Connecting You to Your Community

Third Thursday Society

Third Thursday Society

The Third Thursday Society is a monthly networking and educational opportunity for nonprofit staff and board members sponsored by the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance and VT Engage: The Community Learning Collaborative. The 2014 Third Thursday Society program is made possible with generous support from JSW Financial, National Bank, and StellarOne Wealth Management.

Sessions are held on the third Thursday of the month at Lucie Monroe's Coffee Company at 1600 Roanoke Street in Christiansburg. Networking begins at 7:30am with the program at 8am. Sessions are free and open to the public.

Upcoming Sessions

April 17, 2014: No Good Deed Should be Fraught with Peril

Many of us gladly contribute our time to not-for-profit entities, sometimes making tough decisions with big consequences. Do you know the ramifications of such a decision-gone-bad? Can they come back to haunt you personally? Keith Finch of the Creekmore Law Form PC will discuss common-law and statutory duties, requirements and areas of potential liability for directors and leaders of not-for-profit entities so that you and your board can lead with confidence. REGISTER HERE.

To RSVP for an upcoming session, click on the provided link, call 381-8999 or email

Previous Sessions

Third Thursday Society

March 20, 2014: What Really Works with Direct Mail Appeals

What drives the response rate on appeal letters? Is it the urgency of the cause? The accuracy of the database? The quality of the design & printing? Or is it something else entirely? Bill Gilmer from Wordsprint shared what years of research show, with data pulled not from national surveys, but from non-profit mailings executed right here in southwest Virginia. 


February 20, 2014: Livability in the NRV:From Vision to Action

Jessica Wirgau of the Community Foundation and Carol Davis, Sustainability Manager for the Town of Blacksburg, reviewed the NRV Livability Initiative's final report and the programs and projects currently underway to implement its goals and strategies. 


January 16, 2014: Raising Money with Click & Pledge

Following the CFNRV's November 2013 session on GiveBigNRV, many of you asked to learn more about the products and services offered by Click & Pledge, the local software company behind GiveBigNRV. Karen Arrivillaga presented the many tools and features available to nonprofits through Click & Pledge.


December 19, 2013: Year-End Celebration!

Participants offered feedback on the 2013 topics and brainstormed topic ideas for 2014!


November 21, 2013: Introducing GiveBigNRV!

In honor of its 20th Anniversary, the CFNRV is launching GiveBigNRV, an online community giving portal designed to make it easy for donors to give to community needs and support their favorite organizations. Participants learned how their organization could be listed on the site, could benefit from centralized marketing provided by the Foundation, and participate in our region's first online giving day in April 2014. See below for more info:


October 17, 2013: Developing an Effective Project Budget

A clear project budget is essential for a successful grant application, and yet estimating expenses, showing funding sources, and being clear about how funds will be used is harder than you think. Based on insights from the CFNRV board and staff, Jessica Wirgau provided some do's and don'ts for developing a project budget that are applicable to a wide variety of funders.


September 19, 2013: Tips for Effectively Working with Our Local Governments

This panel discussion with local elected officials and government staff to provided tips for working effectively with our local governments. Panel participants included Pete Huber, Pulaski County Administrator, Robert Nicholson of the Radford City Council, and Jim Politis of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors.


August 15, 2013 - Speed Dating 2013!

We heard about social media, financial transparency and event planning, but it was time to hear a bit more from one another! 


July 18, 2013 - Financial Transparency and its Affect on Fundraising

Deanna Cox, CPA with Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates and Jessica Wirgau of the Community Foundation provided an informative session on financial transparency and its impact on your ability to raise money for your mission.


June 20, 2013: Planning a Fun, Successful Fundraising Event

A panel discussion on the good, the bad, and the ugly of planning a fun and lucrative event for your organization.


May 16, 2013 - Innovative Fundraising Models

From crowd funding to giving circles and cash mobs, nonprofits and businesses are developing new ways to engage donors and customers of all kinds.

Download Jessica's presentation with information on giving circles, cash mobs and online giving days.

Download Erica's presentation with information on crowdfunding.


April 18, 2013 - Social Media Decoded
Marketing and Social Media expert Daniel Bliley with Member One Federal Credit Union explained some of the social media tools out there and how to use them. He also presented some examples and strategies to demystify the social media world.