Moving Beyond Optics: Capturing Stories with Respect
Jul
24
to Jul 25

Moving Beyond Optics: Capturing Stories with Respect

Presentation at: Virginia Fundraising Institute Conference

Presenter: Sarah Milston

Stories of client success are vital for fundraising success. Development offices often struggle to capture and share these stories in a respectful way that highlights client success and does not dip into "white savior" territory. This workshop will review strategies for respectful collection and dissemination of stories, tools to curate stories from clients, and an overview of the diversity and inclusion landscape around storytelling.

Participants will:

  • Understand white savior syndrome and identify whether it applies to them.

  • Understand how to collect stories that honor the voice of clients

  • Understand how to transform client-centered stories into fundraising stories

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Marketing on a Nonprofit Budget
Sep
11
9:00 AM09:00

Marketing on a Nonprofit Budget

Spark studio presents: marketing on a nonprofit budget

REGISTER HERE

So you don't have money to hire a graphic designer and you don’t even know what a style sheet is or how to get started?  This course is designed for nonprofits who need to make the most out of donated services and have little to no budget for marketing.

 Come learn about:

  • Brand strategy and audience definition and basics of marketing

  • Tips, tools, and tricks to edit your own images and videos

  • The basics of social media as a marketing tool

  • A general overview of marketing strategy and planning

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Brand Self- Assessments - How to do your own audit
Sep
20
8:30 AM08:30

Brand Self- Assessments - How to do your own audit

  • Community Foundation of Richmond (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Presented by Community Foundation of Richmond


Give your brand a once over in an interactive session designed to teach you how to examine how you appear visually, in word and in print. Participants should bring all recent printed collateral to the class to enable small group work. 

  • Learn to spot inconsistencies in your messaging and tone

  • Create a prioritization check-list of items to focus on going forward

  • Participate in workshop style case studies from class

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Team Building Techniques & Creative Facilitation
Sep
27
9:00 AM09:00

Team Building Techniques & Creative Facilitation

NetworkPeninsula & Thomas Nelson Community College Present: Nonprofit Management Institute


Instructor: Sarah Milston

Healthy facilitation techniques can impact your organization internally and externally. This class will discuss how to use creative facilitation to engage your community and improve internal communication.

Come learn about:

  • Using creative and fun facilitation tactics

  • How to employ focus groups, charrettes, and listening sessions

  • Improving staff and board interactions

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Nonprofit Marketing for the 21st Century
Nov
1
8:30 AM08:30

Nonprofit Marketing for the 21st Century

Presented by Community Foundation

Instructor: Sarah Milston


So you don't have money to hire a graphic designer and you don’t even know what a style sheet is or how to get started.  This course is designed for nonprofits who need to make the most out of donated services and with little to no budget for marketing.

  • We will learn tips, tools, and tricks to edit our own images and videos.

  • We will review the basics of social media as a marketing tool.


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Time & Meeting Management
Dec
6
9:00 AM09:00

Time & Meeting Management

NetworkPeninsula & Thomas Nelson Community College Present: Nonprofit Management Institute

Instructor: Chris Bennett

Time management is crucial for nonprofit leaders! In this class, participants will engage in personal time management and meeting management. We’ll look at several different strategies and tools to help structure and steward time and explore meeting management best practices.

Come learn about:

  • Methodologies & principles of time-management

  • Time management tools and hacks

  • Designing a time-management system that works for you

  • When to have meetings and crafting productive agendas

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PANEL: Alumni-Owned Business Series: State of Women-, Minority- and LGBTQ-Owned Businesses
Jun
25
6:00 PM18:00

PANEL: Alumni-Owned Business Series: State of Women-, Minority- and LGBTQ-Owned Businesses

Panelist: Sarah Milston

Register Here - $5

What does it really mean to be an LGBTQ business owner or the head of a female-led start-up? What can minorities teach other business owners about navigating change, dealing with problems, and swimming up stream? Join Sarah and others in a fantastic panel facilitated by the amazing Kelli Lemon - a multi-focused entrepreneur, restaurant owner, podcast star, etc etc etc.

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SPARK STUDIO: Engage Your Community - Best Practices
May
8
9:00 AM09:00

SPARK STUDIO: Engage Your Community - Best Practices

Spark Studio Presents: Engage Your Community - Best Practices for Co-Leadership in Your Community Work

REGISTER HERE

Our work is always most successful when it centers the communities we are working within. Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with a community to address issues that impact the well-being of those groups. This workshop will highlight key aspects of robust community engagement.

