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Community Resources (COVID-19 Response)

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Thursday, March 19, 2020
Dear Community Partners,
Please share these resources regarding hunger relief for school-aged children and families, the emergency business damage assessment survey, free counseling resources as well as other pertinent information regarding COVID-19 to assist during this challenging time.
Hunger Relief

Thirty (30) sites (listed below) be be open to provide breakfast and lunch to all children ages 18 years and younger from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 20, 2020.  Meal service will be grab-and-go from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m..  Students must be present to receive a meal.

Additionally, below is what a few of our partners:
  • Feeding South Florida (FSF) is working with us to provide family meal boxes of food at the 30 sites for families of our students receiving our meals. This support from FSF will be ONLY given out on Tuesday, March 17th and Friday, March 20th. Please refer to this flyer.  Direct any questions to
  • Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is maintaining a modified operations throughout this crisis and is available for qualified families to receive food through the TEFAP commodities program.  All they would need to do is to come to one of their distribution points (East Boca and Boynton Beach) and fill out a two-page form and they would be entitled to a supplemental bag of groceries and frozen meat and/or fresh produce, when available.  The East Boca location is found at 1500 NW 1st Court, Boca Raton; and the Boynton Beach location is First Baptist Church Boynton Beach, 301 N Seacrest Blvd., Boynton Beach. Hours of operation are East Boca - 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and Boynton Beach: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • Living Hungry (Maura Plante) - she is working with small local farmers to distribute boxes of farm fresh produce to the community.  One of her lead partners is Lox Farms along with others.
IMPORTANT NOTE:  Unfortunately, the School District is not permitted by the USDA to provide meals during Spring Break as it is an anticipated closure.  There may be an opportunity to have some of these schools open for community organizations to pass food out during the week of March 23, 2020 through March 26, 2020 (Monday - Thursday).  If you are interested please email as soon as possible, and copy Mrs. Allison Monbleau as well at (
Business Damage Assessment Survey

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida's local business operations. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin.
"Gathering information about the impact COVID-19 has on Florida businesses and industries will be invaluable to the state's efforts in coordinating our response," said Governor DeSantis. "It is important that we understand the total impact COVID-19 has on businesses to ensure that we access the resources that may be available."

Free Counseling Support Helpline During COVID-19 Health Crisis

A bilingual, tollfree, 24-7 helpline is now open for all Floridians - no matter whether they are Florida Blue members or not - to help individuals cope with the stress and anxiety they may be feeling given the COVID-19 public health care crisis.  This is in collaboration Florida Blue's partners at New Directions Behavioral Health.
This information is also posted on the Florida Blue blog: or download the flyer here.
Other COVID-19 Related Resources

Please send us any information that you would like us to share with our community.
We will continue to provide information to you as situations arise. 
Jessica Cecere
Chief Executive Officer

Tags:  Charities  Community  Hunger Relief  Leadership  Palm Beach County  Resources 

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Nonprofit Financial Management Network Provides Opportunities to Collaborate With Financial Peers

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Monday, November 25, 2019

Nonprofit Financial Management Network Provides Opportunities to Collaborate With Peers


In 2016, financial leaders at The Arc of Palm Beach County, Community Partners of South Florida, The Lord’s Place, Nonprofits First, and Palm Beach Habilitation Center came together to establish a resource for nonprofit financial managers to collaborate and learn from one another.


“The Nonprofit Financial Management Network (NFNM) has created an opportunity to bring our nonprofit financial leaders together to learn, share ideas, and network with their peers in Palm Beach County. Without a doubt, we are creating a valuable resource for our nonprofit community,” says Toby Douthwright, Chief Operating Officer at The Lord’s Place.


Opportunities to participate in the NFMN include quarterly trainings, roundtables, and networking events. At a recent training held at Community Partners of South Florida, Keefe and McCullough CPA’s and Trusted Advisors presented to 45 financial professionals on Cost Allocations for Nonprofits. In early November, the group gathered for networking at the West Palm Beach Brewery and Wine Vault. Among those gathered were representatives from Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of PBC, Hanley Foundation, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, First Republic Bank, Adopt A Family of the Palm Beaches, Community Partners of South Florida, The Lord’s Place, The Arc of Palm Beach County, 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, Holyfield & Thomas, Palm Beach Habilitation, and Nonprofits First.


Gregory Demetriades, Chief Financial Officer of Community Partners of South Florida says, “we created the network to serve as a resource to the financial managers of the Palm Beach County nonprofit world, regardless of organizational focus or purpose.  We felt that, unlike other senior positions in nonprofit organizations, our profession lacked the recognition of the industry and cohesiveness of an organized support group. The group brings relevant and important issues to the table and engages the individuals that needed it the most – our nonprofit financial peers.”


For more information or questions regarding the Nonprofit Financial Management Network, contact Delferine Spooner at or 561-214-7435.

