Thursday, October 20, 2016; Silver City, NM: Grant County’s nonprofits offer a wide-spectrum of vital services to residents, without which the community wouldn’t be as vibrant, or as comfortable of a place to live. But many of the region’s nonprofits face an unpredictable future with the extended economic downturn, and further uncertainty looms on the horizon as the 2017 New Mexico Legislative session threatens drastic spending cuts to balance the state’s flagging budget, as required.
National Center for Frontier Communities (NCFC) Associate Director, Susan Wilger says, “Due to budget deficits it will be a difficult [legislative] session. We don’t want to see cuts to programs or services that could have devastating impacts on health or the economy in the long-run.”
Headquartered in Silver City, NCFC is a research and advocacy organization dedicated improving the health and quality of life in frontier America. NCFC recognizes that nonprofits form an essential piece of the larger social safety net, and are on the front lines of identifying and delivering essential human services in their respective communities.
To advance nonprofits’ efforts, NCFC created the Nonprofit Resource Group (NRG) to build capacity and strengthen nonprofits by offering an array of services including workshops, like the upcoming, “How to Successfully Advocate for Your Nonprofit,” scheduled for Thursday, November 10, 2016, from 9 a.m. to noon in Silver City for the cost of $25 per participant.
Wilger, one of four workshop presenters, says, “Advocacy is a way to let your community, funders, and customers know about the value your nonprofit has to the community. It involves much more than talking to elected officials”
Advocacy is the life’s blood of nonprofits, since most are barred from lobbying by funding restrictions. Advocacy covers a gambit of activities including promoting their mission, securing resources, engaging supporters, educating the public and talking to elected officials to rally support to address community needs.
Southwest Center for Health Innovation Executive Director, Charlie Alfero is one of the workshop’s presenters and has decades of experience with nonprofit advocacy at the local, state and national levels.
Alfero says, “Many nonprofits in New Mexico are under-resourced and geographically isolated from policy and planning process at the state level, and other nonprofits are under-represented. Most of the time, we rely on policy and financing decisions made by people disconnected from the reality of life in our communities.”
Grant County Prospectors Kim Clark and Priscilla Lucero will discuss on how nonprofits can successfully participate in the New Mexico legislative process. The Prospectors are a group of business leaders seeking to educate policy makers and community members about the economic, community development and legislative needs in Grant County.
Alfero echoes the importance of nonprofits participating in the legislative process, “It is incumbent on nonprofit boards and staff to express the needs of their programs and constituents to elected officials and people in policy making roles. It’s the only way they can understand what is important…and transform ideas into policy change.”
The workshop is scheduled on Thursday, November 10, 2016, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Hidalgo Medical Services Silver City Community Health Center, 1007 N. Pope Street. The cost is $25 per participant.
NRG offers a cadre of services to aid rural and frontier nonprofits to stay healthy and robust, including a yearly calendar of trainings, and free weekly curbside consultations.
For more information or to register for the workshop, call NRG at (575) 597-0035 or email NRG@swchi.org. Visit the NRG website for the full listing of available trainings and services at www.NResourceGroup.org.