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CONNECT Partnership for Nonprofit Solutions

Finding Hidden Resources page 3

CONNECT’s Big News page 2 5 Steps to Successful Pro Bono Projects page 5 United We Serve page 7 CONNECT is a project of the Orangewood Children’s Foundation and is funded in part by the Children and Families Commission of Orange County and Families and Communities Together.


2010 Brings New Beginnings and Collaborations Margarita McCullough Director


ewsletters at this time of year typically focus on closing out the old and welcoming the new. Many of us are happy to see 2009 fade into black as we await and hope for new opportunities and new beginnings in 2010. While not all is healed from the economic crisis, there are several opportunities that have arose resulting in new partnerships and even new funding available to the county. It is with pleasure that we announce one new opportunity in particular – the Orange County Capacity Building Program (OCCBP). This collaborative project, funded through the Strengthening Communities Fund and created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will bring $1,000,000 in new funding to Orange County with an additional cash match of $250,000 provided through the Children and Families Commission of Orange County (CFCOC). We at CONNECT are excited to be serving as the lead on this project and look forward to working with the project’s key partners including the CFCOC, Families and Communities Together, Volunteer Center of Orange County and Workforce Investment Board.

to clients in eight designated Orange County cities. As a capacity building grant, this funding will not be eligible for direct services. More information regarding eligibility criteria, technical assistance services and the Request for Proposals will be forthcoming on our web site in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for more exciting new beginnings in 2010!

For more information on the Orange County Capacity Building Project see ‘CONNECT News’ on Page 6.

The project will improve access to capacity building services that ultimately increase family self-sufficiency. The program will underwrite technical and financial assistance for eligible grass-roots community organizations and nonprofits providing workforce development services

CONNECT Contacts

800 N. Eckhoff St. Building 123 Orange, CA 92868-6838 Margarita McCullough, MA Director (714) 704-8097

Laura Arévalo AmeriCorps Project Coordinator (714) 704-8237

Judith Serafini VISTA Project Coordinator (714) 704-8050

Susan Diaz, MA Technical Assistance Program Manager (714) 704-8236

Jessica Chicka VISTA Leader (714) 704-8280

Barbie Allen VISTA Leader (714) 704-8205

Emily Lawrence Marketing and Research Coordinating VISTA (714)704-8820

Community Connection

Connections Winter 2009

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Seeking Out Resources Overlooked resources might be hiding right in front of your organization By Alpa Patel Business Owner and Volunteer


e all know it is not easy to gather a small group of thoughtful people these days, but people are out there wanting to give and waiting to be asked. (It may take some out of the box thinking.) The key to successful volunteerism is constant networking and relationship building. My experiences with collaboration have been two fold; both as a vendor who provides Pro Bono and discount services and also as a nonprofit volunteer who has sought them out. At We Print we have worked with several nonprofits who have cultivated relationships with us so successfully that we now provide in-kind donations valued at up to $3,000. Some organizations have successfully leveraged their buying power to negotiate better pricing and service with us. Nonprofits that build relationships with their vendors can turn vendors into supporters and donors. With creativity you can find ways to reduce your costs of operations and leverage for in-kind donations from the vendors you already work with. The key is to create mutually enduring value for everyone involved. For example, our strategy has been to be the ‘printer of choice’ for nonprofits by offering competitive pricing and in return, we give them our support through in-kind donations. From the other side of my work with Pratham USA, we recently collaborated with various community organizations. Indian New Years provides a chance to outreach within Indian communities. Instead of hosting our own events, we reached out to the organizations that had planned events and requested that we be allowed to

Five places to find resources Show your local businesses how they can participate in the movement of your organization. Connect with businesses through your local chamber of commerce. participate and present our cause to the invited guests. We cultivated relationships with various communities and organizations in the Indian community in the Southern California area to spread our organization’s message. We also conducted an ask at various events and successfully raised over $50,000. Our only cost was volunteers’ time put into organizing and coordinating. We had no out-of-pocket expenses for this fundraising effort. In the end, large numbers in the community heard our message and, in turn, contributed to our organization.

