ACS offers a variety of programs to support our nonprofit community in serving Howard County residents. Check out our program offerings below.
Member meetings give our community a chance to discuss and evaluate organizational goals and objectives and keep updated on critical issues and current events. They also provide a chance to network and communicate with fellow members to learn from each other and pool resources together to solve mutual challenges, identify areas of need and determine new directions and approaches to strengthening the nonprofit sector in Howard County.
Members can attend meetings for free, but are asked to register in advance. Some meetings are available to non-members for a fee. Meetings are typically held five times a year at the NonProfit Collaborative in Howard County and/or virtually on the third Wednesday in September, October, January, February, and May, with our Annual Meeting occurring in June. Go to ACS Events to register for the next member meeting.
ACS members have an opportunity to meet government and legislative officials annually to: build relationships, hear what they are doing to address key issues facing the residents of Howard County and the nonprofit community, and open up opportunities for collaboration on initiatives of mutual interest.
We have critical conversations with:
- Howard County Public School System Superintendent
- Howard County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly
- Howard County Law Enforcement Leaders
- Howard County Executive
- Howard County Council*
To view recordings of past conversations, log in to your ACS account and see "Past Program Archives" on our Members Only page.
*Open to the public per the Open Meetings Act
ACS hosts free quarterly forums for Executive Directors from member organizations to get together to share and learn from each other. It is a great opportunity for EDs to meet with their peers to confidentially discuss items, issues, and best practices that all nonprofit Executive Directors share.
Lunch-N-Learns are scheduled periodically on a wide variety of topics. These sessions are designed to bring ACS members together to increase critical awareness of current issues, introduce new initiatives and programs, learn new work and personal skills, share resources, and build teamwork. Presentations are led by someone who is an expert on the topic and have a less formal atmosphere than a structured training session or seminar. Lunch-N-Learn events usually take place during the lunch hour in the NonProfit Collaborative Training Room, on Zoom, or a hybrid of the two. Each session typically lasts 60 minutes and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunches and enjoy them during the training session or presentation.
About ACS Mentoring:
ACS’s commitment to the education and professional development of our members in the nonprofit sector extends beyond just educational workshops and classes and into the workplace through our mentoring program.
Whether you are a new to the field or growing in your nonprofit career and looking for support, or you have years of nonprofit experience or expertise in a particular area, such as social media or finance, and would like to share your knowledge and skills, participating in the ACS Mentoring Program will put you on the right track.
Mentees are ACS members who want guidance and advice to further their careers and to be successful. Mentees can expect to strengthen and build their networks and gain the skills and confidence necessary to excel.
Mentors are experienced knowledgeable professionals who guide and advise mentees in their career paths to help them succeed. A mentor's role is to inspire, encourage, and support their mentee.
By matching mentees with local nonprofit leaders and professionals, ACS facilitates one-on-one mentoring relationships that benefit all participants.
How the Program Works:
The ACS mentoring program allows members an opportunity for one-on-one customized mentoring by an experienced and knowledgeable colleague. After ACS receives an application (click below to apply) from a potential mentee, the applicant will be contacted by ACS staff to confirm receipt of the application and further discuss the areas in which they are seeking advice and mentoring support, as well as to determine availability and preferences for communicating with a mentor.
ACS maintains a bank of potential mentors, each with a unique set of experience, knowledge and expertise that may or may not be a good fit with a mentee’s needs. Based on an applicant’s preferences, major interests and goals and potential mentors’ expertise and preferences, ACS staff will match the potential mentee as closely as possible with a specific mentor.
The applicant will be notified and introduced to his/her potential mentor by way of an email from ACS staff. The pair will be encouraged to schedule an introductory meeting to make sure they are a good fit. If both the applicant and the potential mentor agree to proceed, they will be provided with tools and information to assist them in establishing goals and a framework for their mentoring relationship. The actual frequency, length and nature of the meetings will be up to the individual mentoring pair; however, ACS encourages contact (in person, by phone or electronically) at least twice a month during the agreed upon mentoring time frame.
ACS staff remain available to mentoring pairs to answer questions and to provide assistance as needed to ensure the participants get the most benefit from the program.
Applications are accepted year-round from members wishing to be mentored, as well as from those who wish to become a mentor. Training will be provided as needed for potential mentors.
For more information, please contact Debbie Daskaloff, ACS Education & Professional Development Consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click below to apply for our next session.
ACS and Maryland Nonprofits have formed an educational partnership to provide ACS members and other nonprofit sector leaders learning programs that foster effective nonprofit management, governance, and capacity building. Classroom-style courses and workshops are conveniently offered at the NonProfit Collaborative in Howard County and are led by Maryland Nonprofits top experts in nonprofit management and governance. ACS members are given a two-week advanced registration period before each workshop is publicly promoted and pay the reduced Maryland Nonprofit member rate for these workshops.