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Member Spotlight: South Florida Science Center and Aquarium

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Friday, March 27, 2020

Learning about science doesn’t have to stop just because we are limited in where we can go during the coronavirus crisis.

 

South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach is still open – virtually. They offer many programs on their website related to science, technology, engineering and math.

 

We are spotlighting the Center this month, and asked Melinda Grenz, the director of marketing, to highlight their new virtual activities.


1) Explain what the Center offers the community.

 

Melinda Grenz: The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium provides curious minds of all ages with an entertaining and educational journey through the latest discoveries in science and technology.

 

Featuring more than 100 interactive exhibits, dozens of public programs and events, a fresh and saltwater aquarium, planetarium, conservation-themed miniature golf course and the world’s most advanced human brain exhibit, the South Florida Science Center offers a mind-opening experience for all!

 

2) What are your operations now during the coronavirus crisis?

 

Melinda Grenz: Although our Center is temporarily closed, our mission “to open every mind to science” continues through our new virtual programming.

 

We still strive to be a STEM education resource for your family and will offer weekly live science demos, aquarium programs, exhibit tours and more. These programs are designed to keep the next generation of learners engaged and plugged into the world of science, technology, engineering and math.

 

Learn all about our virtual science program at www.SFScienceCenter.org/Virtual

 

3) What do you recommend families do to keep their children interested in science while schools are closed?

 

Melinda Grenz: Keeping your child engaged in science while school is out doesn’t have to be a chore. We recommend utilizing the fun and exciting new virtual technologies that organizations are starting to launch in our local community and world-wide. The programs we offer are on a weekly schedule so you can plan ahead and even tag along with science experiments from your very own home!

 

4) How has your membership to Nonprofits First helped your organization?

 

Melinda Grenz: We are very excited about our new membership with Nonprofits First. We plan to benefit from their education and professional development programs, accreditation standards, grant research assistance, volunteer outreach, and more. The networking events and award ceremonies will be icing on the cake!

 

Learn more about the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium here: www.SFScienceCenter.org

 

 

 

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: cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org

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Tags:  Charities  COVID-19  Membership  Nonprofit  Palm Beach County  STEM  Technology  Virtual Learning 

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February Member Spotlight: Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Wednesday, February 26, 2020

February Member Spotlight: Loggerhead Marinelife Center

 

Right in our backyard is a leading ocean conservation organization: Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC).

 

This nonprofit does research, rehabilitation and education on the endangered population of sea turtles. It's great to watch them grow as they expand “out-of-the-classroom” learning programs in Palm Beach County and beyond.

 

As our February member spotlight, we asked Amanda Moore from the Center to explain her organization’s mission and programs in more details. We also asked her to share how the Center has relied on Nonprofits First’s workshops and services to help it become a stronger organization.

 

 

What is Loggerhead Marinelife Center?

 

Amanda Moore: Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation and educational institution that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums.

 

The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation.

 

The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. 

 

Tell us about your programs/tours.  

 

Amanda Moore: LMC's Education programs aim to empower and inspire individuals to engage in the conservation of the world's ocean by providing STEM-based knowledge and resources to take responsible action. Our education programs are designed for individuals of all ages and demographics. To accommodate a larger audience, our team offers programs and tours in ASL and English.

 

Designed as “out-of-the-classroom” learning experiences, our programs take guests into the field to understand South Florida’s natural ecosystems, including hammock and dunes. Throughout the week, guests can enjoy tours of the Center through our Public Guided Tours, Public Guided Tours - Evenings, Private Guided Tours, and Virtual Tours. In the Summer, guests have the opportunity to participate in engaging programs, such as Sea Turtle Walks, Hatchling Releases, Hatchling Feedings, and Sunrise Nest Excavations. 

 

What’s new at your organization?

 

Amanda Moore: In January, LMC launched its inaugural Hike2O event in partnership with the Florida Trail Association. Participants set foot on the Ocean to Lake trail, which connects Lake Okeechobee to the ocean. Guided by trail experts from LMC and the Florida Trail Association – Loxahatchee Chapter, participants hiked through some of the most iconic ecosystems of South Florida. The three-day, 2-night backcountry benefit supports marine conservation and education outreach to non-coastal schools across South Florida and promotes environmental stewardship of Florida’s fresh and saltwater systems.

