Tuesday, September 9, 2014

July's Nonprofit Roundtable: Successful Planning For Yourself

The importance of managing a professional’s own personal skills and knowledge was the featured conversation at the July 15 meeting of the Oakland Chamber NonProfit Roundtable. Like most, if not all, sectors, the nonprofit sector is managed and guided by professionals—managers, directors, fundraisers, marketers, program developers and leaders, HR personnel, IT experts and many others. As specialists in their fields, maintaining current skills is crucial for their respective organizations to pursue their missions and visions effectively.

What was the last class, workshop, webinar or conference you participated in? Who hosted it? Was it free or did you pay? How and why did you choose it?

While many of us are content with our jobs, positions and companies/organizations, others eventually want to move upward and outward. All wanted to continue to develop their skills, and none of those who attended the Roundtable meeting believed that s/he knew everything. So, in fact, we are all interested in strengthening our capabilities and keeping up with new trends, new technologies and new information that can positively impact or negatively impact us, whether we know it or not.

During our meeting, we addressed three questions:

What do professionals in your field need to know to be current?
Answers: Social media, volunteer management (especially how to address issues with volunteers), compliance and legal requirements, financial management (where is the money and how do you connect to it), learning knew storytelling styles and techniques, employee safety and readiness, state and local policies, internship management, payroll, workplace safety, GAP (general accounting practices), effective networking, evaluation on alignment with the organization’s goals, and community updates.

Where can you learn these kinds of things?
Answers: Foundation Center (www. http://foundationcenter.org/sanfrancisco), Vocus (www.vocus.com), CompassPoint (www.compasspoint.org), Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com), Chambers of Commerce (www.oaklandchamber.com), CARD (www.CARDcanhelp.org), California Association of NonProfits (www.calnonprofits.org), local Toastmasters Clubs (www.toastmasters.org), Association of Fundraising Professionals (www.afp-ggc.org), Planned Giving Council (www.ncpgcouncil.org), Taproot Foundation (www.taprootfoundation.org), East Bay Community Foundation (www.ebcf.org), Volunteer Center of the East Bay (www.volunteereastbay.org), and Volunteer Match (www.volunteermatch.org) to name only some.

What affiliations – professional associations—exist for your field?
Answers: American Society of Association Executives (www.asaecenter.org), Development Executives roundtable (www.dersf.org), and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (www.calvoad.org) to name a few.

Many of those listed provide free or low-cost trainings and workshops, as well as send out regular newsletters of other learning and conference opportunities. The importance of professional development and lifelong learning cannot be emphasized more strongly—for both personal and professional stability and growth.

* * * * * * * * * *

Have you been intrigued, startled or perhaps even jealous by the tremendous success of the Ice Bucket Challenge that has captivated the nation and the world? Have you wondered how your organization could implement such a successful campaign? Do you think that the Challenge has been an act of fundraising terrorism on the nonprofit community? Please join the co-chairs and other members of the Oakland area nonprofit community at the September meeting to a thorough discussion of the matter. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 from 2:30pm - 4:30pm at the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, 475 14th Street, Oakland, CA.

Also, if you would like to promote your organization, please bring a door prize or some snacks.

Co-Chair Âna-Marie Jones, Executive Director of CARD (AMJ
Co-Chair Jerry Metzker, Development & Communications professional (
Chamber Liaison Nikki Mendez, Membership Director (nikki@oaklandchamber.com)

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