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Flourish - True Charity Summit 2024 by Cathy Larsen, Program Director 

From April 3rd to April 5th, poverty-fighting individuals representing nonprofits and faith-based organizations came together in Springfield, MO from across the country, where we swapped stories, made new connections, and were inspired to make a real difference in our local communities.

Exploring Innovations in Charitable Support

This year's summit was a hub of best practices, where we explored innovative approaches to Christ-like charity. Keynote speakers, experts, and local non profit leaders shared their insights on how charity is evolving, stressing the importance of keeping up with new social issues while ensuring the outcome of independence for those served by our agencies. With several breakout sessions on program design, fundraising, innovative models, and outcomes measurement, and tons of networking opportunities with others in the True Charity Network, the Summit was the essential meeting place for poverty-fighting churches and nonprofits. With nearly 200 individuals in attendance, Huntsville, AL made a strong showing with 10 representatives. In addition to our ELM team, the Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama, Inc., New Futures, Inc., The Cornerstone Initiative, First Stop, Inc., and Christian Job Corps of Madison County AL, Inc., were also present.

As a first time attendee, I came away excited about the potential of real and lasting hope for our community assistance organizations across the country.  Among the classes, the “Trauma Informed Care Intensive”, led by Dave Lockridge of ACE Overcomers, was particularly enlightening. I gained insight into how trauma and household dysfunction can deeply impact individuals' lives in unforeseen ways, yet discovered that hope and healing are possible with the right approach.

From touring agencies in Joplin, MO that are doing things right like Watered Gardens, Washington Family Hope Center, and The Forge, to hearing stories that exemplify effective assistance, everyone left the Summit inspired with the ideas they needed to make real, lasting change in their own circles. 

Looking Ahead 

When nonprofits and churches join the True Charity Network,  they gain access to a wealth of resources to solve many challenges confronting helping agencies. Accessing model action plans, webinars, articles, toolkits, and an array of resources is as simple as clicking a mouse, with new additions coming monthly. Drawing from a wealth of collective experiences and best practices, the True Charity team meticulously curates the most pertinent information into a succinct and easily reproducible format, conserving agency resources and employee time for allocation to other critical areas.

True Charity remains steadfast in its commitment to initiating positive change to the way agencies provide effective charity for those who need it most. Ensuring that the assistance offered enables real change for those in poverty to a new state of self-sufficiency, the legacy of biblically centered support will only be elevated each year as we unite at the Summit. 

Mark your Calendar!  Ascend- True Charity Summit 2025 to be held April 9-11th right here in Huntsville, AL!

To learn more about True Charity visit or email Cathy at


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