Your social-impact events roundup, June 16-23

Happy Monday, Denver Idealists! We post events here every seven days. From entertainment to professional development, we’ll do our best to keep you connected with weekly happenings in our local, social-impact community.

If you’re a nonprofit administrator, why not use us to help spread the word about your event? The best way to let us know what you’ve got coming up is to post a listing under Idealist’s events category. One important note: in order to meet Idealist’s content policies, the events we publicize on our blog must be politically neutral. No rallies for or against political issues, or anything like that.

Benefit: Delicious Wishes

This annual dessert reception and silent auction benefits Make a Wish Colorado and its mission to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Guests enjoy deserts from the finest local restaurants, enjoy custom cocktails and bid on a unique line up of auction items. 

Friday, June 20, 7-10 pm
Denver Aquarium
Price: $55 individual

Gala: Do at the Zoo

Sample dishes from over 60 of the city’s finest restaurants and enjoy unlimited drinks featuring the region’s best wines and cocktails, all while enjoying our community’s top live entertainment. Proceeds support the Denver Zoo in its mission to secure a better world for animals through human understanding.

Saturday, June 19, 7-10 pm 
Denver Zoo
Price: $175 individual

Concert: City Park Jazz 

 City Park Jazz is a community-supported nonprofit which produces 10 free jazz concerts each summer in Denver’s City Park. This Sunday’s concert is “Tribute to Freddy Rodriguez Sr.”

Sunday, June 20, 6-8 pm
Denver City Park
Price: Free

Nonprofit Spotlight: Anchor Center for Blind Children

Anchor Center for Blind Children gives young children and their families a nurturing environment to discover their own gifts and grow stronger. It’s the only privately funded organization in Colorado that provides early intervention services to infants, toddlers and preschoolers with vision impairments. All programs offer a sensory-rich, developmentally-based curriculum of fun, discovery and exploration founded upon the conviction that every child is filled with possibility and potential.

Infant, Toddler and Preschool Programs

The infant program helps a family understand their baby’s unique growth potential and fosters the child-parent relationship. Parents learn how to encourage their baby’s play, mobility, communication skills and mealtime success. 

The toddler program focuses on group play and socialization and lays the foundation for pre-reading skills.

The preschool program prepares children ages 3 to 5 for kindergarten in the public school system and helps them achieve independence, self-confidence and group skills with peers.

Home Visits and Family Support

Some children either live too far away or are medically unable to attend center-based programs. For these families, Anchor Center offers home visits. Teachers also travel to rural areas of Colorado where they work with children, families and local professionals to provide specialized vision services.

Anchor Center helps families accept and understand their child’s disability and encourages them to see their child as a whole child with great potential. Families are encouraged to make connections in their home school district with professionals.

Volunteer Opportunities

From working with students and assisting in the offices to helping with special events and seeking donations in the community, volunteers make all the good work at Anchor Center possible. To start your volunteer application process, visit anchorcenter.org/volunteer.aspx.

Your social-impact events roundup, June 9-16

Happy Monday, Denver Idealists! We post events here every seven days. From entertainment to professional development, we’ll do our best to keep you connected with weekly happenings in our local, social-impact community.

If you’re a nonprofit administrator, why not use us to help spread the word about your event? The best way to let us know what you’ve got coming up is to post a listing under Idealist’s events category. One important note: in order to meet Idealist’s content policies, the events we publicize on our blog must be politically neutral. No rallies for or against political issues, or anything like that!

Training: How to Conduct a Focus Group

Learn how to effectively gather the perspectives of your stakeholders by conducting a focus group. In this training you’ll be given templates to create your own facilitator scripts and procedures, recruitment databases and processes as well as a guiding structure for leading a group.

Wednesday, June 11, 1-4 pm
JVA Consulting, 2465 Sheridan Blvd., Denver
Price: $49

 Fun: Denver Comic Con

Embrace your inner geek with Denver’s third Comic Con. Celebrities past and present from shows like Star Trek: Next Generation and The Walking Dead will be on-site, along with tons of comic artists, writers, authors, and voice actors.

