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Congratulations Rising Leaders Class of 2019!

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Twenty-two emerging leaders from nonprofits across Palm Beach County graduated from the Nonprofits First Rising Leaders program on Friday, June 14, 2019. Rising Leaders is the only local training of its kind, transforming emerging talent into the sector’s new generation of top leaders. Throughout the six-month experience, participants develop their leadership style in a supportive peer environment.

The group completed five service learning projects for the following organizations: Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida, Dress for Success Palm Beaches, Easter Seals Florida, the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, and El Sol, Jupiter’s Neighborhood Resource Center.

Congratulations Class of 2019!                              

C'jon Armstead, Quantum Foundation

Hallie Balbuena, Children's Home Society of Florida

Melinda Becker, Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League

Jose Catana Morales, Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League

Michelle Davis, Boys Town South Florida

Donna Denney, United Way of Palm Beach County

Crystal Dole, The Lord's Place Joshua Thrift Store

Trinea Freeman Martin, Area Agency on Aging

Saidy Garzon, Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group

Claudia Harrison, Compass, Inc.

Shakiyla Hart, The Lord's Place

Claudia Herrera, Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County

Alexis Howard, CAN Community Health

Jaime Joshi, Community Partners

Dolores Korf, Community Partners

Jacqueline Medina, Pine Ridge Holistic Living Center

Kayla Morton, Nonprofits First

Rose Newbold, Prime Time Palm Beach County

Leandra Silfa, Adopt-A-Family

Iris Soto, Families First of Palm Beach County

Odessa Walker, Housing Partnership, Inc dba Community Partners

Krissy Webb, Student ACES

Tags:  Leadership  Professional Development  Rising Leaders 

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Member Spotlight: The Guatemalan-Maya Center and Achieve

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The recent Great Give was a boon for The Guatemalan-Maya Center (accredited nonprofit organization and member), which brought in nearly $40,000 during the one-day fundraising event.


The organization worked with the marketing company Achieve (our affiliate member) in raising the money through social media, e-blasts, and a string of volunteers.


How did they do it?


We asked Erica Linguanti, Achieve’s director of marketing, to explain their strategies for the campaign – and describe how similar strategies can help other nonprofits in various fundraising efforts.


It’s our May Member spotlight.



1) How did Achieve help The Guatemalan-Maya Center raise $38,787 during the Great Give?


Erica Linguanti: We developed a multi-channel campaign strategy to help The Guatemalan-Maya Center meet their goal of raising $30,000 to expand their after school program. Here are some of the key tactics we used to support our overall strategy:


1. Identified a clear/realistic fundraising goal. In the case of The Guatemalan-Maya Center, instead of simply having a monetary goal, we equated the goal to the impact: “Help 30 kids succeed in school this year.”


2. Updated their website to be mobile responsive and implemented a new donation platform for pre and post donations. It was important that their donation tool was both mobile friendly and trackable through Facebook conversion tracking.


3. Developed an email messaging strategy to leverage storytelling before, during, and after the Great Give to encourage support.


4. Utilized both paid and organic social media to generate awareness and garner donations. Paid social advertising was especially critical because it allowed us to leverage a variety of retargeting tactics to best reach our key audiences. To really succeed on social you can’t rely on a few organic posts anymore. On Facebook, typically only about 1-3% of your followers will ever organically see your content - and it usually takes at least 5-7 messaging “touch points” before a user will ever consider taking action. For better or worse, Facebook (and Instagram) have become very pay-to-play platforms making your organic social strategy only as effective as your paid social strategy (and vice versa).


5. Created phone scripts volunteers could use to reach out to past donors and encourage participation in the Great Give. Sometimes accomplishing fundraising goals takes a village, so we wanted to setup volunteers for success!


2) Was there anything during the Great Give event that didn’t go as planned?


Erica Linguanti: Initially we were unable to secure a donor match - which was a key tactic in our overall strategy. After this setback, we pivoted to a new messaging strategy. Then, a little over one week before the Great Give, our plans changed again after a $5,000 donor match was secured. While we were thrilled to have a match to help incentivize donors, the last-minute match meant we needed to change our messaging strategy again. With any type of marketing campaign, it’s important to remain flexible! 


3) What advice would you give other nonprofits about raising money during the Great Give or other events?


Erica Linguanti: The biggest pieces of advice I would give to other nonprofits looking to raise money during the Great Give (or other pinnacle events) would be to:


1. Start early! #GivingTuesday is coming in November. Ideally, you should be planning your strategy no later than July/August.


