Jennifer Evans, Program Manager for Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center; Corinna York, MBA, Director of Regional Employer Engagement MSJC Temecula; Kim Gerrish, Executive Director of Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center; Brooke Nunn, CEO Temecula Chamber of Commerce; Greg Bradbard, CEO Inland Empire Health Plan Foundation; Denisha Shackelford, Programs Manager, IECF; Not pictured but also a presenter:  Kimberly Starrs, CEO Inland SoCal United Way

The Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce recently hosted its first-ever Funders Forum, bringing together representatives from local nonprofits and foundations in southern Riverside County. This event aimed to bridge the gap between organizations seeking funding and those offering crucial resources.

Denisha Shackelford, Programs Manager for IECF, was a panelist at the event, along with representatives from IEHP Foundation and Inland SoCal United Way. Denisha says, “It’s always an exciting time when it comes to sharing about the great work IECF has been doing to uplift the region through our grant opportunities. I was able to talk about our history, our program areas of funding support, as well as our grants and collaborative grantmaking efforts. It was heartwarming to have nonprofits come up to me after the event to tell me they were recipients of our grant awards in the Temecula Valley Region and how grateful they were for the support.”

Many local nonprofits struggle to navigate the landscape of grant opportunities and resources available to them. The forum provided a platform for open dialogue and connection, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The event’s driving force was Kim Gerrish, Executive Director of Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center. With a two-decade-long career leading a nonprofit organization and having served on the Board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Kim is passionate about education nonprofits. “I approached Brooke Nunn, CEO of the Temecula Valley Chamber about hosting a Funders Forum for our local nonprofits,” she says. “The Chamber was very supportive and together we were able to bring this first ever event to the Temecula Valley.” The Chamber’s enthusiastic support turned this vision into a reality, bringing together over 60 attendees.

The forum welcomed a range of individuals from the Temecula Valley’s non-profit sector, including Executive Directors, Board members, development directors, volunteers, and grant writers. This diverse group actively participated in discussions and gained valuable insights.

While this marked the inaugural Funders Forum, the positive outcome paves the way for future events. The Chamber of Commerce recognizes the crucial role non-profit organizations play in strengthening the community.

Brooke Nunn, President/CEO of the Temecula Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the significance of the forum, saying, “It’s important to recognize that investing in nonprofit organizations isn’t just an act of charity; it’s an investment in the very fabric of our community’s well-being. By providing funding opportunities, we empower these organizations to champion positive change, address critical needs, and foster a stronger, more resilient society for all.”

IECF applauds the Temecula Valley Chamber’s commitment to fostering a collaborative environment where nonprofit organizations can thrive and contribute meaningfully to their community!

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