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RAP Newsletter Vol. 13 - Winter 2017

Sad Farewell


On December 26, we lost our County Supervisor, RAP board member, and dear friend John J. Benoit.
Our deep condolences to his family, staff and close friends.  
John was a dedicated public servant for his entire career as commander of the local California Highway Patrol office, and as our elected representative in the Desert Sands Unified School District, the State Assembly and Senate and, finally, as Fourth District Supervisor. 
In addition, John was a strong supporter of the nonprofit community.  He gave freely of his time to support worthy causes and, as I learned belatedly in the last couple of years, he quietly supported many local nonprofits through private donations for many years.  
RAP joins the many other people who have been positively impacted by either knowing John or by the work he did to make our community better.  John, you will be missed...
In This Issue:

Quick Links:

More Announcements:

How to Start a Nonprofit
(4-class series):
Jan. 5,12,19,26, 2017
9 AM to 12 PM

Intermediate Excel

January 18, 2017
9 AM-4 PM

Other Upcoming workshop topics - Date TBD:

  • Professional development - Geared for nonprofits and businesses
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Grant writing
  • Utilizing Financial Statements
  • NPOs are businesses
  • Marketing and Social Media
  • Tax Workshop - State of California
  • Human Resources
  • Microsoft Office
  • Media training
For information about dates, location and cost call (760) 674-9992 or email:
or John Epps at: 

Supporting Nonprofits' Search for Grants

RAP provides two FREE online research services: 
  • The Foundation Center is the nation's leading authority on institutional philanthropy and serves grant seekers, grant makers, researchers, policy makers, the media and general public.
  • And Grant Station provides additional funding sources including Federal, State and regional grants.
These online resource services are available to nonprofits and can be easily viewed at the RAP office. Contact Mireya Reyes at:
or call (760) 674-9992 to make a reservation.

CEO Report

With so much holiday activity surrounding us during this time of the year, it's hard not to get overwhelmed by it all. However, it all seems to come together in the end, and we can enjoy the fruits of our labor and reflect on our accomplishments.
Actually, it's not just the holiday season that has us scurrying; the Regional Access Project (RAP) has had a great deal of activity throughout 2016, particularly with regard to our emphasis on expanding our services to the nonprofit community. And we were able to reach some milestones in December which allow us to take some major steps forward in accomplishing our goals.
The RAP Board of Directors decided to change the name of our Technical Assistance Program (TAP) to the
Center for Nonprofit Advancement (CNA). The new name highlights the significant changes in the services and resources we provide to nonprofits in order to assist their efforts to achieve greater financial sustainability.
As was previously announced, Amalia Coyt, TAP Manager, decided to take some time off to be a full-time mom. Amalia will be missed by RAP staff, board members and the many people she assisted over the years at RAP. We wish her the best and look forward to seeing her from time to time.
We are happy to introduce John Epps, who will be taking over the reins of the new CNA program. John has worked as a nonprofit consultant for almost 30 years. He has worked with RAP for the last five years, providing consulting services and acting in the role of instructor in our Nonprofit Management Certificate Program. As many of you know, RAP conducts the Certificate Program in partnership with the University of California, Riverside - Palm Desert Campus. John will be busy in the next few months incorporating ideas suggested by stakeholders during the past year.
RAP is moving, again! But this time we are taking the significant step of shifting from renters to owners. Our "new to us" two-story building is located at 41-550 Eclectic Street in Palm Desert.

The cross street is Hovley Lane East. It will be a few months before we will be moving because we need to make some improvements to the building in tailoring it to meet our needs and the needs of our client organizations. The new building will allow us the space to increase our CNA services, and we're thrilled at the prospect of sharing this building with our nonprofit clients. We definitely plan on having an official ribbon cutting as soon as we can and you will all be invited! 


Although there is a substantial amount of work to do in getting the building ready, we are committed to ensuring there is as little interruption as possible to our services and programs in the meantime.


