Click here to view the latest information on CNM’s tornado and COVID-19 crisis response.

The Mission Memo: July 2, 2020

Has your professional development budget been cut during the pandemic? CNM is offering low-cost virtual learning opportunities to meet your needs right now. Beginning July 6, the Continued Support Learning Series features micro-learning modules focusing on the most-requested pain points in the nonprofit community. CNM members can participate for just $15 per session. Reserve your seat today!

Innovation Catalyst: Strategic Realignment

A reimagined version of the Innovation Catalyst to meet the challenges of 2020


Could your organization use expert guidance to clarify your strategic priorities and improve your sustainability? The Innovation Catalyst:Strategic Realignment (iCat:SR) is an intensive seven-month process that provides nonprofits with a unique opportunity to adapt their organizations to be more nimble and sustainable in the current climate. Applications are open now through July 17.
Participating teams will experience a constructive and strategic process that includes:
  • a portfolio review
  • a strategic framework 
  • business planning to analyze an organization’s underlying business model for necessary pivots 
  • a refined pitch of your organizational plan for stakeholders
Questions about the Innovation Catalyst: Strategic Realignment? We have office hours available for you to ask questions about the program and application process. Email to reserve a time.


Free Touchless Thermometers Available to Nonprofits

Could your nonprofit use touchless thermometers to supplement your reopening plan? Nashville’s Community Resource Center has created an interest form for nonprofits in need of thermometers and other safety items. Submit a request for supplies via this link and the CRC will contact you to assess your organization’s needs.


7/6: Directing Disruption: Mastering Development in Our New Normal
$15 for CNM members; $35 for nonmembers
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: The kickoff session in our Continued Support Learning Series will feature an interactive learning experience with development expert Dr. Deb Macfarlan Enright. This class is designed to bring you optimal practices from development professionals and funding sources across the country in the nonprofit space as we face the post COVID reality togetherLearn more.
7/6: Virtual Events A-Z: From Advancements to Zoom
$15 for CNM members; $35 for nonmembers
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: Do you want to create a virtual event but just can’t think of how to do it? This workshop will explore creative options to in-person events. We will discuss different approaches and how best to promote your mission through a virtual event that is unique to your organization and engaging to your donors.Learn more.
7/13: Inclusive Leadership
$15 for CNM members; $35 for nonmembers
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: Cross-cultural research highlights the key traits of inclusive leaders and their strategies for inclusion. This session will discuss key inclusive leadership traits to effectively lead diverse teams and organizations that work with diverse constituents. Inclusive leadership traits, strategies, and case studies will be presented.Learn more.
7/13: Equity in Action: A Leader’s Guide to Identifying and Addressing Disparities
$15 for CNM members; $35 for nonmembers
SESSION HIGHLIGHT:  Reducing systemic inequity along socioeconomic, gender, racial, and sexual identities should be a higher priority within your organization’s mission. How do you identify the gaps within your existing systems and policies? How do you change your stakeholder’s mindsets? What are the model practices and tools needed to address disparities?Learn more.


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What does it mean to be an antiracist?

To our nonprofit partners and community supporters,

This week I attended a virtual networking event, and we were asked to use six words to introduce ourselves. I knew that beyond the usual, the expected, I had something else to say. When my turn came, I said: I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, nonprofit professional, exercise nut, and I am an antiracist. There, I said it – to a room full of strangers. And although the truth is probably closer to “I am an aspiring antiracist,” I put it out there in the world in language stronger than I’ve ever used before.

Like so many of you, we at CNM are reeling from the murder of George Floyd as well as so many unnamed individuals of color throughout the history of this country. I am reminded that Mr. Floyd is only the latest victim of a society built on systemic racism and inequality. The system was built to benefit people who look like me while overlooking those who do not, and the dismantling of that system will require ongoing self-reflection, followed by bold action by those of us in positions of influence.

