Fortuna, Calif. —, The Northern California Association of Nonprofits (NorCAN) is settling into a new home after nearly 25 years residing within the Humboldt Area Foundation + Wild Rivers Community Foundation (HAF+WRCF). Late last year an agreement was made to transfer the operation of the association to the ERV Community Center Foundation in partnership with the NorCAN Reorganizing Committee, a group of experienced nonprofit leaders representing a cross section of sectors, organizations, and interests.
ERV plans initially to operate NorCAN as a one-year pilot program. During the 2023 calendar year, ERV staff will work closely with the NorCAN Reorganizing Committee to guide the transition, re-launch, and programming. At the end of 2023, the Committee and ERV staff will evaluate whether the association is able to meet its commitment to serve the region’s nonprofit community while remaining financially viable.
NorCAN was originally established in 1999, when HAF+WRCF came together with local nonprofit leaders to provide a vehicle for nonprofit staff, board members, and volunteers to access professional development and technical assistance and to have opportunities to network, collaborate, and advocate.
In 2020 at the start of the pandemic, in-person networking and training activities were greatly impacted, with many organizations shifting to remote work while responding to the multitude of emerging disasters across the region. While HAF+WRCF continued to operate the listserv and NorCAN website, now nearly three years later, a group of volunteer nonprofit leaders has formed the NorCAN Reorganizing Committee in order to reinvigorate NorCAN networking activities and to adapt for future needs. The group came together because they value the role NorCAN has played in supporting the health and collaborative spirit of the nonprofit community over the years and know how important this reorganization is to the future of our local nonprofits and the communities we serve. The Committee has been working closely with HAF+WRCF and ERV to draft a plan to transfer day-to-day management of the association. HAF+WRCF is supporting this process with a $25,000 transition grant to ERV and remains a partner at the table with the Reorganizing Committee to share insights and experience that will aid in the success of the re-launch.
“I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the revitalization of NorCAN and provide valuable connections to the nonprofit sector in our region,” says Lauren Correll, director of operations for the ERV. “We’re also excited to represent the region from the Eel River Valley. NorCAN is always looking for opportunities to host events virtually or throughout the region to reduce the burden of travel for participants.”
NorCAN’s Reorganizing Committee will be identifying ways to maintain and refine the association’s offerings to meet the needs of nonprofits still recovering from the impacts of a global pandemic and compounding natural disasters. Offerings will include nonprofit training sessions, leadership roundtables, and networking mixers, in addition to maintaining the popular regional nonprofit email listserv, the website, and social media platforms.
“We are a community foundation, designed by and led by community, in service to our four-county region and 27 Tribal Nations and Indigenous territories. We’re excited that the ERV Community Center Foundation is providing leadership and administrative assistance necessary to make NorCAN possible. The Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation remains committed to partnering with the community to enable a transition that not only supports the health of the nonprofit sector, but grows more capacity and resiliency through such challenging times,” says Michelle Carrillo, Acting Vice President and Director of Strategy, Programs & Community Solutions at HAF+WRCF.
About the Humboldt Area Foundation
Humboldt Area Foundation was established in 1972 and was joined by its affiliate Wild Rivers Community Foundation in 2004. Today, the Foundation acts as a single entity that serves Trinity, Del Norte, and Humboldt counties in California, and Curry County, Oregon, as well as the 27 Tribal Nations and Indigenous Territories across this region. The Foundation’s strategy focuses on building a “Just Economy, Healthy Ecosystems and Environments, Thriving Youth and Families, and Racial Equity.” The Foundation operates affiliates such as the Humboldt Health Foundation, the Native Cultures Fund, the Redwood Region CORE Hub and other major initiatives. This important work and geographic commitment ensure the diverse representation across a number of factors including age, race, experience and socio-economic backgrounds.
About the ERV Community Center Foundation
The ERV Community Center Foundation (ERV) was formed to run and manage all aspects of the McLean Campus, tenants, and Gene Lucas Community Center (GLC). ERV Foundation is responsible for bringing services to enrich the local community by providing space, classes, and events on campus and through the GLC. In February 2021, ERV Foundation officially took on operations and ownership from the McLean Foundation. To learn more about the Gene Lucas Community Center and the Eel River Valley Community Center Foundation, visit https://glccenter.org/.