MAHOPAC, N.Y. - Being awarded a grant can help a not-for-profit organization better serve its mission. The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce will host a symposium for nonprofits on grants at the Mahopac Library on Thursday, March 30. It is being organized in cooperation with The Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley and the Putnam County Service Network.

“With over 10 percent of the companies that belong to the chamber being nonprofits and many of our members volunteering for organizations in our community, we feel a responsibility to offer learning opportunities to the not-for-profit sector,” said Faith Ann Butcher, chairwoman of The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce. “We decided that the focus for this symposium should be grants because understanding the process can make more funding available to so many organizations.”

The topics at the symposium include: finding grant opportunities; identifying what grant benefactors look for in an applicant and why you should consider working with a grant writer. The speakers will be Nancy Rossi Brownell, vice president in charge of Putnam County for the Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley; Lydia Howie, founding president of the Grant Professionals of Lower Hudson and principal of Howie Marketing & Consulting; and Emily Wierzbowski, Mahopac Library’s liaison with the Foundation Center.

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Brownell, a Putnam County native, has been reviewing grant applications for 12 years. Before joining the staff of the Community Foundation she spent the last eight years as a member of the Board of Trustees, including two years as immediate past board chair, during which time she led the president/CEO search committee.

Howie has 35 years of successful business experience, including marketing, grant writing and fundraising. She has raised over $35 million dollars for her clients who represent dozens of missions, including hunger, homeless, diseases, disabilities, youth development, child care, arts, environment, workforce development, and more.

Mahopac Library is part of the Foundation Center’s Fundraising Information Network. As a partner, it provides a suite of tools and resources consisting of Foundation Center databases, publications and a variety of supplementary materials and services in areas useful to grant seekers for free. Wierzbowski will be performing a demonstration on how to use the Foundation database to identify the more than 140,000 U.S. grant makers and $5.6 million in grants.

The symposium will run from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Mahopac Public Library, followed by lunch at Four Brothers Restaurant. A continental breakfast will be provided courtesy of Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union.

The symposium, which includes the lunch afterward, is $20 for Chamber members; $25 for non-members.

Registration is required. To register or to get more information call The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber Office at 845-628-5553 or visit