Building relationships with our members
At the Center, our mission is to help nonprofits build capacity and sustainability. Our site visits are one way we gain insights into the challenges our member organizations face and how we can tailor our support to help.
Even amidst the pandemic, we have continued our visits—in the virtual realm! Patrick Rabiecki, our Site Visiting Ambassador, enjoyed meeting with the following members. Patrick also attends member events when possible.
Check out their stories, and consider inviting Patrick to visit your nonprofit!
In June 2021, Patrick met with Justin Fyala from Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC. GMCW originally joined the Center in 1996. Their mission is to inspire equality and inclusion with musical performances and education promoting justice and dignity for all people. Formed in 1981, they are the only LGBTQ+ chorus in the nation’s capital. They seek to redefine the word “Chorus” through fun, engaging performances that include singers, dancers and storytellers. They specifically travel to areas in the country that have little LGBTQ+ representation, in order to provide education and entertainment in a safe space for everyone. Check out past performances on their YouTube page!
In May 2021, Patrick was excited to visit a member in-person—the first non-virtual visit in over a year. He met with Jim Monsma, executive director of City Wildlife, who gave him a tour of their facilities. Founded in 2013, City Wildlife is the only wildlife rescue and rehabilitation located in Washington, DC. They take in injured wild animals and, with help from an onsite veterinarian, care for them until they are ready to be released into the wild. City Wildlife joined the Center in 2020 at the recommendation of one of their Board members. They joined to take advantage of VitalHealth, but are also interested in exploring the Center’s many other benefits, including an Instagram Takeover.
MPA held their inaugural ArtSprings! Virtual Benefit on April 29, 2021, celebrating MPA and the Gift of McLean Artist Emilie Benes Brzezinski’s Work. Patrick attended the event on behalf of the Center and enjoyed the range of musical guest performers. Nationally recognized media personality Amy Goodman emceed the event, which featured an array of musical performers, including Voices of Classic Soul with Joe Coleman, Joe Blunt, Theo Peoples, The Dave Kline Band, with special guest Senator Tim Kaine, and members of Strathmore Music Center’s Artist in Residence program.
In March 2021, Patrick took a trip to the barnyard to sit down with Kristin Bramell, the Director of Philanthropy for Go2 Foundation for Lung Cancer. They work to provide the knowledge and tools needed for anyone at risk for, currently living with, or having survived lung cancer. They also work on the advocacy side to improve access to healthcare for patients. Patrick and Kristin discussed various ways to use their Center membership to help promote and strengthen their mission. These include joining the Center’s cohorts, as well as taking advantage of the Center’s Instagram Takeover feature.
In December 2020, Patrick travelled back to a time when dinosaurs walked the earth for his sit down with Gretchen Van der Veer and Ann Miles from Fair Chance. Their mission is to provide children and families a pathway out of poverty by strengthening the sustainability and performance of community-based nonprofits who serve this need. They do this in several ways, including a partnership program that provides free management assistance to build leadership skills and strengthen organizational systems and programs. They have been members of the Center for nearly 10 years. We are looking forward to engaging in new ways with Fair Chance in the future!
Patrick met with Mimi Stein from Humane Animal Care, a nonprofit that focuses on the ethical treatment of farm animals who are raised to become our food. They work with farms all over the world to make sure that the animals are treated properly and raised cruelty-free. Mimi and Patrick discussed the difficulties she faces running an organization with a mission that most people don’t want to hear about. The Center was able to work with Mimi to host an Instagram takeover of the Center’s account, to help raise awareness for their cause and how people can help by shopping Certified Humane.
Patrick sat down with Ashwin Verghese from the International Campaign for Tibet. This member organization is the largest Tibet support group in the world. They advocate here in America, on behalf of the people of Tibet in their peaceful struggle to preserve their human rights and establish democracy. Having just joined the Center in March 2020, they have only scratched the surface of their Center membership and are looking forward to exploring more.
Continuing his 2-fold mission to explore the (virtual) world while also getting to know our members, Patrick and Center team member Aziza braved the wilds of the jungle to sit down with Monica Gray to discuss her organization. With a mission to dismantle the barriers that women and girls of color face in America, YWCA provides invaluable resources for the DC area. Through their advocacy for racial justice, youth development, and career education programs, YWCA is a true leader in the fight for justice for all.
Patrick took a breezy, tropical shores trip to sit down with Kate Akalonu, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Everyone Home DC. They are a nonprofit based in DC, that works to both prevent homelessness for at-risk individuals, as well as help those currently experiencing homelessness. Due to the pandemic, Everyone Home DC found themselves having to rethink their fundraising approach. In response they launched “The September Challenge”. This month-long, very successful series of online fundraising events took place during September. Challenges ranged from Zumba and cooking to Bingo, trivia, and more!
Before the pandemic, Patrick had the opportunity to visit the office this member organization. He sat down with two of their staff members for an engaging discussion on their mission, feedback about their Center membership, and ways the Center can help them going forward. Americans for Peace Now was founded in 1981 to help spread awareness in America for its sister organization, Shalom Achshav. It has since developed into America’s most prominent organization of Jewish Americans, working to achieve a sustainable peace plan to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Center is looking forward to helping them promote their mission through our wide network of nonprofit contacts.