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Monday, October 6, 2014

School Days... School Days...

I’ve gone back to school this fall! Villanova University and the Philadelphia AFP chapter are offering a 10 week course in Fundamentals of Fundraising.   I enrolled.

It is taught by leading practitioners in the field and there are almost 50 of us in the class. Experience levels vary widely as do the agencies represented, everything from Eastern State Penitentiary to Hagley Museum. The presentations are comprehensive and the questions and ideas are thought provoking.

We sometimes work in silos and forget how large and varied the nonprofit community is. Even though you may have successful approaches to problems and projects it is good to learn about other approaches that have proven successful too. Having a comprehensive refresher opens your mind and at times pushes you beyond your comfort zone.

Learning is an ongoing process. I am excited to be in a structured learning environment again with such well-informed presenters, interesting topics and engaging and committed classmates. I recommend continuing education to everyone. Workshops, retreats, on-line offerings and classroom programs all give us the opportunity to expand our horizons. Indulge yourself and learn some new tricks. It’s well worth the time.

Now I have to get back to preparing for next week…..Major Gifts is the topic.  But before I go, here is a quick, easy recipe for a fall favorite! 

Baked Apples

When you think of school, an apple for the teacher might be one of the things that comes to mind.  And baked apples are an easy, delicious way to enjoy the taste of autumn.  Pair with ham, roast pork or chicken for a tasty side dish.  Or top with ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce for a comforting dessert.  This is an easy and fast microwave baked apple recipe. 

1 tablespoon granulated sugar or honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons raisins or cranberries (optional)
2 teaspoons butter
2 Granny Smith Apples

1.     Core the apples
2.     Mix the sugar and spices and dried fruit together.  Place the apples in a deep glass or pyrex baking dish.  Spoon the sugar and fruit mixture into the apples.  Place one teaspoon of butter on top of each apple, cover. 
3.     Microwave the apples on high for 5 to 6 minutes or until fork tender.  Let the apples sit for a few minutes before serving.