A new online tool designed to facilitate connections between nonprofits and Anne Arundel County residents was launched this week on a trial basis.

County officials this week began listing events online at the Nonprofit Events Hub, which they described as a “comprehensive, one-stop-shop resource geared toward nonprofits and the general public.”

Groups can submit events or requests for volunteers to be listed on a county government website maintained by the Nonprofit Center, which was created by county leaders in 2023. Visitors to the web page can search for events by date and category, which range from arts and culture to health, housing and social justice. As of Wednesday night, there were two dozen listings.

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“This new tool will further strengthen our county’s commitment to supporting our nonprofit community,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said in a news release. “It provides a platform for nonprofits to promote events while also offering residents an easy way to stay connected and engaged with these local organizations.”

Anthony Morgan, program coordinator for the Nonprofit Center, said many nonprofits struggle to reach audiences that aren’t already familiar with them, despite advertising.

“By having a centralized site, residents can find and support nonprofits that they might not otherwise even know about,” Morgan said. “It will also make the searching process easier; instead of having to scour the internet for events and activities, the NEH will act as a singular, centralized hub for all nonprofit happenings in Anne Arundel County.”

Residents will benefit from learning about nonprofits they didn’t know existed.

“Anne Arundel County is fortunate to have so many nonprofits that do amazing work, from facilitating environmental cleanups to tackling childhood food insecurity. Our nonprofits are ready to step up and offer their resources and services to the community, but the community first needs to know where to look,” Morgan said. “By encouraging volunteerism and philanthropic participation, the NEH will help to foster those connections.”

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Officials said events that meet submission guidelines can appear online in as few as three days. Nonprofit groups can also submit requests for volunteers.

“The NEH is one of several resources offered to nonprofits to help them build capacity and engage the public with the great work that they do,” said Jennifer Purcell, executive director of the Nonprofit Center. “It’s all about making connections. We hope that nonprofits and county residents will use the tool to make those connections.”

The hub is a pilot program. The center plans to monitor usage and gather feedback from residents and groups to determine if it should become permanent, according to the release.

The Nonprofit Center grew out of the pandemic, when the county provided emergency federal funding to local nonprofit organizations. When those funds ran out, county leaders decided to continue a Community Grant Support Program and establish the center.

Pittman and the County Council approved funds to renovate a building at 41 Community Place in Crownsville to serve as the center’s headquarters, as well as a small operating budget. The executive director is overseeing the renovation as well as the development and launch of new programs. Starting next year, the center plans to offered shared work and meeting space to qualifying nonprofits.

Royale Bonds attended Southern Illinois University. Go Salukis! She previously worked as an affordable housing reporter in Greenville, South Carolina. Royale enjoys long naps, snacking and endless scrolling on social media. She looks forward to reporting on Anne Arundel County and covering the stories that matter.

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