Trisha Lester, Acting President, NC Center for Nonprofits

Community Foundation Announces Free Fundraising Workshop

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is offering a free seminar for nonprofits entitled “The Fundamentals of Fundraising” on Friday, March 31. The workshop will be held from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute in Wanchese.

Trisha Lester, acting president of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, will be the lead instructor, along with several local nonprofit leaders.

Staff, board members, and volunteers for local nonprofits can register online by clicking here. Registration is free and includes a tasty boxed lunch. However, space is limited, and enrollment closes on Monday, March 27.

The seminar is intended to provide a general overview of fundraising fundamentals for nonprofit personnel. In particular, this workshop will target entry-level staff and new board members and volunteers.

The course will endeavor to answer several key questions, including: What fundraising strategies make sense for your nonprofit? What goes into the cultivation and stewardship of donors? How do you retain donors for the long term? When does it make sense to do special events? How does working with institutional funders differ from working with individual donors?

Additionally, the course will cover the role of board members in fundraising, and the principles and best practices around the ethical and proper handling of funds.

Midway through Trisha’s seminar, the group will break out into three concurrent roundtable sessions to discuss fundraising strategies that work on the Outer Banks. Several local nonprofit directors will lead the discussions and offer their expertise. Deb MacDonald, executive director of the Outer Banks Relief Foundation, will lead a small group discussion on annual membership campaigns. Michael Lewis, executive director of Outer Banks Hotline, will speak about earned income, including thrift shop income. Carl Curnutte, executive director of the Elizabethan Gardens, will present on special event fundraisers. All participants will have the opportunity to attend each of these three roundtables.

“Fundraising is by far our most requested topic for our nonprofit seminars,” said Lorelei Costa, executive director of the Community Foundation, “and we are delighted to have Trisha Lester present, with her wealth of expertise. We invite any volunteer, staff, or board member of any nonprofit serving the Outer Banks to attend this free workshop.”

Trisha Lester earned her BA at the University of Maryland-College Park and her masters in nonprofit management at New School University. Trisha has worked at the Center for Nonprofits for 24 years in a number of roles, most recently as Senior Vice President. Previously, she worked in fundraising for the NJ Symphony Orchestra, New School University, and Prep for Prep, and in special projects for Carnegie Corporation of New York. She currently serves on the board of the National Council of Nonprofits and was previously a board member of the Nonprofit Mutual Risk Retention Group, Latino Community Development Center, NC Commission on Volunteerism & Community Service, Leadership America NC, and Volunteers for Youth. Trisha was a 2003 Eisenhower Fellow and traveled to Argentina, Bolivia, and Perú to study NGOs.