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THRIVE Participant Perspective--Downtown Ashland Association

Each week, we'll bring you the perspective of a nonprofit in our THRIVE accelerator program and share a little about their organization.

Downtown Ashland Association

This was our final session, facilitated as always by our partners at The Spark Mill, and was about Prioritization and Implementation and presented by Scott Wayne of Envoy Portfolio. We asked the team from Downtown Ashland Association to tell us about their experience.

As this was our final session in our nine weeks together, we started with a Word cloud for the whole group:

What are you hoping to get out of this program?

Maggie Beal Longest, Executive Director: The Association hopes to grow into being more effective at our mission and more equitable in our work.

Tell us about your experience in the program.

Maggie: It has been very helpful to take time to discuss strategies and planning for the future. We are always wrapped up in the day-to-day operations, and this process has opened communication and spurred growth that we could not have achieved without it.

Eisenhower Matrix from Todoist, from Scott's presentation

What’s a way you see this applying to your organization?

Maggie: We are established new board governance and job descriptions. We've created a plan for strengthening and diversifying the Board. We have identified needs for strategic planning.


Downtown Ashland Association is a community non-profit organization that works toward a strong and vibrant future for Ashland, Virginia. Through marketing initiatives, special events, business engagement, historic preservation and more, Downtown Ashland Association contributes to Ashland’s vitality by deploying our time, funding, and voice on behalf of the community.


Our THRIVE cohort wraps up with Demonstration Day, Wed, March 24, 2021 5:30-7:00pm Virtual. Free.


THRIVE Demonstration Day is a virtual, free, and open-to-the-public event to celebrate the 10 nonprofits who completed the second cohort of THRIVE: An Accelerator for Social Good.

The event will be hosted by comedian, public speaker, and nonprofit board member Micah “Bam-Bamm” White, and will feature 3-5 minute presentations by our participants, a People’s Choice award as voted by the audience, and a surprise announcement or two.

Any and all are invited--especially those interested in seeing the nonprofit ecosystem thrive!


The THRIVE accelerator program provides an opportunity to look beyond the current challenges and obstacles and plan out a direct and streamlined path forward. Organizations will spend concentrated time planning and executing real-time solutions with guided facilitation.

The second cohort focuses on helping organizations engage leading practices in program design, community engagement, board development, fundraising, storytelling, and HR/operations with a racial equity lens. This experience creates a set time for teams of boards and staff to come together to look at their organization holistically and then apply what they are learning to their specific context.

THRIVE was created through collaboration between The Collaboratory of Virginia and The Spark Mill, and is currently sponsored by Carmax, Robins Foundation, and Virginia Community Capital.

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