UHV, United Way partner to support area nonprofits
When Brooke Garcia worked for a nonprofit organization in San Antonio, she was used to having access to an abundance of resources, but that is not the norm in other places. Now the University of Houston-Victoria faculty member is leading the new Nonprofit Center to bring those resources to the Crossroads.
The Nonprofit Center is based in the UHV College of Business and is run through a partnership with the United Way of the Crossroads. The center was created to offer affordable resources, trainings and more to the region.
“Nonprofit organizations are essential parts of our communities, and UHV is proud to offer a resource to these local organizations,” said Jeff Blodgett, interim dean of the UHV College of Business. “We are pleased to be of service to those who do so much to serve the needs of others in our community.”
The center has already offered some training sessions during the summer, and the next sessions will be a Board Boot Camp on Sept. 22. The training will offer a full day of learning for executive directors and board members of area nonprofit organizations. In particular, the training will focus on the responsibilities and business needs of running a successful nonprofit, said Garcia, a UHV clinical assistant professor of management and coordinator of the center.
“There are times when nonprofit organizations are so eager to work toward their missions that they forget how important the business side is for their success,” she said. “Nonprofits are businesses, in a way, and often it’s impossible to accomplish the goals of the organization if the business side is not functioning properly.”
When Bethany Castro first started working in nonprofits, she quickly realized that running mission-driven organizations is a huge job with many different facets. However, training opportunities often are only available in large cities that are hours away from the communities they serve.
“I drove up to Baylor at least three times just in my first year,” said Castro, executive director of the United Way of the Crossroads. “By offering local trainings, the Nonprofit Center is helping organizations not just learn to run more effectively but also saving their travel costs so they can devote that money toward real needs.”
Another advantage of the center is that it offers area nonprofits an opportunity to meet at trainings and events and find ways to collaborate on future projects and initiatives.
“We want people to see their needs from different perspectives and find ways to help each other accomplish their missions,” Castro said. “We’ve already had individuals from the surrounding communities attend trainings together. Once those nonprofits come together and start collaborating more often, it can take their services to a whole new level.”
As the center becomes more established and begins offering more training opportunities, Garcia and Castro hope area businesses will consider donating toward the center’s programs so sessions will continue to be available at lower costs.
“We’ve just kicked off this summer, and we’ve seen that there is a need for these kinds of trainings and services,” Garcia said. “If we can partner with area businesses that want to support the nonprofit community, we’ll be able to create a ripple effect that will improve services for nonprofits all across the region.”
To learn more about the Nonprofit Center and available training opportunities, contact Garcia at (361) 570-4314 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.