Alpa Patel is an entrepreneur and owns We Print, a local graphics & printing company. She is also a passionate volunteer for Pratham USA. Pratham USA is an organization that works to raise awareness about literacy and education programs in India. They have raised approximately $11 million in US annually.

Cultivate a strong relationship with your vendors. They can become your supporters and donors too. Collaborate with existing organizations who organize events that will attract your target donor base. Piggyback on these events to spread the awareness of your organization. Don’t forget your volunteers. Get to know them. They may have hidden talents you don’t know about. Property Management companies and other larger organizations may be able to donate office space if you are a smaller nonprofit.

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Procuring Pro Bono Service Experts, students provide skilled services in an effort to give back, gain additional experience Pro Bono is like the illusive million dollar grant - you know it’s out there, you’ve heard of it’s legendary success, yet you may have never actually witnessed it in person. According to the Taproot Foundation, Pro Bono work is on the rise. “For those who feel drawn to high powered jobs and public service, Pro Bono work offers the opportunity to live richer, more fulfilling lives by putting their skills to work for the greater good.” The true challenge for nonprofits is accessing that drive. It takes more than a Google search to find prospective Pro Bono volunteers. The challenge exists in part because of the nomenclature of “Pro Bono.” The very fact that only the legal profession has adopted the term leads people

Art Institute of O.C. - CARE The Community Arts Resource Exchange (CARE) at the Art Institute of California Orange County pairs nonprofit groups with emerging designers, visual artists and chefs. ● Sample projects include: Logo designs, web sites, special event catering, interior design and more. ● Projects must be completed in less than 11 weeks. ● The Deadline for the Spring session is March, 5. ● For more information visit

to believe that other skilled professionals are unwilling to volunteer their services. Organizations such as the Taproot foundation work to pair organizations with professionals. While academic programs often pair students with organizations in order to create mutually beneficial partnerships. Still, the demand is high and many organizations are left out in the cold. While established organizations (including the local groups featured here) may be ideal, don’t overlook unaffiliated professionals. With unemployment at record levels there is a wealth of talented people looking to volunteer. Most unemployed volunteers are looking to keep their skills brushed up and find a source of fulfillment and purpose during their often drawn-out job hunts. Put the word out that your organization is in need of Pro Bono services. Ask local firms and companies, friends, families, and current volunteers if they know anyone who might be willing to donate their time, and you might be surprised by the number of people looking to give back or expand their experiences and portfolios.


In addition to the well known Public Law Center , The Orange County Bar Association’s (OCBA) Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) offers nonprofit legal referral services in Orange County. According to the OCBA web site it has been referring callers to Orange County’s finest attorneys for more than 50 years. ● Panel attorneys are experts in 25 areas of the law. ● Screening is completed to assure appropriate referrals. ● Prospective clients receive a free consultation. ● An administrative fee of $25 is charged for the first referral. ● Clients are accepted on an ongoing basis. ● For more information visit

UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business Social Responsibility initiative The Social Responsibility Initiative (SRI) pairs MBA students with local organizations for no-fee project-based consulting. ● Sample SRI projects include: Business Strategy, Direct Marketing Plans, Analysis, Volunteer Growth Plans, and more. ● Projects last 6-8 weeks. ● Each organization can only submit one project per academic year. ● The deadline for Spring 2010 project applications is Friday, March, 12. ● For more information visit

Written By Emily Lawrence | VISTA


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Connections Winter 2009



Even professionals contributing skilled services are volunteers and according to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), one-third of volunteers (35.5%) drop out of service each year and do not serve with any organizations the following year, largely due to poor volunteer management. Below are five tips to improve your volunteer projects:

Assess your organization


Before you embark on a Pro Bono hunt, ask yourself: What do we need? Can we handle the prep work for the project? Who will work with the volunteer? How soon do we need the project completed?

