Area Corporations and Nonprofits Come Together to Focus on Collaboration
Ellen Hackman and Debbie Bronfeld of Dress for Success Mercer County.
On Tuesday, Sept.16, more than 125 local nonprofit leaders and board members met with local corporate philanthropy representatives for an exciting and valuable full-day conference at Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville.
This event, “Building Bridges, Building Communities,” was a groundbreaking initiative focusing on how different sectors of our community can collaborate to address societal challenges. The conference was sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Services and Merrill Lynch.
The day began with a fascinating professional development workshop on the topic of “Outcomes Measurement” led by Laurel Molloy, author of Finally – Outcome Measurement Strategies Anyone Can Understand. The highly interactive workshop focused on the “Top 5 Tips” to successful outcome measurement, which is a topic of great practical importance to all nonprofit leaders, as well as funders.
Lunch was accompanied by an impressive and motivating keynote address from Dr. Judith R. Fox, former Head of Princeton Day School, who spoke about ways to foster better collaboration and relationships among members of the corporate and non-profit worlds.
In the afternoon, Eleanor Horne, vice president of the ETS Social Investment Fund, which is the philanthropic and community service arm of Educational Testing Service, moderated a thought-provoking and stimulating panel discussion on corporate collaboration with New Jersey nonprofits.
The panel featured two representatives of the event’s corporate sponsors (Frederick Egenolf, Director of Community Affairs at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; and Peg Forrestel, Director of Contributions and Community affairs at Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Services, Inc.) and two leaders of local nonprofit organizations (Jeffrey Vega, President of New Brunswick Tomorrow, and Martin Johnson, President of Isles).
The panel discussion covered a wide range of issues around the topic of collaboration, and provided a unique opportunity for open and honest dialogue that helped both sides of the nonprofit funding equation gain a better understanding of each other.
Debbie Bronfeld, Executive Director of Dress for Success Mercer County, reported that she found the professional development workshop to be extremely engaging: “Laurel Molloy made a challenging topic extremely understandable and attainable. It is so very important for us to be able to measure the impact of our programs, not only on the clients we serve but also on the community as a whole. I especially enjoyed the great audience participation and interaction, making the program substantive and interesting.”
Ellen Hackman, Associate Director at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and a member of the Board of Directors at Dress for Success Mercer County, added: “The program was stimulating and insightful. I especially enjoyed the keynote speaker, who stressed the importance of having an ongoing dialogue with your grantors. I work in the corporate sector and volunteer in the nonprofit sector, and Judy’s enlightening speech encouraged me to bring together the best of those two worlds.”
“Building Bridges, Building Communities” was organized and facilitated by The Support Center for Nonprofit Management, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and nurturing nonprofit leaders and organizations at all stages of their development. The Support Center offers consulting, executive leadership, training and grantmaker services designed to increase the effectiveness of the nonprofit sector.
Calvin Thomas, the Support Center’s New Jersey Training Coordinator, was thrilled with the excellent turnout and high caliber of participation during the day. “The afternoon panel discussion exceeded all of our expectations in terms of the depth and breadth of discussion,” said Thomas.
“Eleanor Horne is a masterful moderator and she steered the panelists as well as the audience through some innovating thinking and exciting concepts. The room was electric!”
For more information on the Support Center for Nonprofit Management’s programs and services in New Jersey and New York, visit www.supportcenteronline.org.
Ruthellen S. Rubin, CFRE, Senior Affiliate Consultant
The Support Center for Nonprofit Management