Two Texas Events Nonprofits Should Look At

There are two Texas events coming up that nonprofits will want to take note of:

RISE Week Austin: Every year RISE Week Austin crowdsources experts from around the country to host sessions on all kinds of topics (funding, grants, business models, legal issues, you name it) around the city.

As if this wasn’t cool enough, there will be a fast pitch competition where organizations can test the meddle of their ideas, models  or  ventures by presenting to a panel of investors, business leaders and an audience. Admittedly, this made me more than slightly gitty because these type of competitions are almost always reserved for for-profit start-ups. But I’ve always felt nonprofits could benefit just as much if not more by participating in something similar.  Luckily, RISE agrees and has included social ventures and nonprofits in on the fun by  creating a competition specifically for them. And for the coup d’etat, all entry fees have been waived!

This is a fantastic way for organizations to test their ideas, recruit stakeholders, get buy-in and possibly raise a few funds. These competitions also help organizations hone in on their mission and, more importantly, learn to articulate it in a way that is brief and complete, but draws the audience in; all of which are important when it comes to fundraising.

With no entry fee, organizations have little to lose by entering and I personally can’t wait to see what gets presented. The competition is May 16th, but for more information on entry and requirements check it out here.

2013 United Way Board Fair: Aside from funding, the second complaint I hear most often from organizations is how hard it is to find dedicated and qualified board members. Fairs like these definitely help ease the stress.

Imagine the time, resources and energy saved by having a group of people with an expressed interest in serving brought to you rather than having to scavenge. The other cool thing with the United Way is they have a board development and training program where a small group of professionals are trained and prepped  over several months for board service.  And I believe once that training is complete they’re all feed into this fair to find organizations to work with.

Not to mention, these are also great opportunities for organizations to get their name out there, network and identify future donors. Really, the ability to find board members is the cherry on top.

I’m not entirely sure whether United Way is still taking applications from nonprofits, but it’s definitely worth checking. There’s more information here.