Get organized

Include your volunteer in the creation of a project plan like the sample below to ensure that the project is outlined and that all parties are on the same page. According to CNCS, disorganized projects are another common cause of decreased volunteer retention.

Be Prepared

Before you meet with your volunteer: Collect necessary materials Create an outline of necessary due dates. Compile all project details including the length of time you expect will be spent on the project. Be up front about all of the project details 3


Find the right match

One common complaint from ex-volunteers is that they felt their skills were mismatched with the organization’s projects. To avoid this, be sure to check with your volunteers to assess if the project fits.


Say “thank you”

A little appreciation can go a long way. Show your volunteer that you appreciate their service during the project and not just at the end.

Pro Bono Project Work Plan Project Title: Promotional flyer Contact Person: Susan 714.555.5555

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Volunteer: Anna Low 714.555.4555 Project Due Date: March. 18, 2010

Assignment: Graphic design of an 8.5 x 11 promotional flyer that will be distributed to the community promoting our training courses over the next year. (This is were you will explain what your organization needs out of this project. Be as specific as possible.) Maximum Revisions: 3 (Agree upon a maximum number of possible revisions ahead of time to be respectful to the volunteer’s time.) Important Facts and Resources: See attached. (All necessary components should be given to the volunteer with the formal assignment. For this sample, attached items might include a file with suggested text and important logos.) Credit: Design donated by AL Graphics. (Agree on how the volunteer will be credited to create a mutually beneficial project.)

Mandatory Components: Our Logo Partner’s Logo Dates of events Black and White only Our contact info RSVP Date          Revision Schedule: First Draft Oct. 22 Second Draft Nov. 4 Third Draft Nov. 11 Final Due Nov. 18

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CONNECT NEWS OCF Draws Million Dollar Grant to Orange County On Wednesday, September 30, 2009 the Orange County Capacity Building Program (OCCBP) was awarded a Federal grant of $1,000,000 over two years. The funds will be used to enhance the economic recovery activities of local grassroots, faith-based, and nonprofit organizations. Orangewood Children’s Foundation is the only Southern California recipient and one of 35 grantees nationwide to be awarded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF) Nonprofit Capacity Building grant, created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Funds will be matched by the Children and Families Commission of Orange County (CFCOC), bringing the total program funding to $1.25 million. The grant will be administered by CONNECT in a collaborative partnership with the CFCOC, FaCT, the Orange County Workforce Investment Boards, and the Volunteer Center of Orange County. “We have developed an A plus team to deliver exceptional capacity building services,” said Cal Winslow, CEO of Orangewood Children’s Foundation. “The Recovery Act funds will bring a new opportunity for families struggling to regain their footing.” Funds will be used to target organizations serving distressed communities, as they build their capacity. Objectives for the OCCBP are to provide broad access to capacity building workshops to over 100 agencies, to provide capacity building technical assistance to over 36 agencies and to provide $600,000 in financial assistance awards through a competitive grant process, one-on-one technical assistance and organizational assessments to 12-24 organizations.

Community Connection

Professional student groups offer skilled, dedicated potential volunteers : Engineers Without Borders Q (EWB) has more than 350 projects in over 45 developing countries around the world including water, renewable energy, sanitation and more. What project is the UC Irvine Chapter working on? :EWB at UCI is a new chapter and is currently supporting the EWBOC professional chapter on a project building a footbridge in Kenya.


: Engineering is at the core of the organization, but every chapter incorporates a variety of disciplines into their project teams. According to the EWB-USA Website, “Chapters often capitalize on the expertise of anthropologists, educators, statisticians, sociologists, health professionals, and scientists to address both educational and technical aspects of the program.” What collaborative tips or lessons can local nonprofits take from EWB? : Successful humanitarian work requires a multi-disciplinary approach to clearly identify a problem and possible solutions. Working in communities worldwide, EWB engineers often face a multitude of challenges which go far beyond their job description. Having experts who understand matters of public health and cultural awareness are essential in the process of aiding a community. There have been many cases where cultural difference was not taken into account and the local community was actually worse off after humanitarian work had taken place. EWB-USA makes it a priority to involve the local community and understanding what the real and not perceived needs are. This is a great lesson for any non-profit.



