This winter and spring, Lord Fairfax Community College Workforce Solutions, in cooperation with the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce and other partnering organizations, offered a series of courses specifically designed for nonprofits. Members of the FRWRC Board of Directors attended the classes and came back armed with valuable information for strengthening the foundations of the FRWRC, insuring its continuance long after the Founding Mothers have moved on. The classes were well attended by a variety of non-profits from the area so valuable tips and suggestions were offered from both the floor and the professional presenters.
When the FRWRC was brought into existence in 1996, Judi Booe was the nonprofit expert. Judi was the one who wrote the original bylaws and sent the necessary paperwork to Richmond to get us our 501c3 nonprofit status. The joke between Judi and JoEllen, the Founding Mothers, was that JoEllen had the vision and Judi had the know-how. It was a great team. They, along with the original ten members of the board at that time, developed a creative and welcoming organization that has been able to grow steadily for 18 years.
Judi left us after a couple of years to move to Las Vegas, and JoEllen was left to fully manage the organization. Gratefully, other fabulous women stepped up to the plate and brought in the organizational and technical skills that were needed. In 2004, Barbara Way stepped up as a leader and joined JoEllen as Co-Coordinator of the FRWRC. It wasn’t until the summer of 2013, that our dynamic Office Administrator at the time, Kristin Iden, contacted her mother-in-law, Beth Iden, to help us rewrite our out-dated bylaws and begin a Policies and Procedures Manual. We realized we were facing the problem of the Founding Mother – when one person has all the organizational information. If the FRWRC was going to keep growing, more structure would have to be put into place and the organizational information would have to be put into a manual for the Board to have access to.
The non-profit academy classes provided the next step that was needed. We now have our work cut out for us. To that end, we will be having our first Board Retreat on Saturday, June 7, at the Public Safety Building. During the retreat we will be looking at the “Three Cornerstones of Exceptional Nonprofits” – foundations, fundraising and operations – with the goal of strengthening our documents and procedures, and putting a three year plan into action. This is an exciting time for the FRWRC. We are growing up!
Our thanks go to LFCC and the Front Royal Chamber for making these classes possible. A special thanks to Lee Smith-Osina, Director of the Front Royal/Warren County United Way. Without Lee’s expertise and support with all things nonprofit related, we would not have gotten this far. Lee has been an invaluable resource. Between her and Beth Iden, we have our own nonprofit experts right here on our team. We are grateful.