Come learn about:

  • The community engagement spectrum with a focus on the equity model

  • Best practices for co-leadership with community transformations

  • The value of co-leadership in your work

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Online Fundraising and 21st Century Philanthropy
Apr
12
9:00 AM09:00

Online Fundraising and 21st Century Philanthropy

NetworkPeninsula & Thomas Nelson Community College Present: Nonprofit Management Institute


Presenter: Lindsey O-Pries

How effective is your online presence and strategy? Come and learn as Lindsey, talks about the impact of online giving and generational giving patterns, and see case studies of successful online campaigns. 

 


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Board and Staff Relationships
Apr
9
9:00 AM09:00

Board and Staff Relationships

  • 7000 College Drive Suffolk, VA, 23435 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Presented by The Academy of Nonprofit Excellence

Instructor: Chris Bennett

Healthy board and staff relationships are essential for nonprofits to make their greatest impact.  This course will walk through organizational lifecycles and the qualities each stage needs from board and staff.  Then we’ll engage practical concepts and tools to cultivate healthy relationships and build a healthy organizational culture.  Participants will walk away with resources and tools to help them move their staff and board teams forward.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will learn:

• How to assess where your board and organization are in its life-cycle

• About characteristics and behaviors of healthy, collaborative organization

• Tools and resources for developing clarity and communication across your teams

• Best practices for board and staff collaboration

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Building Your Personal Brand 101
Mar
26
12:00 PM12:00

Building Your Personal Brand 101

  • 3409 West Moore Street Richmond, VA, 23230 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Presented by: YNPN

What’s a personal brand and why is it important for YPs to have one?

 Panelists: Sarah Milston and Mariah Williams

Your brand is what makes you unique—it’s what makes you, you. It’s an authentic representation of who you are as a person and as a professional. It’s tied to your identity and encompasses the emotional connection you have with your career path. The better able you are to create a personal and professional brand, the more likely you are to achieve success along the way.  Join us at our March workshop, where we will hear from two local leaders on their own brand journeys (and pitfalls!) and how and why it affects your job.  You’ll leave this session with a better understanding of what your brand is and practical steps for how to build it.

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SPARK TALKS: Transgender 101 and Ally Tools
Mar
4
6:30 PM18:30

SPARK TALKS: Transgender 101 and Ally Tools

SPARK TALKS Presents:


Nationally Recognized Speaker, Ellie Krug in a free community training on transgender and allyship.

About the Talk

What does it mean to be transgender or gender nonconforming in America in 2019? What are the challenges this collective community faces? To what extent does society even understand that need for humans to live authentically? And, how can cisgender (non-trans or gender nonconforming) persons be supportive, especially to teens and youth who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming? 

Join attorney, national speaker, author/columnist and radio host Ellie Krug as she speaks about this important topic. The author of Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change, Ellie trains on human inclusivity across North America to Fortune 100 companies, colleges/universities, nonprofits and government entities. This is a rare opportunity to hear from someone with perspective shaped through living in two separate genders.

About SPARK TALKS

A new series of conversations and trainings offered by The Spark Mill to our clients and friends. Our goal is to offer one of a kind opportunities to learn about trends and current events we see impacting your companies and organizations.

Speaker Bio

Ellen (Ellie) Krug (pronounced“Kroog”), transitioned from male to female. She later became one of the few attorneys nationally to try jury cases in separate genders. From 2011 to 2016,she served as the executive director of Call for Justice, LLC, a Minneapolis legal nonprofit that was conferred an American Bar Association award for innovatively increasing legal access.The author of Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change (2013), Ellie has presented on diversity and inclusion to governmental entities, court systems, Fortune 100 companies, law firms, nonprofits, and colleges/universities on nearly 800 occasions.

Read more about Ellie and her work.

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Building a Board That Thrives
Jan
9
9:00 AM09:00

Building a Board That Thrives

Spark Studio Presents: Building a Board That Thrives

REGISTER HERE

The Board of Directors is the heartbeat of the organization--in order for an organization to do its very best work, the board must be thriving and healthy. We know this is easier said than done.  Join us to learn how to support your board in becoming high functioning and productive.

