Series enlightens local nonprofits
March 30, 2012
The Park City Foundation has partnered with the Utah Nonprofits Association for the second time, bringing an educational series to local nonprofits over the past month. The series, "Bright Boards, Good Governance," covers the in’s and out’s of what a strong board and clearly outlined policies could do for the way a nonprofit functions.
With a total of three classes each two hours long, the series has already covered "The Basics of Stewardship" and "Building a Board That Rocks," but has one more upcoming class on Wednesday. "Policy Palooza" will cover policies and putting structures in place, doing due diligence and creating strong financial policies.
"We’re really devoted to making nonprofit organizations more effective," said Katie Wright, the Park City Foundation programs manager. "Having a strong board, an effective board, that is the most critical piece."
The classes fit with the Park City Foundation’s core mission, she added, that the series provides opportunities for nonprofits in the area to add new skills to their arsenal.
Every class features a panel of experts that includes attorneys, past and current board members, CPAs and nonprofit directors.
"When nonprofits are more effective, the farther every dollar goes," Wright said. "The impact to the community is better."
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Nonprofits attending include the Friends of Animals, The Speedy Foundation, Park City Sailing and Summit County Library among others.
Ken Block of Park City Sailing moved to the area after serving as a board member to a Massachusetts-based nonprofit. Now he’s about to join two local nonprofit boards that are brand new, and he’s soaking up the knowledge.
"What I’ve learned has been incredibly helpful," Block said, "It’s been more than showing how to manage existing nonprofits. There’s also a lot of detail on the creation of new nonprofit and nuances of Utah law that I wasn’t aware of."
"As a community we all benefit from it," he added.
Through the Utah Nonprofits Association, the program can track down the best panels and topic experts to bring to Park City. The series goes on to be shared throughout the Wasatch Front. But the local series already draws in those from outside Summit County, with roughly 10 to 15 percent from surrounding areas.
Wright said the Park City Foundation will spend the next few months polling Park City and Summit County nonprofits to determine what the next series should focus on, adding that the series is something the foundation intends to continue.
"I think the best part is applying these academic ideas to real life," Wright said. " we’ve had great participation, a lot of sharing. You’re seeing this ebb and flow of real life experiences and how to apply that to what we’re learning."