Tuesday, October 9, 2012

4th Nonprofit Expo in Morris a Success

In my opinion, collaborating, partnering, and sharing resources are critical to the success of community projects. We saw that happen September 17 at the 4th Nonprofit Resource Expo/Healthy Community Event in Morris, Minn.

The previous three years the Nonprofit Expo was a stand alone event sponsored by Resource Connections (a loose knit group of nonprofits with a fiscal agent). The first year we figured about 200 -250 attended the Expo, but the following two years the attendance was poor (the weather didn’t cooperate for one of the years)!

We decided after the last Expo that we would find another community event to tie into. The event we chose was Parent’s Night at the Elementary and High School, which made sense since our location was the High School Auditorium. We also talked to the University’s Office of Community Engagement and asked if they would have their monthly community meal the same evening, which they agreed to do.

The Nonprofit Expo now falls under the auspice of the Morris Area Chamber of Commerce so we gained the advantage of their marketing and expertise which was an added benefit as well.

Last week we had 31 nonprofits and health-related vendors at the event sharing information – we had six presentations and/or demonstrations on everything from “distracted driving” to a “spin bike” demonstration – and we served over 300 ice cream sundaes to attendees. I also heard the Sons of the American Legion picked up two new members.

We’ve learned many lessons over the past years and we learned a few more last week, but the key is to work together and share resources whenever possible!

Holly Witt, Alexandria NRS

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