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Another View: Great things happen for community when good people gather

By: Veronica Blake, CEO, Placer Community Foundation
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More than 200 nonprofit leaders gathered at the Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln recently for a first-ever Nonprofit Leadership Summit. Hosted by the Placer Community Foundation, board members and executives from 32 nonprofit organizations that support health and human services, the environment, animals, education, community development and the arts participated. Placer Community Foundation hired Chuck Loring, a nationally-known consultant, to share best practices in nonprofit governance and to provide a framework from which every board member can participate in keeping their organization financially sound. “The event was clearly a force multiplier for our board,” stated Dan Noell, board member for Sierra College Foundation. “The conference delivered a crisp, clear and concise message on how to maximize the individual board talent, resources and volunteers.” What makes nonprofit organizations unique is that, unlike businesses, they do not exist to make money for owners or investors. Instead, these groups are dedicated to a specific mission. The nonprofit sector in the United States includes more than 1.6 million organizations. About 1 million of them are public charities that employ more than 7 percent of the country’s work force, close to 10 million paid workers. In Placer County, nonprofit organizations address a variety of important causes that touch all our lives, but they are struggling. Cuts in public funding are forcing them to end or drastically reduce their vital programs and services. The summit was an opportunity for board members to collectively see how their role in their organization’s long-term sustainability is more important now than ever. “As a long-time volunteer serving on boards of nonprofits, I learned more about leadership, nonprofit development and fundraising from PCF’s Leadership Summit by speaker Chuck Loring than any other summit I have attended,” said Jim Haagen Smit, board member for Placer Land Trust. “This summit was an opportunity for all of us to come together around a shared interest—sustainability,” said Larry Welch, board member for the Placer Community Foundation. “Our nonprofit sector does the work that helps keep our community healthy, inclusive, compassionate and culturally and environmentally rich. It is the foundation’s intent to encourage local philanthropy so it can continue its important work.” The Placer Community Foundation was able to offer this all-day summit free of charge to all participants through the generosity of the following local sponsors: C.F.Y. Development, Inc., Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Teichert Foundation, AT&T, Azevedo & Associates, Citizens Bank, Community First Bank, First 5 Placer, Five Star Bank, Gilbert & Associates, Propp Christensen Caniglia LLP, Surewest Foundation, Taco Bill, Inc., and the Placer County Employee Giving Fund — a component fund at the Placer Community Foundation. Local nonprofit organizations that participated include: Acres of Hope, Animal Spay & Neuter, Auburn Interfaith Food Closet, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center, Auburn Symphony, Blue Line Gallery (Roseville Arts), Boys & Girls Club of Auburn, Child Advocates of Placer County, Full Circle Treatment Center, Golden Sierra Life Skills, Keaton Raphael Memorial, Kids First, Latino Leadership Council, Lighthouse Counseling and FRC, North Roseville Rec Center, Peace for Families, PlacerArts, Placer County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy, Placer Food Bank, PlacerGrown, Placer Land Trust, Placer Nature Center, Placer SPCA, ReDirect Nuevo Camino, Rocklin Historical Society, Seniors First, Sierra College Foundation, Sierra Foothills AIDS Foundation, Sierra Native Alliance, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, The Gathering Inn and Warmline Family Resource Center. To learn more about supporting our local nonprofit organizations, go to www.placercf.org or call (530) 885-4920.