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Exploring New Ideas Together

Learning Cohorts are a Nonprofit Network initiative to help Linn County nonprofits explore and implement best practices and build connections. Occasionally, Learning Cohorts take place alongside or in lieu of Peer Groups, providing opportunities for local nonprofit professionals to learn from experts and one another.

Current Learning Cohorts

Thrive Cohort 2024

Thrive offers relationship building, networking, and learning for Black, Brown, and Biracial nonprofit professionals to foster career development within the sector. This initiative is part of the Community Foundation’s efforts to advance racial equity by helping nonprofit organizations close the racial leadership gap and diversify nonprofit staff and managerial teams. The 2024 Thrive Cohort is currently being assembled.

Learning Cohort: Engaging in the DEI Journey Spring 2024

The Nonprofit Network continues to invest in DEI learning through a partnership with Top RANK, a Cedar Rapids-based diversity facilitation, consulting, and talent acquisition firm. The three-part series is designed to offer nonprofit leaders tools and concepts to help guide implementation of equitable practices and policies in Linn County nonprofits, with a focus on racial equity. This Learning Cohort will be held in lieu of Managers Peer Group on the second Wednesday of the month for the Fall and Spring sessions over the next year. All meetings will be held at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, 324 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids, in the first floor meeting room. Registration is required to participate and space is limited (up to two representatives per organization, please). The Community Foundation is covering the cost of the training and lunch.

Past Learning Cohorts

LAP-AID Inclusion Team & Cohort 2023

The LAP-AID Inclusion Team & Cohort was formed to convene community organizers from traditionally excluded communities through a cohort model to create an environment of collective learning and connection to community and resources. Project support was provided by the Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency, and Emergency Partnership (PPREP), a project of The Funders Network. Learn more here.

Group of people meeting around tables and discussing topics.
Thrive Cohort participants pose for a group photo in a conference room with stained glass windows.

Thrive Cohort 2023

The second iteration of Thrive ran throughout 2023 thanks to support from the Alliant Energy Foundation. Participation was opened to include any person of color who works for or invests significant time and resources into a local nonprofit. The 2023 Thrive Cohort included 20 participants who serve in a variety of roles for local nonprofit organizations. The group met regularly to hear from local leaders and subject matter experts, and each participant’s organization received a $2,500 grant to support their professional development. Learn more about the Thrive Cohort here.

Learning Cohort: Engaging in the DEI Journey – 2022 and 2023

In 2022, the Nonprofit Network brought this DEI learning opportunity to nonprofit Executive Directors and CEO’s through a partnership with Top RANK, a Cedar Rapids-based diversity facilitation, consulting, and talent acquisition firm. The three-part series was designed to offer nonprofit leaders tools and concepts to help guide implementation of equitable practices and policies in Linn County nonprofits, with a focus on racial equity. This Learning Opportunity was provided through support from the Iowa Council of Foundations.

Photo of group of people sitting around tables in a conference room smiling at the camera.

Thrive Cohort 2021-22

In January 2021, the Thrive Cohort launched to bring together Black, Brown and Biracial leaders of local nonprofit organizations. Thrive sought to develop relationships, create and expand nonprofit connections, and provide learning, as part of advancing the Community Foundation’s work in racial equity in our community.

Five emerging leaders, along with Foundation staff, participated in group learning activities over two years to strengthen nonprofit leadership skills and explore organizational best practices. In addition to monthly meetings and individual conversations, each organization also received a $2,500 grant quarterly. Participants shared their experiences during a 2022 Community Learning Series event, which you can view here.

Visit the Nonprofit Giving Center and the Nonprofit Calendar to search for a nonprofit fund, organization, cause, or event to support.
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