Carolyn Saxton

Carolyn Saxton

Not-for-profit agencies and the services they provide contribute to the fabric of Lake County communities. Healthy agencies encourage healthy communities. It is crucial that Lake County agencies which provide human and health care programs,educational opportunities and creative and cultural experiences are well managed and financially sound.

Legacy Foundation, the community foundation serving Lake County, has developed a deliberate and focused educational program we are calling Legacy Learning Lab. L³ is a strategic approach to a meaningful year-long support and training program for Lake County agencies. Legacy’s goal is to increase agency capacity for financial sustainability and professional governance.

There are various components to L³:

  • Legacy will hire professional consultants to present three-hour training sessions related to their field of expertise including grant writing, board governance, strategic planning and fundraising. In addition, a series of six webinars on nonprofit human resources, which was made available by the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, will be presented at the Legacy Foundation office. We all know that human resource management is one of the most challenging parts of running any organization. Through a new series of webinars, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance will help agency staff understand the legal requirements and potential pitfalls faced in hiring, managing and terminating employees. It will also help identify strategies in effectively managing employees. Any members of Lake County agency staffs and Boards are encouraged to participate in the trainings or webinar sessions.
  • In a more selective and intensive process, Legacy will solicit applications and will choose six to seven agencies that will participate in a year-long training focused on the components of creating an endowment-building plan to meet future financial needs. The program termed ESP (Endowment Sustainability Program) will be led by a professional who developed ESP and who has more than 10 years of consulting experience in training agencies on it.
  • Many of the Lake County agencies lack the infrastructure and development tools for fundraising. One of these crucial pieces is having donor tracking software and the mentorship to navigate through a fundraising software program. Through an application Legacy Foundation will select three or four agencies to support the purchase of and year-long training for implementing a donor database program.
  • A Funders Collaborative that includes Legacy Foundation, Lake County Area United Way and Foundations of East Chicago will serve as project sponsors and managers of an intensive year-long nonprofit leadership and capacity building program. The collaborative will collectively identify and select about 15 organizations in Lake County as participants. This program will help these selected nonprofit organizations learn how to govern and manage their organizations more effectively and efficiently. The targeted start for this program is April.

Legacy’s comprehensive trainings and one-on-one capacity and endowment building programs through L³will enable agency leadership to learn best-practices and put them to use. Agency staffs and board members will gain governance expertise and will build a plan for the organization to be financially successful. Healthy agencies encourage healthy communities. Legacy Foundation is committed to make that happen.

Contact Carolyn Saxton, president of Legacy Foundation, to learn how more about L³.

Carolyn Saxton is president of Legacy Foundation. The opinions are the writer’s.

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Porter/LaPorte County Editor

Porter/LaPorte Editor Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.