1 Year and 7 Nonprofits Later…

March 24th marks the 1-year anniversary of the launch of Three Notch’d Nonprofit Solutions! What began as a desire to tap more deeply into my varied experience grew into an LLC, then a website, and now a platform for me to broaden my impact on nonprofits across the country. I am proud of what I have accomplished—from navigating the boring business stuff to seeing the returns on my clients’ investment and trust in me.

Below is a snapshot of what I’ve accomplished in my first year.

Three Notch’d Clients

I have had the privilege of working with some incredible organizations with passionate and hard-working staff and boards. My diverse clients have ensured that none of the 365 days has been the same, with causes as different as feeding hungry children in metro Denver, bringing early music to Cleveland, and disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline in central Virginia. I encourage you to check out and consider supporting these impactful nonprofits.

Junior League of Denver

Founded in 1918, Junior League of Denver (JLD) is a women’s training organization that develops civic leaders committed to improving the Denver community. JLD’s 1570 members give back to their community, grow professionally and as leaders, and get connected to other women. Through volunteering, philanthropy, public policy and advocacy, JLD is working to disrupt the cycle of systemic poverty for women and families in Denver.

I provided ongoing fundraising support, including crafting appeals and thank you letters, managing an online giving campaign, overseeing Major Donor communication, and producing JLD’s Annual Report.

Bristlecone Arts Collaborative

Bristlecone Arts Collaborative’s mission is to distinguish art programs in rural Colorado public schools through building community and capacity. Bristlecone is in its infancy, its Executive Director having started the organization after having struggled to find arts resources when she was an art teacher in Western Colorado. Bristlecone forges partnerships between the local community and arts programs to support teachers by: providing resources to expand existing K-12 programs; assisting with student art shows; and providing professional development opportunities centered around current arts practices, topics, and curriculum.

I advised Bristlecone’s Executive Director on how to begin with fundraising, including writing a Case Statement that will serve as a springboard to soliciting community support.

Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival

For over twenty years, the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival has brought world-class musical talent to the Charlottesville community. Co-Founders and Co-Artistic Directors Raphael Bell and Tim Summers are products of Charlottesville City Schools, and have vast musical connections from their training at Julliard and their consistent international touring. They share a passion for giving back to the very community that inspired them, evidenced in the longstanding partnerships and support they have fostered over decades.

I provided grant writing services to CCMF.

Food for Hope

Food for Hope exists for the thousands of children in Adams County, Colorado who receive little to nothing to eat when they are not at school. Food for Hope provides these children with nutritious food so that they can grow, learn, and thrive among their peers, by forming intentional partnerships with school districts and local schools. Food for Hope’s programs include weekend food bags, high-protein school snacks, and an in-school food bank program.

I continue to provide ongoing grant writing services.

Quire Cleveland

With the vision of building global harmony through performance and education, Quire Cleveland is dedicated to exploring, preserving, and breathing new life into nine centuries of extraordinary choral music. Quire Cleveland plays a unique and vital role in the cultural landscape of Northeastern Ohio, as the only professional a cappella vocal ensemble in the area that specializes in earlier repertoires.

I outlined a sustainability plan for the next phase of the Quire Cleveland’s life cycle and assisted with board recruitment strategies.

The Uhuru Foundation

The Uhuru Foundation works to interrupt the school to prison pipeline by providing financial literacy training, business skill development, and credible messenger mentoring to transform the thinking, attitude, and behavior of high-risk youth in central Virginia. The Uhuru Foundation’s approach includes: re-entry classes, individualized coaching, hands-on support for wraparound services, and stipends to cover food, transportation, and phone calls for program participants.

I continue to provide ongoing fundraising advising and support, including crafting appeals and other donor communications, initiating an online giving campaign, and designing The Uhuru Foundation’s Impact Report.

Early Music America

Since 1985, Early Music America has enriched the field of early music in North America by developing and supporting interest in the music of the past, so that it informs and shapes our lives today. The breadth of EMA’s membership – including professional performers, students, educators, ensembles, presenters, instrument makers, amateur musicians, philanthropists, and many more – has made it an important advocate for early music throughout North America. Through its membership publications and activities, EMA supports the performance and study of early music and promotes public understanding of its potential impact on people and communities coast-to-coast.

I am in the process of helping EMA develop its 2023-2028 strategic plan, including stakeholder engagement, meeting facilitation, vetting, and editing.

Helping organizations amplify their impact is why I pour my coffee in the morning. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to walk alongside such dedicated nonprofit staff, lightening their heavy loads to ensure that they are putting their best foot forward to drive their very worthy missions. I’m grateful to each of my clients for trusting in me, and allowing me to keep learning as my business grows. Cheers to what we have accomplished together!

Published by Ellen Spangler

Hi, I’m Ellen Spangler. With nearly twenty years in nonprofits, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. My first love will always be museums, but I have also cherished my work in education and membership organizations. I’ve worked as a Development Director, Communications Director, Educator, Trainer and Project Manager, and now own and operate a consulting business, Three Notch’d Nonprofit Solutions.

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