: I understand that EWB generally focuses on projects in developing countries, but are projects ever developed locally? :There are a handful of projects done in the US, however due to liability issues no more domestic projects are being accepted at this time. There is discussion on this topic and many volunteers would love to help in the local communities around them.


Engineering success

Morgan Bailey graduated from UC Santa Cruz with degree in Physics and worked in Silicon Valley for two years as an engineer at an alternative energy fuel cell company. After a year abroad in Brazil he came to UC Irvine to start his doctorate in Environmental Engineering and masters in Public Health. He hopes to focus his efforts in developing countries after graduating.


: How else might the UCI’s EWB Chapter be a resource for local nonprofits? : EWB at UCI can be resource of both knowledge and manpower. There are many students who are very interested in working in local communities to improve the quality of life. It is also a great way to network with the vast number of professionals at EWB. This can be a great resource to nonprofits looking for technical advice or labor.


: What EWB skills would lend themselves well to projects at local organizations? : Many local organizations lack the technical expertise in engineering that EWB volunteers can offer. This is an indispensable resource and a large pool of individuals who are looking to better the world. If anything they can be a source of inspiration, with having impacted tens of thousands of people throughout world. Interview by Emily Lawrence, VISTA

First 5 Service Corps

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Photos by Garnet Kim, 2009-10 VISTA Member Above: New members pose with the food they collected during the Sept. 11 national day of service. Below: Katie Brooks, VISTA tapes food boxes that will be distributed throughout the county.

Nation Asked to Serve Obama’s service initiative hopes to boost volunteerism


n June 17th President Obama called for each American to “make volunteerism and community service part of your daily life and the life of the nation,” as he announced his summer service initiative. According to the White House blog, United We Serve was an “initial 81 days of service from June 22 to Sept. 11 but will grow into a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to promote service as a way of life.” The summer of service culminated with a national day of service on Friday, Sept. 11th. The new AmeriCorps VISTA members in Orange County participated in the day of service by collecting and packing food at the Village of Hope in Tustin. Teams were sent out to local grocery stores to solicit nonperishable food donations. After collecting two large bins of food the members boxed 6,271 lbs. of food. The food boxes were distributed to families in need throughout the county and will provide 1,250 meals. Members also

As part of President Obama’s United We Serve initiative a new website has been launched to pair volunteers with service projects across the country. Organizations can log onto, managed by the National Corporation for Community Service, and post their volunteer needs.

toured the facility and met with Village of Hope President, Jim Palmer. While the national day of service marked a culmination for the summer of service, explains, “The national service movement will continue long after September 11, 2009… We will renew our commitment and continue our work.” Article by Emily Lawrence, VISTA

On Sept. 17 the Spanish language companion site,, was launched. “Service to community is a strong tradition in the Hispanic community, and we hope the new website will help connect more Americans with service projects in their own communities,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.

In Case You Missed It... The 15th Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County is available now The Conditions of Children in Orange County 8th Annual Community Forum was held Thursday, Nov. 19 at the Cal State Fullerton Titan Center. The event which was sponsored by Cal State Fullerton and FaCT highlighted the newly released 15th Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County. Just under 450 guests attend the forum and participated in presentations and discussions on various issues affecting children in our community. An executive summary and the full report are available online at: Have any Questions, Comments, or Upcoming events? Do you have any burning questions or topics you’d like to see covered in our next issue or any great resources you’d like to pass on to other community members? Do you know of any upcoming events that would benefit other local organizations? If you do... We want to hear about them! Send any feed back to Emily Lawrence, our marketing VISTA @

CONNECT Partnership for Nonprofit Solutions 800 N. Eckhoff Street Orange, CA 92868


CONNECTions Quarterly Winter 2009  

A quarterly newsletter with reources for local Non-Profits. To see our spring issue copy and paste this link into your browser: http://issuu...

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