It is heartbreaking to reflect that way back in 1967 Dr. King said these words: “And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again.” And here we are in June 2020 trying to address the failures of a society built on systemic racism. We have so much listening, unlearning, and advocacy yet to do.

I know that I have a unique responsibility, as the CEO of an organization that seeks to represent Middle Tennessee nonprofits well, to use my voice. I am a white leader in a position of privilege. I believe that white silence is complicity, so let me be clear: black lives matter. They matter to me as an individual, in my own organization, and in our nonprofit community and beyond.

At CNM we are committed to creating an equitable, connected community. As we move forward in this vision, we have made an organizational commitment to first humbly examine ourselves. This work will require commitment from us as individuals and as a collective. My staff and I are committed to doing the hard work of making CNM an antiracist organization, both for the benefit of our nonprofit members, ourselves as individuals, and our community as a whole.

I believe that those of us in positions of privilege have a moral imperative to listen, amplify, and support people of color in our community. We can no longer wait. We can no longer postpone. We must pursue the work of antiracism now.

Tari Hughes
President and CEO

The Mission Memo: April 15, 2020


Salute to Excellence Update

It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to cancel our 2020 Salute to Excellence event. Our nonprofits need our support, immediately. With the mission of Salute in mind – to lift up and support the nonprofit sector – we’re turning our focus toward being of greatest value right here, right now.


We are grateful to the support of our Salute Presenting Sponsor, PNC Bank, and the many generous award and event sponsors who are working with us to find valuable ways to serve our members through much needed crisis response programming. CNM will keep you posted on how we’re working together to serve our hard working nonprofits in these uncertain times. 


This decision is the product of much deliberation with our board and staff. As a substantial draw on staff time, future event and celebration planning doesn’t feel like the highest and best use of our time. We look forward to the day when we can celebrate with you again at an appropriate time. For now, we’re here to help you in the ways that that you need us now.



Remote Working Mini-Grants

CNM has partnered with The Frist Foundation to launch Remote Working Mini-Grants, intended to help ease the financial burden of the crises we are facing in Middle TN. Mini-grants will range from $300 – $1500, limited to support the purchase of hardware, software, and the subscriptions to online platforms. They are available only to CNM members, with a budget size of $2 million or less (based on the most recently completed fiscal year), on a first come, first served basis.


Apply for Mini-Grant

While our personal and business lives are in a state of uncertainty, figuring out a plan forward is both urgent and overwhelming at times. CNM has designed a Crisis Support Learning Series in response to the needs identified from the nonprofit community itself. The various learning sessions are meant to play a pivotal role in helping organizations not only cope but succeed in these difficult times.


Beginning April 20, these hour-long virtual workshops provide a deeper dive into topics focusing on crisis management, including continuing critical services, fundraising during a crisis, keeping virtual teams motivated, crisis communications, and more. This series is offered at no cost to CNM members. We hope that you join us as we continue on a path to resilience.


Explore the Learning Series



Nonprofit Advocacy Opportunity

A bipartisan bill, Save the Organizations that Serve (SOS) America Act (H.R. 6408), has been introduced in Congress to provide a lifeline to nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. The bill improves the CARES Act by providing charitable nonprofits with $60B in emergency funding, removes the 500-employee cap for small business loans, and raises the above-the-line charitable deduction.
Follow this link to quickly ask your representative to co-sponsor this important legislation. 


CNM in the News

CNM’s President & CEO, Tari Hughes, sat down for a conversation with the Tennessean’s David Plazas about the current state of nonprofits. Catch up on their conversation on the Tennessee Voices videocast.



