In 2011 the Ford Institute Leadership Program (FILP) sponsored a Community Collaborations networking event in Smith River, CA, which brought together over fifty organizations to network, share and identify their needs. Facilitated by Human Systems (now Community Systems), this event was part of FILP’s five year investment in Curry County. The highest identified need of the attendees was for a regional communication hub. The Wild Rivers Connect steering committee was created as a result.
The newly formed Wild Rivers Connect steering committee had its initial meeting in February, 2012 and held ongoing discussions of vision and mission. The committee also developed and administered a survey, which guided the strategic planning and the development of a communications-based website. To support this work, Wild Rivers Connect was awarded technical assistance grant from The Ford Family Foundation (TFFF) to build capacity and develop a communication strategy. Wild Rivers Community Foundation (WRCF) became our fiscal sponsor, . On September 28, 2013, Wild Rivers Connect kicked off a community event to celebrate the launching of its website, wildriversconnect.org.
Since that successful launch, WRC has hosted several workshops and a first ever “Cash Mob” event in Curry County. Grant writing, video storytelling, Google Docs and even a Haiku workshop have been held. The Haiku workshop was especially memorable, not only for the program given by the Oregon Community Foundation, but also the successful $25,000 grant received by one of the attendees who had been inspired by the workshop. In the past year or so, WRC has partnered with WRCF to hold monthly Nonprofit Leaders lunches in Brookings.
In 2015, the decision was made for WRC to become a Oregon non-profit. As an Oregon nonprofit, WRC could be a more structured yet flexible organization. It would have the stability of a board of directors to help guide its mission of “Nurturing vital community growth through collaboration, education and networking.”
Current members of the board of directors are all Ford Institute Leadership Program graduates. Many are also Ford’s Community Ambassadors (CATs) and have been with Wild Rivers Connect from the start, as has our fiscal sponsor, Wild Rivers Community Foundation.
Additional funding from The Ford Family Foundation in 2016 has allowed WRC to develop a more interactive and updated website, growing its community outreach. Our outreach coordinator, Kathleen Dickson (also a Ford Leadership graduate), has expanded the monthly Nonprofit Leaders lunch in Curry County to serve not only Brookings, but Gold Beach and Port Orford as well. Lunches offer speakers or topics for discussion, allowing organizations opportunities for learning and meeting others. All service organizations and nonprofits are welcome at these educational, networking lunches.
For 2016, Wild Rivers Connect has been one of the sponsors of the popular “Learn by Doing” grant writing series of workshops taught by Meredith Howell of Rural Development Initiatives.
Look to see more opportunities from Wild Rivers Connect to support your nonprofit or service organization in its valuable work for our communities in Curry and Del Norte counties.
WILD RIVERS CONNECT BOARD 2017
President: Georgia Nowlin
Secretary: Jeremy Skinner
Treasurer: Rob Carrillo
Directors: Michelle Carrillo, Julie Payne, Randy Bancroft, Geoff Antill
Outreach Coordinator: Kathleen Dickson
Partnership and Collaboration Work
The power of collaboration and partnership is happening in Curry and Del Norte County already!
Take our story: Wild Rivers Connect began as a steering committee in 2012, based on the highest need identified for community organizations from a Community Collaborations event. Wild Rivers Community Foundation acted as a fiscal sponsor for us to receive an $8K grant from the Ford Family Foundation and bring new services to you, our Wild Rivers Community.
Also, collaborating with the Oregon Community Foundation, Wild Rivers Connect offered a community grant writing “Haiku” workshop that was wonderfully successful. So successful that an attendee was inspired to write and received a grant for $25,000 based on that experience. Nonprofits working together for their community!
Another example is the North Curry Ford Leadership Cohort partnered with the City of Gold Beach to receive a $5K Ford Family Foundation grant and a $7K Wild Rivers Coast Alliance grant to build Three Community Bike Rest Stops in North Curry.
That’s the POWER of collaboration!
Good ideas are exchanged, projects get funded, energy, and momentum are abundantly created. It is clear that networking, collaboration and partnership with other groups that are for profit, non-profit or grassroots organization take you one step closer to community-wide success for our Wild Rivers region.
Need Inspiration and New Ideas?
Check out our Directory and see what other organizations are doing in your area. We want to hear from YOU about your success stories in your organization to share with our WRC community. Is your organization growing? Did you receive a grant for a project? Did you have a fundraiser that raised lots of money? Did something amazing happen or did you just take some really great pictures of your normal day-to-day activities?
Email us with the images and short description so the Wild Rivers community can be inspired and motivated to do something similar for their group, or prompt people to just get involved and volunteer.
Need Supplies, Volunteers or just want to Network?
Go to our Facebook Group and meet NEW PEOPLE in other local nonprofit and community service groups by joining in the conversation and build your network.
Or find VOLUNTEERS from the local area for full-time
or on an as-needed basis. If you are a leader of an organization, this WRC Facebook Group is where you can ADVERTISE that you need to borrow some item for your next community activity or need some sort of donation. Post now and arrange to get those supplies you need from the WRC Network today.
Need to STOP duplicating grant proposals with other organizations in our area?
The Wild Rivers Connect website forum is for the community to share documents that they are working on and let other groups know what you are doing. If there is a project you want to collaborate on for a grant proposal, you can work on the grant in the forum and maybe attract some attention in the WRC community for support and resources like MONEY.
Need Training in Person?
Don’t forget to check out our Announcement page to see if WRC or our local training partner, Wild Rivers Community Foundation, have scheduled any trainings for topics such as Fundraising, Grantwriting, Board Development, and Marketing. Let us know what you want to learn and we’ll try to make it happen.