Nonprofit organizations will be getting a spotlight April 21.
Verdun Adventure Bound and Breeze Printing will host a Nonprofit Expo and Family Fun Day April 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Verdun.
The brainchild of Honore Hastings, Executive Director, Verdun Adventure Bound and Breeze Printing owner Robin Kruczek, the day is way to help connect local nonprofits and to help introduce them to the public.
Hastings said she had thought about hosting something like this for some time and the timing was perfect as it’s just weeks before the annual Give Local Piedmont on May 1.
“We were thinking wouldn’t it be nice to have a fun day to kind of unite all of us,” Hastings said. “It’s a nice opportunity for the community to come in on a weekend and to meet their local non profits and to see how much the non profit community gives back.”
Kruczek publishes a nonprofit newsletter that is distributed digitally and in a little more than a year has seen that project grow from four pages to 32.
“The whole goal is to get the information out to the community about what the nonprofits have going on,” Kruczek said. “It’s to let them know about the nonprofits. Some people don’t know about many of the nonprofits. People just need to know that they exist, what their needs are, how they can be involved.”
Their hope is also to have nonprofits work together more, to pool their resources and to use that teamwork to make their events more successful.
“One weekend there were four different things going on in four different locations,” Kruczek said. “My feeling was if they had pooled their resources and did it in one location, it wouldn’t have been as expensive for all of them.”
Hastings said that through her experience with Verdun, often nonprofits operate by the “build it and they will come,” philosophy.
“Unfortunately, that didn’t happen,” Hastings said of her experience. “We have these programs and we needed people. I’ve always liked working with other organizations, but it really was one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments. We have it, there are other places that have the people, why not collaborate?”
For example, she said, Verdun has a 5K course that local nonprofits can rent for a small fee and that helps the nonprofit to have an organized course and it helps promote Verdun. She said that CAYA hosts their annual run at Verdun and this weekend the Blue Ridge Chorale is hosting its Shamrock Shuffle 5K.
She also pointed to the Groundwork Project, that Verdun and Rappahannock Goodwill started last year after receiving a $100,000 grant from the Ohrstrom Foundation in New York. The grant gives at-risk youth the opportunity to benefit from the combined expertise of RGI and Verdun as the youth build the life and job skills they need to achieve personal growth, leading to sustainable employment and a stronger community for us all.
“That’s what comes out of this collaboration, is working together,” Hastings said. ‘That’s kind of the hope.”
Hastings and Kruczek said that the response so far has been positive and they’ve had more than a dozen nonprofits reach out to be included in the day, as well as several for profit businesses as well.
Forms to sign up are available at the Breeze Printing website and is free for nonprofits. There is a $25 fee for businesses.
The day will begin with registration at 8 a.m. and a morning session open only to nonprofits from 9 to 11 a.m. That will feature speakers and programs helping nonprofits with lessons on grant writing, community involvement, marketing and branding, volunteerism and staffing.
The public will be invited in from noon to 5 p.m. and nonprofits are encouraged to host games, facepainting and other events.
“You try and offer interesting opportunities to learn more about what you do by hosting these types of events,” Hastings said. “I’d like Verdun to be at the forefront of trying to band together with all these non profits.”
To learn more about the event or to register if you are a nonprofit, email email@example.com.