Nonprofits can share what works for them at upcoming seminar

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Members of nonprofits are often so busy with their own organizations that they aren’t aware how other Colorado nonprofits are doing.

On Nov. 17 Tri-Lakes area nonprofits will have the opportunity to find out how other similar organizations are doing if they attend the Nonprofit Council seminar, entitled the “2011 Roller Coaster Ride: The State of Nonprofits and Foundations in Colorado.” The seminar will be put on by Matt Carpenter, senior vice president of the El Pomar Foundation.

Carpenter said that the seminar gives local nonprofits the opportunity to compare how they have done this past year with one another and to set expectations for 2012.

“Some are doing well and others are having a difficult time because of the economy,” he said. “ I think everyone is wondering what is going to happen next year.”

Carpenter said there is currently a lot more need for services which nonprofits provide, but because things are tough financially more organizations are their reducing services. “More organizations are trying to stretch their dollars,” he said, adding that he has seen a few nonprofits close their doors.

Many nonprofits are wondering how they can be more creative if they are not able to raise the funds they need to help others. Carpenter said a lot of organizations are making use of the many individuals who want to volunteer.

“El Pomar specifically, whether the economy is good or bad, gets creative,” Carpenter said. He added that the foundation has space for nonprofits to use at the Penrose House for meetings and gatherings and that for one saves nonprofits from having to pay to meet elsewhere.

He also said he wants nonprofits to share what has worked for them in the past in regard to fundraising and he plans to give tips as well regarding fundraising efforts. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there were an estimated 28,097 nonprofits in Colorado in 2010. Carpenter said he will share what has been going on around the state with many of these nonprofits. “My goal is to share what we have observed,” he said.

Carpenter has worked in the nonprofit sector for 12 years. He is an El Pomar Fellow and joined the foundation in 1999 and he is currently the senior staff representative for the San Juan Regional Council. A United States Air Force Academy graduate, he was an Air Force intelligence officer for six years and also has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Carpenter is a board member for the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the Air Force Academy Foundation.

Carpenter said people that attend the seminar on Nov. 17 can expect more of an interactive atmosphere as opposed to just showing up and getting a power point presentation. “I don’t want to bore people. It’s more fun to get a sense of where people are and have some interaction with them,” he said.

The “2011 Roller Coaster Ride: The State of Nonprofits and Foundations in Colorado” will take place from 2-3:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts. There is no fee to attend. To register call 481-3282. The Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts is located at 304 Colo. 105 in Palmer Lake.