The Martha's Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative (MVNC) is the only organization on the Island that seeks to strengthen its 100+ nonprofits, a community network that is vital to preserving and sustaining the Vineyard that we cherish MVNC does this by offering workshops, forums, and other programs on the principles of good governance, board development, leadership, collaboration, and fund raising. It also brings together the nonprofit community to tackle issues that affect the island at large. MVNC is composed of a small board that is self-funded. It seeks to sustain the Vineyard by connecting donors with nonprofits of particular interest and by strengthening nonprofits to assure donors that their money is well-spent.
MVNC is an advocacy organization devoted to sustaining the Vineyard by strengthening its nonprofit community. We do this by:
MVNC has advocated for and supported Vineyard nonprofits with capacity-building resources since it was founded in 2003 by a group of seasonal and year-round residents who served on the Boards of a cross-section of Island nonprofits. The founders were concerned because the number of Vineyard nonprofits increased dramatically, Island philanthropy wasn't keeping up, and capacity-building needs were growing significantly. Many seasonal residents, on whose generosity Island nonprofits depend, questioned, "why are there so many nonprofits?". They found Vineyard nonprofits struggling to improve their effectiveness and value. Others thought the Island was a paradise and didn't realize the community had challenges just like those on the mainland (e.g., hunger, drug & alcohol addiction, poverty, and affordable housing).
The founders set out to do three things: advocate for the nonprofit community by educating donors about the importance and needs of the nonprofits, encourage nonprofit collaboration, and help nonprofits do their jobs better by offering capacity-building workshops and other support.
Over the years, we've changed the relative priority of those three strategies as the Island and its nonprofit community's needs have changed. In 2017 we significantly expanded our capacity-building efforts with the primary emphasis on best practices in governance and fundraising. Founded initially as the MV Donors Collaborative, because the founders were also donors, we changed our name to the Martha's Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative to reflect our most important work and what we are best known for.
In 2020 we invested in strengthening nonprofits organizationally. As two concurrent pandemics gripped the Island (and the whole world) - the coronavirus and the awakening to our country’s glaring systemic racism, MVNC increased its capacity-building and advocacy support. Our goal was to help stabilize Island nonprofits who were faced with trying to keep the lights on while addressing a massive spike in need for their services and keeping our nonprofits' essential role in our community front of mind of Islanders and donors alike. To do this, we produced 26 critical capacity-building programs that aimed to educate about Covid resources, strengthen organizational leadership and governance, fortify infrastructure, foster strategic collaborations with peers, network with new allies, and expand field knowledge, among other things. For our advocacy efforts, we produced two ‘wish-lists and embarked on a print and radio campaign to promote and celebrate our nonprofit’s work. In addition, as part of this essential programming, MVNC, with a small team of funders, made the 3rd INP class possible, which has equipped 29 island leaders to date with the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to survive and sustain the vital work that they do.
Learn more about the Martha's Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative by clicking on the boxes below.