 

In addition to this new event, LMC continues to add programming for individuals of all ages and demographics. 

 

Why do you support Nonprofits First?

 

Amanda Moore: Nonprofits First is a great addition to the community, the organization empowers nonprofit organizations to excel by providing resources and professional development opportunities. The workshops are designed to provide actionable tools to the nonprofits and focus on issues related to finance, fundraising, and training.

 

The organization provides support to our South Florida communities and helps amplify the impact of the work of nonprofits. With the assistance of Nonprofits First, local nonprofits can thrive, expand and enhance their mission.

 

Learn more about the Center here.

 

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: cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org

Photo courtesy of Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Tags:  Charities  Education  Membership  Nonprofit  Science  Storytelling 

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January Spotlight: Fushu Daiko (Japan Arts, Inc.)

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Thursday, January 30, 2020

January Spotlight: Fushu Daiko (Japan Arts, Inc.)

 

This month, Nonprofits First is focusing our member spotlight on a world many of us aren’t familiar with: traditional Japanese performing arts.

 

Fushu Daiko (Japan Arts Inc) educates and enriches our community through performances, classes, workshops, and outreach programs related to the experience of taiko drumming. 

 

There’s a lot to learn and understand, so we asked Ben Miller, executive director of

Fushu Daiko, to explain his organization and its mission in Palm Beach County and beyond.

 

 

1)  What does Fushu Daiko do?

 

Ben Miller: Fushu Daiko educates and enriches the South Florida community by presenting traditional Japanese performing arts in a modern and innovative form that is unique to South Florida - reflecting the multicultural make-up of our ensemble and the South Florida culture in which we live. In performances, classes, workshops, and community outreach programs, we promote healthy individuals and connected communities through the energetic experience of taiko drumming. 

 

2)  How popular are your classes? 

 

Ben Miller: Our classes surge in popularity during our festival season from January to April. During this time, many people see us for the first time and become interested in learning taiko for themselves. 

 

We hold ongoing taiko training for adults at our South Florida Taiko Dojo in Davie. Classes are held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Class size ranges from six to 15 drummers.

 

People can sign up for a free intro class by visiting our website:

http://www.fushudaiko.org/classes.php

 

After their free intro, we encourage them to drop in to our basic taiko class for a $20 fee.  

 

3) Why is it important for people to learn about traditional Japanese drumming?

 

Ben Miller: The nature of Taiko Drumming itself offers many healing and spiritual benefits. The effects created by entraining rhythms within and between the drummers and audiences enhance and align biorhythms. This strengthens the immune system, releases toxins, and helps to increase a state of wellbeing. Taiko drummers find practicing and performing can be a great stress relief.  Audience members often report experiencing emotional releases and being moved to tears by the taiko performance. 

By practicing taiko drumming, communication skills are also improved and self-confidence in built. The strenuous physical activity that taiko requires keeps the muscles in shape and helps to release pent up or unresolved emotions. The joyful celebratory nature of taiko drumming helps to lift the spirits of those who are in the presence of the spectacle and vibrations. 

 

4) Why did you become a member of Nonprofits First?

 

Ben Miller: We joined Nonprofits First because we are a young and developing nonprofit in need of all the support we can get.  Nonprofits First give us the confidence and resources to expand our fundraising efforts, grow our capacity to serve, and strength our existing organization. They also happen to be a really nice group of people who are enthusiastic about their mission. 

 

 Learn more about Fushu Daiko here.

 

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: cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Arts  Cultural Council  Culture  Japan Arts  Membership  Nonprofit  Palm Beach County  Storytelling 

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Member Spotlight: West Palm Beach Library Foundation

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Monday, December 16, 2019

The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach provides free quality programs, services and resources that serve more than 750,000 people each year.

