JumpStart: Partnering with Network for Good

Smaller nonprofits often struggle with balancing their mission-based work and the continuous fundraising efforts needed to make it happen. UWLES, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and the Richard A. Henson Foundation have partnered with Network for Good to give local agencies a fundraising boost through a one-year program called Jumpstart. This spring, Jumpstart welcomes its third cohort of participants.

Three agencies are selected annually, based on their readiness to accelerate fundraising efforts. Access to the Network for Good donor platform and personalized coaching help participants advance their fundraising. Agencies take part in a “data bootcamp,” learn how to organize donor contact information in the system and use features for messaging and managing events. The team of local funders covers most of the expenses for local agencies to participate.

Multiple UWLES partner agencies have been part of the program over the last two years, including Recovery Resource Center, Chesapeake Housing Mission, Delmarva Discovery Center, Epoch Dream Center, Diakonia, and One Year to Empowerment. Peer-to-peer learning is a feature of the program, with cohort members sharing their experiences and new skills with one another. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

​The best part of the software is how it allows us to have all our information in one place. Using the software for our Lighting Up Recovery Breakfast was great. It gave me the capability to build a campaign page that was linked to our social media and website. One click would take interested parties to the campaign page where they could purchase tickets or sponsorships,” said Curtis Paul, Executive Director of Recovery Resource Center, a Cohort 1 participant.

Jumpstart’s third cohort was selected in April—It Takes a Village, Lower Shore Land Trust, and Samaritan Shelter. During this year’s evaluation process the team prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion in terms of leadership and staff, programming and initiatives, and populations served.

“Smaller nonprofit organizations and those led by people of color in rural areas generally have less access to capacity building programs.  We chose to be intentional during our selection process to reach these organizations and support the important work they are doing,” commented Heather Mahler, Program Director at Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. 

Along with year-round funding to partner agencies, UWLES also provides training and development opportunities. Jumpstart is an example of this commitment to empowering nonprofits to learn and grow, develop diverse funding streams, and achieve financial sustainability. UWLES extends a warm welcome to the new Jumpstart cohort and looks forward to seeing their fundraising success grow by leaps and bounds!  

Watch this video testimonial from Elisabeth Murphy of Epoch Dream Center, Jumpstart Cohort 2 participant: Watch here