Los Alamos Community Foundation Update

The Los Alamos Community Foundation in partnership with the UWNNM held a conference April 8 at UNM-Los Alamos for nonprofits serving Los Alamos. Courtesy/LACF

LACF News:

The Los Alamos Community Foundation (LACF) has issued an update on the organization through its newsletter: 

LACF and United Way of Northern Mexico conference for local non-profits

The Los Alamos Community Foundation in partnership with the UWNNM held a conference April 8 at UNM-Los Alamos for nonprofits serving Los Alamos. The topic of the conference was “Creative Collaboration: Practicing the Art of Working Together,” and was facilitated by Mark D. Bennett, of Decision Resources, Inc. We had about 30 participants exchanging ideas on working together and possible new initiatives. Researching the possibility for a common space for social services and a desire for training opportunities are among the action items being pursued by UWNNM and LACF. Thank you to UNM-Los Alamos for providing a great venue, and to everyone who participated.

LACF receives 501(c)3 designation from the IRS, ChamberFest and July 4th Booths

After six months, a 53 page filing, answering 26 additional follow-up questions and much angst, the IRS responded with a favorable letter of determination. How better to celebrate this event than by participating in Los Alamos ChamberFest and 4th of July Fireworks! Thank you for stopping by Chamberfest on June 11 and saying hello. We also are setting up a booth at the Kiwanis 4th of July Fireworks event today in White Rock. Stop by and say hello. We will be happy to answer any questions about your foundation.

Shared Space Survey

One of the action items from the collaboration conference in April was to look into the possibility of shared space for social services in Los Alamos County. Kristy Ortega of UWNNM, with help from Don Cobb of the LACF have taken the lead in polling the nonprofit community about their needs. To participate in this survey, contact Kristy at kristy@unitedwaynnm.org.

Training for Nonprofits

Another action item from the conference was a request for local training opportunities for nonprofits. The LACF plans to show a series of webinars on different topics of interest to nonprofits with additional time for group discussion and networking. 

The first training is 5-6 p.m. Thursday, July 7 at UNM-Los Alamos, Room 203, Building 2, and the topic of that evening is “Introduction to Finding Grants.” This is a webinar produced by GrantSpace, a service of the Foundation Center, an organization dedicated to helping nonprofits. Future topics available include basics of proposal writing, nonprofit finance fundamentals, engaging volunteers, etc. Even those familiar with the topic, may find the review informative and an opportunity to share ideas with colleagues.

We are currently scheduling a training event every other month, with the next ones Sept. 15 and Nov. 3 at the same time and location. If there is interest, we will add additional events.

Debbie Reiss steps down from Board, Sean Weiner to provide accounting support

We were very saddened to receive the following note from Debbie Reiss, who joined our Board last March. “Due to several unforeseen personal and business commitments, I must resign my position on the board of the Los Alamos Community Foundation. I believe in the foundation’s goals and the path it is taking to become a viable non-profit, serving the Los Alamos community. As a community citizen, I would be happy to assist the board where I can as the foundation grows.” Debbie was an invaluable resource with her accounting background and helped get us set up with proper accounting procedures.

Based on recommendations from our sister organizations, we are contracting with Weiner and Company, P.C., an accounting firm out of Santa Fe. Sean Weiner has specialized expertise in nonprofits and counts among his clients several foundations in Northern New Mexico.

LACF updating database of nonprofits serving Los Alamos

Thank you to the thirty organizations that have already provided basic information about their services. This database will help LACF and other organizations keep in touch with each other and collaborate. If you represent an organization and have not registered yet, visit this link.

LACF joins professional organizations COF and NMAG

One of the words of advice the LACF received from our sister organizations was the importance of participating in professional organizations. The Council on Foundations www.cof.org  is a national organization of foundations and the LACF joined as soon as we received our  501c3 designation. The COF provides legal, organizational and policy advice to its members and will also advise us on how to set up our business model so that we can become an accredited community foundation in the minimum amount of time. Similarly, the LACF joined the NM Association of Grantmakers. We  attended their yearly conference last month and made several valuable contacts.