 

It’s a huge operation that’s supported by our member West Palm Beach Library Foundation, which raises funds for the library.

 

As our December member spotlight, Nonprofits First asked the Foundation’s Executive Director Tami R. Lesser to explain why the library is known as a center of learning and inspiration that enriches the entire community.

 

Explain why the foundation exists.

 

Tami R. Lesser: The West Palm Beach Library Foundation (WPBLF) was created to raise funds for the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach to provide free quality programs, services and resources that serve more than 750,000 people each year and enrich and strengthen our diverse community.

 

Private gifts from individuals, foundations, and the corporate arena create public libraries that are world-class institutions.

 

We are fortunate to have the Mandel Public Library, a community building institution offering unlimited possibility. The Mandel Public Library is a vibrant place where diverse members of the community can gather, grow, learn, and live more productive lives.

 

 What impact do the library programs have in the community?

 

Tami R. Lesser: The West Palm Beach Public Library’s KidSpace programs, workshops, Storytimes, special events and services have a lasting impact for more than 38,000 children and teens who participate and on their families.  The Let’s Read program involves reading to children in preschool through second grade. Teachers have seen a difference in their students reading comprehension skills and test scores. The Homework Center for children and teens has certified teachers, librarians and volunteers to help students with assignments or a project.  The summer academy provides free programs, services and a healthy lunch every day all summer to prevent summer slide. The library offers a myriad of health and art classes to promote healthy choices, exercise, art and creativity that attract hundreds of people every day. 

 

Some of the other services the library provides are:

 

  • Lending books, eBooks, movies, music cd’s, downloadable music, movies and audiobooks, magazines, audiobooks on cd, and other information formats.
  • Professional assistance with research, computer use, job hunting, use of e-government services, and utilizing library collections and the internet to get valid.
  • Aiding young adults 16 – 25 years old that are struggling with completing high school, securing employment or gaining the skills to become successful citizens.
  • Computers for patrons, many of whom have no other access to the internet, that helps bridge the "digital divide" and allow them to apply for jobs, utilize government services, and learn.
  • A wide variety of library programs:  Career-Readiness Classes, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Latin Cardio, Computer Classes, Book Clubs, Art Classes, Job Hunting Classes and many more. 
  • Homework Help, Dog Tales, Coding Classes, Storytime’s, Ballet, Karate, Cooking and Summer Reading programs and classes.
  • Access to a vast array of online commercial databases and magazine articles (not available on the internet to non-library card holders), as well as specialized library informational websites.

 

 

How can the community support your work?

 

Tami R. Lesser: Support of the West Palm Beach Library Foundation is an investment in the entire community.

 

Your gift benefits children, teens, adults, and seniors from all walks of life, whose lives are enriched every day at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. Our public library is a community builder and a safe space for children, teens and adults to learn, grow, explore and be inspired. Individuals and businesses can contribute gifts of any size to support the free programs and services and can donate event sponsorships for our main event “Food for Thought 2020.”

 

We also have naming opportunities that range from a $2,000 name plate to a $2.5 million gift to name the Children’s Library. It’s a meaningful way to offer recognition or to honor or memorialize a loved one. The Library Foundation relies on the generosity of our community members, foundations and businesses to support our beloved library and ensure that it will continue to be a center of learning and inspiration that enriches the entire community.

 

Why is the WPBLF a member of Nonprofits First?

 

Tami R. Lesser: WPBLF became a member of Nonprofits first to connect and engage with our colleagues and other organizations in the nonprofit community. We hope to learn and benefit from the many educational opportunities provided by Nonprofits First. We also want to find additional opportunities for the Mandel Public Library to partner with other nonprofits to bring more of the wonderful library programs out into the community and expand access to the library for the benefit of the community.

 

 Learn more about the West Palm Beach Library Foundation here.

 

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: cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org

Image credit: Facebook page of West Palm Beach Library Foundation

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Tags:  Charities  Cultivate  Membership  Network  Nonprofit  Nonprofit Philanthropy  Palm Beach County 

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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 Dspooner@nonprofitsfirst.org or 561-214-7435.

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

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