It’s no secret that Utahns are charitable people — not only with their money but also their time and energy. In fact, WalletHub has ranked the Beehive State as the most charitable state in the country for the past four years. In the latest data, Utah ranked first for percentage of donated income, percentage of the population who donated time, volunteer rate and volunteer hours per capita. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that our state is also home to a staggering number of nonprofit organizations who work tirelessly to uplift the community.

At the March Business Women’s Forum, presenters Makaila Kelso of Spherion and Alexx Goeller of Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum shared ways to support these nonprofits during their presentation titled “How Women Have Influenced Change and Can Continue to Drive Positive Impact in our Communities.” Both Kelso and Goeller have experience working for both for-profit organizations as well as nonprofits, so they shared their tips for fostering collaboration between the two.

“This luncheon is designed to foster a spirit of collaboration, empowering you to make a lasting impact both in your professional journey as well as the community at large,” said Kelso.

After a brief discussion on nonprofit distinctions and how they are different, participants were asked to stand from their seats in preparation for the nonprofit ‘speed networking’ portion. The event featured 13 different local nonprofits, each with unique goals and needs. Each attendee had the opportunity to speak to representatives from the nonprofits that interested them most, encouraging collaboration and an exchange of ideas, questions and contact information.

The participating nonprofits included:

  • American Cancer Society: The mission of the American Cancer Society is to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research and patient support, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat and survive cancer.
  • Catholic Community Services of Utah: The mission of Catholic Community Services of Utah is to practice gospel values of love, compassion, and hope through service, support, and collaboration.
  • The Christmas Box International: The Christmas Box International partners with local, national and international groups to improve the quality of life for children, teens and young adults who are victims of abuse, neglect, trafficking or are facing homelessness.
  • Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum: The mission of Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum is to inspire children of all ages and abilities to imagine, discover and connect with their world to make a difference.
  • Friends of the Children Utah: Friends of the Children connects children – all of whom have unique talents – to a paid, professional mentor called a Friend. They hire and train Friends whose full-time jobs are to support our youth to succeed, despite the extremely challenging situations most experience, from as early as age 4 through high school graduation – 12+ years, no matter what.
  • Junior Achievement of Utah, Inc.: Junior Achievement programs prepare young people for the real world through hands-on activities presented in the classroom and our experiential learning center, Junior Achievement City, impacting more than 95,000 Utah students each year. 
  • Project Connection: Project Connection is meeting the community’s mental health challenges head-on by helping individuals move through shame and trauma to create a more connected, wholehearted society. They provide the therapy and care people need to connect with others, with their communities, with their passions and with their stories.
  • Utah Clean Energy: Utah Clean Energy leads and accelerates the clean energy transformation with vision and expertise. They are committed to creating a future that ensures healthy, thriving communities for all, empowered and sustained by clean energy.
  • Utah Farm Bureau Federation: The Utah Farm Bureau is an independent, non-governmental, voluntary organization of farm and ranch families united for the purposes of addressing their problems and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity and social advancement and, thereby, to promote national well-being.
  • Utah Infertility Resource Center: Utah Infertility Resource Center provides education and emotional support to those who are struggling to grow their families so they are empowered, strengthened and equipped to move forward on their respective journeys.
  • Utah Microloan Fund: The Utah Microloan Fund is a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution that empowers underserved communities throughout Utah by providing business training and microloans to entrepreneurs in start-up & existing businesses that do not qualify ​for traditional funding sources.
  • Volunteers of America Utah: Volunteers of America is one of the nation’s largest, established comprehensive human services organizations with 16,000 mission-driven professionals, dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential.
  • Women’s Leadership Institute: The Women’s Leadership Institute’s mission is to elevate the stature and status of women throughout the state of Utah.

“I hope you’ve learned that you really can take a mission or vision, collaborate with others, and create even bigger change,” Kelso said at the event’s closing. “Collaboration is key.” 

If you are interested in supporting any of the above nonprofit organizations, we encourage you to reach out and see how you or your business could best support their cause.

The next Business Women’s Forum luncheon is on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 and will feature Paige Frame, President of McKinnon-Mulherin. Register for the event here. There is also a Business Women’s Forum Spring Mixer on April 16th. Learn more about the BWF program by visiting its website.