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Catch the spirit of giving on Tuesday

November 27, 2017 - by Ellen Piekalkiewicz

Local nonprofits are participating in a global day of giving that encourages individuals, communities and organizations to support philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

In the Big Bend Region, a coalition of over 300 nonprofit organizations has joined forces to promote volunteerism and philanthropy locally. The campaign, #BigBendGivesBack, springs from #GivingTuesday, to harness the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity.

#GivingTuesday is starting to be seen as a kick off to the whole “giving season,” when people who are looking for last-minute tax deductions by Dec. 31 ramp up their charitable donations. Local nonprofits report that about 30 percent of their total annual donations are received in December.

Millions of people raised $177 million online during last year's Giving Tuesday, the fifth edition of the event. Much more was given in volunteer hours, donations of food and clothing, and acts of kindness.

Not only does it feel great to give, but by volunteering or donating to a local charity on Nov. 28, you can literally help make this community a better place.

The Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact created the idea of #GivingTuesday and specifically chose it to follow Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest shopping days of the year to could create a day to focus on giving.

The Tallahassee Democrat is sponsoring a community-wide #Unselfie contest to create social media buzz about #BigBendGivesBack. An #Unselfie is a selfless image that focuses on a charity or cause, not the individual. To enter the contest, people should take a photo holding a sign featuring #UnselfieBigBend and the name of a local nonprofit.

Posting the photo on Instagram and Tallahassee.com and generating the most votes for the image will help the nonprofit win a $500 grant from the Community Foundation of North Florida and a direct mail package from Target Print and Mail; and will be featured in the Tallahassee Democrat. #UNselfies must be uploaded by 11:59 p.m. Nov. 27. Plese visit the contest page for more information on how to participate: www.tallahassee.com/unselfie

The #BigBendGivesBack organizing committee includes representatives from the Big Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Community Foundation of North Florida, the Council on Culture and Arts, the Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence, United Partners for Human Services and the United Way of the Big Bend.

Visit www.BigBendGivesBack.org to see the entire list of registered 501(c) 3 nonprofits participating in the coalition and learn about the various ways you can give back on #GivingTuesday on Nov. 28. On Facebook, visit BigBendGivesBack and on Twitter, follow @GivingTues. On the #BigBendGivesBack website links to all 300 nonprofit organizations are listed serving as a one-stop shop for anyone who would like to donate to one of these organizations.

The website is up and running and links are live so donations can be made anytime! You don’t have to wait until Nov. 28.

Originally appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat

From the Tallahassee Democrat: Explore South City Revitalization Ideas

April 24, 2017 - by Ellen Piekalkiewicz

On May 10, United Partners for Human Services is holding its 18th Annual Conference at Tallahassee Community College. UPHS presents this conference each year as a way to provide a high-quality professional development experience for the human service professionals, however, this year the conference features two workshops that have a broader community appeal and impact.

The closing conference plenary at 3 p.m. will feature a presentation by Ray Kuniansky, Columbia Residential, LLC where attendees will participate in an interactive session that will serve as an introduction to the current plans by the Tallahassee Housing Authority to revitalize public housing in South City and how Columbia Residential will proceed with a community engagement model used in Atlanta, New Orleans, among other cities. This year, Columbia Residential, LLC celebrates 25 years of strengthening communities through providing quality housing and partnering with essential service providers.

Neighborhood revitalization is the way of the future. For families to succeed, sometimes the dynamics of their neighborhood have to change. The Neighborhood Revitalization that will be proceeding in South City will be a holistic approach that expands upon existing partnerships with residents, neighborhood associations, community leaders, government and school leaders; volunteers; and the private sector for increased impact.

This transformation has taken place thanks to the hard work of engaged citizens, partnerships with civic and business groups, and a renewed community spirit. We invite the Tallahassee community to attend this important plenary session. For additional information and to register (fee $20) please go to the UPHS website: www.uphsfl.org

The second session of broad community application, and which also is very timely for the community at large, is a workshop on disaster and emergency planning offered at 1:30 p.m. featuring: Jerome Gaines, Tallahassee Fire Chief; Jeri Bush, Director Volunteer Leon, Leon County; Matt Cavell, Assistant to the County Administrator for Community Relations and Resilience, Leon County; Kevin Peters, Emergency Management Director for Leon County; Chris Smith, Commercial Risk Manager, Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn Insurance; Joy Watkins, President and CEO, Community Foundation of North Florida.

The workshop will provide practical steps that organizations, both for-profit and non-profit, need to take to prepare. Yes, Hurricane Hermine is fresh on everyone’s mind; however, ‘Disaster’ goes well beyond fire, flood, and storms. Manmade disasters like theft, data breaches, system failures, and loss of crucial company data are often more tangible threats. If you were to go into your business tomorrow and everything was gone, what would you do? What would you need to focus on first to get back to serving clients? The answer to this question provides the blueprint for how organizations should prepare for disaster recovery.

This workshop features experts in disaster preparedness and those who have firsthand experience dealing with catastrophes. Learn the critical steps you can take to ensure that your organization survives the next small or large emergency situation, and gain the tools to be resilient, resourceful, and able to overcome. For additional information and to register (fee $20) please go to the UPHS website: www.uphsfl.org

UPHS extends special thanks to all the sponsors, partners, presenters and volunteers who are making our 2017 conference possible. We particularly want to recognize our Conference Nonprofit Hero, James Moore & Company whose commitment to the nonprofit network is unparalleled.

Other sponsors include: Prime Meridian Bank, Columbia Residential, LLC, Flying Bear, Moore Communications Groups, Inspired Technologies, Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn Insurance, Naumann Group; Sanders, Holloway & Ryan; Krizner Group, Strategic Benefits Group; CareerSource, For the Table Hospitality, Tallahassee Community College, Leon County and the City of Tallahassee. Their sustained support for the human service nonprofit sector helps us to reshape tomorrow.

Originally appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat

Now Accepting Applications for 2017 Roger Kaufman Exemplary Community Agency Award

In association with the United Partners for Human Services (UPHS), the selected agency will be recognized by the 21st Century Council at the May 2017 UPHS Conference in Tallahassee and presented with a $1000.00 check.

Application Due Date

March 10, 2017

Eligible Agencies

All State of Florida registered nonprofits providing direct services to members of the Tallahassee-Leon County community are eligible to apply.

Selection Process

A review team will consider submissions that include sections from existing agency grant proposals, grant reports, annual reports, evaluations or research papers that illustrate the effective utilization of data, especially local data, for identifying and prioritizing client and/or community needs. The material should also document the agency’s program impact and outcomes that show the mitigation of the identified need(s) and measurable benefits to the clients served.

Please refer to the award selection criteria for more information.


The cover sheet and materials to be considered may be mailed or submitted electronically.

Mailed applications should be sent to 21st Century Council, P.O. Box 10312, Tallahassee FL 32302 and must be postmarked no later than March 10, 2015.

Electronic submissions must be e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and received by midnight, March 10, 2015.


Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is seeking applications for funding under the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative. This program furthers the Department’s mission by supporting mentoring programs to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors.

For more information and to apply, visit the Grants.gov Mentoring Opportunities for Youth page.

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