On Friday, May 7, at the Rickhouse in Jackson, the inaugural cohort of participants in the Alliance’s Emerging Leaders: Fundraising Executives learning track graduated from the program. This event has special meaning for many reasons. First and foremost, we had the opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the participants. The program started in August 2020. That means they managed to commit to extended professional development in the midst of COVID-19. Each month they continued to show up virtually to engage in rich discussion and study to learn critical fundraising skills that will help sustain their nonprofit’s vital work.
On that day, we had the opportunity to see participants for the first time in person. There is nothing like the human connection, and this day was exciting, fun, and healing. We were joined by members of their boards, organizations, and family. Members of the Alliance’s board were able to attend as well. Special guests were Howard Ballou of WLBT-TV and Carla Thornhill from the MS Secretary of State’s office. Participants received a sponsorship commitment from the Community Foundation for MS toward their next fundraising event.
The final reason this event was so important is that it marked the first time the Alliance launched a learning track. We always strive to provide the most valuable, relevant, and high-quality programming. Learning tracks are a new way we are trying to serve the nonprofit sector in MS. We would not have been able to make this happen without the trust of these participants and the dedication of our strategic partners, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Amanda Fontaine, and Mary Ellen Calvert, along with over a dozen guest speakers and trainers. Mississippians have many choices for where to spend their professional development dollars, and nonprofits cherish every dollar they receive. The Alliance is deeply appreciative that constituents continue to turn to us for growth opportunities.
We look forward to welcoming our second cohort in early fall. Stay tuned to our weekly Programming Spotlight, monthly Ally, and social media for updates and application information.
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