100 most influential leaders recognized this Friday

We’re excited to attend an event this Friday at the Atlantis Resort Casino, where 100 of the most influential people in Reno/Sparks will be recognized by Plum Influence Magazine.

Celebrate the courage and character of Reno with the 100 most influential people of our region.

The event recognizes leaders in the following categories:

  • Super Heroes
  • Business Owners & Industry Experts
  • Community Leaders
  • Foodies
  • Extraordinary neighbors
  • Charity Drivers
  • Artists and Icons
  • Scientists
  • Savvy Techs
  • Risk Takers and Visionaries

There are ten people within the ten different categories which make up the full list of 100 and only one of them will be awarded as the top influencer within their category.

We’ll be there to support our own Pete Parker and network with his fellow “most influential” leaders in our area. We encourage other to also buy a table and attend what expects to be an incredible networking opportunity, but also a showcase of everything positive in northern Nevada.
 

Here’s a link to see the Full Plum100 Listhttp://issuu.com/pluminfluencemagazine_reno/docs/plum100

Nevada Matters featured Plum 100 and their event on a recent radio show. Click here to listen to the 30-minute show.
 
 
Event Details
  • Plum100, The100 Most Influential People of Reno/Tahoe
  • Plum Influence Magazine
  • Friday, September 28, 2012 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)
  • Atlantis Resort Casino, Reno, NV

See you there!

 

Article in Generation Boomer magazine

Community volunteerism is a cornerstone of philanthropy. At NPcatalyst, we allocate a considerable amount of resources toward making volunteerism accessible, meaningful, and impactful. We create opportunities and connections for both non-profit organizations and the aspiring leaders who wish to donate their time.

Recently, we were asked to inspire the boomer generation to “give back” to their community. The end result was an article co-authored with Scott Trevithick, who is the executive director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at the University of Nevada’s Sanford Center on Aging. The article, entitled “Using your skills to enhance the community”, appears in Generation Boomer magazine.

Here is an excerpt describing the benefits of volunteerism…

There are countless benefits associated with volunteerism. From improving one’s health to helping organizations accomplish goals, the value of “giving back” or “making a difference” felt by the volunteer, as well as the charitable organization, can be significant.

For boomers, there’s one big question – how does someone start volunteering and where does he or she go for direction?

For many, taking the first step is very difficult. Determining which organization to select, how to approach it, how much time to offer and in what capacity, and when to make the initial contact can be stressful, uneasy, intimidating and, to a degree, frightening.

We also offered a little advice…

As you begin your search for the ideal volunteer situation, here are a few tips to consider or questions to ask yourself.

  • Is there an age group with which you’d particularly like to work, such as children, students, young professionals, or seniors?
  • Is there a cause which connects to you, perhaps animals, environment, arts, recreation, or education?
  • Do you have a special talent or skill? Is there a good place to teach or share that ability?
  • How often would you like to volunteer – one-time for a special event, now and then, or regularly? Is flexibility important to you?
  • Do you have neighbors or friends who volunteer or could you join others from work, a club or church or other group you’re a part of?

Tapping into the interest and expertise of boomers and seniors makes sense.

One thing is certain, nonprofit organizations rely on volunteers to grow and meet community needs. They’re continually looking for leaders, particularly boomers and seniors, who bring experience and skills which can be applied right away.

Click here to read the entire article.

Each credit card swipe earns money for charities

Local merchant solutions provider, MerchantsXL, has launched an innovative credit card processing program to save businesses money and, at the same time, generate new income for local non-profit organizations.

The new program, called Give Back to Reno, was launched as a unique program blending charitable needs with smart business strategies to leverage a win-win solution for the Northern Nevada region. Designed by NPcatalyst, a Reno-based philanthropic solutions firm, the program works with local businesses to lower the fees associated with credit card transactions. MerchantsXL then directs funds to local charities.

“When we created MerchantsXL in 2010, our primary goal was to turn our entrepreneurial spirit into community leadership, says Cole Bevel, the company’s Managing Partner. “We created a program that does not force anyone to come out of pocket to generate outstanding financial support for the organizations which strive to make our community stronger every day.”

The way it works is relatively simple. Customer uses a credit card to make a purchase; merchant then swipes the card to process a payment; and, a portion of the payment goes to a select non-profit organization. “the concept is innovative and works seamlessly for everyone involved. We’re delighted by the results”, claims Jeff Lenardson, who is also managing partner of MerchantsXL.

To learn more about the “Give Back to Reno” program, business and non-profit leaders are encouraged to visit www.GiveBacktoReno.com. In mere minutes, businesses can realize the savings and non-profits can begin generating new dollars. MerchantsXL executives can also be contacted directly at 775-636-6529 and cbevel@merchantsxl.com.

Amazing community opportunities in the Old Pueblo

Summer has been extremely busy for the NPcatalyst team. Rather than spend the warm months surfing waves in the Pacific or backpacking along the Tahoe Rim Trail, we’ve been serving clients and connecting with corporate and charitable leaders across the country.