Friday, June 13-Sunday, June 15, 10 am daily
Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St. Denver
Price: $30-40 daily pass, 3-day packages available

Benefit: Crawfather…a crawfish bowl

Enjoy an evening of live entertainment and a live Louisiana crawfish boil while raising funds for Arrupe Jesuit High School.

Saturday, June 14, 4-8 pm
Hudson Gardens, 6115 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton
Price: $50 individual

Building an Impact-focused Career Part 3: Creating a Professional Development Plan

By Lee Wheeler-Berliner

So you have landed your dream job, what comes next? Regardless of what your long-term goals are, it is important to remember that you are always in the driver’s seat of your career. A strong professional development plan will utilize resources available from your current employer, and incorporate outside resources, as well.

While less defined than what you would experience with a large corporation, there are a few career paths within the social impact sector that you can follow. The most common route to the executive director/CEO role goes through the development department. You may start out as a development assistant, progress to grant writer or corporate sponsorship manager, then move into a major gifts role followed by director or vice president of development. Career paths exist within program and volunteer areas as well, where you may start as a coordinator, progress to manager, then to assistant director or director.

While each title and level will require specific skills, as you progress you must become adept at budgeting and financial management, supervising others, developing strategy, emotional intelligence, and often public speaking. Your current employer should want to invest in you and your growth by helping you acquire these skills. Don’t let a response of “we don’t have a budget for that” stand in your way. If your employer doesn’t bring this up, then ask them to support a 70-20-10 development model for you.

 70 stands for the percentage of your professional development activities that should take place on the job. Identify a specific skill you want to master, and then work with your supervisor to find a project that requires you to learn that skill. This may mean one or two projects a year, at the most, and the investment will be of your supervisor’s time rather than money.

Remember that network of contacts you developed while looking for a job? It can now serve as your support and education team. 20 stands for the percentage of your professional development activities that come from advice and guidance from mentors. Identify a few people in your network who hold or have held the positions you want long-term and ask to meet regularly with them to discuss your career. “Regularly” in this context may mean two to three times a year, not every week. Let your employer know you have this relationship, and you will likely get the approval to meet during business hours.

Finally, the 10 stands for the percentage of your activities that should be formal learning, such as one-time workshops, webinars, or ongoing classes. These will cost money and require your time, yet they can go a long way towards achieving your (and your employer’s) goals when they connect to a work project you are undertaking. Collectively, the 70-20-10 model becomes a very cost-effective way to acquire solid professional growth and development.

You may reach a point in your career when you determine a master’s degree is necessary. This is most often the case when you want to specialize in a specific discipline with clients or progress to leadership roles in large organizations. There is not one “right” degree, with the most common held by impact professionals being a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Nonprofit Management (MNM), Master of Public Administration (MPA), or Master of Social Work (MSW). Here in Denver, check out the Idealist grad school fair; research programs at Regis, DU, and CU Denver; and talk with your network to help determine the best degree for your goals.

A fulfilling career comes from being engaged with your work and having opportunities to advance. Take control of your professional development to accomplish both at the same time, and you’ll enjoy a lifetime of making a positive social impact.

Lee Wheeler-Berliner is the founder and principal of WB Consulting, a firm dedicated to enhancing the strategic impact of companies and helping others pursue social good. Learn more at wbconsultingcolorado.com. This post is the third in a three-part series on career planning that makes a difference. Catch up with part one here and part two here.

Your social-impact events roundup, June 2 - 9

Happy Monday, Denver Idealists! We post events here every seven days. From entertainment to professional development, we’ll do our best to keep you connected with weekly happenings in our local, social-impact community.

If you’re a nonprofit administrator, why not use us to help spread the word about your event? The best way to let us know what you’ve got coming up is to post a listing under Idealist’s events category. One important note: in order to meet Idealist’s content policies, the events we publicize on our blog must be politically neutral. No rallies for or against political issues, or anything like that!

Fair: Capitol Hill People’s Fair

The People’s Fair is a community-oriented volunteer event that benefits Capitol Hill nonprofit organizations.  Enjoy a plethora of arts and crafts, music and entertainment. The fair features some 500 exhibitor and food booths and had over 200,000 attendees last year.

