Northeast Florida’s Nonprofit Center

NPJax-logo-345x300Today, it is hard to imagine Greater Jacksonville without the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida. In 10 years, the Center has established itself as an essential part of the landscape: a political force, a network hub and knowledge resource.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund has been a key part of that work since before the Nonprofit Center was born.

In 1998, Fund President Sherry Magill chaired a study group that recommended establishing a nonprofit support organization. During the next few years, Magill advocated and raised funding for such a center, and, in 2002 the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida was born with the Jessie Ball duPont Fund as a founding member.

“Communities need strong nonprofit sectors if they are to ensure a good quality of life for all people,” said Magill, “and nonprofits need this type of infrastructure to help them organize, learn, collaborate and communicate effectively.”

In its first 10 years, the Fund has provided continuing financial and moral support that has helped:

  • Membership grow to more than 200 organizations and individuals;
  • The Center establish an online community platform to provide information and facilitate collaboration;
  • The Center take an active role on the political stage, advocating for policies and practices that benefit nonprofits, working to retain government funding for critical services and partnering with government to bring additional resources to the community.

Beyond these particular achievements, the Center has given the nonprofit sector enormous presence in Jacksonville. The importance and influence of the sector — a sector that was not even on the public radar 10 years ago — today is recognized by political leaders and acknowledge by the media. “The Nonprofit Center’s role has never been so important,” opined The Florida Times-Union in late 2012.

“Our first 10 years are very much a story of strong, consistent and generous support from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund,” said Rena Coughlin, the Center’s president and CEO. “The Fund’s decade of both extraordinary financial support and exceptional advocacy on our behalf has been the single most important factor in the Nonprofit Center’s success to date. It’s also what inspires our continual quest to be better and think farther ahead.”