Representatives of some 20 Avalon non-profits gathered at Overlook Hall on Tuesday, May 31, to participate in a training program sponsored by the Catalina Island Foundation (CIF). The two-hour session covered mission statements, strategic management, and fundraising skills so vital to the island’s many small civic groups. Give-and-take was lively throughout the seminar with effective group exercises and many good questions at the end. A postmortem survey of attendees yielded unanimous enthusiasm and a clamoring for further education. After a brief huddle, CIF representatives announced that additional sessions will be arranged shortly. All sessions will be free of charge. Among the various topics discussed, proposal writing and fundraising strategies were among the most avidly received. Fortunately, CIF’s highly experienced panel of speakers was able to offer much sound advice on the subject. Speakers included CIF board members Cliff Hague and Mike Rivkin, Jim Luttjohann, President and CEO of the Catalina Chamber of Commerce, and Tom Sutherland, Avalon Rotary Club member and seasoned non-profit veteran. Prior to the program, CIF board members were pleased to distribute checks to four local organizations: The Catalina Pony Club received $1,750 to help with transportation and equipment purchases; CHOICES was awarded $5,000 in support of their initiatives; the Avalon Rotary Club Foundation received $1,500 towards their INTERACT youth program; and the Avalon Schools received $1,500 for uniforms needed by the boys’ varsity volleyball team. CIF continues to review funding proposals from qualified island groups and will do so throughout the year. Catalina Island Foundation (CIF) is a region-of-interest charitable fund operating under the auspices of The San Diego Foundation. CIF was founded in 2014 to provide ongoing support for groups working to better the quality of island life. For questions or inquiries, please contact CIF at 310-427-2450 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.