Nonprofit Awareness Month’ underway

The role of the nonprofit sector will be in focus in November, which a coalition of North Carolina nonprofits has designated as the first statewide “Nonprofit Awareness Month.”

Under the banner “Many Missions, One Voice,” the coalition aims to raise awareness and appreciation of the role played by nonprofits, which the group says contributes more than $20 billion a year to North Carolina’s economy.

The month-long event grew out of the 2006 “Nonprofit Congress” in Washington, D.C., that was attended by more than 400 nonprofit leaders from across the U.S., including 13 from North Carolina.

“Nonprofits from all corners of North Carolina have united behind this effort, and it’s brought to light the many different ways that nonprofits serve their communities,” Trisha Lester, a member of the Nonprofit Awareness Month Task Force and vice president of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits, says in a statement.

Local groups looking for ideas about how to raise awareness of nonprofits can use a toolkit on the website of the N.C. Center, which is helping to coordinate the month-long effort.

One idea is a “virtual nonprofit shutdown” like the one Craven County nonprofits staged in June to simulate what a day without nonprofits would mean for their community.

To date the initiative has generated 37 partner organizations statewide, including several family and community foundations, university nonprofit studies programs, local nonprofits with a wide range of missions, and regional branches of national organizations, such as the United Way of North Carolina.

NCGives, a growing statewide initiative that seeks to redefine and expand the concept of philanthropy to include nontraditional methods of giving, has been the major funder of the awareness month project.

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