By Sarah Welch, co-chair, professional development committee
My interest in YNPN began when I took a non-profit job that requires more than I know. As communications director for Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, I’m not only writing stories and managing social media, which I’ve handled before, but also delving into new territory with volunteer recruitment, designing materials and asking for donations.
I felt reassured that I wasn’t out of my league when at YNPN’s first “resource sharing” themed discussion group, someone asked about graphic design support and half the room raised their hand saying they needed help as well. But then, as we put our heads together to come up with ideas of where to turn to for support, I realized that we may not be experts at everything, but non-profit professionals sure are resourceful. And we have a lot to learn from each other.
From the two resource sharing discussions we hosted in April and May, I’ve compiled a list of tips, websites and tools shared by topic. I cannot vouch for everything here, but I hope it’s a good starting point if you, like me, are seeking advice in a wide range of areas. Thank you to those who attended these discussions and were willing to share and ask questions.
- Apply for programs like Design Assign with the Iowa chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Artists or a Footprint grant from Allegra; many local marketing firms are generous with pro bono or reduced-rate services for non-profits
- www.phoster.bucketlabs.net lets you make your own posters from templates
- Edit photos and make collages with sites like pickmonkey.com and fotoflexer.com
- Sparked.com, a microvolutneering site, could connect you with a volunteer designer
- Elance.com lets you pitch ideas to freelance designers
- Diosa Communications which runs nonprofits.wordpress.org offers tips and cheap, in-depth webinars on how to use different social media tools as a nonprofit
- Ruby Van Meter and Easter Seals take requests for volunteers
- Many large companies want to partner for larger volunteer projects
- YPC’s charitable committee features a non-profit of the month and promotes other non-profits looking for volunteers
Blogs to follow
- Coursera offers free classes from major universities including accounting classes
- DMACC and Des Moines Public Schools have community education courses
- Association of Fundraising Professionals
- NationBuilder is a relationships-building platform
- Birdies for Charity helps raise money for non-profits at the Principal Charity Classic
- Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Firstgiving are online fundraising tools
- Des Moines Public Library has a free grant database called Foundation Center
- Different bars/restaurants will team up with charities (Rock Bottom, Americana, Dishcrawl)
- With any outreach, making personal connections with people who can share the information with larger networks can be more effective than general promotion.
Let’s keep this discussion going. Share your questions or most valuable resources on our LinkedIn page or leave your comments here.