Pictured: Participants from the 2015/2016 DCNP Board Excellence Program.
Partnering with nonprofit organizations through professional development and programs is one way to build a stronger community. To make this programming possible, the DeKalb County Community Foundation partners with the Douglas C. and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation in supporting and coordinating the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership (DCNP).
Administered through its 14-member steering committee composed of nonprofit and community leaders, and a full-time manager, DCNP provides training, programming and advocacy for the DeKalb County nonprofit community.
Recognizing the vital role that board members play in nonprofit organizations, DCNP saw an opportunity to offer trainings catered to board members and went on to create the Board Excellence Program. Throughout the year, the Board Excellence Program provides training opportunities and ample resources to board members and executive directors. Trainings cover a variety of topics such as board member roles and responsibilities, legal aspects of holding 501(c)(3) status, financial oversight, effective meeting management, and more. Programming starts in September and runs through May of the following year.
To stress the importance of board education among non-profits, organizations that meet the minimum requirements of the program are presented with a $250 award at Nonprofit Day, a day-long conference of workshops and presentations coordinated by DCNP. The $250 award for qualifying organizations is made possible through a partnership with the Douglas C. and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation.
In the first year of the program, 22 organizations participated and met the minimum requirement of board members by attending at least five of the eight designated programs. The Board Excellence Program is now in its second year and has seen an increase in participating organizations.
“The Board Excellence program has been great training and learning time for all of our staff who have attended any of the training seasons,” said Drew Wells, Executive Director of the Doorstep Project, Inc. “This training has already paid dividend’s and will continue to pay dividend’s well into the future of the Doorstep Project’s mission.”
Julie Craig, Board Co-Chair & Program Development Team Member of the Gracie Center stated, “I believe The Gracie Center is still here today because of the information we continue to learn at the Board Excellence Program. When we started The Gracie Center in 2011, no one on our board had experience with non-profits or being on a board. Our goal was to support individuals with developmental disabilities in DeKalb County, as the choices were very limited for children as they aged out of public school. What we learned has led to better decisions for our organization as we continue to grow in the right direction. As choices for individuals we serve dwindle because of state budgets and lack of support, it is crucial to continue our mission. I strongly believe we couldn’t have done it without this program helping us along the way. We are truly a better board of directors and organization because of the knowledge we gained through the Board Excellence Program!”
Strength Through Partnership!