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We’ve Been Listening

Performance measurement is truly important to ensure that you are on the right track to achieving your goal.  Like any business or organization, at Trico Charitable Foundation, we too are taking the time to reflect on our past events and are looking into improving them.  My name is Alyssa Kan and I am very glad to have joined Trico Charitable Foundation as Foundation Assistant this summer.  For the past couple of weeks, I have been gathering all the past evaluations, comments and suggestions from our learning events, Facebook page and Twitter to figure out how we can add value to your learning in order to enhance your social enterprise.

What We Heard

What I have gathered from these evaluations is that many social enterprises want advice on how to “establish new revenue opportunities… while maintaining the primary mission”. Many of you in the “early learning” and “planning” stages of the development path have expressed that you want more insight on how to approach a feasibility study and how to write a sound business plan.  As we move further along the development path, many have conveyed that it is a challenge to understand all the legal and accounting implications, develop brand recognition and pitch your idea to potential investors. Furthermore, finding a suitable consultant with experience in not-for-profit organizations can be difficult, as serving a social or environmental mission, rather than seeking profit, is often the priority.

Connection, Voice, Value

In response to these comments, we have come up with a few ideas that will hopefully answer to your needs.  We have developed criteria – Connection, Voice, Value— to guide us when developing learning sessions to ensure that it is most effective.  At every learning session, we will make sure there is time allotted for networking, for gathering feedback and that we are providing information that is beneficial.

Upcoming Events and New Programs

We started applying this framework yesterday, at one of our summer Lunch & Learns, Dynamic Marketing for Social Enterprise.  We had a great turnout, so thank you to everyone who took time off from stampeding to join us.  If you didn’t get a chance to drop by, don’t worry.  We will be having another Lunch & Learn in early August, called Innovative Business Models.  Last but not least, on November 5, 2012, we will be co-hosting the Fast Pitch Social Innovation Expo with Social Venture Partners.  Social enterprises will pair up with a pitch coach over the course of September and October to practice and perfect a three-minute pitch of your business approach to achieving a social mission.  Finalists will then compete and showcase their pitch to judges and an audience at the Expo.  Please check our Twitter, Facebook or website for more information.

On top of the learning events, we plan on launching other programs. For example, the Educator-in-Residence program will feature an educator who will connect directly with social enterprises to share their expertise and provide support to enhance the social enterprise.  Please stay tuned for more information.

I would like to thank those who have attended our Enterprising Non-Profits (enp-ab) workshops and other learning events and have given us such constructive feedback.  Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any other concerns or areas we can focus on that would be most helpful to you.  We look forward to finding new and better ways to support all the not-for-profit organizations and social enterprises in our community.

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