On Thursday I was dreading the thought of giving up my Saturday. I treasure sleeping in, a slow breakfast, and being lazy for one day. But Jeff from Radio Merced gave me a free ticket to the “Nonprofit Management and Marketing” seminar at Merced College.

So the alarm went off at 6:00 AM, and after hitting the snooze a couple of times I reluctantly got up. I can now tell you that it was well worth the effort. It also reminded me of the wonderful resources that are often laying on the ground around us for little or no cost. That was true today.

The presenter was Linda Kissam. Aside from standing behind a high podium and computer screen, her presentation was extremely interesting and quite clear. I got the best understanding of how to write a mission statement that I’ve ever heard, thanks to her.

I went to the workshop to get marketing ideas for LifeSpring, but also found myself thinking about a couple of other organizations I’m involved in. The principles were universal. I especially liked her stress on showing gratitude to people and being reasonable in work expectations.

The speaker also gave us some excellent internet resources. One that I’m sure I will be using is How to Write a Mission Statement. I also think that the Nonprofit Good Practice Guide will be helpful.

Going to events such as this also gives a good picture of who is working to make the community a better place. Next to me sat a gentleman who was there for Habitat for Humanity. The director for United Way sat a couple of seats away from me. A friend from the Chamber sat next to me. At lunch I ate with the director of the SPCA.

All were united in their common desire to make the community better through their service. That’s worth imitating.

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