By Phalyn Chenard
Annually, the Junior League of Edmonton (JLE) hosts a retreat which focuses on leadership development, strategic planning, and team bonding. We set aside one day for the incoming Board of Directors, and a second day for the entire JLE membership.
This tradition began in 2015 when we were fortunate to be joined by Alice Gardner-Boreta, a Past President of the Junior League of Calgary, who was also serving as an International Director for the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), at the time.
With Alice spearheading the retreat, we were led through a variety of sessions such as roles and responsibilities, building a better Board, successful Committees and the strategic transformation of the Junior League. It was an amazing weekend of learning and the start of many successful membership retreats. The reason for the flashback to 2015 is that there was one key takeaway from that weekend that I still use today, and often pass along to my team members: e-newsletters for nonprofit leaders.
Like you, I am not for adding more to my inbox, so I wouldn’t be sharing these tools if I didn’t think they were valuable. These three newsletters have helped me become a better Leaguer, a dedicated community leader, and have also provided many personal and professional development moments.
Charity Village is the best of the best. Seriously. If you sign up for one e-newsletter out of this list, please, please, please make it Charity Village. On its website, Charity Village lists itself as the Canadian nonprofit sector’s largest and most popular online resource, and it doesn’t fall short.
My favorite thing about Charity Village is the webinars. They’re great for helping with League placements but the topics can easily benefit you in other areas of your life. I’ve taken all sorts of webinars from Charity Village: Board-related webinars, volunteer-related webinars, budgeting, creating awesome meetings, sponsorship proposals, even one on listening skills. As a bonus, these webinars are the kind where you can sign up and they’ll email you a recording afterward if you can’t make it during the live version.
Blue Avocado is an online magazine for nonprofit organizations. It’s American but the content is still relevant. And the name is awesome.
Like Charity Village, Blue Avocado is full of strategic learning opportunities that don’t limit themselves to your volunteer work. If you’re on a leadership track, at JLE or any other organization, Blue Avocado has an excellent collection of articles about how organizations are run and how to make yours stronger. Sometimes I’ll find myself with five Blue Avocado tabs open on my browser, just reading for general interest.
Some local love!
Being that it’s local, the best part of signing up for the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organization’s newsletter is that you don’t have to hide behind a computer. While ECVO’s newsletter does come jampacked full of online learning resources like articles and webinars, it also includes invitations to several in-person learning and networking opportunities put on by ECVO.
I encourage you to give these resources a try; they’ve really helped grow my knowledge of the nonprofit sector and have also enhanced my community leadership both in the Junior League and outside of it.
Leave a comment below (Like way below. Below the sharing buttons. And below the related blog posts.) and let me know if you’re going to sign up or if you have any additional online resources that might benefit a nonprofit leader.
For the JLE members reading this, don’t forget that the online member portal, provided to us by the Association of Junior Leagues International, is another excellent resource. AJLI combs the internet looking for useful articles and training that directly relate to the work we do within the League. There’s also an online learning section that offers self-paced courses and archives of its Webinar Wednesdays series. If you missed the recent webinar on how to navigate the AJLI website, you can find the playback here.
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