Come learn about:

  • The roles and responsibilities of the board

  • Tools for effective board meetings and decision making

  • How to build a board with the right talent, varied experiences, and community representation

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We Need a Plan! Strategic Planning
Nov
14
9:00 AM09:00

We Need a Plan! Strategic Planning

Spark Studio Presents: We Need a Plan! Strategic Planning 

REGISTER HERE

What’s the buzz about Strategic Planning? We’re going to be talking about the role that strategic planning plays in a nonprofit organization and why it is essential to your future.

Come learn about: 

  • The role strategic planning plays in a nonprofit organization and why it is important

  • The how tos - who leads and manages the process, who should be involved and how to engage them

  • The trifecta of strategic planning magic - the gathering of data, group processing and dreaming, and landing a plan with solid implementation tools

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Nov
9
8:30 AM08:30

Visualizing Data with Dashboards & Infographics

Register Here

Presented by: The Community Foundation for a greater Richmond 

Instructor: Sarah Milston

The business world is awash in project management and board members are coming to you with dashboards and scorecards and talking about green and red lights. This workshop is designed to introduce nonprofits to dashboards including the various types and the nonprofit specific subjects. We will work as a team to build dashboards to help manage information. Finally we will learn how to use visual representations of information to raise more money and keep our boards more engaged making it easier for them to excel as board members. 

• What are dashboards and how can we use them? 
• What is the role of an infographic? 
• Participants will get information on visual storytelling and how to incorporate it across their organization

This course is designed for staff and board members of nonprofits who want to get a blend of information and skills to help their organization thrive.

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Finding Homeplace: Black Joy, Urban Placemaking, and Social Activism
Oct
26
3:00 PM15:00

Finding Homeplace: Black Joy, Urban Placemaking, and Social Activism

Presented as part of the Connecting Womxn of Color Conference by University of Richmond, Westhampton College

Speaker: Mariah Williams

Womxn of Color play a vital role in shaping and creating the spaces that become epicenters for community building, resistance, self-expression, and social activism. Exploring these spaces not only at the University of Richmond but in the context of Richmond’s larger urban fabric is crucial when working to create communities for inclusion and belonging on and off campus. Using bell hooks' homeplace as a lens through which to explore black placemaking and black joy, this workshop will examine how womxn of color shape urban spaces, highlight the intersection of urban planning and social justice and provide the opportunity for participants to create a piece of work that tell the stories of womxn of color in the built environment.

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Fundraising Basics for Nonprofits
Sep
12
9:00 AM09:00

Fundraising Basics for Nonprofits

Spark Studio Presents: Fundraising Basics for Nonprofits

REGISTER HERE

Fundraising doesn’t have to be a scary word! This workshop is geared toward people who have passion for their mission but aren’t sure how to raise money. We will provide a basic overview of fundraising--it will be fast paced. You’ll leave the training well on your way to becoming a lean, mean, money raising machine.

Come learn about:

  • Infusing a Culture Of Philanthropy into your organization

  • An overview of fundraising and philanthropy in the USA

  • Best practices for individual giving--from figuring out who to ask for money to thanking donors for their gifts

  • Creating a development plan that you actually use!

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Engage Your Community
Sep
6
9:00 AM09:00

Engage Your Community

  • TCC Regional Workforce Development Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Engage Your Community: How to Adapt to a Community Engagement Environment

Register HERE

Presented by: Tidewater Community College Center for Workforce Solutions

Instructor: Sarah Milston

This session will highlight key aspects of a robust community engagement program beyond focus groups. We will review the community engagement spectrum and discuss best practices for co-leadership with community transformations. 

 

 

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Alignment Isn’t Just for Chiropractors: Exploring Organizational Alignment
May
22
10:30 AM10:30

Alignment Isn’t Just for Chiropractors: Exploring Organizational Alignment

Register Here

Virginia Volunteerism and Service Annual Conference - Presenter: Chris Bennett

Your organization has all the assets it needs to make the change you want to see in the world.  But are your staff, your finances and your time aligned to produce that change? This workshop will explore organizational assets and how they are aligned (or not) towards the mission and vision of your organization. Participants will walk away with an asset and alignment map, and some next steps to achieve organizational alignment.

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Engage Your Community – Best Practices for Co-Leadership in Your Community Work
May
21
3:30 PM15:30

Engage Your Community – Best Practices for Co-Leadership in Your Community Work

Register Here

Virginia Volunteerism and Service Annual Conference - Presenter: Sarah Milston

This session will highlight key aspects of a robust community engagement program beyond focus groups. We will review the community engagement spectrum and discuss best practices for co-leadership with community transformations. 

