OCEAN SHORES, Wash. - The 5th Annual Nonprofit Leaders Conference for Coastal and Southwest Washington is right around the corner and includes some new and exciting features based on past participant feedback. The two-day conference will take place on Monday and Tuesday October 14th and 15th at the Ocean Shores Conference Center. Early Bird registration is $35 and Scholarships for Registration fees and accommodations are still available.
This year the Conference will focus many sessions on Grant Writing and finding available Grant Funds. With budgets tighter than ever and grant writing a mysterious talent to some, sessions will be offered on finding both federal and private funding streams and how to find funders that are right for you and your organization. With the smaller, local conference there is much one-on-one time available with speakers and other nonprofit leaders who are willing to help and offer continuing resources.
The Ocean Shores Friends of the Library conceived the conference during their on-going efforts to research and write grant applications to fund the capital project to expand their building in 2009. They found that there are few experienced “grant-writers and researchers” in Ocean Shores or even in Grays Harbor. Since then, the Conference is an independent entity. Crystal Dingler, now mayor of Ocean Shores, says: “The objective is to make training and networking available locally and to make it affordable for these small non-profits. We hope that it might help them be more effective and efficient.”
“Many of these non-profits are small, all-volunteer organizations that are trying to go good in our communities, with little or no training and few if any resources,” according to Jim Daly, Executive Director of the Grays Harbor Community Foundation. “We have teamed with other funders and sponsors such as the South Puget Sound Community Foundation, United Way of Grays Harbor & Pacific Counties, OrgSupport LLC. to fund the conference to reduce costs and in-kind donations by local companies like Ace Hardware, Safeway, Top Foods and Anchor Bank help make it affordable.”
The team has worked hard to involve many of the Pacific-Northwest leaders is philanthropy, such as: Medina Foundation, Ben B. Cheney Foundation, and USDA Rural Development, as well as several professional consultants, the partners, and others. The schedule is set up to provide access for all to something interesting during the entire two days. There will also be many opportunities to network and have one-on-one conversations with experts in the field. Light breakfasts and Tuesday’s lunch are included, plus a wine and cheese social that allows participants a chance to informally network.
For the third year in a row there will be a grant awarded to a non-profit present at the conference. $1,000 will be presented to the winning application, and all applications will be used to guide a discussion on what to do and what not to do when writing and submitting grants. Applications must be submitted prior to the conference so that a panel may read and offer feedback during the session. The public discussion will take place during lunch on Tuesday and there will be time afterwards for organizations to discuss their individual grants with the panel of judges. Application guidelines and materials are available on the website www.nonprofitleaders.info or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a special dinner session on Monday evening available for an additional fee that aims to include Board Members in learning and networking. Ken Ristine from the Ben B. Cheney Foundation and Dave Coleman, now of BoardTrek Consulting and formerly of the M.J. Murdoch Trust will be covering Board Governance during the dinner session.
“We recognize that in these difficult economic times many local Non Profits have been pushed to their breaking point” noted Cassie Lentz, Program Officer for the Grays Harbor Community Foundation. “This is a great way to find that new, innovative idea or hone grant writing skills, and also to get your Board Members involved and let them see what’s happening behind the scenes”.
Daly says: “Working through or supporting other non-profit organizations helps the Grays Harbor Community Foundation accomplish their mission: “To improve the quality of life in the communities throughout Grays Harbor County.”
For the full program schedule or registration contact: Conference Coordinator, P.O. Box 852, Ocean Shores, WA 98569, call 360-289-1211, check out Nonprofit Leaders Conference for Coastal and SW WA on Facebook or visit www.nonprofitleaders.info.