“It’s rewarding to not only help their programs become stronger but to empower the awesome individuals behind the programs.”
How does your business work with the nonprofit sector?
Flashpoint Fund’s mission is to improve the overall performance of nonprofit organizations through capacity building efforts that result in high quality service to the community. We help organizations achieve their full potential by providing them with the opportunity to utilize services or training to assist them in any area of need.
Mini-grants are offered to help in a variety of areas such as fundraising development, strategic planning, board governance, marketing, and more. I?ve found that organizations are often hesitant to spend money on themselves because it strips away funds from their programs or they simply can?t afford it. Flashpoint is able to remove those concerns and stresses and help organizations in tangible ways — creating a fundraising or marketing plan to sending staff or board members to courses or conferences.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
The most enjoyable part is helping organizations grow. Directors, staff, and board members all work so hard and it’s rewarding to not only help their programs become stronger but to empower the awesome individuals behind the programs.
I also enjoy the simply act of learning and gaining useful knowledge. I’ve always been an advocate of lifelong learning and wanted to pass that along to others. I believe in the old adage: knowledge is power — I believe in learning in order to create or improve on something.
What is a major challenge you’ve faced and how have you handled it?
The biggest challenge has been getting the word out about the foundation. Since organizations are frequently looking for new funding sources for various projects, I assumed marketing the foundation would take little effort.
However, Richmond has a vast nonprofit sector so I realized, it would require partnerships with organizations like ConnectVA, Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence, Nonprofit Learning Point, and others to help get the word out. Now some of those connections have been strengthened and they?ve been able to act as a great resource for me.
How does your work empower individuals, advance organizations and strengthen community?
Flashpoint works to strengthen organizations in any area they feel they need assistance. After completing an organization assessment, in addition to confirming areas they already know they need help in, they might identify other areas they hadn’t yet considered. Everyone needs to be empowered with this information so even a long-term director can take advantage of our funding by working with a coach in specific area to help them see an issue in a different way. Businesses do this kind of work a lot more often than the nonprofits not only because it?s good business sense but businesses they can usually afford it more.
I see it as a ripple effect. As individuals and organizations are empowered through training, consulting or coaching, they are better able to serve the community in a more effective manner.
Rick Schofield has worked in several social service capacities including child and adult protective services for Henrico County, foster care and adoption for Virginia Department of Social Services, and the Virginia Commission for National and Community Service. He is an active philanthropist and community volunteer having served in various capacities with the Richmond Christian Leadership Institute, Youth Life Foundation of Richmond, and Comfort Zone Camp.