4/15: Town Hall: Leading in Times of Crisis featuring Michael Burcham
SERIES HIGHLIGHT: With our members’ needs changing day to day, the CNM team is continuously evaluating how we can be of service. Per the needs assessment survey, we’re learning that guidance, tips, and relatable stories is what our nonprofit partners are looking for most. Come join expert Michael Burcham on how to lead effectively in intense times of crisis… Read more.
4/20: Business Not As Usual: The Formula for Success
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: Now more than ever, nonprofits have the opportunity to think about business through a different lens, the lens of the intrapreneurial mindset. Join Trish Holliday in this engaging workshop and discover the skills necessary for being a successful intrapreneur and how the intrapreneurial mindset can help your organization face uncertainty and prepare for a new future. Register for 9:00 a.m. session or 1:00 p.m. session.
4/20: Keeping the Trains Running in a Time of Crisis and Uncertainty
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: This session will focus on business and programming continuity.  How you continue to meet the needs of your stakeholders and provide services when normal modes of operation are disrupted. We will review strategies and tools available as well as lessons learned from nonprofits in Los Angeles and Washington state hit by the pandemic over a month ago. Register for 10:00 a.m. session or 2:00 p.m. session.


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The Mission Memo: April 1, 2020

An Update on the CARES Act


CNM is providing resources and ongoing updates about the federal stimulus package (the CARES Act) on our Crisis Response page. As details unfold about eligibility requirements, timelines, and applications, please visit our website for the latest updates.
As we wait for federal guidelines to be released regarding loan applications, we’ve compiled some ways you can start preparing now to submit your loan application. 
Prepare for Your Loan Application



Meet the Funders | April 3, 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Register

Budgeting & Financial Management, Weathering the Storm | April 8, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Register

Mindfulness in Times of Crisis | April 10, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Register

Leading in Times of Crisis | April 15, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Register



CNM’s President & CEO, Tari Hughes, shared an update on the nonprofit sector in a recent op-ed in the Tennessean.

Read the full story.



Salute to Excellence Application Process On Hold

We are placing the Salute to Excellence application process on hold in light of the challenges arising for nonprofits in the COVID-19 crisis. We will share information about Salute to Excellence as soon as it becomes available. Please stay tuned for more updates on our social channels and on this page.


Crisis Relief Advocacy for Nonprofits

CNM has joined with our statewide partners to compose this joint letter to Governor Bill Lee and state legislators to advocate for crisis relief support for nonprofits. We invite you to join us by sharing this letter with your elected officials.


Upcoming Events


4/17: Advanced Grant Writing (Online Webinar)
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: So you know the basics of grant writing… now what? Come get advanced, in-depth help from an expert. Attendees will complete a writing exercise for a grant opportunity as the foundation for seeking grant funding. Learn how grant reviewers analyze and review grant proposals… Read more.
4/17: How to Start a Nonprofit (Online Webinar)
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: Have a passion for serving the community but need to know more about the structure or legal documents to turn your passion into a successful organization? In this session, learn from experts and peers about the key components of a nonprofit, and the required documentation to make it official… Read more.


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COVID-19 Update from CNM

March 16, 2020 Update

The CNM staff will be working remotely through the end of March out of an abundance of caution during the COVID-19 outbreak. We can be reached via individual emails or by reaching out to

Please stay tuned for more updates.


March 9, 2020 Update

To our nonprofit community and supporters,

Our region is undergoing rapid changes with the recovery efforts from the recent tornadoes and the new cases of COVID-19 in our area. As we continue to support the volunteer efforts of our neighbors at Hands On Nashville, CNM is also closely monitoring the situation with the outbreak of COVID-19 in Middle Tennessee.

We are taking extra precautions in sanitizing our building and making adjustments in our programming to ensure the safety of the CNM staff and our community partners. CNM’s Education team is exploring the possibility of transitioning upcoming workshops to online webinars so that registered participants can continue to learn remotely. Stay tuned for more information, but for now, all meetings and events in CNM’s office will remain as originally scheduled.

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to change, here are some resources to keep you informed.

CNM will continue to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 and follow recommendations from local authorities and public health officials. We will provide updates here and on social media as they become available. Stay strong, Nashville.

