Pensacola State College will be home to a training program for professional staff and boards of non-profit organizations, with help from the Gulf Power Foundation.
The $150,000 grant over five years will lay the groundwork for a Nonprofit Center for Excellence and Philanthropy
“And there’s no better partner for that, in this community we think, than Gulf Power and the Gulf Power Foundation,” says Andrea Krieger, Executive Director of the PSC Foundation.
The first installment – $30,000 – was awarded on Wednesday morning. The remainder will also be paid out in increments of 30 thousand per year, to be placed in two areas.
“We’re going to have a $100,000 endowment, and that will help sustain the work that needs to happen – in this community, and actually in the state – for nonprofit education and certified fundraising executive education,” Krieger said. “Fifty thousand will also operate the Center.”
“The nonprofit sector is strong in northwest Florida; in Escambia and Santa Rosa County alone, there are 3,083 nonprofit organizations,” said PSC President Ed Meadows. According to research, he says that represents almost $3.5 trillion in assets.
“Also, looking at a survey that was done recently, 50 percent of nonprofit professionals in just the two-county service area indicated that they do not have sufficient training to do the job in the way that they felt would be most effective for their organizations.”
The initial payment will be used to develop courses on fund-raising diversification; writing grants, starting and sustaining campaigns, and donor-centered proposals and presentations.
“We actually have plans to identify and renovate that space for the seminars, workshops and training,” Meadows said. “Some of which will be virtual that can be done and offered to the nonprofits that we engage in training.”
“This is a big deal, ya’ll – I just want you to know how amazing this is,” says DeDe Flounlacker, executive director of Manna Food Pantries which serves Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. She says the grant will go to the sustainability of the area’s non-profits, along with getting new employees up to speed faster.
“Usually we spend a few minutes with them, where they know where to park and where they go to the bathroom,” Flounlacker said. “And then we tell them a little about what their job is going to be, and then we push them out, push them forward and push them out of the nest.”
“And we have to do that, because we have to as nonprofits; we’re usually under-resourced.”
And over the next five years, scholarships will also be available for qualifying students and organizations.
“You’ve heard so many times talk about investment and partnership; wow, it is our pleasure as the Gulf Power Foundation to invest in the community, far reaching beyond Pensacola,” says Wendell Smith – who was doing double duty at the ceremony, as Chairman of the Gulf Power Foundation Board and as a PSC Trustee.
“The partnership just goes well beyond Gulf [Power]. It is so many people in this room that invest in the community; invest their time, and invest their dollars. Well beyond Pensacola State College, but touching those in the community that need so much.”
Plans are also in the works to hold a “nonprofit summit,” to provide training in areas such as courageous and transformative boards; partnerships, grants, marketing and infrastructure.