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COSA Meeting Dec. 13th

Non-profit boards: amazing when they are working well; draining when they are not.   Ideally, the board and staff leadership are partners with complementary skills and clear expectations of each other.   However, we all have experienced less-than-ideal board/staff partnerships.   

This session is created for staff AND board members to come together to help build the most effective boards for COSA member organizations.  David Sharken from Rainmaker Consulting will be leading the session.

Please recruit at least one board member to join this short interactive booster shot for your board.   See you there!

Berkshire Children & Families
220 Russell St (Rt. 9) Hadley
Nov. 17, 9-10:30

Field Notes from an Executive Director: Help Your Board Help You
Nonprofit Hub

Help your board help you.
Strong and successful nonprofit organizations have a commonality-good leadership. This applies to the executive director as well as the board. And as the executive director (hopefully you're sticking around) you're the continuity in board transitions. So it's up to you to set the tone for how the board should operate.
You achieve this by developing an amazing onboarding process. If you don't have a well-trained board, they can actually go rogue or even get in your way of progress. I have executive director friends that say this is the most important part of board development.
And before you train your board members you have to recruit the right people. No board member should accept a position-nor should you offer a position-without knowing what their primary role on the board will be.
The power of recruitment.
Robbe Healey, who serves on the AFP Ethics Committee, believes that many of the  ethical problems that nonprofits run into can be prevented by a well-oriented board. Healey warns that filling seats with "warm bodies" for the sake of reaching a magic number instead of recruiting those who are invested in your mission will help your organization navigate the rough waters if ethical disasters arise.
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Holiday Concerts to Benefit Amherst Survival Center


The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble is donating financial (and canned food!) donations received at their concerts to the Amherst Survival Center! Live music, community-minded musicians, ... a great evening!


It's the 27th Annual Benefit Holiday Brass Concert! A seasonal favorite and a  benefit for the Amherst Survival Center! Recommended donation $5-$10


Community Action 
Needs Your Input
To our community partners -- 

Every three years, Community Action completes a community and internal assessment as the basis for our strategic planning. We solicit input from a wide range of people from the non-profit, education, public service, faith-based, and business sectors. We hope you will take time to complete our online survey at the link below. It will take at most 20 minutes. You can save your work and return if you cannot complete the survey in one sitting. We ask that you complete the survey by December 30th.  We're looking for broad community response, so please do forward this link to anyone you think might have good input for us! 
Thank you for helping us serve you and our entire community better. We value your input!

Clare Higgins, Executive Director


A Statement from Cooley Dickinson Hospital
In light of local and national incidences and fear following the November election, we felt it was important to write a statement reassuring undocumented immigrants that they should seek medical care when they need it without fear of being reported.
We've posted the statement to our website in English and Spanish (although anyone using Google translate to look at our website can see the statement in their preferred language).


Valley CDC & Berkshire Bank First Time Homebuyers Class

Three good reasons to attend:
1) Incredible Loans! 
2) Access to Down Payment and Closing Cost $$$. 
3) Education, education, education!

 Thursdays,  January 12th, 19th, 26th and February 2nd 
 6:00-9:00 pm
 Easthampton Municipal Building
50 Payson Ave, Easthampton 01027


Western Mass Legislative Summit 2016

Join us for a live taping of a legislative round table for WHMP's Bill Newman Show with Senate President Stanley Rosenberg!
Let your voice be heard and influence the Legislative Priorities for the 2017 - 2019 session. Learn about small town challenges and pending legislation from Senate President Rosenberg, Senator Gobi, Representative Goldstein-Rose, State Auditor Bump and more.
We hope you can join us, share your ideas and needs, and hear from your legislators!

Saturday, December 3rd; 8:30am -1:30pm
JFK Middle School       
100 Bridge Road       
Florence, MA 01062

Town of Amherst CDBG Project Proposals are now available!

The Town of Amherst is seeking project proposals for its Mini-entitlement Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for 2017.  Proposals are due at  12:00 pm  on  Friday January 6, 2017 .  The CDBG Advisory Committee will meet on  Wednesday, January 18, 2017  to review proposals and make recommendations for funding to the Town Manager and Select Board.  

United Arc
Free Training
Autonomy, Decision Making Supports, and Guardianship

Join us for a  FREE workshop for parents and professionals. 

Attorney Fred Misilo, of Fletcher Tilton will lead a training on guardianship, alternatives to guardianship and
other "coming of age" related issues for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Wednesday, March 22,  from 6-8 pm
The United Arc 
294 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA

For more info. -  Darlene Reilly  413-774-5558 x1042   
Free Webinars
The Happy Healthy Nonprofit:
Impact without Burnout
Join authors Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman for a conversation about self-care in the nonprofit sector.

They will be discussing their new book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact Without Burnout, and will provide concrete tips for individual self-care to help nonprofit professionals and social change activists embrace a Happy Healthy work/life balance to reduce burnout and increase productivity for greater impact.   Thursday December 8th at 12:30 pm

Join us for a one hour webinar as nonprofit accounting expert, Jacqueline Tiso of JMT Consulting, explains how nonprofits can leverage their accounting systems to effectively meet and comply with ever evolving regulations and standards. December 8, 2pm

MNN- Leveraging Your Organization's Creativity: Legal Guidance
Assumptions abound as to what can and cannot be done with nonprofit assets, and opportunities for organizations to benefit from them may be lost. This webinar will provide a framework to assess whether any of your existing assets can be used in new ways, consistent with your mission, to generate additional revenue and/or to extend the reach of your ideas or programs.   Dec. 14th, 10 am


The first thing everyone reading this should notice is that the sun did indeed rise this morning and we rose with it. We are still here with the same commitments to justice and equity and-dare we say it?-peace.
Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election. With four states still too close to call, Trump is credited with 278 electoral votes (eight more than needed) and Clinton has 218. Perhaps even more surprisingly, the Republican Party held onto its Senate majority in a year most pundits expected Democrats to win all or most of the closely contested seats. The GOP's House majority has been slightly reduced, but estimates are that the net GOP loss of seats was only five when some thought a switch to Democratic control was possible only a couple of weeks ago. In addition, Republicans netted two additional state governorships, giving them 33, the most in a century.
The consequences that will unfold from this in many of the fields and communities in which we work are as yet unknown, but our imaginations, fed by our on-the-ground knowledge of the realities of our operating environments, already have many of us considering what we must do to protect and even advance the things we value. The truth is it is hard to see what parts of the rhetoric of the campaign will be brought forth, but we do have some control over how we will carry on.  Continue reading


"When you think of the big gala events, you have to scratch your head and say, 'why do people go to all that effort?' I mean, those can be effective fundraisers, if done responsibly. But when they net very little or fail to  break even, doing nothing but raising awareness, I don't buy into that."
These are the words of Jacqueline Caster, founder and president of the Everychild Foundation, and master of the art of creating women's giving circles-an effective and increasingly popular way to raise money. 
The Everychild Foundation model has had a significant impact, and not just locally. It has been replicated by over 15 organizations, including two in London, some in other states, and many throughout California.   Continue Reading


Center for New Americans
Community Action
There are many more positions available!
Click here to see all the job listings
Click here for the weekly job bulletin

Safe Passage

United Way

Mark Your Calendars!

Dec. 13  - COSA Meeting
For a Membership Form. Click  here

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