Nonprofits, want to join a local tech conversation?

Through our Nonprofit Capacity Building Program, we seek to support nonprofit organizations active in Shiawassee County.  We offer workshops (beginning in 2015) to help nonprofit executive directors and board members in their important tasks (learn more here).

W-s24UNp_400x400Getting help with technology was a frequently mentioned need in surveys we conducted of both board members and executive directors of local nonprofits.  Over the summer, we started a conversation with our technology guru Andy Wolber (@awolber) about ways the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program might help people better understand and leverage technology for social benefit.

Andy suggested we bring together nonprofit staff and volunteers to learn and share about tech issues.  He recommended a series of six conversations about the following tech-related topics:

  • personal knowledge tools (tools to search, save, and share info)
  • contemporary collaboration tools (for private teams, and for public engagement)
  • choosing systems (discuss processes that work to choose hardware or software)
  • securing systems (again, discuss processes that work)
  • online engagement (what mix of tools works for your org: web, social media, email?)
  • infrastructure (laptops, tablets, internet connections, hardware, networks)

Andy will post ideas and resources prior to each session, then facilitate the conversation. Participants will the be expected to do just that: actively participate during and after each session. There may be a bit of “homework” he’ll ask you to complete. But it’ll be fun … or at least informative (he promises).

So far, we know that people from The Arc Shiawassee County (@ArcShiawassee), The Shiawassee YMCA (@ShiawasseeYMCA), Durand Union Station, and CAP Council plan to participate. We will meet at participating sites. The site host may share a bit about how people at their organization use tech.

If you want to learn and “talk tech” with your colleagues and Andy, please join the conversation!

Let us know you’re interested by either:

  • Commenting on this post (below) by selecting “Leave Reply”, or
  • Mentioning Andy (@awolber) or the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program (@ShiaNPCB) on Twitter.

Something like “I’d like to join the #nptech dialogue this fall with @ShiaNPCB” would work. Please post or Tweet by October 27. We will poll the group to select an initial meeting date and time.

We look forward to the conversations!

Bruce & Jackie Cook Scholarship Nominees

Thirty-two of Shiawassee County’s most academically accomplished high school seniors recently made a trip to Ann Arbor. All have been nominated for scholarships to the University of Michigan by the Cook Family Foundation. One of the students will be selected to receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship from Bruce and Jacqueline Cook.

Each of the nominees will receive at least a $2,500 scholarship to the University of Michigan from the Cook Family Foundation. In addition to these nominees, the Cook Family Foundation provides a scholarship to every local student attending the University of Michigan. Read more about our scholarships (click here)CFF_UM_WEB

If they apply and are admitted to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the following students will be considered for the Bruce and Jacqueline Cook scholarship: from Byron, Samuel Geiser (not pictured), Brianna Wells; from Chesaning, Jordyn Barta, Rachel Kelley, Jacob Sadilek, and Colton Vrable; from Corunna, Kyle Daley, Michael Newman, Larissa Robinson-Cooper, and Cassidy Schnepp; from Durand, Tristan Blackledge, Jonathon Fall, Nathan Johnson, and Lucas Schaefer; from Laingsburg, Kurt McEwan, Nicholas Miller, Sydney Schneider, Antonia Vrana, and Clayton Zimmerman; from Morrice, Lucas Crawford and Taylor Zachar; from New Lothrop, Olivia Bishop and Roen Wheeler; from Ovid-Elsie, Elizabeth Bisson and Gordon Johnson; from Owosso, Ryan Comrie, Thomas Horak, Joseph Jafri, Eric Locker, and Lucas Messmer; and from Perry, Amelia Feuka, Hannah Feuka, Miranda Lewis, and Hayley West.

Past recipients of the Bruce and Jackie Cook Scholarship have included Nolan Wendling from New Lothrop in 2014, Emily Feuka from Perry in 2013, Sam Whaley also from Perry in 2012, Adam Stewart from Laingsburg in 2011, Valerie Foster from Byron in 2010, Adam Dingens from Corunna in 2009, Randy Piper from Owosso in 2008, Dan Frechtling from Perry in 2007 and Kendra Frye of Owosso in 2006.

You can follow the Foundation’s scholarship efforts on Twitter @GoBlueGoBruce


Recognizing Nonprofit Boards

Serving on the board of a local nonprofit may be one of the most important, under-recognized volunteer actions in any community.  Nonprofit board members guide community organizations, support their work, and help them achieve their mission. The Cook Family Foundation seeks to strengthen Shiawassee-based nonprofit organizations, and thus we support the work of nonprofit boards through our Nonprofit Capacity Building Program.

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Congratulations to the board of the Arc Shiawassee for their 100% participation in our recent survey contest.

Recently, we held a survey contest to gain the ideas of board members about what they wanted to know more about.  The 119 board members that responded identified three top concerns:

  1. Fund Development, to raise more support for their nonprofit
  2. Technology, to be able to respond to the changing times
  3. Effective Board Meetings, to make the most of their time together

In response to this survey, the Cook Family Foundation will be sponsoring two workshops from our partner, the Nonprofit Network.  These will be held October 22 and November 12 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Baker College Welcome Center, with refreshments provided. The first workshop is entitled Board Governance in the Digital Age; the second will be about Building a Better Board.  More details will be available soon, but reserve the dates now.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey; your feedback was very valuable.  Thank you for serving the community through your nonprofit board.

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Congratulations to the board of Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee for their 100% participation in our recent survey contest.