By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator
What does it mean to be “one of the best” small nonprofits in Greater Washington? The 2012-13 class of Catalogue nonprofits got their first taste of that honor at the Catalogue’s Best Practices Workshop and Celebration last Wednesday. The workshop marked the beginning of the Catalogue’s 10th Anniversary celebration this fall. Over 140 representatives from 83 different nonprofits joined together to congratulate each other and learn more about how to make the most of the Catalogue honor.
The evening was marked by many highlights, starting with a spirited introduction by Catalogue Board Chair Don Neal. As Community Partnerships Coordinator for the Catalogue, I had the privilege of co-hosting a portion of the workshop with Catalogue President and Editor Barbara Harman. Together, we introduced the new Nonprofit Portal website — the home base for all Catalogue nonprofits online.
A panel of “best practice” experts wrapped up the event, speaking about how nonprofits can best leverage the Catalogue honor from a variety of perspectives. Phyllis Courlander from Top Banana Home Delivered Groceries and Rachel Goldman Alper from The Posse Foundation offered their advice as long-time Catalogue organizations. Alison McWilliams from the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation and Barbara Harman, speaking as Harman Family Foundation Executive Director, addressed topics of relevance to foundation donors — and offered helpful advice about engaging with family foundations. Adam Shapiro from Lipman Hearne offered a public relations perspective, encouraging nonprofits to tell stories that really hit at the emotional core of their work. And finally, Robert McCartney from the Washington Post provided a journalist’s view on how nonprofits can best pitch their stories to the media –and actually get published.
Together, these aspects of the workshop point to a general theme — the importance of partnership and collaboration between the Catalogue and the nonprofits featured in it. We’re proud to promote the work of some of the best small nonprofits in Greater Washington, as well as provide tools and resources for our nonprofits to better market themselves and their missions to the community. The Catalogue also looks forward to the collaborations and partnerships that will emerge among Catalogue nonprofits. The reception following the Best Practices Workshop offered many organizations the chance to start conversations and spark creative ideas with their peers.
Thanks to Sandra Hoehne and the Clarendon Ballroom for hosting the event in Arlington, and to all of our attendees, participants, and panelists. Here’s to the beginning of a fruitful year (and more) together!
photos by Leigh Vogel