Nonprofit Workshop on Development Held

Workshop presenter Jessica Barnes connects with attendees during one of several breakout sessions.

Dozens of nonprofit leaders gathered at College of the Albemarle to learn about finding and engaging new donors at a morning workshop on September 28. Workshop presenter was OBX Forever Director Jessica Barnes, a development professional with decades in the field. The free workshop was made possible through a partnership between Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and Outer Banks Community Foundation.

Barnes acknowledged that most nonprofit leaders wear many hats and encouraged everyone in the room to find and focus on a few, specific areas of development at their nonprofit where they can make the most impact. Her session was relevant and insightful and provided attendees with a variety of appropriate ideas for donor engagement that could be employed immediately.

“Most attendees lead smaller nonprofits, and Jessica set them at ease from her first words,” said Community Foundation COO Nandy Stuart. “I really appreciated Jessica’s well-thought out presentation and simple steps to understanding what the true priorities are and how to make sure we spend time on what really matters.”

Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Community Engagement Manager Jeff Schwartzenberg and Community Foundation CEO Chris Sawin made introductions and shared updates on their respective organizations. In 2023 the Visitors Bureau launched a Voluntourism page on The page includes descriptions and links for more than 80 local charities and is an important new resource for the local nonprofit sector.

The workshop is part of a new Nonprofit Knowledge Series presented in partnership with Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and Outer Banks Community Foundation. The series will include both educational and social events. The Community Foundation has surveyed nonprofit leaders and staff; the survey results re-affirm a desire of local charity leaders to come together to learn from each other and collaborate.

“Jessica, your presentation was so well done.  Clear, to the point, easy to understand, and didn’t leave me feeling overwhelmed about doing ALL. THE. THINGS,” wrote Dare Arts Executive Director Jessica Sands.  “I came back to the office super jazzed about trying some of the simple ideas that you presented and am happy to report we’ve already implemented one today: adding a personalized note to our thank you letters.”

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