Nonprofits play key role

This week it’s time for me to complete my arc of articles regarding chamber members. We’ve talked about service clubs, small businesses and bigger businesses, but for this column, I’ll delve into nonprofits.

Last week, I was lucky enough to listen to the keynote speaker at the Upper Peninsula Nonprofit Conference, Michigan Nonprofit Association President and CEO, Donna Murray-Brown.

At one point she stated that there is a push to move away from the term nonprofit and toward the term for impact.

Many of you may have heard me profess that at my core, I’m a nonprofit girl, but I think I’m going to have to change that to a for impact girl.

When we are working, volunteering, or parenting or when we are with colleagues, friends or family, we all should be thinking about what we can do to impact the world; what we can do to make it better.

Nonprofit organizations report to a board instead of shareholders, rely on volunteers instead of paid employees, and their overall goal is a mission not bottom line. Regardless of if you’re a 501c 3, 4, 6, or any other number classified by the IRS, the purpose of these organizations is that they give back to the community.

This can be as a member-driven organization providing services, charitable organization providing grants or scholarships, or group or club focusing on art, history or music educationthe list goes on.

But even with all of that, nonprofits still need to consider sound business practices- that is how they stay open.

How can the chamber help? We can help raise awareness for what your mission is, advertise for your fundraising events, help you find volunteers, participate when we can and cheer for you when we can’t.

During 2014 the GINCC is working on starting a series of workshops held on the west-end that include nonprofit topics like finance, board development, fundraising, all the way to ‘are we a legal nonprofit and what does that mean?’

If this is something you are interested in, I encourage you to call the chamber for more information.

Do you have other ideas as to how the chamber can have a stronger impact on our community, our businesses and our organizations? I’m listening.

For impact, I like it so much I’m going to keep using it. At our annual dinner individuals and businesses in our community were voted on by GINCCC members because of the impact they have made on our community. I’d like to give them additional recognition here.

Congratulations Business of the Year, A. Lindberg & Sons; Small Business of the Year, Midtown Bakery; Business Person of the Year, Sandra Sundquist of Wilderness Sports; Volunteer of the Year, Andrea Jackson of Jackson’s Do It Best Hardware; President’s Choice, Dan Perkins; and Chamber Member of the Year, Fox Negaunee.

Finally, to keep you in the loop on what’s happening in the West End, we encourage everybody to come to the Ishpeming City Manager Open House from 4-7 p.m. Thursday.

This event will introduce new city manager, Mark Slown, to the community. Held at the chamber of commerce building this Open House is hosted by the GINCC, the Ishpeming Downtown Development Authority, the city of Ishpeming and the Ishpeming Business Association.

Refreshments are sponsored by the Upper Peninsula Power Co., U.P. Engineers and Architects, Marquette Builders Exchange, Globe Printing and Wilderness Sports.

Also coming up in November, the Ishpeming Business Association’s Ladies Night Out on Nov. 19, the St. Onge Insurance Ishpeturkey Trot for Hunger on Thanksgiving.

Come join us.

Editor’s note: Kori Tossava is director of the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce.