Professional Development in Our Own Backyard

July 1, 2010 at 9:01 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This morning I attended Congressman Jim Moran’s 2010 Non-Profit Grant Workshop in the Ballston area of Arlington.  My position at LCNV as Program assistant is not generally relevant to development/fundraising, but I attended the workshop to represent the Council and partake in free professional development.  Rep. Moran certainly packed it in–with a schedule starting at 8:30, there were 8 presentations with no break until the end of the workshop after noon.  Most conferences or educational course loads can’t fit the content of more than 3 or 4 presentations in a single day!

Rep. Moran clearly wanted to bring the resources of his office and its contacts to the non-profits of Northern Virginia.  It was a good opportunity for him to reflect on both his pride for our area’s standing as one of the most healthy communities and economies in the nation, while he also reiterated the need and support for our services.  He described the reality of government funds, saying that funds continue to be dispersed to successful programs but that their own pool of resources isn’t growing with the demand for services.  Stressing partnerships and dynamic fundraising, Moran introduced 7 speakers from different government agencies and nationally recognized groups, including National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Labor, etc.  They all went over best practices for grant submission in the context of each organization’s mission.  I was particularly interested in the online training and website features that each organization has developed at various levels.  While government money may seem like heartburn and bureaucracy to some, it can open up doors with its reputation building affects and volume of funds. Rep. Moran extended his thanks to our non-profit community while reminding us that the less infinite opportunities for government funds will put stress on our program to provide more service with less reliable government support.

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