The CNM Team

The Mission Memo: March 6, 2020

Disaster Relief Resources For Nonprofits


If your organization was affected by the Nashville tornadoes, CNM is here to support you. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the recovery process and recruit volunteers to assist with your needs.
  1. If your organization has a need for volunteers, either an ongoing need or at a specific time and dateregister your project with Hands On Nashville. Please include #nashvilletornado in the title of your project so it can be searched easily.
  2. Keep a record of all volunteers during your recovery efforts. You can download a sample volunteer waiver and sign-in sheet here. Every volunteer counts in disaster recovery. In the event that this disaster is federally declared, our city will need to report out on the tremendous volunteer response we have received in order to access federal recovery dollars.
  3. Does your nonprofit need resources other than volunteers? Explore available resources on Hands On Nashville’s blog.



Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism

April 21-23 (3-day event)

What is systemic racism and how does your organization uphold it through policies, practices, and structures?This advanced-level workshop is designed for leadership, board, and staff team members who are committed to anti-racism work in nonprofits in Middle Tennessee.

Teams of four will participate in this immersive three-day workshop, facilitated by Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training. Join us to explore racism as entrenched, systemic, institutional misuse of power that goes beyond personal prejudice.



Salute to Excellence Applications

Salute to Excellence applications are now open! If your nonprofit has been doing work worthy of celebration, apply today for cash prizes and community-wide recognition. We’d love to shine a light on your work at Salute to Excellence on October 29, 2020.




Upcoming Events


3/12: 2020 Innovation Catalyst Information Session 
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: If you’ve been losing sleep wondering how to make your revenue more sustainable, CNM’s Innovation Catalyst might be your answer. Catalyst participants will create plans for ventures that add an alternate revenue stream. If your organization is interested in applying for the Innovation Catalyst (or who already have a new venture in mind), we invite you to bring multiple staff members to our upcoming info session to learn about the application process… Read more.
3/13: Census 2020 Events
SERIES HIGHLIGHT: CNM is committed to equipping Middle Tennessee nonprofits with the resources they need to ensure a complete count for the 2020 Census. Explore our upcoming events and helpful information to make sure the groups you serve are represented… Learn more.
3/13: Implicit Bias Algorithm
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: This course illustrates the neurological processes behind trust-building, especially among those of varying backgrounds. Bias is further examined as it relates to cognition and our interaction with external clients and stakeholders. With an in-depth study of majority privilege, this course equips organizations with the tools to understand and manage bias in internal practices and external relationships… Read more.


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To our beloved nonprofit community and supporters,


Tuesday morning’s storms left many in our region broken, hurting, and in need of our support. Nashville is a city of resilience. We will rebuild. We’ve done it before. Rebuilding will require us all to band together, and CNM is ready to stand with you in that process. 
In the coming days and weeks as you process this tragedy, clean up, and care for those around you, we want to direct you to the resources and information you need to maximize your efforts as that information becomes available. Here are some ways you can serve those devastated by the storms starting today:
At times like this, our mission of amplifying your impact feels more timely than ever. Please let us know how we can serve you.

The Mission Memo: February 20, 2020

The 2020 Census could have a direct impact on your organization’s work. How can your nonprofit help ensure a complete count of the people you serve?


Join CNM and the U.S. Census Bureau for a series of info sessions about the basics of the census and its implications for nonprofits. We encourage you to register for an upcoming session if your nonprofit works closely with any of the groups below:
  • Children & Young Adults
  • Faith-based Communities
  • New American, Latin(x) & Hispanic, African American, LGBTQ, & Asian-Pacific Islander Communities
  • Veterans, People Experiencing Homelessness, & People Living in Group Quarters


Explore Census Events




The Big Payback is Middle Tennessee’s annual day of giving to support nonprofits. The 24-hour fundraising blitz will take place on May 6. Join CNM’s upcoming webinars to make sure you have the tools you need to launch a successful fundraising campaign for this year’s event.



