Friday, August 10, 2007

Craigslist Nonprofit Boot Camps in Berkeley and Brooklyn

You've used Craigslist before, right? Maybe it was to look for a job, or buy a futon, or find a "missed connection", but did you know that there is a Craigslist Foundation? Yup, and their mission is to provide free and low cost educational opportunities for emerging nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs.

In fact, they are having two Nonprofit Boot Camps in the next several weeks (full disclosure: my husband and are helping them with their podcast). The first is Saturday, August 18th at UC Berkeley, and the second is on Saturday, September 15th at the Brookyn Academy of Music. Their fees are totally reasonable. $50 for the day. They are also planning to have Boot Camps in Washington, DC, Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA.

The Foundation also puts on smaller educational events. For example, Heather Carpenter attended a Foundation produced networking event where Susan Fox, author of Grant Proposal Makeover, shared her "10 Flaws That Doom Most Proposals to Failure," which you can read on Heather's Nonprofit Leadership 601 blog.

Free-Range Drama Farm recommends the Foundation's Nonprofit Resources page, which has links to resources like Idealists' Tools for Organizations and iReuse for Nonprofits.

Gillian Parrillo, of the Sacramento Executive, said that the speech they heard Darian Rodriguez Heyman, the Executive Director of the Craigslist Foundation, give at an event this past spring was, "one of those speeches that makes you reach for a pen and a scrap of paper and scribble all over it because you don't want to miss even one of the great nuggets." You can hear Darian, and other Boot Camp speakers on Social Innovation Conversations.

After the Boot Camp in 2005, I wrote up notes from the five sessions I attended: Strategic Communications Planning, Building the Local Green Economy, The Seven Things You Need to Know to Raise Money, Community Organizing and Action, and Volunteerism Recruitment and Management, which you can read here. You can read session notes taken by last year's participants on the Silicon Valley Commons wiki.

Whether you who want to start a nonprofit, are an experienced nonprofit worker, or want to make the switch from for-profit to non-profit, I highly recommend their events for the educational content and networking opportunities.

Being surrounded by people who are working in nonprofits, or who want to work for nonprofits, also reminds you why you do the work you do, like this Woodrow Wilson quote from the Nonprofit Consultant Blog:

"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand."

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