2017 Nonprofit Conference "Opening the Door to Excellence", Desert Fast Pitch and So Much More!
Wow! What a smashing success. More than 200 nonprofit professionals enjoyed the day at the 2017 Nonprofit Conference which took place on September 28 at the Double Tree Hotel in Cathedral City
This year's three featured speakers included: Jan Masaoka, CEO of California Association of Nonprofits, Don Howard CEO and President of the James Irvine Foundation, and high school basketball Coach Ken Carter, who inspired the 2005 Paramount movie "Coach Carter." They were all fantastic!
"Excellent job on this year's 2017 Nonprofit Conference and Desert Fast Pitch! The information provided during the conference was extremely insightful, among them Dr. Anthony Silard's session. Also, this year's keynote speaker, Coach Ken Carter, inspired us to carry on our work and to "reset and preset" to deliver the maximum impact to those we serve. I look forward to attending another excellent conference next year!" Cristina Gregorio, Director of College & Career Success | OneFuture Coachella Valley.
"Thank you!" to the following organizations for their financial contribution to support this event: Union Bank, Borrego Health, First 5 Riverside, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Desert HealthCare District, The California Endowment, Fourth District County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, Bank of America, Riverside County Economic Development Agency, The Desert Community Foundation, The Community Foundation, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), and Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo.
Desert Fast Pitch competition, wherein six nonprofits made their three minute pitch to the audience and judges ; 4ShayJ Foundation; Jewish Family Service of the Desert; Operation SafeHouse; Read With Me Volunteer Program; Smooth Transition; and The Unforgettables.
"They are all winners!" said 4th District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez.
This year's judges had a tough time deciding because all six organizations delivered strong pitches and all six have worthwhile causes. This year's Top Prize of $20,000 went to 4ShayJFoundation, the Most Innovative/Impactful award of $15,000 went to Operation SafeHouse and the Audience Choice award of $10,000 also went to Operation SafeHouse.
If you missed the competition, you can watch the action by visiting our YouTube Channel (videos to be added shortly)
This year's "inspirational speaker" was high school basketball Coach Ken Carter. Coach Carter provided some memorable anecdotes about coaching his championship boys' and girls' basketball teams and life experiences which influenced him.
"We at RAP feel very fortunate to have Coach Carter make himself available later in the evening to speak to over 150 local high school students, said RAP Board Chairman Mark Moran.
"Students from Bobby Duke Middle School, Coachella Valley High School, Cahuilla Desert Academy Desert Mirage High School and La Familia High School attended the event with Coach Carter," added Trini Arredondo, Coachella Valley Youth Leadership Director.
"Students really enjoyed meeting Coach Carter and getting to connect with a celebrity. When I ask students today what they thought, many remember him saying to be different than everybody else. Look Sharp and cut your hair.
"As their mentor, I want to thank the RAP Foundation for including Joven Noble students-it's a rare opportunity when students get to connect with a real celebrity like Coach Carter. Anytime we can connect youth with a role model who has had a similar struggle in life, with a positive outcome, it's just amazing. I'm happy 67 Joven Noble students attended the event."
In addition, students from Desert Hot Springs High School, Cathedral City High School and the Fourth District Supervisorial Youth Advisory Council also attended.
Pictured: John Epps, Stuart McClain, Coach Carter, Leticia De Lara, Eva Guenther-James, and Mireya Reyes.
Nonprofit Certificate Program
Congratulations to the graduating class of the UCR Nonprofit Certificate Program. On July 14, we celebrated the successful completion of the 35 week program by the following students: Eevet Edens, Cameron Moulton, Armando Ehrenzweig, Julisa Parker, Jacquelyn Tricco, Kimberly Barraza and Paula Willis. They completed the vigorous program to better prepare them to build the capacity of their respective nonprofits.
"I am new in the nonprofit industry. I was expecting to have a guide on how run my organization more effectively," said Armando Ehrenweig. "I was very pleased to learn so much not only from the teachers but also from my classmates.
"Most topics were new for me," he said. "I was a sponge in every class!
"This helps anyone to get a better understanding of the game to perform better. As nonprofits grow, so do the challenges. A person with more knowledge and professional connections will deliver a lot of value to the organization."
