Category Archives: Community Organizing

2020 Year in Review

Reimagining the U.P. Nonprofit Conference

The annual U.P. Nonprofit Conference has provided an exciting opportunity for nonprofit leaders, board members, staff and volunteers from throughout the U.P. to come together to learn, discuss and share common concerns and ideas that influence our communities. Sadly, in 2020, the traditional event had to be cancelled. We took the time to survey previous attendees and members, and are excited to launch a new opportunity for nonprofits to connect and learn. 

You may have noticed we called this program the U.P. Nonprofit Conference — Recalibrated. It isn’t just a virtual conference. It’s a half year commitment to Upper Peninsula nonprofits to help them navigate the 2021 landscape. The series has three deliverables: 

  • Learning opportunities
  • Networking opportunities 
  • Sharing inspirations

This series kicked off in December 2020 with a keynote presentation from best-selling personal development author Allison Liddle, sponsored by Range Bank and UPHP. Starting in January 2021, we are launching six months of capacity building programs that will include webinars, mastermind groups and other virtual opportunities for organizations to learn. Each month will cover a different topic area.  With help from our sponsors, we’ll be able to provide these sessions free of charge. 

Visit the U.P. Nonprofit Conference — Recalibrated page for more information on upcoming sessions.

Sharing the Collective Experience of Operating in a Pandemic

On March 19, Grow & Lead hosted the first COVID-19 Member Mastermind, where nonprofit employees could share victories and challenges, along with resources, with others in the nonprofit community. These occurred weekly from March – September.  With the start of the new school year, the schedule transitioned to bi-weekly.

“Member Mastermind helped me stay relevant on important operational topics related to maintaining and building a strong nonprofit during this unprecedented time. However, these sessions gave me an outlet to manage stress related to my role as executive director, while being encouraged and supported by like-minded professionals.”  

-Iola Brubaker, Director, Copper Country Great Start 

U.P. Service Awards Presented 

Grow & Lead took the show on the road this year, COVID-cautiously of course, for the annual U.P. Service Awards. In more typical years, Grow & Lead honors the outstanding volunteerism award recipients with a luncheon and awards program during the U.P. Nonprofit Conference. This year, we honored recipients with individually-customized award presentations, some via Zoom and others in-person—outdoors, with masks and social-distanced.  View the Service Award Recap to read about the recipient of the youth, adult, senior, program and business community leader awards. 

Honoring Outstanding Students Without Gathering 

In April, Grow & Lead would have hosted the 27th annual Excellence in Education Week awards program.  Instead, a full-color, magazine style booklet recognized 48 area high school seniors for their academic achievement. Each student’s write up included their future plans and the educator that made the biggest impact on their schooling. In addition, the booklet highlighted 25 Marquette and Alger county educators that received professional development awards to further academic training or enhance classroom activities. A digital version of the booklet is available for download on the Grow & Lead website’s Excellence in Education page. 

Everyone Counts. Everyone Wins.

Grow & Lead collaborated with Community Foundation of Marquette County, Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula and Michigan Nonprofit Association to mobilize nonprofits and partner with state and local government to encourage participation in the census. By providing resources to nonprofits to educate and encourage census participation, we’ve introduced advocacy, highlighted the sector’s trusted voice and provided training to expand the abilities of organizations that serve our communities. Grow & Lead provided grant funding and sponsorships to 20 organizations from across the region. 

Support Our Work

What will the history books say about 2020? Here in the Upper Peninsula, hopefully they will tell stories of the nonprofit community overcoming challenges, helping neighbors and emerging stronger than imaginable. 

Grow & Lead is helping nonprofits find new and creative ways to tap into their resilience and to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances. We ask you to join us. Your gift will help us continue to grow and lead through these turbulent times and into a brighter future. 

#give906 to Celebrate GivingTuesday on December 1, 2020 Joining Millions Around the World in the Global Generosity Movement 

This GivingTuesday, #give906, coordinated by Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development will inspire generosity throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by sharing the stories of needs from U.P. based nonprofits in the annual #give906 Giving Guide. GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world.… Continue Reading

Impact of COVID-19 on U.P. Nonprofits

Impact of COVID-19 on U.P. Nonprofits

Key Findings from the U.P. Nonprofit Sector Resilience Survey 2020 has been a year unlike any other, with COVID-19 affecting society in every corner of our nation. The nonprofit community in the Upper Peninsula is no exception. In mid-July, Grow & Lead sent a survey to nonprofits across the U.P. to gain a better understanding… Continue Reading

#Give906 Joining #GivingTuesdayNow in Global Day of Giving and Unity

Grow & Lead is responding to meet the needs of the Upper Peninsula region and to inspire transformational generosity by coming together to support our nonprofits through acts of generosity and fundraising for critical services and programs during this pandemic. #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity, set to take place on May… Continue Reading

#give906 Registration Open!

#give906 Registration Open!

Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development is coordinating a regional Community Campaign for nonprofits that participate in GivingTuesday. The campaign, #give906, will focus on giving locally to U.P. based nonprofits on GivingTuesday, December 3. GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world.… Continue Reading

Meet the 2019 U.P. Service Award Winners!

Meet the 2019 U.P. Service Award Winners!

Three Upper Peninsula individuals, a business and a nonprofit organization were honored during the 11th annual U.P. Service Awards program at the recent U.P. Nonprofit Conference. The awards are given annually by Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development to recognize exemplary volunteer and charitable efforts throughout the U.P. in the categories of youth, under… Continue Reading

Present at the U.P. Nonprofit Conference

The U.P. Nonprofit Conference offers nonprofit leaders, staff, board members, and volunteers the opportunity to network, attend workshops, share ideas and fire up the passions that drive their missions and visions. Attendees appreciate the opportunity to be able to convene and learn at a conference held in their own region. For many nonprofits, sending staff,… Continue Reading

Be Counted UP Grant Application Available

Be Counted UP Grant Application Available

Community Foundation of Marquette County, Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula and Grow & Lead are now accepting grant applications for the Be Counted UP Census 2020 Campaign. With support from Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Be Counted MI 2020, funding is available for projects that: Engage and educate undercounted communities about theimportance of the 2020 Census… Continue Reading

5 reasons to nominate volunteers for the U.P. Service Awards

5 reasons to nominate volunteers for the U.P. Service Awards

In the nonprofit world, we know it’s always a good time to thank the volunteers that help us meet our mission. But with this week being National Volunteer Week, it’s an especially good time! That’s why at Grow & Lead, we celebrate this week each year by opening nominations for the U.P. Service Awardsfor outstanding volunteerism.  Now… Continue Reading

So you want to start a nonprofit?

“So you want to start a nonprofit?” This is a question I’ve been asking a few times a month as I meet with people interested in creating change through a mission-driven organization. I leave these meetings feeling rejuvenated, excited and inspired by the innovative ideas that are coming forward in our corner of the world.… Continue Reading