Testimonials from ABN Members
“You nailed it! Our board retreat was exactly what I had in mind to give new board members their footing and reenergize those who have been here a while. Everyone raved about what a great day it was and how useful it was. Thanks a million, Jerry and ABN.” — Eva Pierce, A Hand Up for Women
"I attended my first training session yesterday and honestly, it exceeded my expectations in every way. I was a health and safety instructor for nine years, and I’m generally underwhelmed by other nonprofit-based training I’ve attended in the past. Not the case yesterday. The trainer, Kim Lauth, is AMAZING. I learned so much from her! I could barely scribble everything down fast enough. Great practical information that I can immediately apply here at Sertoma. Kudos to [Assistant Director of Capacity Building] Eddie Crim as well, who did an amazing job coordinating everything and welcoming us. I am so grateful that we have a resource like ABN to help nonprofits do our best work in service to the community. Looking forward to my next training!" — Sarah Roberto, Sertoma Center, Inc.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee implemented numerous recommendations from ABN’s ‘How to Prepare a Successful Annual Appeal Letter’ workshop. We saw immediate, tangible, and amazing results: Our appeal brought in ten times more funds in 2017 than in 2016 — a phenomenal impact on our organization. Thank you, ABN!” — Brent Waugh, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
"Joining ABN has been a wonderful experience for our organization. The free seminars, training events, organizational assessment, and helpful staff have been great resources for us as we continue to develop as a vibrant nonprofit in Knoxville.” — Shawn Stutz, FOCUS Ministries
“ABN is an excellent resource for East TN Kidney Foundation. We enjoy receiving the monthly schedules and ‘shopping’ for new trainings, workshops and networking opportunities. The ABN staff have been so inviting and helpful, providing us with information on best practices and even workshops and conferences for our board members. When asking for the board's approval on renewing our membership, they responded ‘Yes, of course! We thought that was a given!’” — Katie Martin, East TN Kidney Foundation
“The leadership and support ABN provides lends opportunity to step up; not just to a higher level, but several levels higher. They encourage us to dream and envision heights we never thought possible which in turn allows us to help more people.” — Patrice Puglise, Stepping Out, Inc.
“ABN has been a huge help to our organization. We are working on so many matters that are vital to our long-term health: succession planning, advanced development strategies, board assessment, recruitment, and accountability. We wouldn’t be engaging all of these, nor engaging them as effectively, if not for the resources provided by ABN. The families and babies we serve will reap the benefits of our membership for years to come!” — Mark Mellinger, National Embryo Donation Center
“ABN has been a great resource for us. They have offered excellent trainings, opportunities for networking, and provided wonderful support. The staff has been helpful and we have enjoyed getting to know them. We appreciate all you do to make our jobs easier!” — Tabitha Damron, New Hope-Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center
"The quality of programming and resources provided by ABN has been top-notch! I would recommend membership to this organization for all nonprofits, but especially to new organizations or new nonprofit professionals.” — Ellie Kittrell, The Muse Knoxville
“Training that we received at the ABN Board Excellence Conference provided us with methods for updating our strategic plan. We will also use this process to identify the skill sets we need, as our nominating committee identifies possible new board members. While participating in the organizational assessment process this year, we identified a need to develop a marketing plan for our organization. We are pleased to say that we have accomplished this goal and have even received an in kind services donation from a marketing firm!” — Teresa McMahan, Friends of Tennessee’s Babies with Special Needs
“ABN has provided me with valuable resources to be a better board member for the nonprofit boards on which I serve. By attending the full-day seminars, breakfasts, and workshops, I’ve learned from the knowledge of other community and national nonprofit board members and experts on how to help our nonprofit better accomplish its mission. The staff at ABN have been great to work with on individual questions that pertain to our board. I highly recommend all nonprofits become a member of ABN to help educate their board members and as a valuable resource for their organization.” — Diette Crockett, French Broad Preservation Society
“ABN did a great job facilitating our board retreat. They were easy to work with. I especially liked that they didn’t come in with a controlled agenda - they let us explore in our own way.” — Mark Braswell, Tennessee Recycling Coalition
"ABN’s consultancy was a breath of fresh air for our organization. ABN asked some good and thought provoking questions about what we are doing now, where we want to be, and how we would get there. A lot of our board members have made very positive comments about working with ABN and I think we all feel a new sense of excitement and enthusiasm for our organization and what we can achieve." — Jennifer Huskey, Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries
“I took Booth Andrews' course on Nonprofit Dashboards and it has been one of the most valuable things I’ve done. I have been doing a monthly dashboard for over a year now. It allowed the board to let me reduce my financial "narrative" reports to quarterly instead of monthly. Everybody loves visuals!” — Amy Buttry, Humane Society of the TN Valley
“Our ABN membership has helped us to get our bearings and begin to think about the future in a different way. It is hard to go from a small, almost all volunteer nonprofit helping legal residents to attain citizenship to the adjustments required to manage the staff, consistent funding, rent, etc. to manage INVEST and at the same time re-energize our original sense of purpose for TIES. We will be hard at these tasks and I am sure that ABN will provide valuable assistance.” — Charlie Mulligan, Tennessee Immigrant Empowerment Solutions (TIES)
"This year, I made a personal commitment to do all that I can to help bring dollars into the organizations I'm a part of. I knew the courses in the Fund Development Certificate at the Alliance for Better Nonprofits would give me the tools I need to get the job done. The variety of courses is phenomenal; you learn everything from grant writing to how to appeal to individual donors. I'm excited about what's ahead." — Jackie Clay, HomeSource East Tennessee and Girl Talk, Inc.
"Thanks for all that ABN and Jerry did to create the Executive DIrector Cohort and provide us with the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people. It was a wonderful experience and I truly enjoyed it. I would love to have been able to keep it going for a few more weeks because I think there is so much more that we could learn from each other." — Wendi Mullins, A Step Ahead Foundation of East Tennessee
“Our organization made it a priority to attend the recent ABN training for annual appeal letter writing and developing corporate sponsorships. Within weeks of implementing the insights gained, we saw immediate results in both partner support and financial gifts. It goes without saying the expert advice provided through ABN is beneficial to any nonprofit seeking long-term community impact." — Shawn Stutz, FOCUS Ministries
“Earning an ABN certificate has impacted my career greatly. I finished my second certificate before I left my previous employer, working for a local community center. I really wanted to keep cultivating my passion for serving the community by joining a nonprofit board, but I did not have the opportunities to do so. After completing my certificate, ABN posted a picture of me with the certificate on social media. Then, I was contacted by a colleague who was serving on a board that was looking for someone with fundraising experience to join. I had just completed my fundraising certificate, which grew my knowledge and skillset of fundraising. Adding that in with my current fundraising experience at the time, it opened a door for me to serve on my first board of directors. Now I am serving on three boards of directors and the knowledge I learned from my ABN Fund Development and Leadership Certificates has significantly benefitted me and the progression of my passion to serve the community.” — Anderson Olds, Office of Diversity & Community Relations, UT Haslam College of Business