Orange County’s Capacity Building Seminar Series Helps Local Nonprofits Thrive

Community & Services

Through the skills learned in Orange County’s Capacity Building Seminar Program, Tamisha Major is helping her nonprofit organization take their mission to the next level.

“The seminar was an eye-opening experience for me, personally and professionally,” says Major, who serves as the training manager for Center for Change, Inc., a nonprofit agency providing health education and services to underserved and underinsured populations in Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties. “They took us step-by-step through everything from developing a S.W.O.T. analysis, to strategic planning and executive leadership, to the nuances of applying for major grants.”

Since completing the program, Center for Change has partnered with one of the region’s leading health care providers in a new pilot program, providing a range of services for at-risk pregnant and postpartum mothers. In the future, the organization hopes to collaborate directly with Orange County, receiving county grant funding to become a staple in the lives of Central Floridians. Center for Change also expanded its staff, allowing Major to utilize many of the leadership management skills she acquired through the course.

A key recommendation of the Citizens Safety Task Force, the Capacity Building Seminar work to strengthen internal business operations for small, local nonprofits. These agencies are either currently receiving Orange County grant funding or may be county funded in the near future.

By mentoring nonprofit leaders in business best practices, entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership, Orange County seeks to ensure the professional longevity of social services providers that citizens rely upon. The County also is working to ensure that taxpayers receive a premium return on their grant funding investment.

The Capacity Building Seminars are comprised of two separate programs. One conducted by nonprofit practitioners within the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. One instructed by faculty members within the University of Central Florida’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Management.

The program within Rollins College is intended for agencies funded through the Citizens’ Review Panel (CRP). These funded agencies will receive customized coaching, opportunities to network with more than 350 nonprofits, and workshops to hone organizational priorities. Areas of coaching may include organizational development, board governance, fundraising, marketing, leadership, and volunteer management.

Tamisha Major took part in the inaugural class to graduate from the University of Central Florida’s program last year. The course prepared them for organizational growth and meeting the demands of a major government contract.

“Because these agencies play such a significant role in people’s lives, we are heavily invested in their success,” says Angela Chestang, division manager for the Citizens’ Commission for Children – a part of Orange County’s Community and Family Services Department – which oversees the seminar program. “Partnering with two of the region’s most respected educational institutions, Orange County is committed to the growth and enduring strength of nonprofit social services providers in our region.”

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