The Avedis Foundation announced the launch of the Avedis Nonprofit Leadership Institute this week, a service to support local nonprofit organizations from Pottawatomie County and surrounding communities.

The Avedis Foundation announced the launch of the Avedis Nonprofit Leadership Institute this week, a service to support local nonprofit organizations from Pottawatomie County and surrounding communities.

 

“Our goal in creating the Avedis Nonprofit Leadership Institute is to serve as a facilitator and a catalyst for positive change in Pottawatomie County and throughout our neighboring communities,” explained Michelle Briggs, President and CEO of the Avedis Foundation.

 

“We believe the Institute will provide meaningful support, training and resources that will allow nonprofits to strengthen their organization and maximize their potential to improve the quality of life for those they serve,” Briggs added.

 

The Avedis Nonprofit Leadership Institute, scheduled to begin this fall, will provide hands-on assistance from professional facilitators who will address several areas of organizational challenges for nonprofits, including best practices for short- and long-term planning, evaluation of existing programs, fundraising, board and staff development and community outreach.

 

Participants in the Institute will also receive assistance with corporate branding and messaging to develop their public image and communicate their organization’s mission.

 

Through a “quality improvement process,” the Avedis Foundation will provide on-site support for participating nonprofits with board, staff and professional, area-specific facilitators who will assist organizations to identifying strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement and implement a customized action plan.

“It is our hope that the Avedis Nonprofit Leadership Institute will elevate and invigorate the nonprofit sector in the communities served by the Avedis Foundation and other local organizations,” said Paula Waters, Program Director for the Avedis Foundation. “We are pleased to offer this kind of direct support to help local nonprofits achieve their objectives and fulfill their organizational missions,” Waters noted.

 

Following an announcement last August about the Avedis Nonprofit Leadership Institute application process, the Avedis Foundation received applications from 14 local and area nonprofits, Waters said. Nonprofits with current IRS 501(C)3 status and who are located within the Foundation’s service area of Pottawatomie County and its neighboring communities were invited to apply.

 

Four nonprofit organizations were selected to participate in the Foundation’s inaugural institute this fall: Project Safe of Shawnee, United Way of Pottawatomie County, Youth & Family Resource Center, Inc. of Shawnee and Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency (COCAA).

 

Project Safe, a Shawnee-based, nonprofit agency, provides free, confidential services and professional support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, serving Pottawatomie and Lincoln counties.

 

United Way of Pottawatomie County consists of more than 20 local nonprofit agencies that impact the community in the areas of children and youth, seniors, family services, community health, and basic and emergency needs.

 

The Youth & Family Resource Center, Inc., in Shawnee, is one of 36 children’s shelters in Oklahoma and the only shelter of its kind in Pottawatomie County, providing a safe refuge and counseling for families during difficult times.

 

Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency helps low-income individuals and families avoid crisis situations by meeting emergency needs, and by helping families gain self-sufficiency through supportive case management and partnerships with other social service providers.