MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 3, 2012

OCN founded to meet needs of nonprofit organizations

By Rebecca Walkup
Guest Columnist

— The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OCN) was founded in 1981 by Ray and Pat Potts. Pat saw a need among Oklahoma nonprofit organizations for adequate training and board development to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. The mission of the center is “building better communities through effective nonprofits.” To this end, the center provides organizations statewide with training, consulting, advocacy, membership, networking and awards.

With offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and statewide programs, the OCN strives to serve all Oklahoma nonprofits with quality training opportunities.

In 2011, with funding from the City of Muskogee Foundation and the Lake Area United Way, the OCN presented the series in Muskogee for 26 area organizations.

Another key program for the OCN is the Training on the Road program, in which trainings are held in different communities all over the state where the organization has strong partnerships. The current tour features 10 Best Practices for Great Board Performance presented by Marnier Taylor, executive director of the OCN. On Friday, the Nonprofit Resource Center will host the training for Muskogee organizations to gain knowledge for developing outstanding boards of directors.

The Alliance is the unifying branch of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits that seeks to provide the state’s nonprofit sector a collective voice to communicate with the Oklahoma Legislature. The Alliance works to educate the Legislature about issues of importance to the nonprofit sector and to educate nonprofits about key issues with trainings on pertinent legislation.

In addition to training and advocacy support for nonprofits, the center recognizes the achievements of organizations and individuals in the Oklahoma nonprofit sector. Each year Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) Awards gala is held to recognize outstanding nonprofits in the state. Twenty-four organizations are recognized and receive monetary awards in eight categories. Recipients of this prestigious award are chosen by a diverse commission of individuals from across the state using a rigorous nomination and application process.  Several Muskogee nonprofits have received the award, including Sadler Arts Academy, Muskogee Little Theatre, and MONARCH Inc.

Last year, in honor of Ray and Pat and in celebration the organization’s 30th anniversary, the center held its first Visions Celebration of Nonprofit Leadership. This year, Visions 2012 will recognize the work of three outstanding leaders in the Oklahoma nonprofit sector on Nov. 27 at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club.

For more information about the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, or to register for Friday’s training, contact Katie Spaulding at (918) 579-1900.

To recommend an organization or program for an upcoming column, reach Rebecca Walkup at (918) 683-4600 or rwalkup@thenonprofitresourcecenter.org.