In May I collaborated with Sarah Scobey, the Fort Collins Nonprofit Resources Librarian with the Poudre River Public Library, to create a pilot program that supports nonprofit organizations. After attending several nonprofit networking meetings in Denver, and small business meetings in Fort Collins, I realized that there was no such collaborative space for the many nonprofits in Northern Colorado. We created this pilot program to provide a support group that allows the people working with local nonprofits to talk together, network, and give each other a leg up.

Called the Fort Collins Nonprofit Networking Group, we’ve established a local peer-to-peer network for people engaged in nonprofit management. With over one hundred members on our Facebook page, we’ve have groups of five to sixteen people participate in our meetings thus far. Our group ranges from newly formed nonprofits to seasoned veterans, paid staff and volunteers, board members and those interested in getting connected to the nonprofit scene in Fort Collins.

At these networking meetings, participants share experiences and learn from others by asking questions and discussing their organization’s most pressing issues. With help from Sarah and other participants, we share resources for nonprofit management including: knowledge, tools, like-minded organizations, and websites to learn more.
Our meetings are flexible to fit the needs of nonprofit members. Sometimes meetings are formatted with informal networking, or a presentation from a nonprofit member on a management topic of their choice, or group discussion and break-out sessions as needed. The Poudre River Library also provides workshops and presentations on nonprofit management; many of these topics will now be drawn from discussions of the needs within this networking group.

Whether you’re supporting a start-up or an established organization, we’d love for you to join us. Check out our Facebook group to stay in touch and up-to-date on the next meeting and any follow-up resources from our discussions.

We’re also building a nonprofit directory of our peers to share local organizations and their missions, as well as the skills and services they need, and what they can provide to the group. You can add your nonprofit organization to the directory by filling out the survey here.

Our next meeting is coming up soon, we hope to see you there!