2. Keep your goal(s) simple and tangible. It also helps to humanize your ask by attaching money to actual impact. For example, with The Guatemalan-Maya Center, our goal was to “Help 30 kids succeed in school this year” vs. “Help us raise $30,000.”


3. Leverage paid social media advertising to extend your digital reach and get in front of new audiences.


4. Remember that for “day of giving” events - it’s not just about the amount of money raised. Giving days are great opportunities to bring in new donors for your organization that you can cultivate over time (and hopefully turn into loyal donors).


Learn more about The Guatemalan-Maya Center here.


Learn more about Achieve here.


If your nonprofit has a great story to tell, contact Charlotte Gill at Nonprofits First: 561-910-3891 or

Tags:  Affiliate Consultant  Charitable Giving  Charities  Collaborations  Fundraising  Membership  Nonprofit  Nonprofit Philanthropy 

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Member Spotlight: Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Monday, April 29, 2019

It’s a two-acre tropical sanctuary in the heart of West Palm Beach – the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is a historic home featuring larger-than-life monumental sculptures, works of art, and collection of rare palms and cycads.


The lush green jungle-like setting was perfect for Nonprofit First’s Spring Mix, Mingle, and Member Networking on April 11 in the natural, unmanicured preserve just off Flagler Drive and Intercoastal Waterway.


For our April member spotlight, let us take you on a tour of Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens (our new member).



The first thing you need to know about Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is the basics about its namesake.


Ann Norton was a sculptress who arrived in the Palm Beach area in 1942, at age 37, to teach sculpturing at the Norton Gallery and School of Art founded by Ralph Norton, who she later married in 1948. She went on to become a nationally recognized artist who created nine large-scale sculptures as tall as 28 feet at her home at 253 Barcelona Road in the historic El Cid neighborhood, as well as about 100 smaller sculptures in wood, stone and bronze.


Her works in bronze, stone and wood are displayed throughout the gardens. In particular, her northern cedar wooden structures were inspired by material often used by the Indians of the Northwest for their totem poles. She noted in an article in the New York Times in 1978: “I use everything – the cracks in the wood, the knots, and the gnarls. I like my work to flow together with nature.”


Ann Norton’s artistic vision was shaped by Cubism, Art Deco style, and the architecture and sculptures of Romanesque and Gothic churches that she studied on her trips to Europe and elsewhere. Her Seven Beings sculptures, featuring Mayan influences in the faces and some Navajo Indian, stand attentive and watchful, each facing a different direction.


The other thing you need to know about Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is its impact on the community.


A conservationist, Ann Norton spent her life not only building a home for her art, but also a sanctuary for living beings. Each year, about 20,000 people visit Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens – which she established as a non-profit foundation in 1977 – including 5,000 low-income students for educational programming. The organization is devoted to exhibiting works of other artists, while preserving Ann Norton’s studio and displaying her monumental sculptures in a preserve where a notable collection of rare palms is continually being developed.

As a recognition for her contributions to the arts and the community, Ann Norton was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame this year. And, around the same time, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens were acceptance into the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Ann Norton died in 1982, but her legacy lives on in her historic home, artist studio and rare palm gardens which were left for the enjoyment and education of the community. 


We hope you visit – enjoy!


Learn more about Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens here.


If your nonprofit has a great story to tell, contact Charlotte Gill at Nonprofits First: 561-910-3891 or

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Affiliate Spotlight: AHA! Business Consulting

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Monday, April 22, 2019

1. What is your business name?  

AHA! Business Consulting


2.  What do you (or your business) specialize in?

Reducing your employee turnover by helping you to hire right and set your team members up for success.


3. How did you get started in consulting?  

Our founder, Andrea Hoffer, started her career in Higher Education Administration, where she worked with college students to help them to develop leadership skills and skills to be successful in the work world.  After 15 years, she left higher ed to open a spa with 35 employees and learned first-hand the challenges of finding and keeping the right team members for your business or organization.  AHA! was originally born out of a need from college campuses looking for an outside consultant to facilitate workshops for their team leadership for the purpose of improving team communication and negotiating change.  Andrea’s unique background in Higher Education and business was a good fit for their needs.  Later, AHA! Business Consulting expanded to working with both nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses.


4. What are you really good at?

We give you the tools and support you need for continued growth and improvement.  Our focus is not just on hiring right or team development.  It is how each piece fits together to create a positive culture and successful team.  Each of our clients have a specific need in mind when they contact us.  We meet them where they are with a service or workshop that will start to address their immediate need, but we don’t just stop there.  Once we begin to understand our client’s long term goals and needs, we become partners in their on-going success.  Each of our clients receive an action plan for next steps we can help them with or simple actions they can take on their own to continue the growth.


