Wednesday, December 29, 2010

They're Not Satisfied with Just Success

Organizers of Willmar area's Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "5th of May") holiday have decided they're not satisfied to merely continue the success of their annual event that for the past several years has engaged the community -- Anglo, Mexican, and others -- in a huge spring celebration featuring Mexican musicians, food, games, dancing and community organization & business displays. The group has been taking steps to create a broader vision to support more opportunities that raise awareness of the positive contributions of the Mexican/Latino/Hispanic culture in Willmar. They also want to give back to the community, for example, by investing proceeds of the event into a higher education scholarship program for youth, and by supporting after-school programs.

Exploring the possibility of forming a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to carry out their ideas in ways that may be able to attract more supporters is one of the steps being discussed. Recently the Cinco de Mayo group invited Jenna Forner, Nonprofit Services Assistant with the Charities Review Council (CRC), to Willmar. Jenna shared information through her presentation on "Nonprofit Accountability and Transparency." She highlighted CRC's Accountability Standards, including these key areas:
  • Public Disclosure - communicating with the public and building trust & transparency
  • Governance - good management practices and policies that ensure a strong system of governance
  • Financial Activity - demonstrating responsible use of funds & resources
  • Fundraising - proactively seeking funds, following ethical practices & earning respect from donors
Bremer Bank Willmar provided space and lunch for the group. Pictured above with Jenna is Bremer Personal Banker, Javier Valenzuela, who is a leader with the Cinco de Mayo group and organized the presentation.

Lois Schmidt, NRS - Willmar Charter

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