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April 2014 Confab

ConFab #5 was held April 3 at the Dance Palace, with over 50 people in attendance. Our presenters gave concise and informed presentations on Evaluations: your programs, your staff — and how to report your findings to others. Heather Johnson, Evaluations Officer at the Marin Community Foundation; Wendy Todd, consultant and former Program Director for Health and Aging at Marin Community Foundation; and Kay McMahon, a West Marin consultant on HR issues and professional coaching each did a great job at outlining basic needs: capture good data, get clarity about the audience you’re serving, and create clear expectations and communication with staff at all levels. Each speaker had hand-outs and web resources for further learning.

We surveyed the crowd for issues they’d prioritize for upcoming ConFabs. While the list was long, it included seminars on Grant-seeking, Volunteers, more Board Management, Succession Planning, a deeper dive into Evaluations, and a look at local demographics.

This latter was also a request for better data on West Marin demographics in general. The Fund will seek opportunities to find and compile information specific to our region, with help from the Marin Community Foundation’s rich directory of resources.

A big YES answered the questions — would you use a circuit rider on information technology? on grant writing? The West Marin Fund will explore this as a service to local non-profits.