371 Nonprofit Network works to inform and assist

Allison Renck of the Redshank Riders and Anza 4H and Thimble Club member Carol Wright compare notes. Diane Sieker photo
Allison Renck of the Redshank Riders and Anza 4H and Thimble Club member Carol Wright compare notes. Diane Sieker photo

Representatives from several local nonprofit organizations met in Anza Tuesday, March 14, for an educational roundtable discussion. The 371 Nonprofit Network, hosted by The High Country Conservancy and Marketplace Cooperative, Inc., organized the event. The group meets monthly to help nonprofits find funding, volunteers and host discussions relevant to their unique needs.

The focus of the meeting was to discuss, learn and share ideas concerning fundraising by nonprofit charity groups. The organization’s needs, wants and goals were deemed to be of utmost importance.

Mimi Mackropoulos and Roland Vellanoweth of the Anza Lions Club along with Sally Kaspar and Carol Wright of the Thimble Club came together to share their fundraising experiences and to learn additional techniques. Also contributing were Eleni Malandrinos and Jackie Nouwels of the Sage Roadrunners Ladies Auxiliary F.F.S. #28, and Allison Renck of the Redshank Riders and 4H Club. Annika Knoppel represented KOYT 96.3 LPFM and The High Country Conservancy, which created 371 Nonprofit Network.

“As a volunteer board member on several nonprofits I’m happy to be part of keeping things moving,” said Knoppel. “Most organizations up here are pretty small, so you can get board experience just by being involved. The 371 Nonprofit Network is a wonderful opportunity for nonprofit leaders to glean insights into tried and true methods, and hear new ideas. The opportunity to network with peers is priceless.”

A substantial list of funding opportunities was shared with the group. From “crowdfunding” – donation sites like gofundme.com and kickstarter.com – to a list of fundraising partners such as Home Depot, eBay, Amazon, Lowes and even Wilson Creek Winery and Pechanga, many helpful sources are available to nonprofit groups. Raffles, bake sales, 50/50 drawings, Barbecues and selling crafts are still staples of fundraising activities.

“What is your message,” asked Sandi Hughes of Marketplace cooperative, Inc. “What would a person receive if they donate to your cause? How do you advertise your fundraising events? What is the main attractor?

“Keep it simple,” she advised.

Those attending the meeting learned that nonprofit organizations can take advantage of a wide range of advertising options, such as free PSAs or Public Service Announcements aired on radio stations at no cost. Anza’s local KOYT offers this service. Knoppel advised that a “Letter of Determination” must be provided to the station for their 501(c)(3) exemption status. This opportunity is not restricted to only (c)3s, any 501(c) nonprofit may submit a PSA. Advice such as this is not easy to gather and utilize. Knoppel put all this and more into a very educational format.

Malandrinos of the Sage Roadrunners commented that she found the meeting a great success and went away with many great ideas.

Future gatherings will cover subjects such as grant writing, calendaring without conflicting with other local groups, gaining and retaining members, volunteerism, record-keeping, nonprofit bookkeeping and more.

“This group is not just for nonprofits. Clubs and unincorporated organizations are welcome as well. We’ll have a pot of coffee and tea ready for you, courtesy of the High Country Conservancy, our fiscal sponsor,” Knoppel said. “If you are interested in being part of the planning or heading up any of these future events, please let me know.”

She can be reached at (951) 234-1314 or 371nonprofitnetwork@gmail.com.

The 371 Nonprofit Network meets at the offices of Marketplace Cooperative Inc., located at 56480 Hwy 371, Ste 11 (Formerly Bedrock Hair Salon), located at the corner of Highway 371 and Contreras Road. Their Facebook page is www.facebook.com/371NN.

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