RAP Quarterly Newsletter Vol. 22 - April 2019
In This Issue:
Center for Nonprofit Advancement (CNA) Corner
John Epps, CNA Director

How can we help you build great nonprofit organizations?
Here are a few of the ideas we have been discussing and working on at the Center for Nonprofit Advancement:
  • Five Star Organizational Development
  • Fundraising and Grant Proposal Writing seminars
  • Program Design and Evaluation courses
  • Finance and Accounting classes
  • Marketing and Social Media workshops
  • Staff and Volunteer Development programs
  • Information Management and Office Technology training
  • Leadership Development
  • Board Connection to train existing boards and recruit new board members
  • Executive Coaching using group and individual sessions
  • Developing High Results Team forums
  • Capacity Building Model
  • Intake and orientation to establish goals and objectives
  • Full organizational assessment using the OCAT
  • Scheduling additional trainings and services for individuals and organizations as needed
  • Consulting Services in a wide range of areas including marketing, human resources/talent development, and planning
  • Implementing Results-Based Frameworks
  • Asset Mapping
  • Advocacy and Public Policy Education
Please share with us your thoughts and ideas so we can work together to make each of our organizations the best we can be! Email me at jepps@rapfoundation.org with your comments and suggestions. Thanks!

Check out RAP's website for upcoming events and available resources. 

Desert Fast Pitch 2019

The 6th Annual Desert Fast Pitch Event (the "finals") will be held on November 20 at UCR Palm Desert Campus. Three prizes to be awarded in three categories: The Top Prize $20,000; the Most Innovative $15,000 and Audience Choice Award $10,000.
This year's applicants, consisting of Executive Directors and Development Officers, will be representing the following nonprofits:
  • Hope Thru Housing
  • FAIR Foundation
  • Desert's Best Friends Closet
  • Friends of the Desert Mountains
  • Boo to Bullying
  • Create Center for the Arts
  • Cabot's Pueblo Museum
  • Coachella Valley Housing Coalition
In addition to competing for the cash grants, all of the representatives will have the opportunity to participate in Workshops in Marketing, Social Media and Branding/Public Relations over several months to increase their skills in these key areas.  

Need more information, contact:  

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.
Introducing our newest RAP Board Member, Mathew Gonda, CPA

The Regional Access Project Foundation is pleased to welcome the newest member of the Foundation Board, Mathew Gonda. Matt lives in Palm Desert with his wife, Krysten, and their three kids.

"I've known about RAP for years and been impressed by the work of the organization and positive impact it's made on the Valley," Matt says. "RAP operates differently from most other organizations in the Valley -- rather than trying to make itself bigger, its goal is to operate for the benefit of other non-profit organizations. I find the mission to be both refreshing and necessary."

But that's not the end of Matt's commitment.

"Coachella Valley has both immense need and immense resources. There are a wide variety of non-profits operating that desperately need to both know about and use the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, request and receive funding, and meet and network with other non-profit leaders and organizations," he says. "To that end, I can think of no better way to dedicate my efforts than to be a part of RAP in order to maintain and, where possible, help improve the standing and reputation of the Organization."
CEO Report
Lety De Lara, CEO

I hope you are all enjoying our wildflower blooms throughout our desert communities. There are so many colorful fields and interesting weather to experience: just driving out of the Coachella Valley to the west, as I often do, is a visual experience which you never get tired of.

While the flowers do their magic, the RAP Board has been planting the seeds of several interesting projects that include learning new skills to produce better performance results in our focus areas.

The board received a capacity-building grant from the Weingart Foundation that was used to get trained in Results Based Accountability (RBA). According to Mark Friedman, author of Trying Hard is Not Good Enough,"RBA starts with ends and words backwards, step by step, towards means." We look forward to the blossoming of RBA in our grant-making and capacity-building resources. We hope to increase our effectiveness by collaborating with community partners by utilizing this community collective model.

In addition, RAP board and staff are anticipating our annual Strategic Planning Session planned for April.   This will serve as our guide for the next year's funding priorities.

