Before returning to nonprofit consulting in 2021, Ann Cooper was VP of Community Impact for the River Region United Way (RRUW). Prior to that she served as Program Manager of Leadership Montgomery where she was also a graduate of the Legacy Class XXXIV. At RRUW, Ms. Cooper directed the work of two major volunteer groups, the Community Impact Council and the Allocations Committee. She coordinated agency collaborative efforts in the River Region to meet specific needs uncovered in the Council’s annual needs assessments. In that capacity Ann directed the annual grant review efforts of RRUW's Grant Review Subcommittee. She was the driving force behind RRUW’s Covid-19 United Community Relief Fund efforts in 2020, reviewing over 1,200 grant applications for funding. Pre-Covid, Ms. Cooper directed approximately 300 volunteers in education projects for Pre-K to 6th grade students in Montgomery and Macon Counties. For fourteen years, she managed five nonprofits as a private consultant and she brings a wealth of nonprofit management experience from that time period.
As a consummate nonprofit leader, Ms. Cooper has been involved with 501c3 or 501c6 organizations at the state and local levels for many years. Her consulting background includes executive director of a statewide lawyers’ association, Public Relations Director for the Alabama Chamber of Commerce (now known as the Business Council of Alabama), Community Relations officer for the Alabama Medicaid Agency, as well as Public Relations Director for the Alabama Nursing Home Association and J. S. Tarwater Development Center. In addition, she worked with the AUM School of Continuing Education and also served as a grant administrator for the six-state William Bartram Heritage Trail Commission.
A recipient of public relations awards through the years and accolades during her career, most recently Ms. Cooper has been a four-time recipient of BB&T’s NeighborWorks Scholarship for advanced grant writing and nonprofit association management training. She has studied in Portland, Oregon, Pittsburgh, PA and twice in Washington, DC with this program. On July 1, 2021, Ms. Cooper received NeighborWorks Training Institute's "Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership" which certifies completion of the requirements for an individual to successfully lead a dynamic community development organization in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive environment. NeighborWorks encourages participants to return to their communities and provide “pay it forward” learning opportunities. Grant Writing 101 has been taught by Ms. Cooper at the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce’s Business Incubator to over 450 attendees to date, and at various Chambers of Commerce around the state. Her other workshop, Advanced Grant Writing 2.0 has been received well by 70 area nonprofits to date. Ann is a graduate of Auburn University Montgomery and the Institute for Organizational Management at the University of GA, Athens. As a Small Business Administration SCORE volunteer, Ms. Cooper works with nonprofit startups in the Montgomery area, giving freely of her time to nurture organizations forming to address unmet needs in the River Region.
In addition to Ann's teaching, she is presently a consultant with the State of Alabama as a grant review team member available to review grants from all agency funders and continues to consult with area small to medium sized nonprofit organizations. (NPOs) Ms. Cooper has spoken to numerous organizations on grant writing including Troy University Montgomery's Annual Spring Conference of Social Workers and the Small Business Administration's 2021 Birmingham Emerging Leaders program.