The Center For Nonprofits Is Now Venture Forward

Monday, October 16, 2017

“Say ‘goodbye’ to the Center for Nonprofits and say ‘hello’ to Venture Forward!,” emcee Alison Lebovitz said as this year’s conference, the Tennessee Valley Institute, drew to a close. “This isn’t some sleepy training organization. The Center for Nonprofits is making an effort to be out in front, drive transformational impact, and nurture and grow innovative ideas. In short, we need an image that matches our impact,  We are not going to be satisfied with the status quo, we’re going to think big, take risks, and create bold social impact,” Ms. Lebovitz went on to say. “If you are daring to challenge the status quo, if you’re brave enough to take a calculated risk we are here. Together we will Venture Forward with you.” 

For almost 20 years, the Center for Nonprofits has successfully worked to strengthen nonprofit organizations by providing tools and resources to help them grow and operate with excellence, said officials. “The Center for Nonprofits has done excellent work," said Venture Forward Advisory Committee Chair Sandra Brewer.  "We currently have 270 nonprofit and affiliate business members and continue to grow our membership.  We also have provided training to more than 2,000 nonprofit executives, staff and board members in this year alone. But we knew that was not enough. If we really want to see our community transformed, we need a space that is dedicated to inspiring change makers and sparking positive momentum for nonprofits.” 

According to United Way President and CEO, Lesley Scearce, the change from Center for Nonprofits to Venture Forward is the first of many changes the United way is making, “For more than 95 years United Way has been investing in great programs that do incredible work, “said Ms. Scearce. “However, even with those heroic efforts we are not moving the needle fast enough on our community’s biggest problems, in fact in some places it is getting worse.”  

That assessment is supported by census data that shows that, from the year 2000 to 2015 the child poverty rate in Hamilton County increased by nearly 39 percent. Additionally, according to a report released by Chattanooga 2.0, six in 10 local children show up to school at risk of not being prepared for school.  

“For nearly a year United Way has been engaged in a strategic planning process that centers around one big question: how can we work more collaboratively to accelerate the rate of change,” said Board Chair Mike St. Charles. “This change to Venture Forward underscores our support for innovative partners and programs that help us move the needle on these key issues more quickly.” 

Currently, Venture Forward offers training and resources around issues ranging from governance, marketing and communications to financial management.  Venture Forward plans to continue those offerings. “The trainings and classes, individual workshops we do with nonprofits are important and we will continue to offer those," said Venture Forward Executive Director, Laura McCann. “This is really about adding new programs and offerings that will help us think creatively about how we solve big problems with our members and partners. Venture Forward exists to inspire those hand-raisers and game-changers to be bold and think differently. Chattanooga is a hub for innovation in the business sector and we think the United Way through Venture Forward can do that for social sector as well.”  

When asked how this effort related back changes in United Way’s strategy, Ms. Scearce said, “We know that our value is in accelerating impact, mobilizing people, and pulling the right organizations together to affect change. In partnership with our board, volunteers, corporate investors, and funded partners we are exploring a host of new and exciting ways to take bold action around some key issues.”  

For more information about Venture Forward please contact Cathy Mendez at United Way of Greater Chattanooga’s Venture Forward at 752-0329.



TDOT Halts Highway Construction For Christmas Holiday

4-H Healthy Habits Day Camp

Street Closings Announced For Special Events


The Tennessee Department of Transportation is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state. No temporary ... (click for more)

Hamilton County 4-H Healthy Habits Day Camp will be held at the Extension office on Jan. 2, 3, and 4, from 9 a.m.-noon each day. The camp is open to county youth in 4th – 8th grades and cost ... (click for more)

Here are upcoming street closings: Wednesday: After Hours Event in West Vill age - W 8th Street between Pine Street and Chestnut Street will be closed on Wednesday, December ... (click for more)


Happenings

TDOT Halts Highway Construction For Christmas Holiday

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state. No temporary lane closures will be allowed for construction on Tennessee roadways beginning at noon on Friday until 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. “With over two million drivers expected ... (click for more)

4-H Healthy Habits Day Camp

Hamilton County 4-H Healthy Habits Day Camp will be held at the Extension office on Jan. 2, 3, and 4, from 9 a.m.-noon each day. The camp is open to county youth in 4th – 8th grades and cost is $10 per person. Participants will learn about food safety, nutrition lessons and make applesauce, potato pancakes, smoothies and more. Call 423-855-6113, UT/TSU Extension – Hamilton ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Police Investigating Death Of 9-Month-Old Boy Found Getting CPR At W. 37th Street Residence

A baby who was found at a residence on W. 37th Street receiving CPR was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, Chattanooga Police said. Police are investigating the circumstances of the death of the nine-month-old boy. Officers went to 1020 W. 37th at 11:35 a.m. on Sunday. They found a baby receiving CPR. Hamilton County EMS responded and transported the baby ... (click for more)

Michael Joyner Shot And Killed In Decatur On Saturday

A man was shot and killed in Decatur in Meigs County on Saturday. Deputies found Michael Joyner dead with a gunshot wound after responding to 290 Warren Lane. The case is being treated as a homicide. The TBI is assisting in the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Meigs County Sheriff's Office at 423-334-5268 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI. (click for more)

Opinion

An Open Letter Concerning The Proposed Ooltewah Waste Treatment Facility

The Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority and County Commissioner Tim Boyd want to build a sewage treatment plant in my backyard. I bought my house in Ooltewah in 1994, raised my children here and worked hard to pay it off. My home has been my small piece of the American Dream. Now, the WWTA and Commissioner Boyd want to reward my hard work by taking away about ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let The Games Begin

It makes no difference if you are in the “Second Grade Sunday School Class” or must use a walker to take your place in “The God’s Waiting Room Sunday School Class for Seniors.” We all know Christmas fun begins in earnest today. Christmas is not until a week from this Tuesday, but if you play it right, you can have just as much fun this week as next. Today I am going to present ... (click for more)