Introduction to The Big Payback | March 3, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
$5 (member); $10 (nonmember)
What is The Big Payback, and how can your organization use it as a tool to bolster your fundraising efforts? Learn the basics of The Big Payback so your organization can make the most of this regional day of giving. Register
Develop Your Campaign for The Big Payback 
March 3, 10:30  – 11:30 a.m.
$5 (member); $10 (nonmember)
In this session, participants will explore a variety of content development methods that they will then outline in a content calendar that can be used for The Big Payback. Register



Celebrate and give back to the Nashville community by reserving seats to the Nashville Post’s annual Leaders event on March 4 at the Thompson Hotel. Join community leaders for an evening of celebration, networking, and fun! 


CNM members and supporters will receive a 50% discount on ticket prices using code CNM at checkout. A portion of tickets will benefit CNM in support of our mission to amplify the impact of nonprofits and their partners. Purchase tickets here.




CNM Membership 2020

At CNM our goal is to equip you with the things you need to make a difference. Join CNM as a member for 2020 to take advantage of member pricing for professional development, unlimited job postings, networking, and more.
Explore Membership



Community News


Is your nonprofit interested in collecting donated items like clothing, small electronics, or school supplies? Partner with Vanderbilt University for their upcoming Move Out, Help Out event. Vanderbilt will be collecting donated items from students, and those items could benefit your nonprofit. Email by February 28 to apply to participate in the event.
Save the date! CNM has partnered with The Research Center of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce to produce a Nonprofit Economic Impact Study of the greater Nashville area. The study will be conducted via electronic survey sent by the Nashville Chamber on February 27.



Upcoming Events


2/27: Salute to Excellence: Call for Entries
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: Join CNM for Call for Entries, the kickoff event for Salute to Excellence, the largest nonprofit awards ceremony in the country, happening this year on October 29, 2020. Learn about the application process for CNM’s annual Salute to Excellence awards, where nearly $260,000 will be awarded to nonprofits for outstanding achievement… Read more.
2/28: Basic Grant Writing
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: How can your organization write a compelling proposal to increase your chances for funding and maximize your request for funding. While a grant may not be the answer to all of your problems, the ability to write a proposal that will result in funding is in high demand. This workshop provides practical help with the fundamentals of writing grant proposals and obtaining available funding… Read more.
3/12: 2020 Innovation Catalyst Information Session & Overview
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: If you have been losing sleep wondering about how to make your revenue more sustainable, the business planning process of the Innovation Catalyst might be your answer. Catalyst participants create plans for ventures that add an alternate revenue stream for your nonprofit. If your’re eady to get started on a new approach that goes beyond fundraising and offers a new spin on earned revenue, join our upcoming info session to learn more… Read more.


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The Mission Memo: February 6, 2020

CEO Conversations: Leading Well with Day 7, Inc.

February 20, 2020, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

The New Year has come, and with it often come resolutions, personally and professionally, to take better care of our health. Be it mentally, physically, or emotionally, it can be hard to know where to begin to care for yourself, much less the needs of others. So many in the nonprofit sector experience burnout and are seeking better balance for their teams.

Join CNM’s first CEO Conversations of the year with organizational health experts Day 7, Inc. to learn how you can create a culture of wellness in your organization.

Join the Conversation


Introduction to Systemic Racism (1-Day Course)

February 11 & 12

$130 (member); $260 (nonmember)

Is your organization ready to begin the work of exploring systemic racism?  CNM will host Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training as they return to Nashville to facilitate one of our most popular trainings of 2019. In this introductory workshop, participants will explore racism as a systemic, institutional problem of power that goes beyond personal prejudice.

Learn how your organization can take steps to become more equitable by registering for this workshop today. Follow the link below for course information and registration.

Explore Equity Offerings


CNM Membership 2020

At CNM our goal is to equip you with the things you need to make a difference. Join CNM as a member for 2020 to take advantage of member pricing for professional development, unlimited job postings, networking, and more.