This year RAP is making a change!
"We actually have the next UCR Certificate of Nonprofit class of 20 students underway already," said executive director Lety De Lara. "In addition, we also concurrently have the Advanced Nonprofit Certificate Program with 10 students ongoing. We are excited to have so many people in the nonprofit sector interested in learning new skills to make a positive impact in our community."
Check out the CNA Corner for more details about the new programs.
Certificate Program graduating class in July 2017.
Supporting Nonprofits' Search for Grants
RAP provides two free online research services:
- 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.
- 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 John Epps at:
or call at 760 674-9992
to make a reservation.
Fall is here and there is a great deal of activity at the Regional Access Project (RAP) Foundation.
RAP is celebrating our 25th Anniversary and we are extremely proud of the role the organization has had in filling the gaps in health and social services in the Coachella and Palo Verde Valleys. We believe it is important to continue to acknowledge the people who have made significant contributions to RAP through the years. Although there have been many people who we would like to acknowledge, the most notable are previous 4th District County Supervisors Patricia "Corky" Larson, the late Roy Wilson and John J. Benoit, all previous and current RAP Board members, our original Blue Ribbon Committee, our volunteer readers, the initial RAP Director Aurora Wilson and, of course, Judee Cox, who led the organization for more than 20 years.
Moving into our next chapter, we are excited about our Ribbon Cutting event scheduled for Tuesday, October 24 at 5:00 PM. We invite you to join us in the celebration as we dedicate RAP's Center for Nonprofit Advancement facility to the nonprofits serving our communities. Please RSVP to
The RAP Board recently approved grants to the following three organizations; One Future Coachella Valley, The Galilee Center and the Variety Children's Charity of the Desert.
The RAP board also approved the next Request for Proposal Mental Health Initiative 2017.2 to be released on October 18. It will focus on Youth ages 6 - 18. Make sure to check out our website for more information about the criteria and the mandatory meeting dates and times for organizations interested in applying.
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
Center for Nonprofit Advancement (CNA) Corner
By John Epps
Two exciting classes have started at the UCR Palm Desert Campus this Fall. Each will continue the RAP Foundation's commitment to growing the leadership capacity of the nonprofits in eastern Riverside County.
Non-Profit Management Certificate provides a detailed exploration of nonprofit management for professionals in the industry as well as those looking to make a career change. Coursework focuses on organizational development, legal issues, and best practices in management, financial management, special event planning, fund development, and social media marketing. A capstone course provides participants with an opportunity to develop their skills and explore special issues.
Participants in this certificate program obtain an overview of the unique roles and responsibilities for nonprofit managers, including:
- Legal requirements
- Board development
- Financial responsibilities
Advanced Non-Profit Management Certificate provides a continuation of the development initiated in the Non-Profit Management Certificate Program. Coursework focuses on developing organizational resources, increasing assets and capacity, evaluating and improving programs, and implementing financial management strategies that position the organization for sustainability and growth. A capstone course provides participants with an opportunity to create a strategic communication plan to share expectations and disseminate change for both internal and external stakeholders of the organization.
Participants in this certificate program obtain an in-depth examination of the essential roles and responsibilities for growing nonprofit organizations, including:
- Recruiting, managing, and supporting top talent
- Acquiring the resources needed to effectively deliver programs and services
- Implementing systems, policies and practices for better financial results
- Measure and improve programs and services by identifying the correct outcomes and properly evaluating impact and efficiency
Both classes began September 22, 2017 and end in July 2018 with a graduation ceremony to celebrate with their staff, family, and friends. Perhaps the most important part of the program after the content is the relationships they students build with fellow students from the other organizations who become their teammates and friends. These relationships open the door to collaboration and mentoring opportunities that endure long after the last class paper. As this program continues, we see graduates moving up the professional ladder within their organizations. Several of the students in the current classes are the second and third generation from the same organization. This program is a major part of the mission of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement's strategic plan to open up a thriving culture and increase the professional skills of the organizations that serve the communities in eastern Riverside County and beyond.
The next CNA Nonprofit Mixer is scheduled for November 8, 2017 - Blythe, CA 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM