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Learning Center Tips: Get Resource Guides from Community Conversations

For many years, the Community Foundation has offered learning opportunities for nonprofit professionals in a variety of formats – leadership programs, networking opportunities, classes and training, to name a few.  Earlier this year, we announced a few programming changes, which you can read more about here.

A new element that has been added is a focus on emerging trends in the sector (locally or nationally) called “Community Conversations”.  The seats for these events are free, but limited, and tend to go quickly.

On the Learning Center you can now view resources from those conversations, in case you couldn’t make it to the event or if you want copies of digital versions of handouts, power point slides, relevant links or community curated content.

To be able to access these resource guides (or sign up for any class) you must:

Go to ConnectVA.org and register/login

  1. Registered users – Login with your existing email and password.
  2. New users – Register by entering your first name, last name, and email. Then set your own password and save it somewhere safe for future reference.
    • Please be sure to check Spam/Junk/Clutter boxes for your new account email verification. To complete your full profile, open your personal navigation menu from the left side of the page and click on “Go to your profile.”

Proceed to the Learning Center, under ‘Learn’ tab

  • View our Course Catalog
  • Select the Resource Guide (or any other course) you desire by pressing ‘Get this course’
  • Once you have the course, the orange button will say ‘Start or resume course’ in the individual course listing. For Resource Guides, simply ‘Start’ the course to view the materials.

Here are some recent Community Conversations and links to their respective Resource Guides:

Tax Law for Nonprofits Community Conversation

In February the Community Foundation and The Institute on Philanthropy invited speaker Bill Gray, Partner at McGuireWoods LLP, to speak about tax law changes and how they might impact the nonprofit world.   The presentation addressed what you might need to know as a nonprofit about new tax laws, how you might prepare your organization, how to adjust fundraising strategies, and more.   Check out the resource guide, which offers the full presentation by McGuire Woods, information about charitable bundling from the Community Foundation and a recent tax law checklist for nonprofit board and staff members created by the National Council of Nonprofits.

Community Conversation with the Office of Community Wealth Building

On March 30, 2018 the Community Foundation hosted Reggie Gordon, Director of the Office of Community Wealth Building (OCWB), for its second Community Conversation.  Reggie and his team have spent the past year in due diligence to best understand the needs of RVA residents who face challenges in accessing living wage jobs, affordable and safe housing, a quality medical home, and overall financial stability.  During the Community Conversation participants learned more about the major OCWB initiatives, plans for the year ahead, and had the opportunity to give insights and suggestions on how to best work together to achieve common goals across sectors.

In the resource guide, you will find an infographic created by the OCWB called “Where Do You Stand?” that illustrates the climb (a ladder is depicted) an individual (and family of 4) must embark upon to reach financial independence locally.  Also included, is a recent City Council presentation and a 2018 Annual Report.

#metoo is Us Too! Community Conversation

In April, the Community Foundation and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (VSDVAA) jointly presented a free learning event for nonprofit professionals with speakers Kristi VanAudenhove (Executive Director), Jonathan Yglesias (Policy Director), and Ki’ara Montgomery (Member and Donor Liaison) from VSDVAA.

Drawing on lessons learned from public health and social change movements, Kristi, Jonathan, and Ki’ara discussed the risk factors for sexual harassment, the protective factors that make for a healthier workplace where harassment is less likely to happen, and benchmarks to ensure that sexual harassment is handled well when it does happen. The session included interactive elements, including tools for assessing risk and protective factors in your agency, which will be posted soon on the resource guide.  Also included are relevant blog articles from Nonprofit AF, Nonprofit Quarterly and Chronicle of Philanthropy.


Want to join our upcoming free Nonprofit Community Conversation: Engaging Community Voice on May 24th for a panel discussion with Ryan Rinn, Director of Storefront for Community Design, Albert Walker, Director of Healthy Communities at Bon Secours Health System, Mary Thompson, 65-year resident of Church Hill, and Chanel Bea, founding member of Engage Richmond.  The Engaging Community Voice panel will delve into the collective wisdom and experience of the panelists who have worked on issues of neighborhood planning, revitalization and design, community health, civic engagement, housing and other pressing issues that face our community. They will reflect on the diversity of ways they have engaged residents in community change as they actively dialogue with the audience about engaging community voice in their work.

Sign up quick, we’ve almost sold out.

