The Ally: September 2020 – Nancy Perret

Nancy B. Perret
MS Alliance for Nonprofits and Philanthropy

It’s All Connected!

The Alliance was formed with a bold intent to change the dialog and the dynamic between philanthropy and nonprofits – acknowledging that these two powerful forces for good are “two sides of the same coin.”  You’ll see that concept woven throughout the Alliance’s programming on an increasing basis, as we continue to grow.  When you “begin with the end in mind,” as Stephen Covey said, a robust framework can be established to achieve your goals.

So we began by re-framing the best practices that inform our work.  The Principles and Standards for Nonprofit and Philanthropy Excellence © have been updated to be the first in the nation to include best practice standards for both nonprofits and philanthropy.  In this update, two categories were added (public/private foundation standards and volunteer management), and other categories have been re-organized to reflect currently accepted best practice standards, including a greater emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the document.

Now, all training is directly linked to these standards. When you attend an Alliance-sponsored training, you’ll be told which of the Principles and Standards are being addressed. Our learning objectives are tied directly to these standards, with a focus on ensuring that you receive the information you need to increase proficiency in those stated standards.  In addition, training is increasingly being categorized based on the primary target audience (beginning concepts, more advanced topics, or aimed at more “seasoned professionals” – those of us who’ve been around for a while).  And whether you choose individual courses or a course series (such as the one being offered in partnership with Millsaps’ Advanced Applied Leadership Program), you can take your organization through the requirements for certification in our Excellence in Action program

There are two diagnostic tools (for organizations and individuals) available that provide self-guided help to resolve simple issues. They enable us to provide customized recommendations for specific training and other support (consultations, research tools, etc.) based on your unique needs.

We’re continuing to build a highly talented and diverse pool of expert trainers and consultants that provide standard and customized training as well as one-on-one consultation.  Other resources include  GuideStar and the Foundation Directory Online (both offered by Candid.) for your research. The Alliance provides internally-produced documents, such as the Philanthropic Giving in Mississippi 2019 report and more, available online.

Affinity groups provide opportunities for networking and exchange with organizations with similar goals.  You’ll be hearing more about expanded opportunities to join an affinity group in the coming months.

And our weekly webinar series and quarterly member meetings provide further opportunities for learning and networking.  These are held online to allow for this exchange, but with consideration for public health issues that remain a concern.

We are continuously developing new programs with your ever-changing needs in mind.  So keep reading The Ally and watch your inbox for exciting additions in the weeks and months ahead.