This past weekend was spent in Tucson, where we met with numerous non-profit officials, social entrepreneurs, and new strategic partners. Here’s a brief list of our new friends:

  • Beads of Courage – an incredible organization which distributes beads to children being treated for cancer throughout the world.
  • TreeHouse Farm – an organization which provides an unforgettable experience for children recovering from cancer treatment, serious burns, and congenital heart issues.
  • The Haven – extraordinary organization which provides substance abuse treatment and housing for men and women.
  • Arizona Oncology Foundation – a new organization which provides support programs for cancer patients and survivors.
  • One-on-One Mentoring – an organization which matchs caring adults with at-risk youth.
  • Pima Prevention Partnership – provides practical solutions to address both individual and community problems, particularly substance abuse related.

They were all introduced to our services, particularly our online gifting tool, GiftingWishes, and our BoardCheck assessment resource.

Saturday was spent in a retreat with one of our new strategic partners. This soon-to-be-launched company will provide job recruitment, leadership development, and career development opportunities to both college students and employers. Much more to follow soon.

It was just another amazing weekend. We hope it leads to many opportunities to continue helping enhance the philanthropic culture in the Old Pueblo. Plus, we may have even landed a new job for a Tucson resident!

Thank you, Tucson, for your hospitality, heat, and spectacular sunsets!

Offer for free board assessment ends soon

On the first of this month, we issued an offer to conduct a complimentary board assessment for interested non-profit organizations. There are no restrictions, such as size, location, or sector of the organization. Our desire was to celebrate the start of the new fiscal period with something of benefit to organizations, by showcasing our BoardCheck service.

The deadline to apply is July 15th.

BoardCheck targets a non-profit organization’s growth through the voices of its board leaders. This proven instrument takes a snapshot of the organization’s makeup and activity, thus identifying strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.

Conducting annual board evaluations is an ideal solution to strengthening charitable boards and their organizations. For some organizations, they can be difficult to plan, cumbersome to coordinate, and last minute activities. This new survey tool eases the burden and, more importantly, delivers a clear understanding of board leadership.

BoardCheck is delivered in three specific solutions:

  • Raw Survey Results – Your organization will receive a basic summary of survey responses. –  Offer — FREE (typically $129)
  • Results Presentation – Your organization will receive a presentation complete with statistical and graphical results, prepared in a retreat/meeting-ready format.  –  Offer — 50% off (typically $295)
  • Presentation with Analysis – Your organization will receive the presentation-ready report, complete with an analysis of survey results and recommendations –  Offer — 50% off (typically $495)

 

CLICK HERE if you’re interested in taking advantage of the offer or receiving more information. The offer ends July 15th.

Businesses and charities chipping in to create school garden

A little over a month ago, I was asked by an Education Alliance board member if I had any ideas to help a garden project move forward. It had been three years since the school had conceived the idea, but stalled due to various challenge. I told Jim to give me an hour and I’d have the solution. Weeks later and the project is in full force.

It has happened thanks to key community partners who didn’t think twice of helping. The first person I called was Leonard Guevara, executive director of Safe Harbors of Nevada, a transition program working with ex-offenders and rehabilitating drug addicts re-adjust to society by providing a home, meals, classes, and access to employment and transportation resources. Instead of thinking about it, he jumped and told me that he’d start right away. This guy is amazing! Check out the photo of him making magic happen as he and his crew install planters and prepare the area for a drip system.

Credit goes to the team we assembled. Now, the effort is not just a garden, it’s an “outdoor classroom”, where students will assemble to take care of their own gardens (at least one per grade class), conduct learning exercises a picnic benches, and use the gardens to expand their knowledge in math, science, reading, and writing.

The team includes Moana Nursery, WCSD Capital Projects, Western Nevada Supply, Garden Shop Nursery, and the Reno Lions Club. As a result, we’re receiving interest from others interested in the project. It’s ideal, because there’s one major item we need…well, the KIDS need.

The Moana Nursery family has created a “classroom kit”, containing several garden accessories for the students to use as they cultivate and harvest their gardens. The kit features rakes, gloves, seeds, soil, and other handy items, which will help the students learn in a hands-on manner. The kit can be purchased at the store on Moana Nursery or online at the school’s giving page on the GiftingWishes.com website for $110 until the end of May. Each purchase will be received as a donation, enabling donors to be properly recognized by the school.

More information can be obtained by clicking the following or contacting me at 775-333-9444 or info@npcatalyst.com.

Sierra Vista Elementary Garden webpage

Buy/donate a “classroom kit” on the Sierra Vista Garden giving page on GiftingWishes.com

Safe Harbors featured on Nevada Matters

Leonard Guevara, founder and executive director of Safe Harbors of Nevada, was the guest on a recent Nevada Matters radio show. Eddie Floyd, host of the program, makes it a point to highlight local non-profit organizations which are deserving of community support. He is also the public information officer for My Journey Home, so he understands the needs which Safe Harbors addresses each day.

