MEDIA ALERT: GuideStar Hosts Free Webinar about Trying Times and Trying Harder: The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee's Response to Historic Flooding

Release date: February 21, 2011

What: Please join us for the free webinar to learn about how The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee created important relationships and partnerships that streamlined charitable giving during the disaster; the importance of enhanced technology and building awareness; and the increased need for nonprofit transparency.

Who: Host: GuideStar USA, Inc.—the leading source of nonprofit information

Presenters: Lori Larson is the senior director of DonorEdge, a revolutionary technology platform for community foundations provided by GuideStar.

Ellen Lehman is the president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The Community Foundation provides customized philanthropic services that enable people with great hearts to achieve their charitable goals comfortably, conveniently, and cost-effectively. Today, Ellen and The Community Foundation team oversee nearly 800 separate charitable funds, which together support the broadest range of needs in the Middle Tennessee community.

Rebecca Howerton Finley serves as the communications director for The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Rebecca oversees the general marketing of The Community Foundation, The Foundation's overall positioning and messaging, public relations, and media relations efforts. Rebecca serves on the management team of The Community Foundation, working closely with Foundation leadership to find the best ways to communicate the role and benefits of a community foundation.

Spencer Whelan is the director of marketing & communications for KIMBIA, an organization focused on online fundraising and events. Spencer has spent most of his career with the firms of APCO Worldwide and Public Strategies Inc. as an online media and strategy expert. In 2006 and early 2007, Mr. Whelan worked as a consultant to the John McCain Presidential Exploratory Committee, responsible for the early marketing, branding, and online social media outreach for the campaign.

Live Tweeting Encouraged: @GuideStarUSA encourages you to connect with other webinar participants, submit your questions to the host and speaker, and follow the online conversation by live tweeting using the identifier #tryingharder.

Where: Space is limited! Register online today by visiting, clicking on "GuideStar Webinars," and then "Register Now."

When: Thursday, March 10, 2011
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Why:A growing trend among community foundations is the role they can play when disaster strikes. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee knows about this development firsthand. In early May 2010, Tennessee experienced its worst flooding in more than 500 years. An unprecedented 19 inches of rain fell on the region in a 48-hour period, lifting the Cumberland River 13 feet above flood stage, causing billions of dollars in damage. According to Newsweek, this flood may be one of the most expensive natural disasters in U.S. history. Tennessee Emergency Management Agency officials called the flood the worst non-tropical natural disaster in history.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee took the lead and was quick to react, immediately raising well over $1 million in the first few weeks of flood cleanup. Armed with enhanced online fundraising tools from KIMBIA and GuideStar, the Foundation worked with local government, media, and celebrities to promote online giving through Flood Relief Donation Widgets.

About GuideStar

GuideStar,—the premier source of nonprofit data—connects people and organizations with information on the programs and finances of more than 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. GuideStar serves a wide audience inside and outside the nonprofit sector, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and the media.

News Contact

Mary Fletcher Jones