2018 Year in Review

Collaborating to Promote Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday, a national day of philanthropy, has grown nationally over the last six years,
but hadn’t quite caught on in the Upper Peninsula. After hearing from a number of grassroots organizations that Giving Tuesday needed a U.P. wide coordinator, Grow & Lead pulled together a committee of nonprofit leaders

Grow & Lead developed an information hub, give906.org, that allowed U.P. based nonprofits to post their projects and links. Media all over the region shared information on this site, making it simple for donors interested in learning more about Giving Tuesday to find opportunities in one place.

Additionally, we provided promotional materials and support by sharing organizations ’content on social media, streaming live on Facebook throughout the day and taking photos with 906 balloons.

Through an online survey, $405,440 in local Giving Tuesday donations has been reported so far!

Giving Tuesday isn’t the only way we’ve helped U.P. nonprofit organizations. In 2018, we’ve assisted 85 organizations with 146 requests for information. Our capacity-building services are available at no-to-low cost, thanks to donations from our communities. If you know a nonprofit in need of assistance, contact us at 906-228-8919.

Sharing Nonprofit Knowledge

Grow & Lead hosted the 2018 U.P. Nonprofit Conference in October. Topics covered at this year’s conference focused on leadership in the nonprofit sector. Keynote speaker, DemarraGardner, Principal Consultant at Change Agent Consulting, focused on balancing the head (skills and knowledge) with the heart (emotions) to become a consistent leader.

Chad Mager of Grow & Lead led an activity using case studies that let attendees discuss issues that nonprofits run into routinely and develop a best practice on moving forward.

The U.P. Service Awards were presented to five outstanding individuals and organizations that provide countless volunteer hours to their community. The day closed with a panel discussion on crisis communications.

Support from donors and sponsors helped us keep registration rates low for all attendees and provide seven scholarships to members that needed financial assistance to attend.

Developing Leaders for Tomorrow

Including youth voice in our work with nonprofits will not only guide us as we move forward, but it also helps youth to consider their possibilities. Here is one success story you helped write.

In 2015, Grow & Lead convened adults and youth from across the U.P. wanting to work together for community change. We recently received an update from Alli Sackett, who attended as a high school junior, on the impact that convening had on her trajectory.

When I attended the “Rise U.P. for Youth” convening in Marquette, I never knew it would help me see my future. I learned I had a strong voice and a big heart for helping people. And I left with a new friend, Karen [Karen Wolf, aka Wolfi, is an employee of Grow & Lead].  She was all about getting business done, with a good sense of humor mind you. She helped me and my peers at Ironwood Alternative School to organize our own youth summit at Gogebic Community College and persuade the school administration to have a youth survey done for the Gogebic/Ontonagon School District. 

The more I worked with Karen, the more I learned about options for my future and how to have my voice heard. I learned about nonprofit organizations. I knew I would want to be a part of one someday. I began working at Little Caesars after attempting college and I started volunteering every Thursday at DOVE bingo.

DOVEInc. is a nonprofit that provides services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and so much more for GogebicandIron Counties. After several months of volunteering, I was encouraged to apply for a job opening they had for a Client Advocate. Little did I know that would open so many opportunities for me.

I am now the Lead Advocate/Shelter Coordinator. I oversee advocate duties and assist in the training of new advocates. I provide client support, crisis intervention, safety planning and maintain the stability of the shelter. I’m also responsible for the intake and orientation of residents entering the shelter and assisting residents with exits. I support clients with their decisions and empower individuals to make the right choice for themselves. I am also responsible for maintaining positive communications, resolving interpersonal conflicts, observing safety, health and sanitation code.

Being able to empower and encourage clients to make their own decisions and being proud of their own choices is one of the most rewarding opportunities in my job. Working at DOVE Inc. is a blessing. I truly do love my job.

Honoring Outstanding Students

In April, Grow & Lead was honored to recognize 48 area high school seniors for their academic achievement. Each student received a $1,500 scholarship at the 25th annual Excellence in Education Week program. In addition, $500 professional development awards were presented to 25 Marquette and Alger county educators to further academic training or enhance classroom activities.

“Since this program started in 1994, we’ve been fortunate to work with schools, businesses, foundations and individuals in Marquette and Alger counties to recognize students, their families and their teachers for the culmination of their hard work.” – Amy Quinn, CEO, Grow & Lead

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