PJ launches monthly webinar series to benefit nonprofit practitioners

Jill Warren Lucas

To better serve our readers and the many nonprofit practitioners who strive to improve their communities, Philanthropy Journal will launch a monthly webinar series on Sept. 17. Topics will include marketing and communications, advocacy and public policy, philanthropy and fundraising, technology and more.

Webinars will be presented by leaders in their fields who will share their expertise to benefit everyone from new grassroots nonprofits to foundations considering their next big steps. The live, hourlong events will include Q&A sessions as well as opportunities to follow up with presenters. Webinars also may be downloaded for later viewing.

The first three webinars in the series, which will continue through June 2014, are described below. Click on the webinar title to register.

Individual registration for each webinar is $30. Fees help to make it possible for students enrolled in the Nonprofit Studies minor through NC State University’s Institute for Nonprofits to participate at no cost.


2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17
Integrated Communications with Real Impact: Educating & Engaging All Levels of Your Organization

Hannah Gregory, with Shoestring
Hannah Gregory, with Shoestring


When planned and executed effectively, communications can actually increase the capacity of a nonprofit organization. But, too often these activities are placed at the bottom of the list of priorities given all of the challenges charities face, which often includes staff shortages. Learn how integrated communications across all levels of an organization can actually have real impact, and be part of fulfilling your mission. By educating and engaging staff, board members and even volunteers, you can actually make everyone’s job a little easier rather than just adding to their to-do lists.

Send your questions ahead of time and the presenter, SHOESTRING (the nonprofit’s agency), will customize this webinar for audience needs. What are you hoping to learn by taking part in the webinar? What are the obstacles for making marketing a priority for your organization? What are your biggest communications challenges? If there was one thing your organization wishes it could do from a marketing perspective, what would it be? Send your questions and/or input to events@philanthropyjournal.org.


Hannah Gregory, chief creative officer and founder of SHOESTRING (the nonprofit’s agency) has been helping nonprofits on shoestring budgets make marketing a priority for more than a decade. Specializing in (and exclusively serving) nonprofits, the agency develops and strengthens brands, creates results-oriented messaging and brings organizations to a new level when it comes to communications. SHOESTRING has extensive experience finding solutions to challenges nonprofits face so they can make marketing and PR both a priority and a reality.


2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct.16
Advocacy Boot Camp:  The Basics of Effective, Creative and Legal Advocacy for Nonprofits

David Heinen and Beth Messersmith
David Heinen and Beth Messersmith


Having trouble getting your organization’s message heard, especially among state and local decision-makers? This one-hour webinar will cover the basics of what you need to know to become an effective nonprofit advocate.

Topics covered will include: what’s legal for 501(c)3 organizations, the difference between direct and grassroots lobbying, creative ways to make your message heard, the role media can play in advocacy campaigns, training citizen advocates, and how to be effective when your organization is not located near your state legislature or local government center.


David Heinen, director of public policy and advocacy for the N.C. Center for Nonprofits, advocates on issues affecting North Carolina’s nonprofit sector and trains nonprofit leaders on advocacy, public policy, and legal compliance. Before joining the Center in 2007, David served as legal counsel for many small and mid-sized nonprofits. In June he received the second annual Flo Green Network Champion Award from the National Council of Nonprofits.

Beth Messersmith, North Carolina campaign director for the MomsRising.org, has 13 years of experience coordinating grassroots education and lobbying efforts and training citizen advocates.  In her work with MomsRising, Messersmith regularly develops creative approaches to making members’ voices heard.


2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20
Philanthropy Matters: Building a Culture Through Engaged Leadership

Allan Burrows
Allan Burrows


Every nonprofit determines its own culture. How engaged is your leadership in shaping its culture and enabling those who support the organization to carry out its mission to the best of their abilities? Has your leadership worked to define your case for support, and is your story being told?

It is time to consider a shift in your culture in order to build leadership that motivates and strengthens, leading by example to sell your case. This session gives guidance on developing strong board leadership with a particular focus on creating a culture of philanthropy. Participants will be given a model for board and executive staff leadership that can be employed to: energize leaders; assess and make plans; build a stronger board presence; leverage strengths; and engage board and staff at a higher level.


Allan Burrows is president of Capital Development Services and member of the Philanthropy Journal Editorial Advisory Board. A dynamic and frequently requested regional and national speaker, Burrows guides the presentation with facts gathered from years in the fund development industry of the nonprofit sector. His easy style makes him warm and well-received in a discourse engaging with participants. He introduces a new topic in a way that brings several “aha” moments as he describes how organizations can shift to this model.

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