5. Who are some of your clients?  

Nonprofits First-We have facilitated team workshops for their leadership team.  We also have facilitated an Everything DiSC Workshop for the Rising Leaders the last four years.  The Milagro Center.  Quantum Foundation.  These are some of the nonprofits we have worked with.  We also have worked with for-profit businesses like The Salt Suite, European Wax, Cold Stone Creamery.


6. What’s the most unique aspect of what you do?  

We take an educational approach. We teach our clients to fish instead of fishing for them. We provide tools, services and training that our clients can use as they grow and develop their team. 


7.  What is your connection to the nonprofit community?  

Our Founder, Andrea, came from the nonprofit world of Higher Education.  She also led a nonprofit theater in Atlanta, GA for a couple of years.  Working with nonprofit organizations has always held a special place in her heart- especially when the organizational mission involves education or the arts.  


8. How can organizations best reach you?  

We can be reached at 561.829.5611 or

Tags:  Affiliate Consultant  Cultivate  Leadership  Membership  Professional Development 

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Member Spotlight: Women’s Foundation of Florida & Philanthropy Tank

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Monday, March 25, 2019

Nonprofits First offers many services to the nonprofit community – including the ability to rent space in our West Palm Beach office.


Two organizations are taking advantage of that, using our space to maximize the opportunity to be “next door” to our many educational workshops.


Those two agencies are: Women’s Foundation of Florida and Philanthropy Tank.


They are the focus of our March member spotlight.



Women’s Foundation of Florida and Philanthropy Tank have different missions, but they have many similarities. They are both small but mighty organizations looking to grow.


We asked the staff of both organizations to tell us about their organizations and why they support Nonprofits First.


1) Explain briefly how your organization helps people in Palm Beach County/South Florida.


Judith Selzer, co-founder and president of Women’s Foundation of Florida: The Women’s Foundation of Florida empowers women and girls to be leaders so we can change the world. Our leadership programs and micro-grants invest in challenging the status quo, lifting up innovative ideas and leaning into the magic of women’s vision for the world around us. Check us out at


Mathew Avila, project assistant at Philanthropy Tank: The Philanthropy Tank is an organization that challenges, empowers, and equips the next generation of CHANGEmakers in grades 8-12 to develop and implement a sustainable social service, activism, or entrepreneurship idea that aims to solve a problem in the community.


We have over 20 active projects that cover a vast range of topics. One of our 2018 winners, Surface 71, aims to reduce plastic use, improve marine habitats, and advocate that water is life. This past month, Surface 71 successfully lobbied to eliminate plastic straws and stirrers at local businesses and restaurants in West Palm Beach. Their success has even earned them a private tour of the White House and the U.S. Capitol by Senator Marco Rubio.


Some of our most recent 2019 winners include groups like the Mayan Girls and Code Autism. The Mayan Girls are a group of young women that translate and market important content relating to health, severe weather, and community updates from English and Spanish to various indigenous Mayan languages in the Lake Worth area. Code Autism is a project that teaches computer programming classes to autistic children from the Els Center for Autism. These are just a fraction of the numerous projects that the Philanthropy Tank has helped support in the past four years. In total, the Philanthropy Tank has impacted over 300,000 lives in Palm Beach County through the various CHANGEmaker programs. Check us out at



2) Why did you decide to be housed in the office of Nonprofits First? What’s the advantage of being there?


Judith Selzer: We are thrilled to utilize office space and technical assistance from Nonprofits First because this is an organization that reflects our values and mission. We both believe in public service, leadership and collaboration. It’s a perfect fit!


Mathew Avila: The Nonprofits First family recognizes what it takes to construct and maintain an organization that is only starting to bury its roots into the ground. Since the Philanthropy Tank is a young organization, it makes complete sense that we surround ourselves with experienced professionals who know how to develop nonprofits.


Over the past two years, the Philanthropy Tank staff has attended numerous informational and collaborative workshops. We walk away with innovative tools and advice from these workshops that make all the difference in the world. The variety of topics covered is endless. Sharing an office with Nonprofits First is a wonderful experience.


If your nonprofit has a great story to tell, contact Charlotte Gill at Nonprofits First: 561-910-3891 or

Tags:  Charities  Collaborations  Cultivate  Leadership  Membership  Nonprofit 

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