On August 25, the Community Council of Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) hosted its annual Nonprofit Partner Fair, which was conducted virtually this year. The fair was an opportunity for JLNO and local nonprofit organizations to explore potential new community partnerships. Formal JLNO support for partners comes in several forms, including financial, volunteer and other resources and guidance.
“Any new potential partners are good,” says Rachel Stickney, 2020-2021 Community Council Director. Rachel says attracting new community partners helps JLNO diversify its efforts geographically, including both the populations we serve and volunteer opportunities for League members.
Rachel highlights how a wide variety of volunteer opportunities will be especially important this year in light of COVID-19. “We want to provide JLNO members with volunteer opportunities that are comfortable for them, whether that’s virtual, contactless or present but socially distant,” she said. The fair is one way JLNO can identify organizations that fit into the mission and provide non-traditional ways to channel member volunteer efforts.
In addition to bringing in unaffiliated organizations that may qualify for partnerships, the Nonprofit Partner Fair aims to deepen the relationship with the League’s existing partners. Current community partners who participated in the fair learned more about extending their involvement within the League. If an existing partner organization receives volunteer support, they might learn more about other potential benefits of their partnership, like qualifying for grants from the Community Assistance Fund and participating in the Diaper Bank and period supplies initiatives. Additionally, they may be able to fill vacant positions on their executive board with trained board members through JLNO’s award-winning Get On Board program.
Participating in the fair is the first step nonprofit organizations can take to develop a partnership with JLNO and learn about the multi-step selection process that the League uses to evaluate their proposals and applications. JLNO considers community partnerships key to the League’s impact in the community. The Nonprofit Partner Fair is pivotal to identifying new opportunities to advance the wellbeing of women and children in New Orleans.