Chamber seminars aim to educate members

Posted Oct. 10, 2011, at 6:03 p.m.

A challenging economy. A competitive funding environment. It is now more important than ever for nonprofit organizations to equip themselves with the tools needed to capture attention, support and donations in order to carry out their missions.

The Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber will offer a new, free seminar series designed to tackle five big issues in the nonprofit world — raising unrestricted funds from the business community and individuals, collaboration between organizations, board development, generating press and public relations, and staging truly special events. The first seminar, The Art of the Ask: Soliciting Local Businesses and Community Members with presenters Stacey Haskell of the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation and Cathy Hardy of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine, was well-subscribed and provided practical information and provoked great discussion.

The seminars will be offered the 9:15-10:45 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the Rockland Public Library. The seminars are open to all and free to attend, although a suggested donation of $5 per person to defray costs would be greatly appreciated by the Chamber, a fellow nonprofit.

Nonprofit leaders, be they staff, volunteers or board members, should consider signing up for one, several or all of the following sessions:

• Nov. 9, Collaboration and Your Bottom Line: The Value of Working Together, with Carol Martin, nonprofit consultant, Larry Sterrs, Unity Foundation.

• Dec. 14, Building a Board: Getting and Keeping Good People, with Diana Coleman, Pen Bay Health Care Foundation, and Rusty Brace, United Mid-Coast Charities.

• Jan, 11, Working with the Press and Public Relations: Sharing Your Message Effectively, with Jill Lang, Allen Insurance and Financial, and staff from Broadreach Public Relations.

• Feb. 8, The Art of the Event: Make memories, Make Money, Bettina Doulton, Cellardoor Winery and Lani Temple, Megunticook Market.

Advance sign-up is suggested. To sign up for one or multiple sessions or to sign up for the whole series, email Dan Bookham at dbookham@camdenme.org.

Here at the Chamber we feel our role is to provide the best level of tailored service to each of the members and industries we serve, and with the nonprofit and charitable sector playing such a vital part in both our economic and community life we felt this series was very timely. The seminars are just one example of the business education and information services offered by the Chamber. We also offer our Success Express Seminar series (next up on Thursday, Oct. 20, “Time Management for Busy Professionals”) as well as industry-specific training, such as safe server courses, and general informational sessions on topics such as health care, workplace wellness and education in the 21st century.

We like to think that joining the Chamber is a smart idea that can make you even smarter.

Dan Bookham is executive director of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce that combines the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville and Rockland-Thomaston Area Chambers of Commerce. Contact him at 236-4404 or dbookham@camdenme.org.

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