You can help make wishes come true. On the following links are profiles of 20 Arkansas nonprofit organizations asking for your support to help them achieve their goals.

Read on to find out who they are, what they do, why they need your support and how you can make a difference in the lives of many.

Resources for volunteers, nonprofits and event-goers

Soirée 101: 6 tips for getting media coverage

1. Start early.
At Soirée, we solidify feature and cover ideas six-to-nine months in advance of the issue date. Relationships are also vitally important to us, and we enjoy building and maintaining mutually beneficial partnerships. Let us know about your events as soon as you know the date, even if you have few other details. It’s never too early to start planning!

2. Let’s meet up. Maybe for lunch or coffee or drinks. Call us old school, but we enjoy a good face-to-face meeting, especially when you’re pitching a story idea to us. There’s nothing we love more than getting to know nonprofits and event chairs while breaking bread or sipping lattes. Have you been to Mylo yet?

3. We want something exclusive. Getting coverage is starting to sound a lot like dating, huh? Well, let us say this: If you offer us a cover or feature story, we’d love to have a special angle that nobody else has. Our team works really hard to produce a breathtaking photo and an amazing story that is going to be read and shared, and we love to have an exclusive angle all to ourselves.

4. Submit your event to the online calendar. Visit LittleRockSoiree.com/Datebook to submit your event info online. We generate the monthly print calendar from the online calendar, so having your info there ensures it will appear in the print issue.

5. Please BCC. If you’re sending out a blanket email to numerous media outlets, please use the blind carbon copy function so that we can’t see every single person you send it to. We want to feel special.

6. Request early. Remind often. Our agendas are packed. We would LOVE to cover every nonprofit event or fundraiser in Little Rock, but frankly, we’re a small team and we just can’t. There are two really busy stretches each year, February-May and September-December. If your event falls into one of those timeframes, we need to know about it ASAP. When we have seven events in one night, any last-minute invitations can’t be accommodated. Reminders several weeks before are always appreciated!

375
Approximate number of parties we get invited to per year;
that averages to more than one party for each day of the year!

170
Approximate number of Arkansas nonprofits
and organizations we’ve featured in print from Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014.

Meet Your Match

JLLR Nonprofit Board Institute - Enroll in the Junior League of Little Rock’s Nonprofit Board Institute training program, hosted in partnership with the Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance. Scheduled for April 2015, this five-week evening course will train community members (and JLLR members) how to be effective nonprofit board members. Participants will learn from local subject matter experts, and upon successful completion of the course, may be paired with nonprofits to serve as a board intern. Learn more at JLLR.org.

Volunteer Manager Certificate - The Arkansas Public Administration Consortium (APAC) offers specialized professional training and training-related services in management, leadership and other subjects for government and nonprofit organizations. The APAC’s Certified Volunteer Manager program trains administrators and program coordinators to be more effective volunteer managers. Learn more at UALR.edu/iog/apac.

VolunteerMatch.org - Looking for a nonprofit match for your passion and skill set? Touted as a community that connects people who want to change the world together, VolunteerMatch.org allows volunteers to find causes they care about and nonprofits to discover energetic new volunteers. Learn more on the website.

Dress Code Decoder

Party season is upon us, and let’s face it, dress codes can sometimes be confusing. Follow this handy guide to take the guesswork out of dressing your best.

Black tie (formal, after-six, after-eight): Ladies should wear long gowns and men should wear black tuxedos. Women have a little more wiggle room and can wear cocktail or tea-length dresses, but the accessories and heels must be killer! Men, this is not the time to choose flashy vests.

Cocktail (semi-formal, after-five): Party frocks in bold colors, patterns and silhouettes are a definite do. Carry a clutch and be creative with your hair/makeup. Gentlemen, classic dark suits, crisp white shirts and simple ties are your best bets. Dress it up with cufflinks or an excellent timepiece.

Festive (holiday, creative cocktail, dress to impress): Ladies, this is the time to pull out your sequined top or skirt. If that’s too over-the-top for your tastes, pair a great cocktail dress with statement accessories and a bold lip or eye. Men, a suit is not necessary, but jackets are always a nice touch. This is the time to use a bold tie or pocket square or the patterned jacket you never get to break out.

Dressy resort (island chic, garden party, outdoor wedding): For women, long maxi dresses or chiffon or gauzy gowns are best. You want something that is made of breathable, lightweight fabric to keep you cool. Sandals are acceptable, but opt for those with a flat bottom. You don’t want to aerate anyone’s lawn with your spiked heels. Gents, light-colored suits and linen will do you right. Depending on the occasion and season, seersucker can be appropriate.

5 Tips for Hosting Successful Charity Events
By longtime Little Rock philanthropist Cindy Murphy

1. TIMING - Before setting your event date, check with local social publications to avoid any conflicts with competing events. Also check the Razorback football and basketball game schedules if you are having an event in the fall or winter. Avoid conflicting with games in Fayetteville or Little Rock.

2. VENUE - Have an estimate of total attendance at the event to select an appropriately sized venue. Contact your preferred event site before going any further. Good event sites can be reserved a year in advance. If a private home is preferred for your event, always ask the potential host to suggest a couple of convenient dates in the month or season of your event. (And then see tip #1). By asking them to suggest two dates, you avoid being told they are “previously committed” or will be “out of town” on a specific date.

3. BRANDING - Base your décor on the theme and name of the event. Contact a friend or business with a graphics department, and ask that they create (and donate) a logo/graphic for your event and invitations. Use the logo/graphics consistently in all of your printed collaterals, event signage, etc., in order to “brand” your event and separate it from others.

4. IN-KIND SPONSORS - Make a list of necessary event elements and then see which businesses will donate the services to meet the needs. Provide these “in-kind sponsors” with the same benefits as financial sponsors at the same value level of the donated work. Examples of event in-kind sponsors are Creative Sponsor (see tip #3), Printing Sponsor, Video Sponsor (if a video is needed), Bar Sponsor (beer, wine, alcohol), Publicity Sponsors (newspaper, magazine, TV station, radio station). In-kind sponsors should be guaranteed exclusivity, with no competitors serving as a sponsor.

5. FOOD - Use “food stations” whenever possible, as they are easier to have donated by local restaurant and catering vendors. Individual food vendors can be asked to provide food for one food station versus one food vendor being asked to provide food for the entire event. Event stations are also cost-efficient if your event is in a hotel ballroom, restaurant, etc. Less staff is needed for food stations than for a formal dinner. Guests also enjoy the variety of food offered and not being “held hostage” at their table for over an hour.

BONUS TIP! Get everything donated that you possibly can. Always remember that it doesn’t matter how much you gross, it’s all about how much you NET.

According to the 2012 Chronicle of Philanthropy’s How America Gives Project, Arkansas ranks seventh in percent of household income contributed to charity. Arkansans donated 6.3 percent of their discretionary
income on average to charity, and their estimated median charitable contribution of $3,554 ranks in the top five nationally.