Lety De Lara, CEO

Desert Crisis Walk-In Center opens in Palm Springs

Grand Opening Event
November 21, 2016
RI International and Riverside University Health System Behavioral Health have opened a mental health urgent care center in Palm Springs.  The Center is a 24 hour facility providing assessment, psychiatric support, medication management and customized services to adults who are voluntarily seeking assistance in crisis situations.
"The program is open to all adults over 18 years of age who feel they are experiencing a Mental Health crisis and need immediate support in a non-judgmental, safe, supportive environment," said Peggy Wiley, Recovery Services Administrator II for RI International.
The Care Center is located at 2500 North Palm Canyon Drive, Suite B5 in Palm Springs. For information, call (442) 268-7000.
Pictured above: Craig Borba (RAP Vice Chair, Michelle DEArmond (RAP Board Member), Robert Blackford (RAP Mental Health Committee Chair)

Nonprofit Conference Save The Date

"Opening the Door to Excellence"
Mark your calendar-- September 28th, 2017 is the date for RAP's Nonprofit Conference in partnership with Southern California Grantmakers (SCG). We plan to have a great list of speakers, workshops, an increased number of exhibitors and once again culminate the day's activities with the Desert Fast Pitch competition. 

Congratulations again to the 2016 Desert Fast Pitch...

  • Galilee Center for receiving the Top Prize of $20,000,
  • Focusing on Student Success was selected as the Most Improved $15,000 winner
  • Desert Best Friend's Closet was selected as the Audience Choice $10,000 winner 

All of our participants are winners! If you missed the six great pitches, you can access them on our website

If you are interested in participating in next year's Desert Fast Pitch competition,  

watch for our Call for Applications around the end of January 2017.  

Building Health Communities (BHC)
Soapbox Speeches - December 1, 2016
Rosemary Ortega (RAP Board Secretary), Jasmine Caballero (winner) and Silvia Paz (BHC-CV)

CNAIntroducing the Center for Nonprofit Advancement

Many of the organizations in our community have benefitted for years from service
John Epps.

s offered by RAP through the Technical Assistance Program (TAP). TAP provided consulting, training, and a host of support services including meeting rooms, copies, and even translation services to name a few. Organizations receiving these services benefitted by having a better-trained staff and as a result being able to better serve their clients. 

TAP successfully and faithfully served many nonprofits.  However it became clear through focus groups and research that to meet the future needs of the nonprofit community and those they serve in eastern Riverside County much more needed to be done.  We would need to provide more services to more organizations in more innovative ways to meet the growing challenges of the region.
The response to these challenges needed to be beyond just a makeover or a name change. The change needed to be bold and focused on long-term goals, because we are committed to changing all aspects of the way we get things done. After careful consideration and with the help of many talented people the Center for Nonprofit Advancement (CNA) was conceived and designed.
CNA is a nonprofit community resource center focused on increasing the capacity of organizations to be more effective in identifying, addressing, and sustaining the solutions they work so hard to provide every day.  CNA is charged with helping nonprofits of any size develop the skills and acumen they require to meet the needs of the diverse communities they serve and to help these organizations ensure they are effective in having the impact they were funded to achieve.
The Center for Nonprofit Advancement will provide the opportunity for nonprofits and other social service agencies to come together as members of a regional body to leverage their resources and knowledge and to speak to funders and policymakers with a collective voice on the key issues and priorities that are most important to them and their clients. CNA will become a hub for the collection and sharing of research that will help them design and implement better programs and write better proposals. The Center will also expand consulting services and training.  And finally, CNA will become a place where mentors, coaches, and experts from local agencies and businesses can meet with organizations and help them get the support they need to operate as great businesses and as great community builders.
Please join us as we welcome this fresh new resource for change into the Regional Access Project family! You can contact CNA Director John Epps at: to get involved or for more information.
Center for Nonprofit Advancement Website
Regional Access Project Foundation | (760) 674-9992 | |
73710 Fred Waring Dr, #102
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Regional Access Project Foundation, 73710 Fred Waring Dr, #102, Palm Desert, CA 92260
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