Archive | November, 2013

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Introducing FUNdraising Good Times–A Column


By Mel and Pearl Shaw, Contributors

Welcome to FUNdraising Good Times. This is your place for how-to information on the often mysterious topic of fundraising.

FUNdraising Good Times is written for those who manage, work for or provide volunteer leadership for nonprofit organizations and institutions. The column is designed to help you and the organizations and institutions you believe in attract and retain resources and leadership needed for success.

Mel and Pearl Shaw

Mel and Pearl Shaw

Nonprofits play a key role in advocating for families, immigrants, women and others who are underserved. They provide emergency services, educational and recreational programs, health care, legal services, job training and mentors to generation after generation.

Colleges, universities, churches and hospitals are nonprofit institutions that play a key role in educating, saving and healing our family members and the community. Nonprofits are staffed by people – paid employees and volunteers – who are knowledgeable, skilled, committed and passionate about making a difference.

For many nonprofits nothing is guaranteed, and an organization’s or institution’s financial health often lies in the hands of its top leadership – its executive director, president or CEO, fundraising personnel, and those who serve as board members, trustees and volunteer fundraisers. This is true of local programs that counsel people with HIV/AIDS, those that provide after-school programs, as well as more established institutions such as our historically black colleges and universities.

Board members are committed and skilled, coming together to provide guidance, oversight, policy and direction, often after the end of a long day at work. Executive directors, presidents and CEOs are visionary, talented and often over-worked. Volunteers at all levels look for ways they can make a difference. These are the people that FUNdraising Good Times is written for.

Fundraising is all about people and money. These are the keys to a nonprofit’s success, and both need to be used wisely and with great care.

In this column you will find tips for successful fundraising including easy-to-use, how-to information on topics such as:

  • Prerequisites for fundraising success
  • Creating your fundraising plan
  • How to write a proposal
  • Building your board of directors – the key to fundraising success
  • The thrills and perils of special events
  • Putting the fun back into fundraising

We will also feature interviews with funders, donors, executive directors, presidents, board members and fundraising professionals. Drop us a line and let us know if there is a specific topic you would like us to address. We look forward to supporting your fundraising success.

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success.”  Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com

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Hartford Police Investigates Maple Avenue Robbery


HARTFORD — Hartford Police are still investigating a robbery at a Maple Avenue laundromat, which happened earlier this month.

Police are looking for a 30-year-old white male with “a scruffy beard.”  The suspect  was  wearing a green jacket and  blue jeans on Nov. 3 when he entered the laundromat at 901 Maple Ave. He had a knife, which he allegedly used to force the owner into the rear bathroom, police said.

The suspect then tied the business owner’s hands and locked him into the bathroom, took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled in an unknown direction, police said.

According to police, a customer  later entered the laundromat and heard the owner’s cry and then untied him.

There was no known injuries, police said.

 

 

 

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LGH to Hold Forum on Engaging Latinos


HARTFORD — Leadership Greater Hartford will  host a breakfast forum focusing on how to increase the community impact of Latinos serving on nonprofit boards of directors and City of Hartford boards and commissions.

The discussion is scheduled for Dec. 4 at the Center for Contemporary Culture at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St., from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

The forum will feature  Yvette Bello, Executive Director, Latino Community Services; Hernan LaFontaine, former president, Hartford City Council; Evelyn Mantilla, Principal, Mantilla Leadership Solutions; Thea Montanez, Chair, Board of Directors, Hartford Public Library, and Linda Bayer, Legislative Assistant, City of Hartford Boards and Commissions.

Event participants will be invited to consider volunteer service on the City of Hartford’s board and commissions, as those groups would also benefit from greater Latino participation. Over the last three years, Leadership Greater Hartford and the City have been working together to strengthen municipal governing and advisory bodies through an effort known as A.C.T. for Hartford.