Saturday, June 7, 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday, June 8, 10 am - 7 pm

Civic Center Park, Denver
Price: Free

Gala: Wish of a Lifetime

Celebrate The Incredible Art of Aging, a cultural arts exhibition that celebrates the lives of seniors everywhere.  Enjoy drinks, dinner, dancing, and compete in silent and live auctions.

Saturday, June 7, 6:30-11:00 pm 
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
Price: $150

Benefit: Murder Mystery Dinner

Enjoy a special night of murder and mystery to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation. Includes a three-course, scratch-made family style meal with a glass of wine.

Saturday, June 7, 3-7 pm
Maggiano’s Little Italy Denver South
Price: $65

Your social-impact events roundup, May 26-June 2

Happy Monday, Denver Idealists! We post events here every seven days. From entertainment to professional development, we’ll do our best to keep you connected with weekly happenings in our local, social-impact community.

If you’re a nonprofit administrator, why not use us to help spread the word about your event? The best way to let us know what you’ve got coming up is to post a listing under Idealist’s events category. One important note: in order to meet Idealist’s content policies, the events we publicize on our blog must be politically neutral. No rallies for or against political issues, or anything like that!

Training: How to Find the Perfect Nonprofit Job

Learn how to position yourself and your experience to find your fit in the nonprofit world. You will hear from individuals with years of nonprofit experience who can help you figure out how to land a job that speaks to your passion.

Wednesday, May 28, 9-12 pm
JVA Consulting, 2465 Sheridan Blvd., Denver
Price: $29 (graduation special!)

Gala: 41st Birthday Bash – A Very Merry Unbirthday

Enjoy a whimsical evening inspired by the book, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” all while raising money for the Children’s Museum of Denver. The evening will include live and silent auctions, cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres and dancing to live music.

Friday, May 30, 6:00-10:00 pm
Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Dr., Denver
Price: $150 individual

Benefit: Burning Can Beer Fest

Enjoy a plethora of local beers while raising funds for the Town of Lyons Parks and  Recreation Department.

Saturday, May 31, 3-7 pm
Bohn Park, Lyons
Price: $35-45

Your social-impact events roundup, May 19-26

Happy Monday, Denver Idealists! We post events here every seven days. From entertainment to professional development, we’ll do our best to keep you connected with weekly happenings in our local, social-impact community.

If you’re a nonprofit administrator, why not use us to help spread the word about your event? The best way to let us know what you’ve got coming up is to post a listing under Idealist’s events category. One important note: in order to meet Idealist’s content policies, the events we publicize on our blog must be politically neutral. No rallies for or against political issues, or anything like that!

Film Screening: WASTE LAND

Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. 

Monday, May 19, 6:00 pm 
Posner Center for International Development, 1031 33rd St., Denver
Price: Free

Breakfast Fundraiser: A Higher Definition of Media

This free breakfast is for people to come and learn more about the Open Media Foundation. Guests will be asked to consider making a contribution to support the youth program, sponsor memberships, and make it possible to provide the services, education, and tools that enable everyone to represent their own voice in the media conversation. There is no minimum and no maximum gift required. 

Tuesday, May 20, 7:30  - 8:30 am
700 Kalamath Street, Denver
Price: Free

Training: The Language of Impact

Raise more money, engage more volunteers, serve more clients and increase your organization’s impact. Renowned speaker Erica Mills discusses how to talk about your organization in a way that is consistent and compelling. 

Wednesday, May 21, 1 - 2 pm
Colorado Nonprofit Association Webinar
Price: $50

Workshop: Digital Storytelling for Nonprofits

Learn the tools and techniques to tell your nonprofit story. This two-night class covers methods for making your message stand out and cut through the clutter and noise, as well as how to use video-sharing tools to connect with supporters.

Thursday, May 22, 6 - 9 pm
Open Media Foundation, 700 Kalamath St., Denver
Price: Free

Nonprofit Spotlight: CATCH Healthy Habits

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) Healthy Habits pairs adults 50-plus with children to encourage healthier eating and physical activity. The program is a partnership between OASIS and Seniors’ Resource Center.These nonprofits promote successful aging through lifelong learning, health programs and volunteer engagement.

