News Column

Fourth Not for Profit Workshop set for Straz Center

August 22, 2014

By Yvette C. Hammett, Tampa Tribune, Fla.

Aug. 22--TAMPA -- For the fourth year, two local philanthropists are sharing their secrets on how to successfully run and grow a charitable operation.

Simply titled the Not for Profit Workshop, the event takes place at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, Aug. 26, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cut-off for registration is at noon on Monday.

More than 1,400 are expected to attend, including the heads of many non-profit agencies from throughout the Tampa Bay area.

The workshop is hosted by retired surgeon Zena Lansky and her husband, Warren Rodgers, a retired businessman and entrepreneur.

Some of the hottest topics of the day include donor cultivation and fundraising, said Sharron Robbins, who helps organize the annual workshop for the couple, known for their involvement in 23 area charities, including the SPCA Tampa Bay and the Humane Society.

"They both are huge philanthropists in this area and have given millions to charity," Robbins said. "They support 23 nonprofit organizations and are in a position to give back hugely to the community. And they do. It is all about how to make a nonprofit successful. They did this 21 times in mini workshops with individual groups and decided there was a need to have something like this" on a larger scale.

The only thing Lansky and Rodgers get out of this, Robbins said, is the satisfaction of knowing they are helping others to help their community. "When they retired, this is what they wanted to do."

"It's just really an inspiration," said Leslie Farrell, who chairs Oasis, a nonprofit that helps students in public schools by providing uniforms, play clothes, alarm clocks and shoes. "I've learned so much each time I've gone and it is a wonderful opportunity to meet others who care about the community and are involved in non-profits."

Philanthropy, How to Build a Successful Web Site, Leadership, Corporate Giving, E-Philanthropy and Volunteers are among the topics for the day.

"They have topics on marketing, on volunteers and how to inspire and keep them, all kinds of things people involved with charities may not even have thought of," Farrell said.

The $25 entry fee pays for breakfast, lunch and parking (first come, first served), Robbins said.

"People can walk away with bucketloads of information about non-profits," she said. "The keynote speakers are all CEOs." They'll tell stories about their own successes and how to optimize social media to work to their advantage.

"Through a series of trial and error, and by analyzing the feedback from the post workshop surveys, over the last four years we have been fine-tuning the format and now believe we've finally got it right," the couple says on its web site. "The Fourth Annual NFP Workshop you are attending is the best one we've presented to date. The mixture of the 13 relevant topics presented by 30 top NFP experts... will absolutely maximize the value of the time you spend here."

(813) 259-7127


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Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)

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