For more information about ¡Hablemos! or Leaders on Board, please contact Ana Valentin-Jackson at 860.951.6161, x 22 or register online by Monday December 2 at www.leadershipgh.org.

 Leaders on Board is a program created by Leadership Greater Hartford. The program began in 2009 and strengthens nonprofit organizations by training and connecting participants with boards of directors seeking new members. 

 

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White House Launches Student Film Festival


HARTFORD — There have been many studies about how students learn and about their performance on tests. While there are mountains of quantative analysis of education in America, there are not as many that dive into qualitative research–which asks students about their experiences in school.

The Obama administration came up with one idea: a student film festival.

whitehouse-student-film-festivalThe White House on Wednesday introduced its first ever Student Film Festival — and it’s open to U.S. students, grades K-12.

Participants are expected to answer three questions, namely

1. What’s your education story?

2. How does technology and connectivity fit into how you learn at school or on your own?

3. How do you imagine technology will change the educational experience for kids in the future?

Films should be up to 3 minutes–no more.

White House officials said the official selections will be featured on the White House website, and shared across the world on White House sites and official social media accounts. The winner may also have a chance to attend the film fest  at the White House.

For more information, go to  WhiteHouse.Gov/FilmFest — where you can learn more, read the official rules, see how to submit your video, and hear from Bill Nye (the Science Guy).

Read the complete rules (and submit your video!) at WhiteHouse.Gov/FilmFest

 

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FoodShare: Turkey Goal Reached!


BLOOMFIELD — On this Thanksgiving Day, more than 20,000 low-income families will be thankful.

Thanks to a “monumental last-minute surge” that helped to put the campaign efforts of Foodshare and its volunteers over its mark. The turkey drive aimed to collect 20,000 turkeys to feed families in need.

As of  Wednesday morning, Foodshare was still more than 2,000 turkeys shy of the 20,000 goal, and the organization was contemplating the need to turn away clients who had requested a turkey, organizers said.

But during the last four hours of its donation drive, people flooded Foodshare’s Bloomfield facility donating every last turkey.

That included people who had donated earlier, heard that the campaign was coming up short, and went out to buy still more turkeys, organizers said. Office coworkers pooled their money, friends got together, and even the press that came to cover the story stopped and bought turkeys on the way to Foodshare.

“The generosity of the people of greater Hartford is truly remarkable,” says Foodshare President Gloria McAdam. “But it was close. Historically, Monday has been our busiest day, often meeting our goal that same evening. But this year the parking lot was quiet, until today. That’s never happened. And while we’re enormously grateful it did finally happen, we were nervous.”

To help offset such last-minute drama, Lincoln Financial has generously donated $30,000 to help launch Foodshare’s Turkey Club—a new, recurring gift program through which people can donate money for a turkey and thirty each month. This lets people make a larger contribution while spreading the expense over time. It also allows Foodshare to have a stockpile of turkeys ahead of time.

For more information on how you can contribute toward Foodshare’s Turkey Club,  money to fund Foodshare’s hunger work throughout the year, go online at www.foodshare.org.

 

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Hartford Mayor Appoints New Staff


Update!   Kennard Ray withdrew from consideration for the Mayor's Deputy Chief of Staff position after his prior felony convictions were revealed.

HARTFORD — Mayor Pedro Segarra on Tuesday announced two staffing appointments at City Hall.

Segarra appointed Henry Burgos as Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations and Kennard Ray as Deputy Chief of Staff. They are set to begin work on Dec. 2.

Burgos, a Hartford native, joins the administration after serving as Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Capital Community College.He also served 10 years as the Principal Human Resources Specialist for the State of Connecticut Department of Developmental Services, overseeing labor relations for the agency’s 4,000 employees. Burgos holds a Masters in Science from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and graduated cum laude from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.

