‘Connect and Inspire’ to guide next NPOwer region and local conference

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~Non-profits urged to save the date~

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Under the theme “Connect and Inspire” NPOwer, an arm of Foresee Foundation, will bring together local, regional representatives of non-profit organisations (NPOs) and various stakeholders in a conference setting aimed at continuing to build the civil society sector.

The conference, partly funded by St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF), is planned for February 23 to 25th 2023. It will offer hands-on and practical approaches to revitalize, build and strengthen the capacity of NPOs. The setting will also be designed to foster greater connectivity amongst regional and local organizations.

The connecting aspect of the conference will focus on highlighting ways to enhance collaborative initiatives making the sector more resistant and effective. While the ‘inspire’ will allow participants the opportunity to experience innovative ways to be more effective by utilizing tech options, creative network building and knowledge exchange.

This conference is free for two representatives of local NPOs who are registered in the online NPOwerSXM database on its website. Others including those not directly affiliated with an NPO will pay a daily fee of USD 50.00. Participants will be exposed to dynamic presenters with expertise in key topics that will prove relevant to the success of any project. This will facilitate the kind of insight that motivates, empowers and builds the knowledge base of the involved sectors.

Thursday, February 23 is planned for the regional component, NPOwer understands the need to collaborate, so connecting with and inspiring, partners of our neighbouring islands French St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barths and Anguilla is an important part of this conference. NPOwer is also looking into the possibility of involving other islands. Visiting participants will interact with St. Maarten based organisations learning of interesting St. Maarten based projects and participants will get a chance to exchange ideas and knowledge.

The main aspect of the conference starts on Friday, February 24 at Belair Community Centre with a symposium organised that will to allow for the flow of ideas and knowledge. Key themes will form the foundation of the day that will focused on maximising the impact of diversity, transparency in the NPO sector, ethical and legal expectations of a good NPO and the pros and cons of interdependency within the sector. The day of knowledge exchange will culminate with the opening of a unique NPO marketplace.

Saturday, February 25, the final day will put participants in the driver’s seat. Each participant will be able to select from about 24 different capacity building courses designed to stimulate productivity within their organization, build skillsets needed to operate optimally and inspire innovation. This day will be held at St. Dominic High School.

Some topics that will be covered are subsidies, grants and grant writing, alternative funding opportunities, exchange programs, the use of social media, collaboration and accountability, legal implications of running an NPO, taxation and legal registration (Notary/Chamber of Commerce), creative and tech tools that make NPOs’ administrative job easier, stakeholder and community engagement.

Youth Involvement has always played a part in NPOwer conferences and as such youth-operated NPOs will be invited to participate and to provide volunteers such as conference rapporteurs, runners and support personnel. Some youth volunteers will be selected from various high schools that require community service hours. Getting the youth involved will expose them to becoming proactive citizens and will most likely add innovative youth-centric approaches to some of this sector’s traditional modus-operandi.

NPOwer welcomes all non-profits and interested persons to save the dates. NPOwer, noted for the slogan “where NPOs connect” is located at Illidge Road #60, Unit 1.1 in the shared offices of R4CR and Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben. For more information contact the NPOwer team at npowersxm@gmail.com or +1 721 581 5050.