Fostering Community Collaboration
In 2017, the Woodbury Community Foundation, in partnership with the City of Woodbury, launched our Nonprofit Roundtable Initiative.
One of the key goals of the Woodbury Community Foundation is to foster collaboration among other organizations. Another goal is to increase volunteerism within the Woodbury Community. The Nonprofit Roundtable will help us accomplish both important goals.
The Nonprofit Roundtable began with a series of roundtable discussions held with local nonprofit leaders representing various missions across the nonprofit sector. Questions directed at these leaders are aimed at identifying their strengths, challenges, needs, and opportunities for working together. The roundtable discussions looked at how the City of Woodbury and the Woodbury Community Foundation can help provide or direct resources and assistance, including the recruitment of a network of volunteers, to enhance local organizations’ capacity to fulfill their missions and provide optimal benefits to the populations they serve.
Common Themes Identified
The WCF held a series of four discussions with the City of Woodbury with twenty-two local nonprofits, and looked at the strengths, challenges, and collaborative opportunities within our non-profit community.
They found common themes including:
Woodbury non-profit leaders are strong, passionate and excited about the future of their non-profit and of Woodbury and Woodbury non-profit leaders have positive feelings towards the Community Foundation and the City of Woodbury and are excited about partnership opportunities. There is an overlap of various services offered by some Woodbury non-profits. However, each non-profit does offers a unique aspect of service.
They also found areas of concern and challenges, which included: Overall engagement in Woodbury nonprofits from the community as members, volunteers, financial contributors and supporters has declined. It is difficult for Woodbury non-profits to gain awareness within the community. Awareness includes not only residents knowing of the variety of non-profits but also what each non-profit does, who they serve and how they can get involved.
Woodbury non-profits are in need of volunteers. This need includes volunteers to do manual work, assist with one-time projects, provide consistent hours for ongoing projects, and enough volunteers for larger non-profit events. There is also a need for volunteers who have specialized skills such as marketing, budgeting and other executive level skills.
Woodbury non-profits are challenged by lack of affordable large venue space for fundraisers as well as storage facility space. Woodbury non-profits are seeking collaborations and partnerships with the City, businesses and other non-profits.
Woodbury non-profits see value in the concept of collective impact.
- Boy Scouts Northern Star Council
- Christian Cupboard City of Woodbury
- ISD 833 Community Education
- Girl Scouts of MN & WI River Valley
- Junior Achievement
- League of Women Voters
- Meals on wheels
- Merrick Community Services
- Woodbury Athletic Association
- Woodbury Chamber of Commerce
- Woodbury Community Foundation
- Woodbury Days Council
- Woodbury Guild -Children's Hospital
- Woodbury Heritage Society
- Woodbury Kids
- Woodbury Rotary
- Woodbury Thrives
- Woodbury YMCA
- Young Life
- Youth Service Bureau
The results from those discussions were analyzed and formally presented to Woodbury City Council in July. WCF is working with the City of Woodbury to map out and identify next action steps to build and strengthen the relationships between the Woodbury non-profits, and the identification and development of more effective and efficient communication for non-profits and Woodbury residents.
To learn more about the Nonprofit Roundtable and find out how you can help, contact the Woodbury Community Foundation at 651-505-7024 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.