The CATCH program combats obesity by engaging mature adults as mentors to teach healthy lifelong habits to kids in grades K - 5. As volunteers promote healthy habits for kids and for themselves, they also experience the rewards of meaningful community service.

Obesity rates in America have tripled for children and doubled for older adults in the last 30 years. Nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of becoming overweight adults with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and asthma.

CATCH Healthy Habits combats this growing problem by coordinating teams of volunteers work with children in after-school and summer programs for up to 25 sessions. Each one-hour session includes a nutrition lesson, a healthy snack and 30 minutes of physical activity.

For more information, RSVP for the CATCH New Volunteer Training Session on Wednesday, May 21. Contact Leslie at 303.235.6947 or lmoser@srcaging.org..

Your social-impact events roundup, May 12-19

Happy Monday, Denver Idealists! We post events here every seven days. From entertainment to professional development, we’ll do our best to keep you connected with weekly happenings in our local, social-impact community.

If you’re a nonprofit administrator, why not use us to help spread the word about your event? The best way to let us know what you’ve got coming up is to post a listing under Idealist’s events category. One important note: in order to meet Idealist’s content policies, the events we publicize on our blog must be politically neutral. No rallies for or against political issues, or anything like that!

Training: Social Enterprise Academy

Do you want to make money while doing good? Then you should check out this week-long training that will help you create a viable plan for establishing a social enterprise. Learn from real-life examples from other social entrepreneurs and get valuable feedback on your plan.

Monday, May 12-16 9:00-4:30 am
JVA Consulting, 2465 Sheridan Blvd., Denver
Price: $750

Workshop: Intro to Studio Production

Learn all the basics behind making your own TV show! Topics include studio equipment, lighting theory, audio mixing, camera controls and more.

Saturday, May 17, 11-6 pm
Open Media Foundation, 700 Kalamath St., Denver
Price: $150 nonmember, $75 member

Race: Carbon Valley Half Marathon

Support The Children’s Hospital and autism research in your choice of half marathon, relay half, 5k, or fun run. Not only will you support a great cause and get a workout, but you will also enjoy a fantastic view of the Rockies.

Saturday, May 17 8:00 am
Firestone, CO
Price: $750

Benefit: Gatsby Gala, in the mood for a cure

Pull out your best Gatsby-inspired attire for an elegant gala complete with cocktails, dinner, and live and silent auctions. Proceeds benefit JDRF Rocky Mountain Chapter, an organization that funds research on type 1 diabetes.

Saturday, May 17, 6:00 pm
Seawell Grand Ballroom, 1350 Arapahoe St., Denver
Price: $300 individual

Nonprofit Spotlight: Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation

The Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHAD) has been changing the lives of at-risk youth in the Denver Metro area since 1988. With the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty and helping young people achieve their dreams, CIHAD is a long-term mentorship program for youth in low-income neighborhoods or who attend under-performing schools.  

Instead of accepting applications for the program, CIHAD works with its financial sponsors to select each class of participants, affectionately called “Dreamers.” Dreamer classes are now adopted in 2nd grade and will be part of the program for 12 years through high school graduation. Each Dreamer class receives year-round academic and life-centered programs and services. They are also assigned a program director who will stay with them throughout their time in the program. Roughly 90% of Dreamers complete high school, a rate which is double or triple that of their peers from similar backgrounds. Dreamers are also eligible for scholarships for college or vocational schooling.

As part of their enrichment programs, CIHAD matches Dreamers with corporate supporters for summer internships to help teach them valuable resume writing, interviewing, and professional experience. On a personal note, my office has had the pleasure of working with several Dreamer interns over the past three summers and we have been impressed by the level of maturity these young people possess. 

You can support CIHAD by attending one of their upcoming fundraising events, by mentoring youth, and by sponsoring a class of Dreamers. They are also hiring for a class assistant and you can check out the job posting via Idealist.

Should you need another reason to check out CIHAD’s work, take a moment to watch this powerful video featuring local slam poet Bobby LeFebre.