Tags:  Charities  Finance  Financial Empowerment  Leadership  Membership  Network  Nonprofit  Nonprofit Finance 

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20 PBC Nonprofit Professionals Begin Leadership Program

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Tuesday, November 19, 2019

(WEST PALM BEACH, FL) November, 19, 2019 – Twenty Palm Beach County nonprofit professionals have been accepted into the Rising Leaders program presented by Nonprofits First. The nonprofit leadership program is a competitive 6-month program that prepares nonprofit program managers to transform into the sector’s new generation of top leaders.


Rising Leaders Class of 2020

Schiller Ambroise, Community Partners of South Florida

Altagracia Andre, Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County

Amanda Canete, Compass LGBTQ Community Center

Blanca Cartagena, Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group

Jennifer Crane, Community Partners of South Florida

Ericka Estime, City of West Palm Beach, Department of Housing & Community Development

Nancy Finn, CHSFL/BRIDGES at West Palm Beach

Christopher Gay, Palm Beach County School District

Richard Haines, Urban League of Palm Beach County

Natashia Harris. The Lord's Place

Lashaundra Highsmith, Palm Beach County Food Bank

Susan LaRocca, The Lord’s Place

Ana Lopez, Community Partners of South Florida

Wynsome McLean, Community Partners of South Florida

Matthew Meek, Easterseals Florida

Kemba Pinkston, Children's Home Society of Florida

Brian Rowe, CROS Ministries

Jonathan Taylor, Police Athletic League of West Palm Beach

Robbriannia Weekley-Johnson, YWCA of Palm Beach County

Javaris Yarns, Children's Home Society of Florida


Participants will acquire a deeper understanding of their own leadership styles while gaining hands-on experience in strategies for leading their programs and organization to a high level of impact and success.


The Rising Leaders experience fosters interaction, discovery, dialogue, and servant leadership as participants increase skills to lead the nonprofit field. Alumni of the program transfer skills directly to their current roles and many go on to serve in executive level positions in the nonprofit sector.  Nonprofit organizations are a major economic force in Palm Beach County, employing nearly 30,000 people with total annual wages of almost $1.2 billion in Palm Beach County alone (see Florida Nonprofit Alliance’s website for more eye-opening info about the nonprofit sector in the Sunshine State).


The class members were nominated by their managers and selected for their leadership qualities, passion for their missions, and eagerness to learn new skills. They will meet as a group for one full day each month, from November to June, engaging in topics such as new models of leadership, driving social change, public speaking, and critical thinking and decision-making. They will also conduct an extracurricular small group project designed to assist a local charitable or civic organization.


“Rising Leaders is the next generation of leadership in the nonprofit sector, succession planning at its best,” said Jessica Cecere, CEO of Nonprofits First.


Rising Leaders has graduated over 325 nonprofit leaders since the program launched in 2005.




Nonprofits First is a membership organization focused on enhancing the nonprofit community’s effectiveness, efficiency, and ultimately impact.  The vision of Nonprofits First is a community in which nonprofit organizations achieve their highest level of community impact. Nonprofits First strengthens the nonprofit sector through accreditation, leadership development, education, and management support services.  For more information, visit


Tags:  Collaborations  Leadership  Network  Nonprofit  Nonprofits First  Palm Beach County  Professional Development  Rising Leaders 

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Palm Beach County Nonprofits Involved In Bahamas Relief

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Friday, September 27, 2019
Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2019

Right after Hurricane Dorian’s powerful winds and torrential rain cut a devastating path through parts of the Bahamas, the nonprofit sector in Palm Beach County quickly sprang into action to help thousands of people whose lives were suddenly upended by the storm. Many nonprofit staff and volunteers worked through Labor Day weekend to gather food, water, belongings, clothing, medical supplies, diapers and other items, and then fly and ship them over to the hardest hit communities. Much of those relief efforts continue today – and so we want to spotlight the extraordinary nonprofits who stepped up over the past few weeks to help those in desperate need. Here are a few of their stories.


Within days of Dorian’s passage, the staff at our member organization, Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group, began gathering dozens of bags of toiletries and food destined for the Bahamas. Right away, Lake Worth West residents joined in to donate their own food to the relief effort. Those residents know all about starting over. Many of them are new immigrants who arrived in the community with barely anything and often relied on the generosity of others until they managed to find work and earn money. “Our residents wanted to give back and help out,” said Ronda Rogers, executive director of Lake Worth West. The donated bags quickly made their way to the most ravaged areas of the islands.


As soon as the first images of destruction surfaced from the Bahamas, another one of our members, Clinics Can Help, got busy. CEO Owen O’Neill knew there would be significant medical needs following the storm, and so his staff began preparing medical gloves, hygienic supplies, crutches, and other equipment. The center accepts used and unwrapped medical equipment and supplies, and gives them to children and adults who can’t afford them for their physical recovery. They have a warehouse filled with hundreds of donated medical items. O’Neill, a nurse, told WPTV that he wanted to help because he had been in emergency situations earlier in life when there wasn’t sufficient medical equipment and he wanted to do his part in preventing that from happening in the Bahamas.


