Nonprofits Collaborate for 2nd Year of UNA Summit
by Dawn McLain
In 2016, the inaugural Southern Utah Community Impact Summit presented a first-time funding opportunity, the Community Impact Challenge, that encouraged southern Utah to seek out strategic partnerships. On April 4, 2017 Community Impact Challenge team finalists will take the stage to present innovative projects and programs in hopes of winning $1,000 for best existing collaboration or $2,500 for best new collaboration at the 2nd Annual Southern Utah Community Impact Summit.
The event will be dedicated to collaboration as the Utah Nonprofits Association, City of St. George Mayor Jon Pike, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch Professional Staff Member Dianne Browning, Dixie State University, and legislators and nonprofit organizations across the state join together for the Southern Utah Community Impact Summit. The summit will include educational programs, networking, a key-note speaker, a panel discussion, Community Impact Challenge and Exposition including presentations from the 2016 Challenge award winners, and the Community Impact Awards Ceremony.
Carol Golichnik, Owner of CG Nonprofit Solutions and Southern Utah Committee Member explains, “The objective with the Southern Utah Community Impact Summit is to ignite and inspire our audience and our southern Utah residents to actively engage in collaboration to reduce redundancy, stretch dollars, and expand effective programs or services to ensure that our community is served in the most efficient way. Our goal is to see that everyone who has a need in our community is served.”
To reach this goal, UNA has created a unique, exciting, and truly beneficial funding opportunity – the Community Impact Challenge and Exposition. For the Challenge, the nonprofit organization is seeking innovative projects that demonstrate collaboration between nonprofit organizations, government entities, and for-profit businesses which meet a need in our community. The competition provides an innovative, creative experience that motivates nonprofit organizations to reach out, to think outside of the box, and partner strategically to provide new projects or programs that will impact our communities in a positive way. The end result will bring successful, sustainable new services or programs and long term mutually beneficial partnerships not only to fruition, but also to thrive. Committee Co-Chair, Mike Gburski shared, “In its first year, the Summit helped create a dozen new collaborations between nonprofit organizations, government, and for profit businesses. As we enter our second year, I am very excited to see the growth in support, participation, and most importantly, impact.”
Applications for the 2016 competition were submitted in March by many organizations. After careful review the selection committee chose three existing collaborations and three new collaborations to present at the summit. Each presentation was judged by a panel of five experienced community leaders who evaluated and selected a winner from each category that was announced at the Community Impact Awards Ceremony.
Last year, the Best New Collaboration prize went to the Assistance League of Southern Utah, Cherish Families and Washington County School District, who collaborated to prepare children from the Hildale area for a brighter future by easing the burden of poverty and isolation associated with polygamy and provide a wrap-around of community caring to nurture future citizens of Utah. Students entering public school for the first time were provided new clothing and shoes, easing their transition by creating a positive school environment that prepared students to meet the challenges of a new environment and increase academic performance, an effect that will last a lifetime.
The Existing Collaboration prize went to eSMART Camp for Girls. The annual program is provided in partnership by AAUW St. George Branch and Dixie State University. eSMART is a science summer camp for girls in Southern Utah. Camp activities increase interest in STEM fields and future careers in STEM for over 360 local girls entering the 8th grade. The Community Impact Challenge supported new engineering-specific activities to the camp including soldering of circuits.
With the success of the Summit and the Challenge competition, many organizations are looking forward to the 2017 event and the incredible partnerships it will bring. Last year’s winners truly enjoyed their experience and encourage other organizations to apply. “What a wonderful opportunity and a very exciting time – winning this challenge provided us with an amazing opportunity to help those families from the Hildale and Colorado City communities that took a very large leap and placed their children in public schools – we are so thankful to everybody involved,” said Sue Gilliam, Assistance League of Southern Utah.
The Southern Utah Community Impact Summit provides a venue and a voice to the Utah Nonprofits Association as they work to create and support success and sustainability for all Utah nonprofits. Kate Rubalcava, CEO of UNA, is a diligent advocate for UNA’s members. She says, “Government, business, and nonprofits are all important sectors to ensure our communities are strong and vibrant. We invite everyone to join the Community Impact Summit to learn more about the important work of the nonprofit sector, collaboration, and collective impact. Research shows, nonprofits who partner with other organizations, government, business, and volunteers are more impactful and sustainable. By leveraging the commitment of strategic partners, engaged volunteers, and diversified funding streams, nonprofits can see as much as 10 times the results of those trying to do the job by themselves.“
Applications for the 2017 Community Impact Challenge are open through March 15, 2017. To download an application please visit utahnonprofits.org. To request an application via email or for additional information or questions, please contact Carol Golichnik at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: April 4, 2017
Time: 8 am – 5:30 pm
Location: Dixie Elks Lodge, 630 W. 1250 North, St George, UT 84770
Cost: UNA/St. George Chamber Members/Cedar City Chamber Members $75.00; $100.00 for nonmembers;
Early bird registration discount available through March 31, 2017 online at: utahnonprofits.org; Members $50.00; nonmembers $75.00.