Nonprofit people

RedLine Milwaukee has added Wendy Carlson, vice president business banker at Associated Bank, to its board of directors. She has more than 20 years of banking experience. She is also currently serving as race chair for the Susan G. Komen Milwaukee “Race for the Cure.” 

Tri-Adathon, a joint venture between Milwaukee-based Catral Doyle creative, the Welke Group and Elm Grove-based Clear Verve Marketing, selected 21 nonprofit organizations to receive 24 hours of free pro bono marketing support. The services provided include marketing communications, strategic planning, web site design, radio scripting, graphic design, and media relations planning. “Working together on these projects really opens up the things we can do for people,” said Christina Steder, owner of Clear Verve Marketing. “It allows me to take a project that maybe my firm could only do half of, and bring in these other people to finish it because that is their specialty.”
According to Steder, the event was well received, and is something the firms plan to do on an annual basis. Click here to view a video about the Tri-Adathon event and its efforts. Our Next Generation, Inc., in Milwaukee was one of the nonprofits selected for the event.

Nonprofit name: Our Next Generation, Inc.

Nonprofit Address: 3421 W. Lisbon Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53208

Website: www.ongkids.org

Leadership: Robert Dunn; president and CEO
Codi Johnson Alger, public relations and volunteer intake manager

Mission of organization:
“Our Next Generation Inc. serves the children of our neighborhoods with programs focused on improving educational outcomes and life skills. In addition, ONG endeavors to build an effective, collaborative team of parents, families, teachers, volunteers and staff through one-on-one relationships. Our programs serve all races and creeds and are rooted in spiritual and moral beliefs.”

Annual volunteer/fundraising event:
“Our Next Generation does not have one major event, rather two to three smaller, program focused events throughout the year. Every November Our Next Generation hosts an appreciation dinner where students and their families, community members, volunteers and donors are invited to our neighborhood center to share a meal and enjoy a student run program. In addition, through Our Next Generations community partnerships, each family is given a Thanksgiving basket full of all the ingredients needed to make and provide a family meal of their own over the holidays. At the end of the school year Our Next Generation hosts a celebration dinner to commemorate our students who graduated and are going on to college, secondary education or entering the work force.”

What makes your organization so unique?
“Our Next Generation is a non-profit, community-based organization serving urban youth in Milwaukee’s central city. Specifically, Our Next Generation engages children from low-performing schools in economically disadvantaged areas. Our youth are provided with year-round programs focused on academic enhancement, as well as cultural, social and recreational activities, throughout their elementary, middle and high school years.
Our Next Generation is unique because we are able to offer our students a wide range of programming by partnering with various Milwaukee area businesses and nonprofits. We send students to Saint John’s on the Lake for intergenerational programming, we bus students to the University School of Milwaukee for student-to-student academic tutoring, we bring students to the Urban Ecology Center for environmental and outdoor experiences, and we work with Express Yourself Milwaukee to offer art therapy to our students and so many more.”

Why did you want to get involved with the Tri-Adathon effort?
“As a small and relatively young nonprofit in Milwaukee, Our Next Generation is always in search of opportunities that are mutually beneficial. We don’t have a large advertising/marketing budget nor do we have an in-house department focused on marketing so the idea of outsourcing projects sounded like a win-win!”

What help did you receive from Tri-Adathon?
“We are located in Milwaukee’s central city on the corner of North 35th Street and Lisbon Avenue. The community we serve is one of the highest need areas in Milwaukee with roughly 75 percent of children living in households with annual income below $18,000.  For the past 16 years we have rented St. Andrews Episcopal Church, a church that no longer hosts service or a congregation. However, Our Next Generation was recently given the opportunity to purchase the building. In doing so, Our Next Generation would like to take the once active church and turn the space into a fully-functioning neighborhood center. We worked closely with Susan Catral with Catral Doyle Creative in creating an interior design plan that addressed many of our concerns, bad acoustics, little privacy and storage for books and supplies. Susan creatively addressed our concerns and designed a cohesive plan that incorporated more storage, efficient work space and kid-friendly study nooks.” 

What are your immediate organizational goals as a result of the Tri-Adathon effort?
“After working with Susan Catral we now have a complete and comprehensive design plan that we can implement with the help of volunteers, staff and student artists at a later date.”

Is your organization in search of board members?
“Our Next Generation is always in search of interested parties for board positions, committee seats and academic mentors. Individuals who are interested in playing an active role in Our Next Generation’s future successes should contact executive director Robert Dunn.”

How can business people/the community help?
“Like stated above, Our Next Generation is always in need of board members, committee seats and academic mentors. Outside of a small core staff, Our Next Generation relies primarily on an active volunteer base. We have volunteers who have been working with the same students for over 11 years; community involvement is imperative to Our Next Generation’s mission. Statistically, in the community we serve less than 40 percent of students will graduate from high school. Comparison studies show that students with a mentor are twice as likely to graduate as students without. Currently, we have 12 students who are without an academic mentor. Academic mentors visit the same student week after week for one hour and work together at our community center on homework, reading activities and educational games, all while building a meaningful relationship. If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child by becoming an academic mentor please contact Codi Johnson Alger.”

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