“We provide free civil legal assistance to low-income Native Americans residing on or near the reservations [of] Leech Lake, White Earth, and Red Lake,” said Cody Nelson, Anishinabe Legal Services Executive Director. “We do the best we can to meet the need but finding ways to add resources and make our program operations more efficient is really critical.”
The hope is that through the program, the nonprofits will be able to learn skills that will keep them financially viable for years to come.
“How do we get a really balanced way at looking at our resources so that we can keep going. We just celebrated our 20th anniversary. We want to be there for 20, and 20, and 20 more years,” added Belleveau.
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