Nonprofit leaders can learn grant writing, media tips, and more in series of virtual summer events

Momentum Nonprofit Partners has plenty of upcoming events for local nonprofit teams looking to enrich their organizations.

Registration is open now for a selection of helpful events geared toward those in nonprofit leadership. Many are members-only, but it’s easy to apply for a free membership.
Momentum Nonprofit Partners CEO Kevin Dean. (Submitted)
Any nonprofit organization—or one currently seeking nonprofit status—can apply to be a Momentum member if they’re based in Fayette, Haywood, Lauderdale, Madison, Shelby, or Tipton counties in Tennessee; Crittenden County in Arkansas; or DeSoto, Tate or Tunica counties in Mississippi.

Kevin Dean is CEO of Momentum and said the organization acts as Memphis and the Mid-South’s nonprofit resource center. It works to bring community organizations together to address issues that affect every group.

“As of today, we serve 652 nonprofits in and around Memphis, providing training, technical assistance, public policy support,” said Dean. “We've got a lot of different ways that we're advocating for the community on the local, state, and federal level, but also helping the community come together to address some of the specific challenges that we're facing collectively.”

Below are some of Momentum's biggest virtual event options for May through July 2021. For a full event calendar click here

Grant Writing 101
Kevin Dean, CEO of Momentum, said grant writing is one of the most-requested training topics so the two-day workshop is offered quarterly to accommodate the demand. The next installment will be held virtually on May 25 and 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The registration fee is $99 for Momentum members and $250 for non-members.

Dean said there’s a lot of misunderstanding among nonprofits about grant writing best practices.

“I see a lot of people write their grants the same way that they write their annual fund letters to individuals,” he said. “Grant writing is technical writing. It's not flowery, it's not emotional, it is factual and data driven. It’s an art form.”

Bob Arnold is the Brooks Museum’s associate director of development and has been leading Momentum’s grant workshops for the past several years. He will give participants a beginner’s step-by-step overview of the grant process from finding the right grants to what an organization should do once the grant is awarded.

Publicity 101
Media coverage can help organizations get noticed, and in turn, get more funding. Marvin Stockwell is the Media Relations Director at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and he will be teaching this online “crash course” in publicity.

“It's hard to fundraise for an organization that nobody knows about,” said Dean. “The media spreads your message so far. Organizations that are a little bit more media savvy are the ones who are going to do that better. And a lot of the growth becomes organic, because more people know about your organization and what you do.”

The publicity training is $25 per person, and will be offered for Momentum members only on June 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Nonprofit Academy
For nonprofits that want to learn a little bit of everything, Momentum offers a four-week series that covers a broad range of topics including board leadership, equity, and legal issues. Dean said Nonprofit Academy is also meant to introduce new members to Momentum.

“It's an overview of the best practices nonprofits need to have in place in order to be a well-run organization,” he said. “We have folks who are new to the nonprofit sector that come in and go through this training, but we have longtime executive directors who also show up and walk away with stuff they never knew about before.”

Ken Marrero with the Tennessee Division of Charitable Solicitations and Memphis-based development consultant Bridget Ciaramitaro will facilitate the series along with a team of experts on the Momentum staff.

The Nonprofit Academy will be offered virtually each Thursday from June 10 through July 1, with instruction from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Registration is $35 for Momentum members.

June Equity Conversations: Gender and Racial Pay Gaps
In addition to providing training and workshops, Momentum conducts research by surveying local organizations. On June 16 and July 20, they will host virtual panel discussions about gender and racial pay gap data they found among nonprofit CEOs both locally and nationally.

These events are free and open to anyone.

July Speaker Series: Risky Business
Throughout July, Momentum will present a speaker series about nonprofit risk management called Risky Business in a Post-Pandemic World. Guests from Cincinnati firm RiskVersity will speak about topics like equity, cybersecurity, and risk mitigation. The series will begin July 8.

These events are free for Momentum members and $20 for non-members. 

Read more articles by Sarah Rushakoff.

Sarah Rushakoff was raised in Memphis and is a graduate of White Station High School and the University of Memphis. She is a longtime member of Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe and works professionally as a graphic designer, writer, and photographer.
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