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.

 

Fellows to Share Their Experiences

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Do you need a new perspective on our community?  Sometimes we think we know all that we need to know about Owosso and Shiawassee County, the issues we need to deal with, and the organizations and people we work with.  At the Cook Family Foundation, our view is often refreshed when we talk with the next generation, and we are fortunate that several of our programs brings us that opportunity.

On July 31, six Owosso Fellows will be offering us a new perspective on our community.  For the last several weeks, these college students have been working for local organizations, doing several service projects, and learning about small town life. On Thursday, July 31, from 4-8 p.m. at the Jordan Gallery (118 N. Washington St. in Owosso), they will share “Conversations on Community: A Visual Journey.”  This will be a personal and collective expression of their experiences in Shiawassee County, something they have captured by taking a photo a day during their time here.  The Fellows will be in the gallery in an open house format, so stop by anytime.

The Cook Family Foundation’s Owosso Fellows program (see more info here) has brought together three of our local scholarship recipients attending the University of Michigan together with three students from Yale University.  From Michigan they are: Christian Van Epps, who has been working for the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership; Courtney Crawford, promoting early childhood health through Great Start Shiawassee; Emma Tompkins, an intern at the Shiawassee Arts Council.  The Yale students are: Mary Shi, who is helping plan pedestrian and bike improvements for the City of Owosso; Chloe Larkin, promoting tennis and fitness through the Shiawassee Family Y;  and Spencer Klavan, who is directing “Robin Hood” with the Owosso Community Players.

For more information contact the Foundation office at 989-725-1621

 

Welcome Fellows

Six college students are going to make an impact in Shiawassee County this summer.  The second class of Owosso Fellows, half who attended high school in the County and half from elsewhere, will be working for local organizations, undertaking several service projects, and learning about what makes a strong community.

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This year’s fellows are, from left to right: Christian Van Epps, a University of Michigan Junior, will be working for the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership; Mary Shi, a recent graduate from Yale, will be helping plan pedestrian and bike improvements for the City of Owosso; Chloe Larkin, a Yale sophomore, will be promoting tennis and fitness through the Shiawassee Family Y; Courtney Crawford, finishing her first year at Michigan, will contribute to early childhood health through Great Start Shiawassee; Emma Tompkins, a Michigan sophomore, will be helping arrange the upcoming Seuss exhibit at the Shiawassee Arts Council; and Spencer Klavan, who just graduated from Yale, will be directing “Robin Hood” with the Owosso Community Players.

Returning as coordinator of the program is Owosso High and Yale alumna, Heather Rivard. In its second year, the Fellows program combines two goals of the Cook Family Foundation:  to support talented youth in their educational development, and to build the capacity of community organizations in Shiawassee County.

To learn more about the Fellows program, go here; to read testimonials from last year’s fellows, go here.