RAP Quarterly Newsletter Vol. 20 - October  2018
In This Issue:
Center for Nonprofit Advancement (CNA) Corner
John Epps, CNA Director.

Leadership - Staying Calm in the Midst of the Storm 
One of the things that has always been constant is change. "Design Thinking", "Systems Leadership", "Circular Processes", everyday there is a new theory, or a new term, or a new idea. How do we keep up? One of the keys to navigating these turbulent times is having a clear focus on our vision and a strong commitment to our mission. Staying "on course" as a leader today requires developing skills and talents that are informed by the past, constantly adapting to the present, and willing to take risks on the future.  
Regional Access Project's Center for Nonprofit Advancement (CNA) is embracing leadership development as a priority for improving the nonprofit professional community. We see this as an opportunity to enrich the leadership pool with new, trained, and motivated talent that is prepared to use the skills and expertise they develop to build stronger and better organizations.    
One component of CNA's "Leadership Pipeline" is the Emerging Leaders program.  This project's mission is to challenge and inspire the next generation of leaders and help them develop a strong presence in nonprofit organizations. Today's emerging leaders (ages approximately 20 - 40) are filled with innovative thinkers who can make a change in their communities. We strive to introduce and nurture thoughtful, passionate emerging leaders to enrich the nonprofit sector by providing them with the knowledge, experience, and support they may need to succeed and make a difference.   
CNA is currently supporting our 13th cohort of the UCR Nonprofit Management Certificate program. This program trains managers and leaders in new and growing nonprofits to develop the basic skills they need to run their organizations. The five courses in this program are: Nonprofit Management, Grant Proposal Writing, Fundraising Essentials, Social Media Marketing, and Case Studies and Current Issues in Nonprofit Management. These courses give new leaders a well-rounded foundation for nonprofit success.   
At the other end of the CNA leadership continuum is the Leadership Advisory Council (LAC), a working group of experienced and seasoned leaders committed to ascertain and promote board standards, qualifications, and best practices.  LAC intends to help nonprofit leaders identify and develop future leaders, address key issues facing the leadership in organizations, and develop guidelines to support the successful implementation of innovative programs and strategies for the success of social change in the nonprofit industry.  
In Fiscal Year 2017-2018, CNA offered a series of classes for Board members titled "Centering the Board" focused on Board Roles and Responsibilities, Board Ethics, and Board Finance and Funding.  These classes and many more are available for your professional and leadership development needs.  
CNA also began our first Executive Coaching program providing group and one-to-one coaching for nonprofit leaders and managers.   
CNA is partnering with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) to recruit, train, and manage a mentoring program for Development Officers and Fundraisers.  
There is a lot at CNA to help you become a better leader and help your organization become better in so many ways. Don't wait, contact us today to get involved.  Be prepared for the storms!  


RAP's Center for Nonprofit Advancement (CNA) has taken an interest in promoting participation in the 2020 Census among the nonprofit community.

CNA will be partnering with Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) to host a meeting to launch the local 2020 Census campaign. It will take place on October 29 from 9 am to Noon at the RAP facility located at 41550 Eclectic St. in Palm Desert.

According to the Leadership Conference Education Fund, community organizations have an important role in making the 2020 Census a success. Community Leaders can raise their voices in support of needed leadership and adequate resources for the 2020 Census... Organizations can become official census partners. More than 250,000 organizations--from large organizations and companies to community-based groups, faith institutions, and social clubs--were part of 2020 Census Partners Program. Partners educate their own members, constituents, and customers about the importance of completing the census form and serve as "trusted messengers" to help ease concerns about data confidentiality.

More information will follow about the October 29 meeting; there will be several speakers who will be presenting information about getting involved and available resources.   Feel free to contact Jennifer Braun, CNA Services Manager for more information.

UCR Certificate in Nonprofit Management 2018  

Desert Fast Pitch 2018

This year's Desert Fast Pitch competition is underway. Over the last five  months, local nonprofit teams consisting of Executive Directors and Development Officers have been meeting with coaches and mentors who have expertise in Marketing, Social Media and Branding/Public Relations. The teams will be expected to put together a proposal aimed at cultivating future supporters for their respective organizations.
This new component is an addition to the existing format of developing a three minute pitch to provide additional training in key areas which will lead to future sustainability.
The "Pitch," which consists of a three minute compelling presentation by program representatives, includes an "ask" for support which is still the highlight. You are invited to attend the two regional events taking place in October at which time six contestants will be selected to advance to the Finals.  It's a great opportunity for networking and for observing the competition.
  • The Western Regional Event will be in conjunction with the Center for Nonprofit Advancement's Nonprofit Mixer on October 16 at 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM at the Regional Access Project Foundation's facility located at 41-550 Eclectic St. in Palm Desert.   The program will start with networking and the main event will be five participants each making a 3 minute pitch. Judges will select three presenters as finalists.
  • The Eastern Regional Event Nonprofit Mixer will be on October 18 at 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM at the Galilee Center located at 66101 Hammond Road in Mecca. The evening will start with CNA tenants sharing information about their programs and an opportunity to tour the Palm Desert facility. The main event will be five participants each making a 3 minute pitch. Judges will select three presenters as finalists.
Finally, the Desert Fast Pitch Event (the "finals") will be on  November 13
from 2:00 -5:00 PM at UCR Palm Desert Campus . At this time, three prizes will be awarded in three categories: The Top Prize $20,000; the Most Innovative $15,000 and Audience Choice Award $10,000. The program will consist of the following:
  • Eventology by Daren Diess
  • Nachhatar S. Chandi- Inspirational speaker
  • Desert Fast Pitch Competition - six participants delivering 3 minute pitches.
We are excited about the change in the format and hope that it will be capture your interest to the point that you will join us for each of the events, especially the Final event which will provide you an opportunity to select the  Audience Choice winner. Hope to see you there!

CEO Report
Lety De Lara, CEO

Well, fall has fallen and that means we're off and running for another busy season.  Many organizations are already emerging from summer hibernation ("aestivation," if you want to get technical about it) and launching into what we all hope will be another success story.
 The RAP Board of Directors resumed their activity in September.  Major actions recently taken included-but are not limited to--approval of RAP's 25th Anniversary 2017-18 Annual Report, acceptance of the Annual Audit Report, and decision to the continue the Mental Health Initiative  (MHI) for a fifth year.
Speaking of the MHI, we are all very pleased about the impact it has made on our residents.  HARC provided us with early data to demonstrate the improvement our service providers have had as a result of RAP funding.  To learn more about the HARC report which provides details of those funded, number of direct and indirect served and impacts, we are glad to share the report with you.
The RAP Board recently allocated grants to the following organizations:
  • The Mizell Senior Center
  • The Youth Grief and Loss Support Program comprised of a partnership between Cancer Partners and Desert Sands Unified School District.
  • California Partnerships
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • The Flying Doctors
  • The Colorado River Senior Center
  • Operation SafeHouse of the Desert
  • Lift To Rise
  • TODEC Legal Center
  • All Things are Possible

