Nonprofit University to host 'tune up' forum
by Jason Lowrey
Aug 20, 2014 | 1109 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Area nonprofits will have the opportunity to “tune up” their organization Friday by taking part in a Georgia Center for Nonprofits program.

To be held Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, the forum, titled “Diagnosing Your Business” will focus on organizational efficiency, operations evaluation and diagnosing challenges and areas for development. Presented by the Nonprofit University, a part of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, it will be the first program the organization has presented in Bartow County and is open to nonprofits from surrounding areas.

Local nonprofit Bartow Collaborative is one of the partners presenting the program. Executive Director Tina Grubbs said Friday’s forum will be beneficial for area nonprofits, as the organizations sometimes face different challenges than a for-profit business.

“Well, it’s really taking a look at your particular ... nonprofit and ... conducting a self-assessment of the pieces that are the necessary pieces, to see if you’ve got them. Do you have policies and procedures? Do you have a board? Do you have bylaws? Do you have a fiscal plan? So it’s really taking a look to make sure you have all the necessary components,” Grubbs said. “If you don’t, then what are you missing? How do you go about to get those components in place?

“If there’s a lot of interaction in this particular course, you will have takeaways. There’s tons of takeaways, so that you will actually have a handful of information to leave with and to go and use with your organization, whether you’re a coordinator or whether you’re a staff member or an executive director.”

Grubbs said she was aware of a number of Bartow nonprofits that plan to send representatives to the forum. She said the nonprofits were looking to take advantage of having the program locally, rather than going down to Atlanta.

“We’ve had quite a bit of interest. Some of our seasoned partners are sending some of their staff that have never taken a class like this. So that’s perfect for them,” she said.

Registration for board members, volunteers of local nonprofits, social services, churches, government agencies and business in Bartow County is $10. For those working outside of Bartow, registration is $25. The fees include lunch and those interested are asked to register online at http://www.gcn.org/events/nonprofit-university/Diagnosing-Your-Business.

Nonprofit University Director Lanous Wright said the diagnosing forum is “critical” for nonprofits, given the current economy. Similar programs are held twice a year in Atlanta, he added, and tours the rest of the state as needed.

“We were in west Georgia yesterday — we’ll be in Bartow on Friday — and we’ve been to a lot of other communities in the last several months and it’s amazing the number of nonprofits that are in these communities. I wouldn’t think there’d be more than one or two, with one being the United Way. There are a lot of them out there,” Wright said.

“... The thing that I find most interesting is that the problems that people are having, or the challenges that they’re experiencing, are the same everywhere no matter what part of the state that they may be in. Whether it comes down to dealing with fundraising or managing their board or volunteers, it’s all pretty much the same no matter where they are.”

Three additional forums are planned for the future, Grubbs said, with topics including accounting for your mission, building community capacity and social media.