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Nonprofit leadership groupThe world of nonprofits can be hard to navigate for directors, board members, and other leaders. It’s something Amber McHose, executive director of Harmony School of Creative Arts, sees firsthand in her role.

“It can seem a little crazy with all the different nonprofits and everything going on,” she said. “When you have your nonprofit, you’re so focused on what you need to do and what you’re working on, you miss things.”

McHose and Phoenix Center Executive Director Sarah Garrett have created the Hill Country Nonprofit Leadership Group. Its first meeting is 9 a.m. Thursday, October 3, at Harmony School of Creative Arts, 1503 Mormon Mill Road in Marble Falls.

“We’re not sure what the demand is for this group, or what the needs are right now,” McHose said. “That’s what we’ll be talking about the first meeting. Networking and collaboration is something we can all probably benefit from, so that’s part of it.”

It could be as complex as hosting regular speakers or as fundamental as establishing a monthly calendar so organizations can see what each is doing and coordinate activities. In a community such as the Highland Lakes, McHose pointed out that nonprofits often pull from the same group of people, whether for funding, volunteers, or activity attendance.

“A lot of (the groups) share the same donors, even volunteers, sure, but how can we work together to be stronger,” McHose said. “One of the things if you’re working for a nonprofit, it’s because you’re passionate about your community. But, sometimes, we just don’t see outside our little area, and we miss things.”

It could be something vital such as funding or partnership opportunities. McHose might hear of a grant that doesn’t quite fit Harmony but would benefit another organization. She can pass the information on, but only if she knows what other nonprofits need.

“Even here (in the Highland Lakes), I hear about nonprofits I didn’t know about, quite a bit,” McHose said.

Through a nonprofit leadership group, directors and board members can network and learn about each other’s organizations. When something comes across their desks that might help someone else, they could then get it to the right person.

“Running a nonprofit is tough; it has a lot of challenges,” McHose added. “Maybe with (the Hill Country Nonprofit Leadership Group), we can help each other out. Strong nonprofits make for a stronger community.”

To see how you can make a difference in your community, visit the 101 Volunteer Guide.

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