Crummer’s Edyth Bush Institute Expands Impact Beyond Central Florida with Custom Programming

Center leverages a long-standing relationship with Clay County’s Paul E. and Klare N. Reinhold Foundation to reach more than 100 organizations.

In Clay County, just outside of Jacksonville, FL, the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership EBI is described by the Reinhold Foundation as the friendly, engaging team that makes an immeasurable impact on the health of the local nonprofit scene.

The relationship between the Edyth Bush Institute and the Reinhold Foundation dates back to 2006. Crummer Graduate School of Business Alumni Hall of Fame member and Reinhold Foundation CEO, John C. Myers `69 `70MBA, realized the impact the Edyth Bush Institute had on the Central Florida nonprofit sector and wanted to bring those trainings to his nonprofit support organization’s constituents.

Myers spearheaded a partnership between the Reinhold Foundation and the Edyth Bush Institute to bring annual leadership training programs for nonprofits to Clay County, FL at the start of every calendar year.

Every year since 2006 the Edyth Bush Institute has administered a 6-8-week curriculum of courses in Clay County, covering a myriad of pertinent topics in the nonprofit world. Over the span of the last 15 years, the annual trainings have impacted over 100 nonprofit organizations in Clay County.

Amy Parker, executive director of the Reinhold Foundation, said the trainings are something the nonprofit community in Clay County looks forward to every year, and it’s the individualized approach the EBI team brings that really stands out.

“The instructors always give out their e-mail and contact information and tell everyone if they need anything to not hesitate to reach out,” she said. “It’s more than just a business contract for the Edyth Bush Institute; they go above and beyond to provide a personalized approach.”

One Clay County nonprofit leader, Shepherd’s Center executive director Christy Fitzgerald, has been attending the trainings for eight years, “My first time attending, I went to the course on nonprofit fundamentals, and I learned so much from that; after that I was hooked,” Fitzgerald said.

As the only full-time employee of her organization, one of the most valuable aspects of the trainings for her is learning how to manage the organization’s volunteers. Like so many other smaller nonprofits with limited paid staff, the volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization.

“As someone who has up to 125 volunteers, the Volunteer Management course provided me insights on how volunteers think, and on the lifecycle of a volunteer,” she said. “You take so much time training volunteers that you want to retain them, so that course was great.”

In line with Crummer’s reputation for providing a personalized, concierge approach to learning, Fitzgerald enjoys the accessibility of all the Edyth Bush Institute’ instructors long after the courses are over.

“The instructors are so engaged; they want to listen to your story, and I know after I’ve taken a course, I can always reach out if I have a question or need clarification,” she said.

Amy Parker says one of the biggest reasons the collaboration between the Edyth Bush Institute and the Reinhold Foundation has thrived over the past decade-and-a-half has been in large part due to the ease of working with EBI.

“It’s truly like working with your friends,” Parker said. “Everyone at the Edyth Bush Institute is just super, and I feel very taken care of when I work with them.”

The Edyth Bush Institute is continuing to expand its reach beyond Central Florida, building similar relationships to the one with the Reinhold Foundation.

Currently, the EBI team has developed custom programming with nonprofit organizations such as the Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County, the United Way of Indian River County in Vero Beach, and the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley in Columbus, Georgia.

Edyth Bush Institute Program Manager Jim Moody says as organizations revisit their budgets coming out of the pandemic, enhanced professional education can be a great opportunity.

“We at the Edyth Bush Institute believe there is tremendous opportunity to collaborate with organizations to receive the finest education in fundraising, marketing, volunteer management and more,” Moody said. “We provide training for the long-term sustainability of the organization and, most importantly, empower the organization to continue to make an impact on its community.”

As Shepard’s Center executive director Christy Fitzgerald looks forward to next year’s trainings, she said the annual continued education is an invaluable experience for her as a nonprofit leader.

“Knowledge is something you cannot put a dollar amount on,” Fitzgerald said. “And the knowledge you gain from these trainings really enhances the organization.”



To learn more about EBI’s custom training offerings click here.