In this new regular series, is highlighting local philanthropists making a difference, recognizing their major contributions to the nonprofits working tirelessly to serve their communities deep in the heart of Texas. Today, we spotlight the Fayette Community Foundation and the Stanzel Family Foundation’s Rural Philanthropy Day.

More than 160 community-minded individuals representing 73 nonprofit organizations and 30 funding groups gathered at Blinn College in Brenham for the first ever Rural Philanthropy Day, hosted by the Fayette Community Foundation and the Stanzel Family Foundation. 

Fayette Community Foundation board and staff: Susan Kuehler, Linda Streicher, Dr. Karen Bookout, Cathy Horn, Cheryl Pekar, Ashleigh Parks, Susannah Mikulin, Leslie Penello. (Photo by Chris Pierre Bachman)

The conference provided education and engendered partnerships by bringing together a variety of nonprofits and grant funders from across central Texas. 

“The vision was to provide a professional conference with big city perks here in the beauty of rural Texas. The result was phenomenal,” says Round Top Publishers arts & charity coordinator Jamie Moreau.

Moreau participated in the event with husband Craig Moreau, the honorary event co-chair and Fayette County Chief of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

A slate of experts, including Jerry Herring of Red and White Gallery, spoke on important topics such as nonprofit governance, fundraising, operations, volunteers, grant writing and marketing during an early morning session. 

After lunch provided by Celebrations by Bistro 108, the group reconvened at One Pointe Studios for a networking session where round table sessions similar to modern speed dating were held. 

“The different nonprofits at each table had time to introduce themselves and their funding needs and in turn, philanthropic representatives were able to give feedback and guidance to those individuals for future fundraising efforts before changing tables and starting new introductions,” Jamie Moreau says. ” An unexpected result was that many of the nonprofits who visited our table identified areas where they could join their own efforts with mutually beneficial outcomes.

“Many of the participants made invaluable connections that will carry past the conference.”

A funder’s reception capped off the all-day conference, allowing an opportunity for less formal networking and introductions between nonprofit members and funders with beer, wine and light bites. 

Rural Philanthropy Day keynote speakers made a connection and a difference. (Photo by Chris Pierre Bachman)

Planning is underway for Rural Philanthropy Day 2023. For more information or to participate, contact Susannah Mikulin at [email protected]