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new river valley virginia

This BUZZ is personal 900 506 Michael Hemphill

This BUZZ is personal

As originally broadcast July 26, 2023, on Blue Ridge PBS …

Twenty years ago I was new to the nonprofit world working on my first project in my community of Shawsville, Virginia: revitalizing an abandoned nursing home into a community center. 

Our group of volunteers had little money and no experience, but one organization was willing to believe in us and award us our first grant: The Community Foundation of the New River Valley

What an honor it has been to produce our newest BUZZ featuring the Community Foundation’s work helping hundreds of nonprofits throughout Virginia’s New River Valley. Thank you 5Points Creative and Bruce C. Bryan for providing the buzz for the Foundation as it coordinated its 10 annual — and biggest ever — GiveLocalNRV!

About the episode:

Founded in 1994 with just $8, the Community Foundation of the New River Valley today claims more than 200 funds and $15 million in assets from which it awards each year $500,000+ in grants and scholarships. Hundreds of nonprofits — and thousands of individuals — have been helped by this vital organization.

One of the big events that it hosts each year for the region’s nonprofit community is Give Local NRV, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2023. Returning to BUZZ for its seventh episode, 5Points Creative gives a major marketing boost to the Community Foundation for this milestone occasion.

New BUZZ stars — and helps rebrand — Literacy Volunteers 1024 576 Michael Hemphill

New BUZZ stars — and helps rebrand — Literacy Volunteers

Watch our 31st episode of BUZZ featuring Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley that originally aired May 3, 2023, on Blue Ridge PBS …

For most people, the ability to read and write comes so naturally that we forget they are skills we had to learn as a child. But for immigrants who don’t know English, and native-born individuals who perhaps struggled in school, those letters on a page are literally a foreign language. From navigating our healthcare system and the DMV to simply wanting to read to a grandchild, a lack of literacy can be crippling.

Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley provides tutoring and classes to teach adults how to read, write, do basic math, and use computers — which in turn provides people the power to lift themselves out of poverty, lower health care costs, find and keep sustainable employment, and ultimately change lives.

But the nonprofit’s brand is clunky — LVNRV — and suggests it serves volunteers rather than people who need help reading. Coming to the rescue once again on BUZZ are our rebranding magicians from Wordsprint.

We thank 100+ Women Who Care NRV for sponsoring the production of our episode!

NEW PODCAST! From Greed to Good: How Virginia Tech’s Unique NIL helps nonprofits 1024 1024 Michael Hemphill

NEW PODCAST! From Greed to Good: How Virginia Tech’s Unique NIL helps nonprofits

On today’s show  BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill talks Name, Image and Likeness or NIL, which allows college athletes to earn what is estimated to be more than $1 billion in 2023. NIL has transformed college athletics and created a new world rife with cynicism and greed.

But not at Virginia Tech … if The Hokie Way nonprofits has a say.

What is The Hokie Way? Listen as Virginia Tech alumnus and superfan Jim Petrine shares how The Hokie Way is transforming NILs into vehicles for positive change … and helping VT fulfill its mission of Ut Prosim, Latin for That I May Serve.

We also talk to one of The Hokie Way’s nonprofit partners, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia, about how they’re benefiting from the Names, Images and Likenesses of Virginia Tech athletes.

And Michael shares the origin story for the BUZZ television show.

A message from BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill 900 586 Michael Hemphill

A message from BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill

I’m always encouraging nonprofit leaders to be more fearless about proclaiming the good they do so that more donors and volunteers will be attracted to their cause.

“Your organization is doing incredible work,” I’ll say. “Tell everyone about it.”

I should be following my own advice! Because Wednesday is GIVE Roanoke Day and we could use a little $$$ buzz of our own.

Our work through the American Advertising Federation of Roanoke is funded 100% through charitable contributions and foundation grants.

We’re fortunate to have raised funding to produce upcoming episodes on YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Art and Economic Development in Roanoke, Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley, The Hokie Way, Alta Mons, Community Foundation of the New River Valley, and more!

For every new episode we produce each month, we try to host a Watch Party (usually at the Grandin Theatre) where the featured nonprofit can enjoy the experience of seeing their mission on the big screen with their donors, volunteers, friends and fans. 

Each Watch Party costs about $500, so on Wednesday we’re seeking to raise $4,000 to fund the rest of our 2023 Watch Parties.

If you appreciate our work, please consider a gift on GIVE Roanoke. Every donor will be credited onscreen for all 2023 Watch Parties. Thank you!

Tips for Nonprofit Giving Days now on Buzz4Good podcast 900 634 Michael Hemphill

Tips for Nonprofit Giving Days now on Buzz4Good podcast

Just dropped on Buzz4Good podcast: Tips for Nonprofit Giving Days.

We often relegate nonprofits and our charitable giving to the Christmas season when, perhaps, we ourselves feel more charitable. But the work of nonprofits isn’t confined to just the month of December. It’s year-round. 

On today’s show, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill features two upcoming days when you can learn about — and hopefully support — hundreds of nonprofit organizations that are working daily to enhance the quality of life in our community.

To talk up GIVE Roanoke on April 19 and Give Local NRV on June 28-29, we chat with the event organizers: Alison Jorgenson of Council of Community Services, and Jess Wirgau of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley