CNA has offered classes on virtual fundraising, ebooks, access to consultants and other necessary topics. (Photo: Courtesy Center for Nonprofit Advancement)
Center for Nonprofit Advancement (CNA), which is supported by the RAP Foundation, was launched to offer nonprofits knowledge, resources and systems that will help programming remain sustainable and grow. While small businesses have places to go to get assistance, there are few organizations that give nonprofits support. CNA works to bridge that gap.
“Communities cannot exist without nonprofits,” said Stephanie Minor, the organization’s director. “If we can support them in the job they already do, they can reach more people, represent their communities and stay sustainable.”
This assistance has been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nonprofits are managing increased demand for services during the crisis in addition to cost increases due to PPE and additional supplies, according to Minor. CNA has offered classes on virtual fundraising, ebooks and access to consultants.
The organization offers several remote work and technology classes, including one in Spanish. It is also currently working on translating its blog posts, ebooks and educational materials in Spanish.
At the beginning of the pandemic, CNA brought in a fundraising consultant to assist nonprofit members with writing effective appeals to their donors. While the nonprofits may have written many successful appeals in the past, crafting an appeal to supporters during a pandemic was a new to challenge to everyone, according to Minor. Having the guidance of a professional with experience writing for multiple organizations in a variety of circumstances relieved some of the challenge. This support and advice gave them the ability effectively tell their story and bring in donations quickly to meet growing the demands of the pandemic.
Nonprofit members of CNA have access to the organization’s online portal where they can access resources, exclusive member webinars and discounts on live in-person workshops, events and conferences. Currently, there are two levels of membership available, and CNA will be launching a virtual membership option in the near future.
While in-person events are currently on hiatus, the organization has been continuing to offer it’s “Coffee With …” program virtually. These monthly conversations allow attendees to speak with seasoned nonprofit professionals about fundraising, events, management, leadership and board member development. Attendance has increased since the program went virtual and has also given CNA the ability to bring in speakers from across the country.
Coming together creates opportunities for nonprofits to build partnerships, support one another and problem-solve together, according to Minor. CNA offers a safe place where leaders can get help with difficult problems and also celebrate their wins.
“These leaders often operate in silos, and when they are allowed to get together in a supportive environment, they lift each other up,” Minor said. “It can be a very positive experience.”
CNA also assists those who are looking to start a nonprofit, offering resources throughout the process to create a strong and sustainable organization. Once the nonprofit is launched, CNA continues to provide information on improving management and governance as well as strengthening effectiveness.
Finding funding for programs that assist nonprofits can be challenging, Minor said. Recently, the organization received a grant from the IE COVID-19 Resilience Fund through the Inland Empire Community Foundation to support its virtual programming.
CNA has a goal of becoming sustainable without support from the RAP Foundation by 2032 and becoming the premiere organization for capacity building and tech assistance. As membership grows, programming will increase as well.
Minor encourages the community to visit CNA’s website, follow on social media and share what the organization offers with other nonprofit organizations.
For more information on the organization, call (760) 674-9992 or visit centerfornonprofitadvancement.org.
The Inland Empire Community Foundation’s mission is to strengthen Inland Southern California through philanthropy. Learn more about them at iegives.org.
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