The Ward 1 Non-Profit Networking Group is a way to gather, network, and bring in any service providing non-profits in the Ward 1 area. Non-profits can be headquartered in or providing services to clients in Ward 1.
Thrive DC’s Communications Coordinator Mariah sat down with Kira, Development Manager, to talk more about her vision for the group and the goals as we move forward into action planning through working groups and strengthen connects between non-profit service providers.
What are the goals of the getting non-profits together in Ward 1 and how will it build bridges between service providers?
On the surface, it’s networking and meeting people who are all working in client services in this area. It’s important for nonprofits to network in order to decrease duplication of services and learn what other people are doing to expand ideas. Meeting together helps us to make sure we see who already has a voice at the table and ensures we are actively working on bringing in groups and voices missing from the conversation. The important outcome is that it allows us to bring together a variety of expertise and experiences in a way one organization would never be able to do on their own.
What Goals do you have for the year?
Basic networking for non-profit employees and for the non-profits themselves. Professional and personal development helps decrease burnout and increase the likelihood that someone will stay in their role or bring great skills elsewhere in the nonprofit sector, which in turn helps our clients succeed.
Building shareable resources and group support of clients. We can work together to share or promote resources so that clients know what’s going on across the Ward, whether that’s a reading program or emergency food services. The group collectively decided that a main resource guide would be beneficial because it would allow all of the organizations to get their services out and accessible for clients.
Group Advocacy. Working as a group of nonprofits allows us to strengthen our voice for policy advocacy and client support. Every nonprofit shows up in some way to advocate for their clients, whether that’s through public statements about government policy or using their social media to ask for support on important issues. As a Ward 1 non-profits collective, our can voices are much stronger when voiced together.
Data collection is huge. There are ways we can identify trends and see what is happening across the Ward. I think we can get some really smart results out of simply coming together and discussing what types of data would improve our services and our ability to advocate for our clients. If we are able to work together to get a better understanding of issues across the Ward, that will begin to influence programs and services to reflect what is needed.
Tell me more about the sub committees and what they’ll be working on.
Our new subcommittees will allow people from different types of organizations to tackle some of our goals for the year, and ensure that we have a wide selection of voices on each issue. We’ll still meet quarterly as a group to check on progress and see where different subcommittees need help.
The subcommittees are currently: Professional Development/Workshops, Networking, Group Projects, and Data Collection and Analysis.
If you are a Ward 1 nonprofit, contact Kira at Kira@thrivedc.org to get more information on the Ward 1 Nonprofit Networking Group.
Participating non-profits in the Ward 1 networking Group are:
Urban Village Tenant Association
Four years ago, Ellen’s daughter volunteered in the computer lab at Thrive DC. She told her mom that she would enjoy working in the kitchen. She’s been a Breakfast Program volunteer ever since!
On a typical Thursday morning, Ellen loves to help in the kitchen – unless she has to cut onions.
Ellen also enjoys greeting and signing in clients. She gets to see them again and again, watching clients become her friends. She’s happy to see clients and clients are happy to see her.
When asked why people should volunteer at Thrive DC, Ellen said, "There’s a community here."
The staff consistently shows respect and kindness to their clients. They are also organized, having a broad range of services and referrals like showers, laundry, and a mailing address.
It’s clear to Ellen that we’re in it for the long haul.