Archive | July, 2011

CEF Becomes a Non-Profit

The Community Empowerment Fund is proud to announce that we received the federal designation as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service! After submitting our application in April we got the letter in the mail last week and are thrilled about the many new opportunities this makes possible.

We are so thankful for all the support which has made it possible for CEF to get to this point. A big thanks to…

  • Every CEF member, for your courage, conviction, and resilience; for pushing us to be better; and for sharing, always
  • All our students and volunteers, for making CEF the vibrant and energetic force that it is, and for the many ways in which you empower
  • Our kind and supportive Board of Directors, for always being there with the right advice to help us move forward
  • Our donors and funders, for believing in the vision and giving us the resources to fulfill our mission
  • Our parent organization, HOPE, for giving us the opportunity to grow
  • Our community partners in Orange and Durham, for your generous welcome and the many lessons you have taught us
  • And all the rest of our many friends and neighbors, who have been here along the way to help in ways innumerable

CEF also sends a huge thank you to the Community Development Law Clinic of the UNC School of Law. The expert assistance of Professor Tom Kelley and third-year student Colin Shive truly made the success of this process possible.

Thank you everyone. With your support, we look forward to continuing to strive towards our mission: To cultivate opportunities, assets and communities that support the alleviation of homelessness and poverty.

P.S. With our shiny new designation as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, now is a great time to make a tax-deductible donation to support CEF’s work :)


CEF Small Business Class – Round 2!

small business ideas presetations

small business ideas presentations

CEF has completed 2 out of the 6 sessions of its 2nd small business course of the summer!

The first session took place in May, and was a great success! We had five graduates, many of whom are continuing to work on their business plans and next steps one-on-one with one of our great Member Advocates! Over the six sessions, we cover topics such as business ideas, pricing, bookkeeping, marketing, and legal issues. Of course, curriculum is always slightly modified to best fit the active students’ ideas.

The second session, taking place currently, is larger with approximately fifteen students. It’s fantastic to have a class with such varied experience levels, as teaching becomes more organic, with students teaching each other along the way. Group work becomes much more effective, and when a student who is in the beginning stages of his or her business plan has the opportunity to speak with someone who has been running a small business for fifteen years, there is just so much to be learned. We hope to continue the trend of having local entrepreneurs/small business owners come and share their expertise with the class. We look forward to all the great new business ideas that will come out of this session!

Finally, I’d like to speak to how incredible and generous the JobLink Career Center has been in opening their classrooms to us for both of these Small Business classes. Many of our students are familiar and comfortable with the center, which definitely makes our job easier. Thanks to Joblink for being such a great community partner!

Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-4pm at the JobLink Center on Franklin Street. Please feel welcome to join us.


Congratulations to Opportunity Circle Graduates

Paula receives her certificate for successful completion of the CEF Opportunity Circle

Paula receives her certificate for successful completion of the CEF Opportunity Circle

CEF is pleased to announce the graduation of the Rogers Road Community Opportunity Circle! Graduates completed 14 whole weeks of training, meeting weekly at the Rogers Road Community Center in Chapel Hill to teach each other financial, health, and job readiness skills.

The graduates celebrated their success on Tuesday, June 28th by recounting the goals they had set and achieved while in the program. We cooled off with some delicious Locopops, presented award certificates to participants, and brainstormed ways to stick together beyond graduation.

This group of graduates will be organizing a weekly walking group, meeting every Tuesday evening to both keep in touch and hold each other accountable to health goals set during the Opportunity Circle. We’re so glad the circle is staying together!

And, bonus points… With their success in the Opportunity Circles, these CEF members will now be able to receive a ten percent match from CEF towards their savings goals.

Congratulations all! We look forward to continuing to partner with all of you, and thank you for making us a part of your dreams.

CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

Chapel Hill: 919-200-0233 Durham: 919-797-9233