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Summit aims to make non-profit groups more informed, efficient

By Tom Larson

Sun Tribune

Non-profit organizations do a lot of good in communities, but the work is so time-consuming there isn't time to explore ways to contribute even more in a more efficient manner.

Pat Mumm, of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, said she was approached following a meeting by a person curious about the organization.

"She said, 'What is it (GFWC)? I've never heard of it,' " said Mumm, who also is involved with Habitat for Humanity. "While we were talking, I was thinking, 'Wouldn't it be nice if we could all work together?' It kind of evolved from there."

What evolved is the Resource Connection Summit, a Sept. 30 event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for non-profit groups at Old #1 Southside, in Morris.

There is no cost to attend the summit, or for lunch, unless more than two people from each organization attend.

Non-profit groups are encouraged to attend the summit and learn more about Resource Connections, a Stevens County non-profit collaborative.

Resource Connections also has sent out a survey to non-profit organizations in an attempt to learn more about the organization's function. The deadline to submit the survey is Friday, Aug. 14.

"The economy is affecting funds and everyone is having to do more with less," said Holly Witt, of Bremer Bank. "Are there ways we can help each other? We want to let people in the community know about non-profits and what they do."

Resource Connections first started in October 2008 during a non-profit "brown bag" meeting. About 15 organizations showed up, and Otto Bremer Foundation trustees attended, Witt said.

A merger of the groups resulted in Resource Connections, and grants were approved to finance the initiative, she said.

The Center for Small Towns at the University of Minnesota, Morris provided a mailing list and 150 clubs, government agencies, service groups and charities received information about the collaborative and the survey.

Over the next 18 months, the collaborative is planning to form "goal groups" to develop ways of informing non-profits about what each is doing, how they can avoid duplication, joint fundraising, sharing volunteers and a community resource and opportunities expo, Mumm said.

For more information about Resource Connections and the Sept. 30 summit, contact Witt at (320) 589-1424 or, Mumm at (320) 392-5451 or, or Becki Jordan at