“Henry is an extremely qualified professional and public servant,” Segarra said. “As we continue to improve our processes and procedures citywide, I look forward to working with Henry and his staff to develop a new approach to human resources management that positions the City to recruit and retain a talented, diverse workforce. Throughout our search, we talked to staff and identified a need to transform and modernize the department. Henry brings the skills and perspective necessary to help us realize that goal. ”

Ray, also a Hartford native, joins the Mayor’s Office after serving as the Political and Legislative Director for the Connecticut Working Families Party, where he lead regional organizing efforts in support of public education, voter outreach and minimum wage increase. Ray will work with the Mayor’s Chief of Staff as a liaison to City Council, community organizations and residents. He will lead project management, policy development, and day-to-day community relations through the Office of Constituent Services.

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Too Many People Are Looking Past Thanksgiving to Black Friday


By Glenn Mollette    

The first Thanksgiving was surrounded by life’s hardships. The early English settlers were bombarded with extreme weather, hunger, sickness and death. Those who had survived believed the best they could do was to stop and give thanks.

glen mollettToo many throughout America are looking past Thanksgiving. Either we don’t want to think about it or we are looking to black Friday, Christmas or just trying to get through the year. The aggravations of the world often drive us to feeling beaten down and we become bitter and resentful instead of thankful.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionWhen we live with gratitude our lives are more peaceful. Gratitude is a great stress reliever because we are looking to God and thanking Him. A thankful life is a healthy life emotionally and physically. In Gratitude we focus on the positive instead of the negative. We focus on the giver of life and not everything that is wrong with life.

How well we know that life is filled with suffering.  Tornadoes destroyed towns throughout the Midwest last week. Thousands of people were devastated. One evening news sound bite was a woman in tears saying that she and her husband lost everything but they clung to each other because they still had each other.” In the middle of losing everything they were grateful for each other.  The Philippines were almost wiped off the map because of the most horrific typhoon ever recorded. Those people are suffering.

We don’t want pain and suffering. Yet, it’s almost impossible to live very long without experiencing both.  A man in the Bible by the name of Job lost everything. He lost his children, his entire wealth and his health.  Job suffered and lost everything. His wife told him to curse God and die. Job looked to his creator in spite of circumstances. He never lost his sense of gratitude toward God even in the blackest hours of his life.  He said, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him,” Job 13:15. In his last years of life Job ended up with more than ever before. Gratitude was the beginning step to a new life for Job.

You may not feel life is going your way. Stop and give thanks. Giving thanks is often the first step to better days.

 

 

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Officials Bring Biz Session to Hartford


HARTFORD — Of the 841 small business loans and grants awarded during 2012, only 41 went to black and Latino businesses, according to Rep. Douglas McCrory (D-Hartford).

That’s why McCrory,  State Sen. Eric D. Coleman (D-Bloomfield) and Brandon McGee (D-Hartford) thought it was time to bring the information into the community instead  of “Hartford residents being left to navigate the system all on their own.”

“This forum brought the state to our community, instead of Hartford residents being left to navigate the system all on their own,” McCrory said.

Earlier this month, the three legislators hosted a forum for small business owners to learn about economic development programs in the state. About 70 people attended the event at  Vibz Uptown on Main Street, officials said.

Officials, including guests from Department of Economic and Community Development, discussed  the  Small Business Express Program (EXP) and other opportunities to grow small businesses. The SBE Program was part of the October 2011 bipartisan Jobs Bill.

The Small Business Express Program provides loans and grants to Connecticut’s small businesses to promote job creation and growth. Created in 2011 as part of the landmark bipartisan Jobs Bill, the program provides a streamlined application process to Connecticut-based businesses with fewer than 100 employees that meet other criteria. It has helped hundreds of businesses create and retain more than 7,000 jobs.

During the 2013 legislative session, the General Assembly released $60 million in existing funds to extend the program, allowing more Hartford small businesses to benefit from grants and loans.

“We sponsored this forum to ensure that Hartford’s small business community is informed of these programs and services, and thereby poised to capitalize on the state support available to them,” Coleman said.

