The Institute for Nonprofits and event partner Loading Dock Raleigh co-hosted their annual COMx event this past Tuesday, April 25. This years theme was “Exploring Innovative Structures for Social Sector Organizations.” The night began with networking over hors d’oeuvres and drinks, before participants settled in for the panel discussion. The event featured intriguing speakers: Leigh-Kathryn Bonner, CEO and founder of Bee Downtown and Nonprofit Studies Minor alumna; Marc Dreyfors, President of The Forest Foundation, Inc. and General Manager at GOAL Site; and Oshana Watkins, Director of Administrations at Wake Enterprises. The topic of discussion, moderated by Dr. Richard Clerkin, focused on emerging operational and funding models that support social impact. The word of the night was “hybridity,” as the speakers discussed the challenges that they face with the changing resources for nonprofits. Leigh-Kathryn highlighted the importance of investing in each other’s success, as bees do with hives, to create lasting change, a tactic that her organization uses by partnering with local businesses that sponsor Bee Downtown hives. On a similar note, Marc explained how his nonprofit, The Forest Foundation, is able to grow due to the success of his partnering for-profit. Oshana emphasized the importance of learning from past mistakes and using these lessons to grow as an organization, as they are currently doing with their new partnership with Oak City Roasters. The initial discussion was followed by a brief question and answer session, where audience members asked insightful follow-up questions. Guests were then left to mingle with each other and converse with the speakers one on one, with newfound knowledge on how to maintain a level of sustainability within a nonprofit organization!
Stay tuned for information on future COMx sessions and other fun events hosted by the Institute for Nonprofits!