The Indiana University Northwest Center for Regional Excellence Non-Profit Institute (NPI) will present its Third Annual Open House and Resource Fair on Thursday, June 18, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Savannah Center. Non-profit organizations and for-profit vendors that serve non-profits are invited to reserve tables for this popular Northwest Indiana event, which provides networking opportunities, workshops, and database training on the United Way Regional Volunteer Center database, which is a repository of contact information for potential volunteers.
Admission is free to this year’s event, which will feature an array of useful workshops and presentations for non-profit executives, board members, personnel and volunteers. There will be a workshop on “Civic Engagement — Participatory Action Research,” in which participants will consider ways that non-profits might collaborate with university faculty and students on research projects that directly address needs or challenges in the community. There will also be “Ask The Professional” Roundtables, where knowledgeable consultants will be available for informal roundtable discussions on various topics. The “Know Your Funder” Forum is designed to bring corporate and foundation representatives together to discuss funding opportunities.
This year’s exhibitor fees range from $25 to $100 for non-profit groups. Non-profit vendors may participate on a sliding scale based on their organization’s total operating budget. This year’s for-profit vendor fee is $150. Attendance at past NPI open houses has reached well into the hundreds, and vendors have reported success in promoting their services and making beneficial connections with potential clients and community partners.
This year’s open house is intended to serve as a fundraiser for the Institute, which is in the third year of a three-year Lake Area United Way (LAUW) startup grant. The NPI offers many workshops and other activities throughout the year — many of which are free of charge for the non-profit community — and continuation of these programs necessitate additional fundraising, according to NPI Co-Project Director Sandra Bowie.
Organizations that are interested in reserving exhibitor space may contact the NPI office at (219) 981-5673. The deadline to reserve space is Friday, June 12.
The NPI was formed three years ago through a partnership involving the IU Northwest Center for Regional Excellence (CRE), the non-profit, capacity-building consultant GRANTS Inc., and the LAUW, which provided a three-year, $150,000 startup grant. The Institute’s mission is to serve as an informational clearinghouse and professional development center for Northwest Indiana non-profit groups. It is a place where board members, staff and volunteers can learn how to apply for grants, increase revenue and maximize their fundraising and operational effectiveness. Bowie and CRE Executive Director Debbie Thomas, Ph.D., are co-project directors of the Institute.
The IU Northwest Savannah Center is located at the southeast corner of the main campus parking lot at 33rd Avenue and Broadway in Gary, Ind. There will be free parking in the campus parking lot for open house visitors and participants.
For more information about the CRE Non-Profit Institute and the services that it can provide non-profit organizations, contact GRANTS Inc. Program Coordinator Gabrielle Gill at (219) 981-5673, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.