May 14, 2012
By Diane Hargrove
This is the first of three blog posts about MP&F’s recent pro bono work for some of our city’s nonprofit organizations.
The spring is always a busy time of the year. At MP&F, it means a whirlwind of pro bono client activities.
Some of our most fulfilling work is done for local nonprofit organizations. We assist with fundraising and outreach efforts to gain support for and raise awareness of several worthy and needed programs.
Here’s a glimpse of what our staff has been working on lately:
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville “Calls for Kids” Telecast
The April 14 telecast raised more than $116,000 and is the largest fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville, including the Ronald McDonald House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, and benefits families with critically ill children being treated at local hospitals.
Nashville Children’s Alliance “Nashville Walks for Nashville’s Children” 5K
Proceeds from “Nashville Walks for Nashville’s Children” will help keep the Nashville Children’s Alliance open and free to children who are victims of sexual and serious physical abuse.
Hands On Nashville 26th annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards
The annual event recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to the community. The six award recipients were selected from a group of 18 finalists and 105 nominees. More than 600 volunteers and agency representatives attended the luncheon and ceremony.
Thanks to the dedicated staff members at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville, Nashville Children’s Alliance and Hands On Nashville for the wonderful work you do. We’re glad to partner with you to support the greater good of our community.
July 12, 2011
Serving on a nonprofit organization’s board is a great way to learn new skills and expand your network, not to mention getting that warm and fuzzy feeling from helping others. But before you sign on, here are some questions to consider:
- Is the board you are considering a good fit? You should be familiar with the organization and have a passion for its mission. Visit Guidestar to learn more about the nonprofit organizations that interest you.
- How often does the board meet and when/where are meetings held? Participation in meetings is important, and often required per bylaws. If you know you can’t make the meetings, don’t agree to serve.
- What is required of board members? You may be expected to lead a committee, organize an event or volunteer in some other capacity. If you have special skills, such as accounting, law or marketing, you may be asked to put them to use for the organization.
- Is there a financial commitment? Many organizations have very specific pledge requirements of board members, and virtually all expect board members to make donations. Find out what you will be asked to donate or fundraise before you commit to serving.
The best board members are true advocates for the organization. They show up to meetings. They give of their time. They participate in fundraising efforts.
To learn more about nonprofit board membership, consider taking part in a board training program. Nashville is home to two such programs hosted by Young Leaders Council and by Center for Nonprofit Management and Hands On Nashville, respectively.
Do you have advice for prospective nonprofit board members? You can share your thoughts in the comment section.
May 25, 2011
For the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of being known as the “Book Lady” to a kindergarten class at Caldwell Elementary School. It’s a title I’ve come to adore while volunteering for Book’em, a Nashville nonprofit literacy program. Book’em is dedicated to empowering children by fostering a love of books and reading.
If the students in Ms. Juanita Wynn’s class are any indication, Book’em is an enormous success. Many of the children in the class had nothing at home to read before Book’em presented them with books. I could tell that each book selection was important to the children: They would hover and look and agonize, then swoop in and grab their choice and bring it over for me to see. They would flash big smiles at me and then dart back to their desks to turn pages. It was just precious. Dinosaurs and puppy dog books, growing seeds and butterfly books, scary, silly, serious books … we read them all. And they took each one home, so proud.
Once I asked Ms. Wynn if there was anything she needed for the class. In a small voice, she mentioned how much she would like to have some journal pages for the kids to write their own stories and draw about their lives. I promised I would try to get some more paper for her. After designing a bright cover and making it print-ready, I contacted Rob Kohls at Dynamark Printing and asked if there was any way his company could print some journals for the kids for the last part of the year. Within days, he delivered 17 shiny, coil-bound journals, which were presented to the class at no cost. What a kind and thoughtful gift!
Last week, I asked Rob to join me as I made my last visit to the class for the year. We were entertained for over half an hour as each of the children stood and read a favorite story that they had written in their journals. Then they thanked Rob and Dynamark with thunderous shouts and applause. It was quite a day. Ms. Wynn proudly told us that all of the children had taken their end-of-year tests and that each one had been selected to move on to the first grade. All the books, all the reading, the writing and the teaching must have done its job. Ms. Wynn worked so hard and prepared them so well.
I just love being a little part of that success. It’s hard to imagine children not having the thrill of reading in their lives. Thanks to Book’em, they always will.