We're back. It's no secret that the Wisconsin Nonprofits Association has been quiet for about a year. During that time, the Board leadership has been doing a lot of asking and listening. The question was, “is there still support for the mission of WNA?” Listening revealed that yes, nonprofits really DO want a statewide association.
So with that in mind, a new partnership has been developed. WNA will now be managed by the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee for the foreseeable future. I'm the CEO of the Center (I’ll be serving as WNA’s Director) and I cannot tell you how excited I am about this.
The Nonprofit Center has been around for 50 years serving the sector in southeast Wisconsin. We have a long track record of supporting organizations and people with training, consulting, coaching and advocacy. Our mission is to be a catalyst, promoting the interests and enhancing the effectiveness of the nonprofit sector in southeast Wisconsin. Our recently completed strategic planning process includes a goal to expand our footprint, so this new partnership is perfectly timed. We believe that although a nonprofit might be located in Milwaukee, that organization must see itself in the context of the bigger statewide sector in order to thrive. The same is true for an organization in Eau Claire, Green Bay or Mauston.
So what now? The first steps we’ll take involve connecting with nonprofits around the state on the one hand, and engaging in some advocacy work on the other.
As we reach out to the state, we want to engage local partners who know the community and are already a resource for nonprofits in their area. We want to offer training in advocacy, governance, fund development – whatever the partner thinks is most needed. But we also want to hear from the nonprofit leaders about what they want from a state association. What benefits do you want from involvement with WNA? Each section of the state is different and has its own unique flavor or personality—the nonprofits in the area reflect that. It is of no use to assume that one size fits all, so we want to learn from you.
We're hitting the road. This is going to be a very important year for WNA. There is much activity happening locally and nationally that is going to change the landscape for our sector. I’m looking forward to meeting as many nonprofits as possible over the coming year and learning what we can do to support our sector that does so much for this state. I believe that a strong, statewide nonprofit association is a tool we all need help our sector thrive and continue to have a positive impact on our communities. Your involvement is going to be critical to that strength.
The Wisconsin Nonprofits Association is excited to join the National Council of Nonprofits, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and other state association organizations in support of maintaining the Johnson Amendment of 1954. It is our position that, for the good of the nonprofit sector in Wisconsin and the United States of America, it is imperative to maintain the nonpartisan nature of nonprofit organizations for them to effectively represent their constituents and achieve their missions. Please read our complete Press Advisory for our full statement on the Johnson Amendment and the potential impact its repeal would have on our sector.
We recently hosted a webinar with David Thompson from the National Council of Nonprofits. In this webinar, we discussed positive nonprofit policy trends that are making it easier for nonprofits to achieve their missions. We cover new giving incentives, government-nonprofit contracting reforms, lobbying, fighting ignorance and more!