Northland News

New nonprofit summit is now slated to be held April 18

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Northland Nonprofit Summit that was originally set for Feb. 20 has been rescheduled for April 18.

Northland Alliance chairwoman Joyce Bourgault made that announcement last week. The eighth in an ongoing series of gatherings for nonprofit organizations and agencies serving the neighborhood had to be postponed last month due to illness on the part of Bourgault and representatives of the Economic and Community Development Institute.

Officials with the nonprofit organization that helps new enterprises get their start were scheduled to make a presentation on how to develop a business plan for what has become the main focus of the summit meetings, a combination neighborhood gathering place, welcome center and "nonprofit mall."

While ECDI officials are still determining what their level of involvement will be in developing that plan, Bourgault said she has scheduled a guest speaker for the April 18 meeting from the Service Corps of Retired Executives, a national nonprofit agency "dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship," according to the organization's website.

Jerry L. Jones, who has international business expertise, will address those attending the next Nonprofit Summit at the Haimerl Center, 1421 Morse Road. Registration will start at 8:30 a.m.

"We're going to be focusing more on the business plan that we're developing, plus we're going to do updates on the things we've been working on," Bourgault said.

Sandy LaFollette will discuss a survey of residents in the Northland area's Beaumont neighborhood and representatives from HandsOn Central Ohio will have a presentation about a disaster plan being developed specifically for that sector of the city.

But the main focus will be advancing the concept of a center to serve a whole host of the neighborhood's needs, according to Bourgault. She said the idea has drawn interest from a number of groups, organizations and agencies, including the Ohio State University Cooperative Extension Service, Mount Carmel Health and churches.

In addition to helping residents new to Columbus -- and in some cases new to the United States -- become better acclimated, such a facility could provide office space for nonprofits, a gathering place for residents, a site for food pantries and possibly a furniture bank, and even serve as a business incubator, she indicated.

"This planning is a huge collaboration," Bourgault said at last week's Northland Area Business Association quarterly luncheon. "We're excited about it. There's a lot of excitement about this."

She asked the business owners and managers present to think about a possible building that might serve the various uses being proposed by summit participants.

"We do have some people who definitely want to partner in doing this," Bourgault said in an interview. "We're really going to try to bring in as many nonprofits as we can into one location or to have satellites."

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