Orange County, Crummer’s Edyth Bush Institute Announce $4 Million Initiative to Uplift Nonprofits

The Empowering Good partnership will help provide training to 261 local nonprofit organizations over the next three years.

Orange County Government and the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College have announced a three-year, $4 million partnership to provide nonprofit training support through Crummer’s Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership, the region’s premier source for nonprofit education and management assistance.

Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act in Orange County, the program will equip local nonprofits with the tools necessary to succeed in the post-pandemic environment. Specifically targeting small, and diverse Orange County-based nonprofits, Empowering Good: A Nonprofit Capacity Building Project is designed to offer training in five key areas: impact measurement, innovation, financial management, fundraising, and risk management.

“Nonprofits play a central role in the wellbeing of our community here in Orange County. Despite increased demand for their services during the Covid-19 pandemic, many of our community’s nonprofit organizations were being adversely affected by the pandemic in potentially devastating ways, directly impacting essential services in Orange County,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “Deploying American Rescue Plan funds in partnership with Crummer’s Edyth Bush Institute will help us provide the resources necessary to ensure the long-term success of our nonprofit community.”

The cohort-style program administered by the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership, will support up to 36 Central Florida nonprofit organizations every six months over the next three years as well as offer organizational assessments and coaching for up to another 15 organizations for a total of 261 nonprofits, starting in September 2022. Training provided by the Edyth Bush Institute throughout each year-long program will include workshops, assessments, coaching/consulting services, and custom programming to address organization-specific challenges.

In assessing how to deploy its American Rescue Plan funding, Orange County Government sought to address needs in six key areas, with one of those areas being small business assistance. Alignment with the Crummer School’s mission to produce global, innovative, and responsible leaders who impact their organizations and communities, as well as the Edyth Bush Institute’s wide-reaching nonprofit network, provided an ideal partnership that would enable the County to bolster small businesses within the regional nonprofit community.

“This exciting partnership with the Orange County Government will reach beyond nonprofits to the many organizations and individuals who benefit from their programs and services,” said Dr. Deborah Crown, dean of the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. “Our incredible staff at the Edyth Bush Institute embrace this opportunity to further guide our local nonprofit leaders to continue to spark innovation and create jobs for our economy.”

The overarching goal of the program will be to provide nonprofits a sustainable nonprofit action plan that they can use going forward, and ultimately, continue to positively impact the vibrant Central Florida nonprofit sector.

“Thanks to the Orange County Government and their commitment to help small business, this community partnership is truly innovative work that will directly help the lifeblood of the Central Florida nonprofit sector – the thousands of small nonprofits,” said Min Sun Kim, executive director of the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit.

Orange County’s Commitment to Nonprofits

In the midst of COVID-19, the Edyth Bush Institute noticed many of the nonprofits they serve in the community were being adversely affected by the pandemic in potentially devastating ways.

The center conducted a survey to gain a better understanding the level of distress some of the local nonprofits were feeling. The survey, which was conducted in April 2020, found 93.73% of the 287 nonprofits reported moderate to significant impact on programs, services or general operations. In addition, 194 nonprofit organizations reported an anticipated revenue decrease of $48 million to $54 million between February 2020 and June 2020.

Being that many nonprofits rely on community volunteers and in-person events to deliver their mission, nonprofits were uniquely affected by the pandemic.

In 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was passed by the federal government to provide relief to Americans, contain the COVID-19 virus, and help to rescue the economy. With Orange County receiving ARPA funding, they looked to areas of need in the local economy.

They broke down community needs into five key areas, with one of them was small business assistance. The Edyth Bush Institute’s COVID-19 community assessment caught the eye of Orange County, and provided a perfect runway to strike up a community partnership.

“Nonprofits play a vital role in directly improving the lives of individuals. Their contributions to this community and our economy cannot be overlooked. Yet, the struggles with increasing demand for services and maintaining a robust workforce were real,” said Min Sun Kim, executive director of Crummer’s Edyth Bush Institute of Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership. “This program will allow us to address pandemic and post-pandemic challenges as well as to help leaders position their organizations for long-term success.”

About Orange County Government
Orange County Government strives to serve its residents and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, one of the nation’s largest convention centers and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners, including the Mayor, who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit www.OCFL.net or go to Orange County Government’s social media channels.

About the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College
Just outside Orlando in Winter Park is the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business, a graduate school distinguished by its renowned faculty, intimate class size and applied approach to learning. It touts top MBA rankings from publications such as Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes magazines and is among the top 5% of business schools to carry AACSB International graduate-level accreditation, including for its Executive Doctorate in Business Administration degree, the first accredited program of its kind in the state. The school also houses renowned Centers, including the Crummer Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship, the Crummer Center for Management & Executive Education, the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership, and the Crummer Center for Leadership Development. For more information, visit crummer.rollins.edu.

About the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy& Nonprofit Leadership
The Crummer Graduate School of Business’ Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College is Central Florida’s premier source for nonprofit training, certificates, and custom programming. The Center’s various programs and courses strengthen nonprofit and philanthropic organizations through education and management support designed to strengthen board governance, enhance the business practices of nonprofit organizations, and expand the influence of the nonprofit sector. In addition to providing forums for nonprofit leaders to convene to discuss relevant issues, The Edyth Bush Institute also produces the Central Florida Nonprofit Compensation & Benefits Survey, the most comprehensive look at nonprofit salaries and benefits in the nonprofit sector regionally. For more information, visit ebi.rollins.edu.

Photos: Frank Weber