Dr.   David Morgan, Retiring Los Medicos Voladores Chief Medical Officer with Dolores Huerta, RAP and CVUSD officials
Flying Doctors Appreciation/Recognition event 2018
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, Margarita Felix, Lety De Lara, RAP
board members: Bea Gonzalez and Rudy Gutierrez and Congressman Raul Ruiz's Representative Peter Carlstrom. 
RAP staff ha d an opp ortunity to attend the Annual Southern California Grantmakers Conference in  Los Angeles on September 17.   The theme of this year's conference was "Our Common Humanity."  We learned from regional and national speakers on following topics of interest to us:  Grantmaking, Engaging Communities, Philanthropy, Poverty, Hidden Biases and Collaboratives for Change.   It was a long day, but well worth our time and effort to make the trip.
SCG Conference 2018
Jennifer Braun, Lety De Lara and Eva Guenther-James
The Center for Nonprofit Advancement's (CNA) Conference was held on September 19 at the UCR Palm Desert Campus.  The theme was "Capacity Building Through Developing Stronger Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector."  The speakers and topics included:
  • Advocacy and Why it Applies & Matters To All Nonprofits by Michelle Maghalong,  PhD
  • Social Enterprise/Social Innovation by Karthick Ramakrishnan , PhD
  • Eventology by Darren Diess and Michelle Gillman, Strategic Funding Solutions
  • Strategic Relationship Building with Funders by Margarita Luna,Program Manager with The California Endowment,  Diane Schlesinger, Trustee with Anderson Children's Foundation and Eva Guenther-James Grants Manager with RAP
  • Fiduciary Duties by Robert Hendrix, CPA, MBA
  • Board Governance by Eve Fromberg - Edelstein, Esq.
  • Maintaining a Grant Management Database and Calendar by Jennifer Braun with RAP
We greatly appreciate the support from UCR Palm Desert Campus and all of our speakers and volunteers.  Thank you to all those who attended and provided ideas for future topics.  I especially want to acknowledge the masterminds of this year's event John Epps, CNA Director and Jennifer Braun, CNA Services Manager.  Great job!
Nonprofit Leadership Conference 2018
As always, we look forward to continuing to support our local nonprofits in their ongoing efforts to improve the lives of our residents
Lety De Lara, CEO
Don't Miss:   
Next  Mental Health Initiative Request for Proposals expected to be released in early  December . Make sure you are on RAP's email distribution list to be informed.

Also,  " The Real Cost Measure in California 2018 sponsored by the United Ways of California is a poverty measure conveying the real cost of living in California households. " There is specific information on Riverside County regarding housing, child care, healthcare, transportation and other basic needs. Check out the full report "Struggling to Stay Afloat: The Real Cost Measure in California 2018" by United Ways of California in partnership with B3 Consults.
Supporting Nonprofits' Search for Grants
Besides having a lending library of many books in nonprofit topics, for example, Nonprofit Management, Human Resources, Writing Proposals, etc., RAP provides two
free online research services at our facility.

The Foundation Center is the nation's leading authority on institutional philanthropy and serves grant seekers, grant makers, researchers, policy makers, the media and general public.
And Grant Station provides additional funding sources including Federal, State and regional grants.

These online resource services are available to nonprofits and can be easily viewed at the RAP office. Contact Jennifer Braun at Jbraun-Christensen@RAPFoundation.org   or call at 760 674-9992 to make a reservation.
Executive Coaching Project

We are proud of CNA's ongoing    Executive C oaching project funded by
Wells Fargo. The purpose of the project is to develop Leadership skills to help revitalize and strengthen local nonprofits. A partnership between executive directors and emerging leaders develops during six sessions over a 6-month period.

The coaches include consultants working with CNA with expertise in Leadership, Technology, Innovation, Finance, Human and Social Skills.

Lucy Moreno, Community Engagement Program Manager with Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc. is participating in the Executive Coaching Project and shared her thoughts about her experiences so far.
"This experience has brought me clarity in areas such as self-awareness, professional growth, and it's safe to say increased my personal well being.
Our meeting on the topic of emotional intelligent, sparked conversations that helped me look at my professional behavior and how I can grow and help those around me grow as well.  As a participant at the table, I learned so much about my managing skills and areas I was strong and areas where I could improve. Professional growth was a large part of my learning experience, especially as a manager.
Changing the Narrative was a session that was different for me, knowing that we can make a difference in the work we do if we change our story. We can use this skill in speaking with our community members, by telling stories they can relate to and understand. Changing the narrative is a strategy to select a version of the story that can help someone in times of need. It can also help us to reach our funders, sponsors and collaborative friends..."

We all recognize the importance in investing in developing and supporting our talent. However, many times this is not possible because limited financial resources need to be channeled to fundamental services. And so RAP appreciates the generous contribution that Wells Fargo made which benefits many more organizations, by making capacity- building resources available at a reasonable cost.