We met with Dorian Hines from the Tennessee Nonprofit Network, an organization that serves the state’s nonprofit community “by connecting them to resources, decision-making forums, and each other.” Dorian is the Middle Tennessee Regional Director and we asked him a few questions to learn more about his work and how he can connect with our nonprofit partners. Read below to learn more.
Dorian, could you please tell us a little more about yourself?
Sure thing! My name is Dorian Hines and I am the Middle Tennessee Regional Director for Tennessee Nonprofit Network. I am a native of North Carolina (born and raised) and relocated to Nashville from Memphis. I’ve served nonprofit organizations in several capacities – including community engagement and recruitment & marketing. I have a never-ending passion for public service and giving back to the community. I’ve volunteered with a great number of nonprofit organizations throughout my career. I earned my Master of Public Administration from Auburn University, and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Carolina A&T State University.
Great. Could you let us know a little more about the Tennessee Nonprofit Network and how it got started?
Tennessee Nonprofit Network (TNN) is a nonprofit organization that serves as a statewide association for nonprofits in the State of Tennessee. TNN started as an organization who provided grant expertise for nonprofits in West Tennessee, serving as a regional nonprofit association, and since, evolved from Momentum Nonprofit Partners to the now Tennessee Nonprofit Network. We are dedicated to supporting and strengthening the nonprofit sector across the state. At TNN, we provide resources, training, advocacy, and networking opportunities for nonprofits, aiming to enhance their effectiveness and impact.
What do nonprofits get when they sign up to be a member?
There are a great number of benefits that come with becoming a member of TNN. Some of these benefits include networking opportunities, training and professional development, advocacy and representation, access to resources, peer-to-peer support, information and updates on sector trends, and more. Also, membership to TNN will be free to all 501(c)3 organizations in Tennessee or organizations serving Tennessee residents for the first three (3) years. For more information on TNN’s member benefits and how your nonprofit can access them, please visit tnnonprofits.org and click on “Become a Member Organization” under the connect tab.
Given your perspective working with different nonprofits, what do you think the biggest issues nonprofits will face in the next few years?
Over the next few years, nonprofits will be faced with several issues – funding and financial sustainability, digital transformation, advocacy and policy changes, public trust and reputation, etc. – to name a few. However, while specific challenges can vary based on the nature and focus of individual nonprofits, it’s important to note that they can also be based on the mission, size, and geographic
location of each nonprofit. Adapting to change, staying informed about sector trends, and fostering resilience are key strategies for nonprofits to navigate these changes.
You have an upcoming network training and day on the hill on February 27th and 28th. Maddox staff will be in attendance. What should we and participating nonprofits expect?
On Tuesday, February 27th, we will be hosting our Nonprofit Advocacy Summit. This event will take place at Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville, TN. As you represent and advocate for your organization, TNN wants to ensure that you are empowered to do so. You’ll learn effective techniques to more your legislative agenda forward, hear from successful and seasoned government relations and nonprofit professionals, network with colleagues from across Tennessee’s nonprofit sector to make our collective voice stronger. Following our Advocacy Summit, TNN’s Nonprofit Day on the Hill is the day that you’ll put those best practices into action. This two-day legislative engagement event will empower nonprofit staff and board members to be confident advocates and carry out that confidence to meet with our elected officials and advocate for our sector and all the work that our organizations do. The overarching goal of our Day on the Hill is to advocate on issues that are important to nonprofit sector partners, but also to cultivate and strengthen your organization’s relationship with lawmakers and their staff.
For more information on TNN’s Advocacy Summit and our Nonprofit Day on the Hill, please visit our website and click on the calendar tab. Here, you will find the schedule for both events, as well as location and hotel information if needed.
Anything else you want to let the Middle Tennessee nonprofit community to know?
Every day, your organizations make a profound impact on the communities you serve. As you navigate these challenges and triumphs that come with your mission, I want to emphasize the importance of coming together and joining forces with a network that truly understands and supports your journey – Tennessee Nonprofit Network. You are not alone in your mission and TNN is a powerful ally with a coalition of organizations dedicated to amplifying the impact of nonprofits across the state. Take advantage of this – especially with free membership for the first three (3) years. There is strength in unity. Public policy and advocacy matter to truly impacting systems change. It is a nonprofit’s right to engage in nonpartisan policy work, and at TNN we believe it is your duty.
Let’s make a difference together!
Dorian, how can our partners get connected with you?
Currently, I am headquartered at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee but am a Tennessee Nonprofit Network employee. If you would like to schedule some time to meet to go over member benefits, any assistance in upcoming programs and/or information on how to help your organization, or how you can become a member with us, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can schedule a time to chat over breakfast, coffee, lunch, or even zoom.
Maddox became a member of TNN earlier this year and we are excited to see some of the work they will be doing for the nonprofit community.