New Board Member

We welcome our newest board member, Matthew Gonda who is a Partner with CGC Accountant & Advisors. More information about "Matt" follows. We are pleased to have him on the board to share his professional skills and exploring his interests in serving our community

CNA Director Retiring

It is with mixed emotions that we announce the impending retirement of our Center for Nonprofit Advancement (CNA) Director John Epps in June.  Sadness that he is leaving us, happiness on his being able to retire and enjoy a new phase of life.
John has been instrumental in enhancing the CNA program in the last three years, focusing on offering educational resources in Leadership Development, Governance and Communication.  In addition, he introduced a membership model that increased the access to more nonprofits throughout eastern Riverside County.  CNA's membership is almost 100 members and the list is growing. 
We wish John a happy retirement so he can spend more quality time with his recently retired wife, Faye.  Fortunately for RAP, John has made it clear that he plans to continue with CNA as a consultant and trainer on a limited basis.
We plan to celebrate John's retirement at a CNA mixer in June.  Details will be shared in the CNA E-Blasts in the near future. 
RAP will be looking for someone to take over the reigns of CNA and will be releasing information about the position no later than April 8 with applications due by May 1.  
Recent Grants

The RAP board recently allocated grants to the following organizations:
  • Desert Recreation District
  • The Unforgettables Foundation
  • The Senior Inspiration Awards Luncheon
  • Riverside County Child Care Consortium
  • The LGBT Sanctuary Palm Springs
  • Columbiere Retreat Center
  • Rotary Club's Math Day
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

Recent Co mmunity events 
U nforgettables event honoring community leaders John Epps and board member Bea Gonzalez alongside Tim Evans & Lety. 

Pueblo Unido's Community Event in early March 2019. Lety along with her husband, Denys  Arcuri and their new friend "Missy" the Goat.  

California Care Force's Free Clinic at the Riverside County Fairgrounds on March the 22 to the 24th.  

Riverside County Child Care Consortium hosted Dia de Los Niños events in Coachella, Cathedral City, La Quinta and Desert Hot Springs on March 9.  

May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health and Community Development
Laura Choi, Federal Reserve Bank Community Development Research Manager. Co-editor of the Community Development Innovation Review.

The first time I became acutely aware of the importance of mental health was in high school, when I lost a friend to suicide. It remains one of the most defining experiences of my youth, both in terms of the immediate shock and grief, as well as what I learned by observing the reactions of others.

In our tight-knit immigrant community, the prevailing response was to actively avoid the issue. I assumed everyone stayed silent to minimize the family's shame, but looking back, I now realize that we were woefully unequipped to respond. We lacked a fundamental understanding of mental health and how to talk about mental health challenges in productive ways, largely driven by cultural stigma. Adults also missed a critical opportunity to change the narrative and shine a light on the importance of proactive mental health promotion. That experience taught me an important lesson: mental health is foundational to every aspect of a healthy, productive life and it must be actively and openly cultivated.

Expanding the Healthy Communities Conversation to Include Mental Health

Over the past decade, the community development field has made great progress in bringing a health lens to its work, and exciting  new partnerships between the health and community development  sectors are taking shape across the country. These efforts have tended to focus on the connections between place and physical health, with a focus on neighborhood revitalization as a strategy for reducing rates of preventable chronic disease like  asthma , diabetes, and obesity. However, the healthy communities movement has been less explicit about mental, emotional, and behavioral health, and it's time for that to change. The stunning increase in suicide,  alcohol- and drug-induced death , coupled with rising rates of anxiety and depression, particularly  among youth , demands our collective attention and action.    READ MORE...

HARC Take the Call Campaign.
The 2019 Coachella Valley Community Health Survey
By Jenna LeComte-Hinely, PhD
This is HARC's fifth survey of the health of the Coachella Valley community. Our partner, Kent State University, will be calling residents across the Valley, on landlines and cell phones, to ask you to participate in this survey. The survey is via telephone, completely confidential, and each week one participant will be selected to win $100. Anyone who lives in the Coachella Valley for 30 days or more per year is eligible to participate. Calls will be made from January to July 2019, so keep an eye out! For more information, visit    HARCdata.org/CV-survey.