Explore Membership


Upcoming Events

2/19: Fundamentals of Fundraising

SESSION HIGHLIGHT:  The nonprofits that survive, grow, and make a difference understand how fundraising is intricately woven with accomplishing their goals. This workshop will introduce participants to the elements of fundraising, including stewardship, events, grants, and the critical importance of a strategic and development plan… Read more.


2/19:  Nonprofit Sustainability Roundtable

SESSION HIGHLIGHT:  Join Urban Green Lab and CNM, with sponsor HCA Healthcare, as we unite diverse nonprofits to learn, network, and exchange best practices for making sustainable living education a top priority. In session two we’ll be covering the ends and outs of Sustainable Purchasing. Read more.


2/25: Census 2020: Supporting a Complete Count

SESSION HIGHLIGHT:  We invite you to participate in our first-ever Census 2020 Solutions workshops to learn how your organization can support a complete count in our community. CNM will be hosting two introductory sessions on 2/25 followed by a series of more targeted sessions to specific populations later in March… Read more.


2/27: Salute to Excellence: Call for Entries

SESSION HIGHLIGHT: Join CNM for Call for Entries, the kickoff event for Salute to Excellence, the largest nonprofit awards ceremony in the country, happening this year on October 29, 2020. Learn about the application process for CNM’s annual Salute to Excellence awards, where nearly $260,000 will be awarded to nonprofits for outstanding achievement… Read more.


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The Mission Memo: January 23, 2020


Make your biggest impact in 2020.


At CNM our goal is to equip you with the things you need to make a difference. Join as a CNM member for 2020 to take advantage of:

  • member pricing for professional development
  • unlimited job postings
  • exclusive networking opportunities
  • so much more…

Explore CNM Membership


**If this is your first time logging into our new website, we invite you to reset your password here to access your member dashboard. For account help, view our troubleshooting guide or contact us.


Introduction to Systemic Racism
February 11 & 12


Is your organization ready to begin the work of exploring systemic racism? CNM will host Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training as they return to Nashville to facilitate one of our most popular trainings of 2019. In this introductory workshop, participants will explore racism as a systemic, institutional problem of power that goes beyond personal prejudice.

Learn how your organization can take steps to become more equitable by registering for this workshop today. Follow the link below for course information and registration.

Explore Equity Offerings



Meharry-Vanderbilt Grant Opportunity

The Meharry-Vanderbilt Community Engaged Research Core announced a new round of mini-grants for Spring 2020. Learn more about the grants here.



Census 2020 at CNM

CNM will be hosting a series of informational sessions about the role of nonprofits in the 2020 Census. Join us for an upcoming info session!

February 25, 9-11:30 a.m.
February 25, 2-4:30 p.m.



Quick Read

Nonprofits Can Protect their Data by Planning for the Worst (Nonprofit Quarterly)



Have you explored CNM’s new website yet? We’ve curated courses, resources, and events by the six most-requested areas of nonprofit management.



Upcoming Events


1/29: CERTIFICATE: Revenue Development (Part 1) *CFRE accredited
SERIES HIGHLIGHT: Asking for money can be hard, but maintaining resources for your organization is essential to ensure your survival. Join the CNM Revenue Development Certificate to learn the skills you need to meet the demands of securing revenue for a nonprofit…. Read more.


2/7: CERTIFICATE: Volunteer Program Management (Part 1)
SERIES HIGHLIGHT: Are you feeling overwhelmed or lost with the day-to-day operation of your volunteer program? Have you recently been tasked with building a successful volunteer base for your agency? Running a successful volunteer program requires implementing smart management systems and procedures…. Read more.


2/13: Critical Competency for Board Members in Nonprofit Racial Equity Work
SESSION HIGHLIGHT: Invite your board members to this brand new session with Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training. This interactive workshop is designed to help participants create the spaces to be self-reflective about our cultural shaping as individuals and institutions… Read more.


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