JLCU April Meeting Recap, Guest Panel on Fundraising and Development

Members were welcomed to the monthly membership meeting by our president, Jennifer Romine. Minutes from March were approved and will be posted on the website for members to review.


Done in a Meeting: Promise Healthcare

Promise Healthcare is a local organization dedicated to improving the health of our community through prevention, treatment, and education. It encompasses Smile Health Dental, Francis Nelson, and Community Resource Center, and serves all ages. Done in a Meeting collected many items to help support these vital services. Thank you for your donations! To find out more about Promise Healthcare, please visit their website here.


Proposed Budget for 2017-2018: Nikki Melander

The proposed budget for 2017-2018 was presented by Nikki Melander, Treasurer.


project development
Laura Gerhold

Project Development Impact Statement and Proposed Project: Laura Gerhold, Chair

Impact Statement: Five years ago, JLCU ventured into our issue-based community impact model, deciding on basic needs for school readiness. However, while this is still a valued area of need, this does limit us moving forward with other projects and potential impact on the community. Therefore, it is proposed to have a broadening of the impact statement to include school readiness and the family.

Project Proposal: Currently, we have Bright Starts and Kids in the Kitchen as our JLCU projects. League Locker ended earlier this year. Project Development proposes adopting a community partner project model, which allows community agencies to apply to be a JLCU project for a period of time and utilize our volunteers, skills, and resources.

This project model has many benefits to JLCU, including flexibility; allowing us to explore our membership’s diverse interests; ability for promoting partners at JLCU events; and providing increased training and educational opportunities for members.

For our first year, Crisis Nursery is the proposed partner project.

Voting on these items will take place at our May meeting.


Council Updates:

Finance Council

Spring Fling Farm-to-Table Dinner is April 28th. Please support our newest fundraising event!

Community Impact Council

League Locker has ended, remaining funds were provided as grants to two Garden Hills Elementary School teachers to help plant and maintain school gardens.

May Meeting Reminder & Awards

Several awards will be given at the Spring Fling Farm-to-Table Dinner, including a Community Impact Award to the Urbana Early Childhood Center and Mission Partner Award, to Busey.

Membership awards are due 4/21.

There will be a dinner prior to the May meeting, with an Italian dinner buffet.

Membership Council: Shining Star Award

The Kids in the Kitchen new member project groups were all awarded Shining Stars this month. There were two groups, one that planned the April monthly activities, and a second group that planned a teen night. We had rave reviews for both from Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club staff, kids, and teens!

shining star winners
New Member Shining Star Group

Congrats to all of our new members who participated in planning these wonderful events!


panel speakers
Heather Vasquez, Megan Wolf, Emily Cross

Fundraising and Development Panel

Our panel included Megan Wolf with Courage Connection (previously known as The Center for Women in Transition), Heather Vazquez with University of Illinois School of Labor & Employment Relations, and Emily Cross with University YMCA.

They shared their experiences in development and fundraising as a career and challenges they have encountered. As members of JLCU, we are often asking for very concrete donations, such as a silent auction item or tree sponsorship. These are typically easier ‘asks’ than only funds, and many businesses say ‘yes!’

A powerful quote to summarize shared by Megan Wolf, who stated that ‘asking is an opportunity to get involved.’


Fundraising Activity: Helping Festival of Trees

Members spent time practicing their ‘ask’ in table groups and also considered which groups and businesses we may personally know that may be able to help out with 2017 Festival of Trees.


Courage Connection Advocacy Activity

Megan Wolf presented information on Courage Connection and requested assistance from JLCU membership.

What is Courage Connection?

  • In 1985, JLCU developed the Women’s Emergency Shelter of Champaign County, which later became The Center for Women in Transition. The Center for Women in Transition merged with A Women’s Place in 2010 to become what is is now called Courage Connection. Courage Connection provides housing and supportive services to women and their families experiencing homelessness or are victims of domestic abuse. Last year, they served 1400 clients.
  • In 2016, they lost $100,000 of funding and the state will be holding a total of $350,000 in grant funds as of June 2017. They are starting a public fundraising campaign in the coming weeks.
  • JLCU members took time to write letters requesting support for Courage Connection to sustaining JLCU members and also had the opportunity to provide monetary support at the end of the meeting.
  • To learn more about Courage Connection, visit their website here.
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