Empowering Broward’s Nonprofits

‘Behind the Scenes’ at the Broward Center for Nonprofit Excellence

October 25, 2023
Cathy Brown, Director of the Broward Center for Nonprofit Excellence, leads a discussion at the Nonprofit Center's Behind-the-Scenes luncheon held Oct. 23 at the Community Foundation of Broward.

We recently hosted Fundholders, Board members, community leaders and more for a look “behind the scenes” at our year-old Broward Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

The Oct. 23 Behind-the-Scenes luncheon showcased how the Nonprofit Center provides training, grants and other resources to empower nonprofits – big and small – that make our community a better place to call home.

Attendees learned that, through the Nonprofit Center, the Community Foundation is reinventing its longtime work to help Broward nonprofits succeed.

How we got here

Community feedback during our 2021 strategic planning process told us that many local nonprofits needed more resources and training to sustain and grow their community impact. In the fall of 2022, the Community Foundation launched the Nonprofit Center to nurture and strengthen the nonprofit organizations that play such a critical role in the lives of our residents.

In its first year, the Nonprofit Center has already established itself as a go-to resource for nonprofit professionals, volunteers and supporters to amplify their charitable organizations’ impact in our community. Today, the Nonprofit Center:

  • Provides training, mentoring and continuing education to strengthen and boost nonprofit performance
  • Supports capacity building to promote greater efficiencies and effectiveness
  • Promotes connections and collaborations leading to better community outcomes
  • Offers a premiere online resources hub with easy-to-access tools and training
  • Grants to emerging nonprofits so they can better serve at-risk residents
“I’m really proud of our team, how they have embraced this,” said Community Foundation President/CEO Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D. “With different types of training, with different learning cohorts and also weaving in grants to help with what the nonprofit organizations are learning – it’s all part of our new initiative to build the Broward Center for Nonprofit Excellence.”

First-year successes

During the Behind-the-Scenes luncheon, Nonprofit Center Director Cathy Brown discussed first-year-highlights such as:

  • Launching the Nonprofit Center’s popular “Grants 101” training series
  • Collaborating with Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to host certification classes and other ongoing education
  • Teaming up with Resilia to provide online training opportunities
  • Creating a one-stop-shop for nonprofit support available on the Nonprofit Center’s website

Cathy also shared a few first-year stats to show the Nonprofit Center’s growing impact:

  • 3,690 Nonprofit Center participants benefited from training, continuing education, networking and other engagement
  • 750 nonprofits helped by Nonprofit Center resources
  • 99% rating of “Good/Excellent” by training participants
  • $720,000 “Small Grants” awarded to help emerging nonprofits sustain or expand their vital community services
“We had what we were sure were some pretty lofty goals to get ourselves started and I’m thrilled to say that, with the help of all of you and many of our colleagues and friends around the community, we blew those goals right out of the water,” Cathy said.
Noelia Suarez, Executive Director of Heal the Planet, shares how the Nonprofit Center helps her organization expand its services.

Nonprofit testimonials

The Behind-the-Scenes luncheon featured two nonprofit leaders who shared how the Nonprofit Center is helping their organizations succeed.

Heal the Planet, which teaches children about nutrition, mindfulness and climate sustainability, received one of the “Small Grants” administered by the Nonprofit Center. These grants – ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 each – make it easier for emerging nonprofits to get a financial boost to maintain or expand their community services.

Since starting to work with the Nonprofit Center, Heal the Planet is expanding its six-week education program for schools to a year-long curriculum.

“Kids love it. I know we are making a difference in their lives,” said Noelia Suarez, Executive Director of Heal the Planet. “I am grateful for Cathy because she has offered programs to small nonprofits like ours.”

The Jack & Jill Center – which since World War II has been on the front lines of early childhood education in Broward – has benefited from sending staff members to continuing education courses and other training opportunities provided by the Nonprofit Center.

Online coaching sessions, peer-to-peer learning activities and “lunch and learn” sessions through the Nonprofit Center “were insightful and provided several recommendations for implementation and further exploration,” said Denise Athis, Director of People and Culture at the Jack & Jill Center.

“It’s helping us continue to move forward and make sure that we are not behind the game,” Denise Athis said. “I would like to applaud the Community Foundation for providing this platform for us.”

Click here to learn more about the Nonprofit Center.

Nonprofit Center Director Cathy Brown (center) is joined by Fundholders and former Board members Ed Hashek and Keith Cobb at the Behind-the-Scenes luncheon.
Denise Athis, of the Jack & Jill Center, discusses the benefits of training available through the Nonprofit Center.
Fundholder Cindy Caird and Nancy Thies, Community Foundation Philanthropic Services Executive, attend the Nonprofit Center Behind-the-Scenes luncheon.
Learn More

Community support makes the Nonprofit Center possible. To find out how your philanthropy can help the Nonprofit Center amplify its impact, contact Community Foundation Vice President Kelly Marmol at kmarmol@cfbroward.org or 954-761-9503.

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