Category Archives: Events

2019 Year in Review

Getting Organizations Set Up for Success

Nonprofit organizations enrich our communities. They exist to eliminate the gaps that government agencies and for profit businesses aren’t able to fill. When a person identifies a gap, the natural inclination is to search online for the steps to starting a nonprofit. What this concerned community member will find is a long, complicated list of possible ways to move forward in creating a mission-based organization.

As we started receiving calls about the steps needed to start a nonprofit, Grow & Lead CEO, Amy Quinn, developed a step-by-step outline for new organizations to follow. Many of the calls were for grassroots, small organizations that were relieved to learn they qualified for the IRS form 1023 EZ. This form, released in 2014, streamlined the application process.

Our team members are able to meet with passionate community members wanting to make a difference and provide guidance on the process at no charge. This allows for organizations to release their fear of filing and focus on the thing they set out to do – make their community better.

Start-up coaching isn’t the only way we’ve helped U.P. nonprofit organizations. In 2019, we’ve assisted  over 100 organizations with training and coaching by fulfilling requests for information and coordinating peer learning circles. 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 our 15th U.P. Nonprofit Conference in October. People from 86 organizations came together to learn, network and be inspired.

Keynote speaker, Nicole Devereaux, Conversational Intelligence® Coach, presented on authentic storytelling. Her message of transparency and confidence set a strong foundation for the day.

Six workshops were held on topics including board development, fund development, human resources, team building, volunteer recruitment and self-care.

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 brainstorming sessions on a variety of nonprofit specific topics.

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.

Everyone Counts. Everyone Wins.

Did you know that the State of Michigan loses $18,000 in federal funding for every Yooper not counted in the April 2020 census? When government programs aren’t fully funded, nonprofits must step in to make sure people receive the services they need.

Grow & Lead is collaborating 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’re introducing advocacy, highlighting the sector’s trusted voice and providing training to expand the abilities of organizations that serve our communities.

New Initiatives for 2020

The Organizational Assessment is to a nonprofit what a health screening is to a person. It will allow organizations to see a snapshot of their strengths and weaknesses in the areas of operations, youth engagement, strategy/planning, evaluation, volunteer engagement, collaborations, communications, marketing, human resources, financial management and fund development. After the assessment is completed, a Grow & Lead team member will help the organization identify areas for improvement and opportunities to leverage their strengths. 

Self Guided Strategic Planning combines coaching and easy-to-follow modules for nonprofits to craft their strategic plan. Piloted in 2019 with Crystal Falls Contemporary Center, the  initiative allows nonprofit boards to work at their own pace on reaching consensus as to where the organization is heading. This service is available at quarter of the price of traditional strategic planning.

The flexible and affordable opportunity to develop a strategic plan with Amy’s helpful and positive guidance, was perfect for our small nonprofit and very busy volunteer board.  Grow & Lead allowed us to take the process over a long time frame and in flexible and manageable steps.  The process was completed virtually, using email, google documents, and teleconferencing.  We were able to produce a workable and flexible plan that we plan to print and place on our website to share with our community.  – Joyce Ziegler, Treasurer, Crystal Falls Contemporary Center. 

You can help!

Like the organizations we serve, we can’t do it alone. Please consider contributing to strong, growing U.P. communities with a gift to Grow & Lead.


#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

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

Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award Application Open

Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award in honor of former GLCYD President and CEO, Judy Watson Olson. This $500 award assists Upper Peninsula K-12 schools, teachers, or organizations with programs that help youth succeed academically. Examples… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

Board Development Month is coming!

This year was our first time dedicating a month to board development. Our January 2018 series was so successful, we’re doing it again in January 2019! Based on feedback from the 2018 participants, we’ve modified this year’s topics to tackle issues boards in the U.P. are dealing with. These webinars are free and open to… Continue Reading

Marquette County residents, business, organization receive U.P. Service Awards

Marquette County residents, business, organization receive U.P. Service Awards

Three Marquette County residents, a business and a nonprofit organization were honored during the 10th 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

Sessions at the Nonprofit Conference

Nonprofit leaders, staff, volunteers and board members in attendance at this year’s U.P. Nonprofit Conference will have the opportunity to learn how to inspire lasting impact in their communities. The 2018 U.P. Nonprofit Conference will take place Thursday, October 18, at Northern Michigan University. The conference features foursessions focusedon leadership, best practices, communication and volunteerism… Continue Reading