Train (& Fund) the Trainer Conferences
A coalition of community health-focused organizations received a $100,000 grant to implement a train-the-trainer conference and then sub-grant a portion of their funding. At the time, the coalition didn’t have employees, but its board makeup provided all the experts required for the educational sessions.
I was offered a 12-month contract agreement to manage the grant and ensure that it was implemented as intended, with the intention that if all went well, funding for a second year may be awarded.
Conference: Many logistics were already underway by the time I was hired, but the board happily conceded the bulk of the event-planning responsibilities and approved my ideas for scheduling, signage, printed collateral designs, outreach & communications, etc.
Sub-grants: I assisted the board in creating both the grant application and reporting criteria, facilitated the selection process, and notified the grant recipients. After grants were awarded, I made site visits, accompanied by board members when possible, and photographed their healthy-community initiatives.
Recognition & Reporting: I assisted the board with an end-of-year celebration for all participants and donors. Per grant requirements, I provided mid-year and conclusion reports to the funder.
Next Steps: Finally, I collaborated with the board on an application for funding for a second year.
That first conference and successive community grants exceeded all anticipated goals, the grantor provided funding for the following year, and the coalition renewed my contract.
Over the following year and a half, in addition to the second-year “train the trainer” grant I was hired to manage (and I was asked to develop and facilitate a new “How to Secure & Report Inkind Donations” educational session), the coalition was awarded funding for two additional programs and the resources to create a mini-documentary, which I was hired to manage.
Seeing my use of social media and the printed collateral I created for those initiatives, other coalition members recruited me to provide training sessions on “How to Use Social Media for Nonprofits” and an introductory series on how to more efficiently utilize the 2010 Microsoft Office Suite.
STEM Educational Conferences for Girls
A statewide nonprofit established an educational initiative introducing 8th-grade girls to careers in STEM fields after national reports that American girls were being actively dissuaded to pursue such paths. The program began as a day conference for 150 girls; hosted on a centrally-located university campus, relying on volunteers and a few part-time employees to implement.
After eight years of regular requests to expand the program, the board hired its first full-time executive director who realized additional support was needed.
Originally hired in a part-time role, my position was expanded to full-time and, since no official documentation existed, my first charge was to recreate the program series based on past conference handouts and committee notes.
After identifying how the program had been run in the past, I assisted in enriching the core programming, created an onboarding process for conference presenters, managed each local committee’s fundraising efforts, and managed recruitment and logistics for successful conferences across the state. Three years into it, I led a collaborative effort with long-term volunteers to develop a tool kit empowering volunteers to take a larger role in their local conferences.
From my first to sixth year at the organization, the conferences grew from 1-2 a year to 5-6 a year; overall, I managed more than 30 conferences, introducing almost 2,500 Arkansas girls to women in STEM careers and developing a network of more than 5,000 annual volunteers.
The tool kit enabled staff and volunteers to efficiently continue growing and further developing the initiative after my time at the organization.
Today, the conference is now back to a single location, but it has been expanded to a two-day event with additional programming throughout the year. While I did volunteer for the organization several times and serve a term on the board, the only credit I take for its current iteration is helping lay the groundwork that allowed the staff to step back and see a bigger picture.