Palm Beach County Medical Society also started collecting medical supplies from the public, encouraging people to drop off at their office everything from ace bandages and walkers to syringes/needles and nebulizers. Then, the organization’s physician leaders helped arrange for other doctors and healthcare professionals to volunteer for the Bahamas Celebration Humanitarian Cruise. The group spent several days treating injured patients and delivering medicine to the sick. Physicians saved many lives, including arranging a middle-of-the-night airlift to Jackson Memorial of a Bahamian hurricane victim who was initially heading to West Palm Beach.


Nonprofits aren’t the only organizations that got involved in helping the people of the Bahamas. Plenty of restaurants, stores, shops and other businesses raised money and collected items, too, and they should be commended as well. But it’s the nonprofits that are likely to continue on with the relief efforts in the long-run, especially once the collective attention moves onto something else. And, for that, we should all be thankful.


If you know a great story about a local nonprofit, please share it with Charlotte Gill, Nonprofits First’s director of development and business strategies. Her email is:

Tags:  Charities  Collaborations  Emergency Aid  Leadership  Nonprofit  Volunteer 

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Affiliate Spotlight: RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Friday, August 23, 2019

1. What is your business name?

RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC


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

We are a consulting firm that provides everyday solutions to a business’ everyday problems.  For nonprofits, we carry that an extra step and show you how to achieve the maximum impact in your community, creating a solid foundation on which to operate.  Whether it’s fine-tuning your mission and vision statements, developing SMART strategic goals, or creating measurable program outcomes, our job is to ensure your success!


3. How did you get started in consulting?

About five years ago, I had the opportunity to leave the corporate world and venture out on my own, creating RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC.  I have been able to work with a diverse slate of businesses, meet many interesting people, challenge my limits, and most importantly, help others be the best at what they do.


4. What are you really good at?

I excel at determining the root cause of an issue so I can develop the appropriate solution that resolves your pain points.  I tell it like it is and give you candid honesty.  My personal sweet spot is creating strategies that move the needle for your agency and help you identify those obstacles (risks) that will prevent your success.


5. What is your firm really good at?

RAND Strategic Solutions is really good at showing you how to operate your nonprofit like a business, finding that perfect balance between corporate world best practices and the mission of your nonprofit.  For example, every business should have:

·         Mission, vision, and values statements

·        Strategic goals and objectives (and what the risks are to not accomplishing them)

·         Measurable program outcomes

·         Fiscal accountability (yes, somebody needs to count the beans on a regular basis and know what they mean!)

·         Diversified cash flows (and which have the highest ROI)

·         An effective board of directors and adds value to your agency

·         An organizational structure that helps you run smoothly

Give us a call for a complimentary meeting to see how we can help you with these and other opportunities.


6. What do you do better than your rivals?

We focus specifically on the business aspect of your business.  While well versed in leadership development, corporate culture, organizational development, coaching, or toxicity in the workplace, these are people-based topics and solutions.  Of course, the people in your organization are your greatest and most important resource, and RAND Strategic Solutions makes sure your business model supports and complements your people.  Your business framework (backend operations, logistics, front office, marketing, development, etc.) needs to be effective and efficient in order to offer the best programs possible and achieve maximum impact in your community. 


7. Who are some of your clients?

Our clients have included a broad range of sectors such as academia, the visual and performing arts, interior design, home staging, digital marketing, product and promotional branding, health and wellness, and banking.  Some of our nonprofit clients are the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, the Martin County Library System, Women Empowering Women, the Arts Council of Martin County, St. Mary’s Healing Center, CareBag, the Interagency Council of Martin County, and our own Nonprofits First.


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

I believe our uniqueness is the fact that we can take a complex situation or problem and transform it into a simple workable solution that is easily executable.


9. Who inspires you?

That’s a difficult question as it is hard to choose just one person.  I would say, however, that the philanthropic mindset of the people in Palm Beach and on the Treasure Coast humbles me.  There is so much generosity and outpouring in our communities as we try to address the multitude of issues people face on a daily basis.


10. What cause or mission is close to your heart?

We need to ensure people have access to the basics:  shelter, food, clothing, education, and healthcare.


11. What is your connection to the nonprofit community?

My connection to the nonprofit community started with the United Way of Atlanta, serving as a loaned executive for the annual campaign.  I worked on the combined Federal and state campaign and learned firsthand what huge needs we had in the community.  Ever since, I have tried to help close that gap.


12. How can organizations best reach you?

I can be reached via email at or by phone at 772.600.5529.  You can also check out our website at

Tags:  Affiliate Consultant  Fundraising  Leadership  Nonprofit Philanthropy  Strategic Planning 

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