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Creative Problem Solving Through Innovative Design Thinking
May
21
1:45 PM13:45

Creative Problem Solving Through Innovative Design Thinking

Register Here

Virginia Volunteerism and Service Annual Conference - Presenter: Chris Bennett

Albert Einstein is quoted to have said "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” So how can we think differently about the challenges facing our organizations? Utilizing “design thinking” is one effective way to change our perspectives. Design thinking is about identifying and working within given constraints to arrive at innovative and generative solutions. In this hands-on workshop, participants will explore design thinking through a fun-filled gamified experience to address complex problems and social ills.  Participants will walk away with practical and actionable design tools that can be applied with teams to solve problems in their context.

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Advanced Social Media Tactics
May
16
8:30 AM08:30

Advanced Social Media Tactics

Instructor: Sarah Milston 

Advanced Social Media Tactics is designed for professionals who know how to use the most popular tools (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and are looking to increase engagement and develop a deeper understanding of social media.  The class will focus on areas including emerging trends and tools, strategic use of social media, and more!

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"A City for Her: Exploring How Women and Girls Shape the Urban Environment"
Mar
30
6:20 PM18:20

"A City for Her: Exploring How Women and Girls Shape the Urban Environment"

Mariah Williams will be presenting the talk, "A City for Her: Exploring How Women and Girls Shape the Urban Environment" as part of the Women's Empowerment Summit hosted by the VCU Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.  

The conference is taking place from 12-9pm tomorrow.  A few of the other presentations include: Powerful Women in Business, Being Gray in a Black and White World, What Does Respect for Women Mean in Pakistan?, and Practical Advice for Thriving in Careers Underrepresented by Women.

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Health Equity & the Role of Implicit Bias
Mar
27
12:00 PM12:00

Health Equity & the Role of Implicit Bias

Empathy for Those in Poverty

PRIVATE CLASS

Sarah Milston will present as part of a 10 session series focusing on basic concepts of health equity, diversity, inclusion, and socioeconomic determinants of health and how they may impact healthcare delivery, access, and utilization.

This is a private class designed for pre-professional graduate students in healthcare including Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Allied Health and Dentistry. 

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Strategic Planning for Nonprofits
Mar
8
9:00 AM09:00

Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

Course presented by the Academy of Nonprofit Excellence, Norfolk, VA

Come learn about the role strategic planning plays in a nonprofit organization and why it is essential to your future. Review some best practices about the role of board, staff, and your stakeholders and how best to engage them. Participants will review the trifecta of strategic planning magic - the gathering of data, group processing and dreaming and landing a plan with solid implementation tools. 

Crash Course in Nonprofit Strategic Planning. Come learn about:

1) The role strategic planning plays in a nonprofit organization and why it is important.
2) The how to's - who leads and manages the process, who should be involved and how to engage them.
3) Tips on implementation of the strategic plan.

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Does Your Business Really Need a Strategic Plan?
Feb
20
12:00 PM12:00

Does Your Business Really Need a Strategic Plan?

Please join Linden Legal Strategies for our first Lunch & Learn of 2018 as we welcome Sarah Milston of the Spark Mill, a Richmond based consultancy that helps businesses make change happen. Sarah will be leading a discussion on strategic planning, offering insight and guidance for businesses of all sizes.

Register here

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Nonprofit Marketing for Giving Days
Feb
13
9:30 AM09:30

Nonprofit Marketing for Giving Days

Presented by: Academy of Nonprofit Excellence

Two online classes presented; 9:30-12 and 1:00-3:30

Instructor: Sarah Milston

Creating marketing materials is part of an organization’s effective giving day strategy. Participants will review brand strategy, audience definition, and cover the basics of marketing – including email and direct mail. Participants will leave the session with an idea of their intended audience and the basics to start a marketing plan. They will learn tips, tools, and tricks to edit their own images and videos, along with the basics of social media. Match fundraising will also be discussed as a marketing tool.

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Building Relationships Through Storytelling
Feb
9
11:30 AM11:30

Building Relationships Through Storytelling

  • Community Education Center, Mary Immaculate Hospital (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Presented by NetworkPeninsula in partnership with the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Foundation

Instructor: Sarah Milston

Does your organization do a good job of telling the story of your work?  Stories people will remember? Stories that drive people to action? Sarah will explain why telling good stories is vital, identify what makes a story "good," and how all of it relates to relationship building with clients, partners, and donors. You will also learn some tips and tools for crafting your own stories.

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