USD Government Research Bureau plans â�?�?conveningsâ�?�? The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) will host six "convenings" in July throughout the state for nonprofit executives, board members, staff and volunteers. These free, day-long events will include featured speakers from around the region and country. The convenings will offer training opportunities and breakout sessions that are tailored to the needs of South Dakota's nonprofits. Topics likely to be covered at the convenings include marketing and leveraging new media for nonprofits; creating a fund development strategy; crafting effective grant applications; fostering organizational leadership and development; knowing what donors want; and creating strategic alliances. "The topics covered in these regional meetings were selected based on responses to a recent survey of South Dakota's nonprofit sector," said Stephanie Judson, the administrative vice president of the South Dakota Community Foundation. "Each session will be designed to address the needs that were identified in that geographic region of the state. Our intent is to provide relevant, timely information aimed at strengthening nonprofits across the state." The first full-day session will be held in Sioux Falls at the Ramkota on Friday, July 10. The second session will be held in Rapid City at the Ramkota on Tuesday, July 14. Sessions will be held in Kyle at Oglala Lakota College on July 15, Eagle Butte at The Main Youth Center on July 21, Chamberlain at Cedar Shore Resort on July 23, and Watertown at the Dakota Sioux Casino on July 28. Each convening will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and lunch will be served. Financial assistance is available on a first-registered, first-provided basis to nonprofit organizations with representatives traveling more than 50 miles to attend a convening. Renata Rafferty will be the keynote speaker at the convenings in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Rafferty is a nationally recognized author and consultant, and she serves as the president of Rafferty Consulting, an Indiana-based firm that provides philanthropic counsel. She has been interviewed in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Forbes, On Wall Street, and Money Magazine. Funding for these day-long seminars is being provided through a grant from the Bush Foundation of Minneapolis, Minn. "The South Dakota Community Foundation is very pleased to be working with the Bush Foundation to enhance the capacity of South Dakota's nonprofit sector over the next two years," Judson said. "These day-long 'convenings' are one component of the South Dakota Nonprofit Enhancement Project that will provide resources and training opportunities to South Dakota nonprofits." To attend one or more of the convenings, participants need to register online by visiting www.sdcommunityfoundation.org and clicking on the "Register for a 2009 Summer Convening" button. The convenings are being hosted by Sumption & Wyland and The University of South Dakota's Government Research Bureau.