Nonprofits join forces

ajames@newsobserver.comSeptember 29, 2013 

— Several nonprofits in the Triangle have joined forces to raise money and serve those in need.

The idea came from Dr. Martel Perry of Mt. Vernon Christian Church in Clayton. And so far, eight nonprofits have joined the Raleigh-Durham, Johnston County, Triangle Faith and Nonprofit Community Consortium.

The nonprofits bring a variety of missions to the consortium – faith-based initiatives, disaster preparedness and recovery, youth mentoring and the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Perry, who has worked in nonprofits for more than 20 years, thinks the Triangle nonprofits can accomplish more by working together.

“If we were to try to get sponsorships, having different organizations approach the same individuals creates a tough situation if you’re doing similar things,” Perry said. “You end up competing against yourself.”

Perry said the consortium will seek grants that the nonprofits will share.

Also, he said having diverse nonprofits under one umbrella could improve the delivery of services. For example, he pointed to member nonprofit Community Anchors Limited, whose mission is disaster preparedness and recovery. In the event of a natural disaster, Perry said, the seven other nonprofits, which include two churches, could support by providing shelter and calling on their congregations for donations of money and supplies.

Working with the town

At a recent Clayton Town Council meeting, the Rev. Terence K. Leathers, pastor of Mt. Vernon Christian Church, called on Clayton leaders to form a partnership with the consortium. He envisions the consortium helping the town build and improve upon community programs that seek to help women, children, youth, families and the elderly.

The consortium would not seek funding from the town, Leathers said. Instead, the town and consortium could seek grants jointly, he said.

The consortium and town could also save money by sharing resources, including facilities and training, Leathers said. “We need better understanding between local government and nonprofits to reduce duplicated efforts and pursue better funding opportunities,” he said.

Councilman Michael Grannis said he had seen one of the nonprofits in action. He attended the graduation ceremony for the Engaging Men Rites of Passage Program, which mentors teen boys. Leathers helped to create that program, which is one of the nonprofits in the consortium.

“The potential that this organization has to enhance our community and our communities’ teenagers has the basis of being something very good that we might like to be a part of,” Grannis said.

The full council said it wanted to discuss the logistics of a partnership before signing on.

The nonprofits in the consortium are Harbor Inc., the Men of Distinction, Community Anchors Limited, the Torch Rites of Passage Mentoring Program, the N.C. Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Mount Vernon Christian Church, the White Rock Baptist Church Enrichment Center and the Business-Nonprofit-Church Community International Institute in Apex.

The consortium invites other nonprofits to join.

James: 919-553-7234

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