November 2015 - Engage Today to Shape Tomorrow
This quarter, CDW's Learning Lab is promoting civic engagement in Central Louisiana. Civic engagement is "t he common thread of participation in and building of one's community. It means improving the quality of life, making a difference, and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, trust and motivation among people to give back." 
Communities are highly developed when their residents are civically engaged in voting, volunteering and giving.

 Geaux Vote, Cenla
Voting ensures participation by local citizens in the democratic process. Are you, your board, staff and volunteers registered to vote? Are your constituents registered? To foster community support to affect change on important issues, your nonprofit can play a role in the voting process. 

Encouraging voter participation gives a voice to the voiceless among you, igniting the charge for local community members to get involved in decision making. Louisiana has a strong record for adult and youth voting rates in the United States. For 2014, the voting rate in Louisiana (50.2%) was higher than the national voting rate of 41.9%. (Source:

CDW's Learning Lab can help you navigate resources from the Louisiana Secretary of State's office ( to truly make an impact in your community, from voter registration drive kits to accessing information on the latest voting statistics. You may also browse any of the many books on public policy, advocacy and community engagement.

Important Election Dates

Ask Others to Serve
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service 2013 report on Volunteering and Civic Life in America, Louisiana ranks last among U.S. states in Volunteerism with a 17.8% rate. But if you ask a Cenla resident, they might not feel this accurately represents HOW MUCH they truly volunteer.

Some reports may not always capture the many ways that residents volunteer and serve each other in the community. But one thing is certain: 

Most volunteers report that their main reason for serving is because they were  asked to serve

As the holiday season approaches, volunteers will be needed for coat drives, food drives, galas and more. Getting the word out for volunteer opportunities with your nonprofit is easier than ever with a variety of online sites and social media. You can actually seek volunteers where they are rather than having them come to you. For instance, if you want to reach Millennials, social media is definitely one of the best tools to use. A new volunteer is just a Facebook post, a quick tweet, or text message away from becoming an active supporter for your organization's cause. 

101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: a field guide

This resource (available in CDW's Learning Lab) is a practical handbook for the field that helps you make the most of your social media tools. Choose from 101 strategies on how to manage and support a social media program that breaks through the internet clutter directly to the volunteers you want to engage. Tactics include quick, easy-to-follow steps you'll need to ensure a successful implementation.

Also be sure to check out these other resources, such as: 
  • 365 Ideas for Recruiting, Retaining, Motivating and Rewarding Your Volunteers
  • The Volunteer Recruitment Book
Visit   CDW's Volunteerism resources  on our website for a list of Local, State, and National matching services where you can post volunteer opportunities for your organization.
 Encourage Giving
'Tis the season of giving! Now is the time to add to your donor base and gain new supporters while the spirit of helping others is resonating through the community. Consider starting a #GivingTuesday campaign for your nonprofit this year.

Have donors share their giving story using  #MYGIVINGSTORY and their favorite nonprofit (hopefully yours!) could win up to $5,000. Find toolkits, ideas, and contest rules at

Or, make a little giving mean a lot by using these online shopping sites for community giving. Consumers can choose to have a small percentage of their purchases go toward their charity of choice. To start, try registering your nonprofit at some of these well-known hubs:

Giving USA 2015
Americans Donated an Estimated $358.38 Billion to Charity in 2014; Highest Total in Report's 60-year History.

This Annual Report on Philanthropy is a publication reporting on the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States.

CDW's Learning Lab subscribes annually to the special reports, charts and data tables. Request to view the Giving USA 2015 report or to obtain graphics to include in your presentations.
 Funding Opportunities

Head Start and/or Early Head Start Funding Available
(Vernon Parish)
The Administration for Children and Families solicits applications from public or private nonprofit organizations, or for-profit organizations that seek to provide a high quality, comprehensive birth-to-five program incorporating both Head Start and Early Head Start funding, or to provide for Head Start only or Early Head Start only, to children and families residing in Vernon Parish, Louisiana.

Deadline: 11/30/2015

School Library Grants
The Laura Bush Foundation is awarding up to $7,000 to school libraries to foster reading, encourage student learning and make books accessible to more students.
DEADLINE: 12/14/2015

Community Grants Available
Walmart Foundation will award grants focused on the following core areas: 
  • Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating
  • Sustainability
  • Women's Economic Empowerment
  • Career Opportunity
DEADLINE: 12/31/2015
Read More

Baseball Tomorrow Fund
Major League Baseball provides funding to promote youth participation in baseball and softball and to address needs unique to a community. 

Deadline: 01/01/2016

Workforce Opportunity Grant Available
Grant promotes partnerships between post-secondary institutions and Central Louisiana businesses for training and education for above-median income occupations for which there is a demonstrated unmet employer demand.

Deadline: OPEN

In This Issue
Proven to Work
from CDW's Learning Lab

Making Things Work: Considerations in Nonprofit Strategy
Nonprofit Quarterly 
Fall 2015

Keys to any successful nonprofit include commitment to mission, performance and excellence. Another essential component is branding, establishing an identity for your organization. How does your nonprofit brand measure up?  Learn about the Eight Building Blocks of Strong Nonprofit Brands and more in this latest issue.

How Does
Your Board
Stack  Up?
Harvard Business Review
September 2015
Stanford researchers conducted a survey of over 924 nonprofits and found that nonprofit executive directors and board members often fall short in their roles. Read the full report and learn why and what to avoid for your nonprofit.

Explore the latest best practices in these journals and other periodicals when visiting  CDW's Learning Lab. We subscribe to innovative and insightful resources so you don't have to!
Upcoming Trainings

As an Affiliate Member of NRMC, CDW's Learning Lab has exclusive access to their vault of training resources on nonprofit risk management for nonprofit board members and executive leaders.

Volunteer Risk Management Myths
and Truths
(Recorded January 28, 2015)

This fast-paced webinar covers seven topics related to volunteer risk management. Learn to distinguish between common "myths" and lesser known "truths" when it comes to engaging volunteers in your mission. You'll also learn about resources that can help you understand and manage the risks that arise when you engage volunteers. 

Webinar Materials:
( Need the Flash Player?

For more info on NRMC's webinars and how to use the resources, make an appointment to visit the Learning Lab for a tour.
Engage Community

CDW's Learning Lab is your local  civic engagement resource center  in Central Louisiana where nonprofits, community, civic clubs, neighborhood associations, faith-based groups and concerned citizens can research successful program models and community statistics, identify funding and volunteer opportunities, and stay current on the latest best practice research and nonprofit news. 
By offering these tools to community members who want to make a difference and motivate others to do the same, CDW's  Learning Lab is the  C ommunity Builder's WorkSpace .

Community Development Works 
1101 4th Street, Suite 101B 
Alexandria, Louisiana 71301

For more info, contact:
Felicia Walker
CDW Learning Lab Technician