Officials said they recognized that getting information out into the community is only the first and necessary step in the process of helping businesses grow.

“I am extremely excited to partner with Rep. McCrory in bringing supportive resources to our neighborhoods because we recognize that the small businesses in our community can thrive when given pertinent information that will help them do so,” said Rep. McGee.

Small business owners also received an introduction to other small business assistance opportunities, including the Subsidized Training and Employment (STEP-Up) and Job Expansion Tax Credit (JET) programs, and other technical assistance available through the State and additional entities.

 

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Hartford Police Probe Hit-and-Run Accident on Maple Avenue


Updated Monday, November 24, 2013 at 8:30 p.m.

HARTFORD — Hartford Police are still investigating a hit and run accident on Maple Avenue early Sunday, which left one man dead.

According to police, Roberto Manuel Cruz, 24, of  146 Otis St., Hartford was struck by a car at about 2:30 a.m. The driver of the car left the scene.

Police arrived on the scene and found an unidentified, 30-something year-old man, who was taken to Hartford Hospital and pronounced dead.

Police said witnesses and evidence at the scene, the suspect’s car is  a 2003 through 2006 Infinity G35, bearing the possible registration of CT 582 XYM.

The car  was last seen traveling southbound beyond 700 Maple Ave with right front end damage. The victim, a male approximately in his 30’s,

The area of 700 Maple Avenue (Maple Ave @ Kenneth St) will be closed temporarily for accident reconstruction investigation, police said.

Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the accident are asked to call Detective Candice Hendrix at 860-757-4226. Anonymous tips can be reported to Crime Stoppers at 860-722-TIPS.

 

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Foodshare Drive Needs More Turkey


BLOOMFIELD — A steady flow of donations arrived at all of the Turkey and Thirty drives on Saturday, with nearly 2,000 turkeys and over $23,000 donated, Foodshare organizers said.

But there is still a long way to go for Foodshare to meet the goal of 20,000 turkeys.

The turkey donations are needed by Monday, as Foodshare’s biggest distribution days are Monday and Tuesday.

Turkeys will go out to local pantries on Monday and Tuesday, who in turn will distribute them to the families who signed up in advance to receive a little help this holiday season.

If Foodshare does not meet the goal, the organization will have to cut the numbers given out to local pantries and they in turn, will have to turn away families who were hoping for this assistance.

“It was great to see so many people stopping by one of the donation sites today and I thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart,” said Gloria McAdam, President and CEO of Foodshare.  “In the past, the Sunday before Thanksgiving has been our single largest day for donations, and we hope that people will make that hold true again.

Adams said Foodshare still needs more than 8,000 turkeys donated and have only 48 hours to do it if we are going to get these turkeys to families in need before the holiday.

She’s asking the anyone who had been thinking about donating to come out and see us at one of the many donation sites throughout the region.

Town drives will continue on Sunday in Hartford, Wethersfield, and Glastonbury, and collection sites are available across greater Hartford.

The food bank’s Bloomfield distribution center also accepts donations and offers extended hours of operation through Tuesday, November 26th.  For more information on how you can help, or for a complete list of donation sites, please visitwww.aturkeyand30.org.

Tomorrow’s Turkey and Thirty Drives:

Hartford West End: Sun, Nov. 24 from 9am-4pm @ Shop Rite (46 Kane Street)

 

Wethersfield: Sun, Nov. 24 from 10am-4pm @ Wethersfield Volunteer Ambulance (206 Prospect Street)

 

  Glastonbury: Sun, Nov. 24 from 10am-4pm @ Stop & Shop and Whole Foods locations in Glastonbury.

 And at Foodshare, 450 Woodland Avenue, Bloomfield, Sun., Nov. 24, 9am-4pm

Keep up with all of Foodshare’s latest news and updates by becoming a follower at www.twitter.com/Foodshare.

 

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