The story of Leonard and his Safe Harbors is remarkable. Safe Harbors was founded in June 2004 and has helped thousands of ex-offenders and substance abusers regain their lives.  Leonard Guevara, the director and founder, had a vision to start this program after completing a similar one himself.  He saw how it helped him get back on his feet and give him a support system that he would not have had otherwise.  He wanted to be able to give back to the community, and thought the best way to do so was to open a house where people with substance abuse problems could regain their sobriety by living in a clean and safe environment.

Today, the organization houses up to 48 men and women in the facilities, providing them with the care, meals, clothing, and access to transportation they need to rebuild their lives.

RADIO INTERVIEW – Click here to listen to the show. The interview is just 13 minutes in length.

Be sure to visit the Safe Harbors of Nevada website at www.safeharborsofnv.com.

Charity voting craze presents invaluable opportunities

Wherever you look…television, Facebook, Twitter, even at the local grocery store…you’re hearing about, reading, or invited to vote in campaigns designed to win charities large sums of money. In some, like The Home Depot Foundation’s campaign, charities collecting the most votes in one round qualify to another round, where even more prize money is awarded.

The voting craze is an innovative way to raise funds for deserving non-profit organizations. Who can argue with an initiative which raises funds for charities through communal participation? If I had a chance to help a local charity earn income through my active involvement, I’d jump at the chance…and I have, over and over again, with no regret.

In the entire voting craze, I have one simple question… are the participating charities doing anything other than promoting voting? Better yet, are the charities leveraging the enthusiasm and power for greater benefits?

These campaigns create more opportunity than the big prizes being dangled in front of them. Non-profit organizations which jump into these campaigns can leverage them for years and years of financial support and voluntary leadership. In fact, they can even use the voting sprees to raise funds while the voting is taking place.

Let’s look at just three opportunities…

  • Existing constituents – It’s an active and promising way for current supporters to voice their support by voting and publicly encouraging others to follow suit. As they’re promoting the votes, they can (and should) be describing why they care so much for the organizations and how these organizations meet community needs.
  • New prospects – The beauty of social media is that it lets an organization know who’s voicing their support. They may not all be voters but, in many of these voting campaigns, voters are sharing their support. Let’s not forget the possible “domino effect” created by friends-upon-friends of voters who get involved. Charities, which are on top of their game, should be in touch with all these potential supporters and beginning to develop strong relationships.
  • New donations – The quest of the voting campaigns is to “win” money by placing first or among the top vote-getters. That’s great. But, why couldn’t these campaigns, particularly the energy generated from these campaigns, stimulate donor giving? Since the majority of charities won’t win the top prizes, they could easily win by promoting giving. At the bare minimum, they could ask each voter to match their vote with a $1 donation. By connecting voters to giving, the charities generate new income and, most likely, engage new prospects as donors.

For as long as this voting craze continues, the charities may want to recognize all of the opportunities that they bring. These campaigns bring periods of heavy promotion, which enables charities to educate and spread awareness to larger numbers of people. As we’ve identified, they’re also prospective donor generators which, if properly leveraged, can result in years of outstanding financial and voluntary leadership.

An incredible first year for NPcatalyst

Athough we’re already in the third month of the year 2012, we haven’t really taken an opportunity to reflect upon the first year of NPcatalyst LLC. Like any new or innovative idea, there are many twists and turns and unforeseen obstacles. However, with the right team, positive outlook, and extreme passion, the good far outweighs the uncertainty.

We took a few minutes last night to test a new tool to paint a picture of our initial year of operation.

Here’s to an even more amazing year in 2012.

Yours in Community,

Pete

The issue with our new project – GiftingWishes

We’re barely one month since the creation of GiftingWishes.com and we’re already addressing one major issue. While we suspected it could haunt us, we didn’t expect it to hit this soon.

Each non-profit leader who registers their wishes with GiftingWishes, represents an organization which we become instantly attached. Whether it’s the mission, their beneficiaries, their locations, or their future plans, we (the GiftingWishes team) become attracted as potential donors and voluntary leaders. It’s a “virus” that affects both John from YourVolunteers and Pete from NPcatalyst, but neither of us are looking for a remedy. Instead, we’re actively seeking to infect others with ways to support these organizations.

Here’s a brief sampling of the organizations registered on GiftingWishes and you may quickly recognize our “issue” or, really, opportunity!

  • I am Love Farms (San Diego, CA) – a Veteran Equine Assisted Therapy Charity that helps Armed Forces Veterans heal the visible & non-visible wounds of war through the practice of love, equine assisted therapy & good horsemanship.
  • Arbor Bay School (San Carlos, CA) – fosters academic and social success for children with learning differences through individualized instruction in a small classroom environment.
  • The First Tee of Northern Nevada (Reno, NV) – impacts the lives of young people in northern Nevada by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character-development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

We encourage you to become familiar with these organizations and consider supporting them through your time and/or dollar. Even if you contribute an hour or a $10 donation, your leadership will go a long way toward fulfilling their wishes and helping pave the road to greater sustainability.

For more information about GiftingWishes, YourVolunteers, or NPcatalyst, click on those links or send a note to info@npcatalyst.com or call 775-333-9444.

Working with community leaders to build stronger communities!