You can also sign up for the complimentary course Engaging Community Voice on June 9th.  This is a 3 hour workshop that will help participants design and plan effective community engagement that is clear in the level of input, goals and impact, involves (and hopefully empowers) a diversity of community stakeholders, employs strong recruitment and communication strategies and utilizes a diversity of meeting types and tools.


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Effective Communication at Your Nonprofit and Learning About Your Style

We caught up with George Milton, Principal of Targeted Performance Group, to learn more about the course he’s instructing at the Community Foundation later this month.  George is leading “What’s My Communication Style?” – a day-long nonprofit management training where participants will undergo a personal communication style assessment and then dive-deep into related topics like, delivering a message, conflicts, written communication and more and is a “is a powerful centerpiece for management development and interpersonal skills training.”
Here’s some insight he gave us on the course, effectively communicating at your nonprofit and learning more about your personal communication style:

Why is it important to know and understand what your communication style is?

Effective communication is the very lifeblood of any organization. If communication is not clear and persuasive between managers and employees, and employees and customers, then other vital goals are forever out of reach.  Say goodbye to your aspirations for successful leadership, teamwork, customer service, or even the ability to execute a coherent business strategy.

 Tell us a little bit about each communication style in the assessment.

If you want to bring about meaningful improvements in communication skills, the best way to begin is to build a better understanding of personal communication styles and their effects on other people. What’s My Communication Style? is a training assessment that identifies an individual’s dominant communication style – Direct, Spirited, Considerate, or Systematic – and the communication behaviors that distinguish it.

What generally surprises someone when learning more about their communication style?

Participants are generally not ‘surprised’ to learn of their style –  but appreciate now being able to name their style.  They are typically more ‘surprised’ at how quickly they can pick up on the communication style of others and then leverage this new knowledge to build relationships and accomplish goals.

Why should someone take this course?

A nonprofit professional should take this course If they have any challenges around communication, especially in the workplace, want to learn more about understanding others and being understood, want to learn best practices for gaining consensus, etc.

Register for What’s My Communication Style? on March 28th from 9am to 4pm at the Community Foundation by signing in and visiting the “Learning Center” on ConnectVA!

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2018 Course Catalog is Live: What You Need to Know

The wait is over. You may now register for classes scheduled for the early part of 2018. Before you get started, we hope you will read this blog to better understand our philosophy and values, as well as some new elements of our programming. We hope you share our excitement for the year ahead and we look forward to seeing you soon. Continuous Learning In 1998, The Community Foundation was a co-collaborator and co-investor in the creation of Especially for Nonprofits, a program designed to meet the unique professional development needs of our local nonprofit sector. It quickly became an important resource for those working for, or on behalf of, community based organizations. Over the years, the program has evolved – in name, content and format – in response to changing dynamics in our community, as well as input and insight from course participants, nonprofit leaders and education professionals. What remains consistent is our belief that strong, skilled leaders – regardless of position or tenure – are essential in building strong, sustainable organizations and a healthy, thriving community. We will continue to help nonprofit staff, boards and volunteers build knowledge and skills through affordable, high quality learning events. Through diverse programming and partnerships, the sector can bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to its mission-driven work.

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Nonprofit Tips: Building an Effective CEO/Board Chair Relationship

As part of a Board Chair Series, Leadership Metro Richmond, The Community Foundation and Sands Anderson brought together Board Leaders from around Greater Richmond to learn and discuss best practices for building effective organization leadership – particularly around the relationship between the Executive Director (ED) and Board Chair. The CEO of ChildSavers Robert Bolling, along with Immediate Past Chair Linda Schreiner, talked in-depth about how they created an effective working relationship during their tenure of leading the organization together.

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6 Tips for Building Relationships with RVA Media

Media coverage of your nonprofit organization can help increase community awareness, promote upcoming events and engage new donors. It’s important to decide which of your initiatives and programs are newsworthy to limit the number of times you pitch story ideas to a media outlet. If you bombard the media or keep sending irrelevant press releases, then your big announcements won't make any impact.

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Building Evaluation Culture in Nonprofit Organizations

We caught up with Trina Willard – principal and founder of the Knowledge Advisory Group (KAG) about an often confusing, but incredibly important topic – how to build a culture of evaluation in a nonprofit in order to thrive.  Here’s what she’s seeing in the field and the advice she gave:

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