Whether it’s guidance to help your board feel ready to fundraise, or a practical, step-by-step approach to strategic planning, your organization has unique and specific training needs. Our consultants can help you design custom, live, or virtual training courses that equip your board, staff, and stakeholders with the most up-to-date practices and information.
OUR CUSTOMIZED TRAININGS ARE
- Cost-effective: Our established training curriculum brings high-quality, tried-and-true training to your organization. Check out the course options below!
- Tailored to Your Needs: We can customize a unique training for your board, staff, or volunteers! We have proven success facilitation on a full range of topics ranging from innovative board member recruitment, to strategic planning, to evaluation strategies, and more.
- At Your Location: On-site training at your organization or wherever you need it.
- For Your Gathering: Many of our established training programs can be adapted for your convention, annual meeting, or conference. Or, we can create something that meets your unique needs.
- On Your Schedule: You pick the time and date!
- Approved by 100% of Clients: You read that right – 100% of clients report that they were satisfied with the training they received.
Board Excellence: An Overview of Best Practices
This 3-hour interactive program was designed to highlight the most important aspects of governance from both the board and board member perspective. Your board members will benefit from a common understanding of the board’s role and an opportunity to hear and consider best practices from across the sector. This program has been conducted for hundreds of boards and is appropriate for large and small arts, education and social service nonprofits alike.
Topics covered include:
- Legal and social accountability
- Principles for sound financial management
- The board’s role in fundraising
- The role of the board as “employer”
- Conflicts of interest
- Board conduct
- Board vs. staff role clarification
- Board development issues: recruitment, orientation, ongoing education & engagement
To get the most out of this program, you should schedule for a time that will maximize attendance from both new and seasoned board members. Staff members other than the Executive Directors are discouraged from attending as the focus of the program is the board embracing its role. All participants will receive the Board Excellence Handbook.
Innovative Board Recruitment and Management: Identifying, Recruiting and Retaining First-Rate Board Members
During this session, we will discuss innovative ways to find fresh prospects with the expertise you need and a desire to serve. We will also review tools for successful board participation; including board job descriptions and board orientation manuals. We will cover new places to find board members, how to encourage board members to take a more active role, and questions of board diversity representing the diversity of your population. Executive directors, board presidents and/or board development committee members would benefit most from attending this session.
Increasing Board Members' Comfort Promoting and Fundraising for your Organization (Board Member Audience)
In this interactive workshop, we will focus on ways you can increase your willingness and effectiveness in raising the resources your organization needs and promoting its work in the community. We will address the obvious and the not-so-obvious obstacles to board member participation and how to overcome them such as:
- How is the work done in the presence or absence of staff?
- How to increase your organizational vocabulary
- How to construct a good elevator speech
- How to access your personal and professional networks, even if you do not think they have a direct connection to your mission
You will leave with customizable templates, a realistic “to do list” and exercises your board can do to get started. Please Note: This is not a class on how to put together a fundraising plan or conduct a fundraising solicitation
Increasing Board Members' Comfort Promoting and Fundraising for Your Organization (Leadership Audience)
This interactive workshop will focus on ways executive directors, staff members, and board leaders can increase their board members’ willingness and effectiveness in raising the resources your organization needs and promoting your work in the community. We will address the obstacles to board member participation and how to overcome them such as:
- How is the work done in the presence or absence of staff?
- How to increase your board members’ organizational vocabulary
- Constructing a good elevator speech
- How board members can access their personal and professional networks even if they do not think they have a direct connection you’re your mission
- How to get people to produce for you with encouragement, support and monitoring instead of arm-twisting and guilt
Participants will leave with customizable templates, a realistic “to do list” and exercises they can do with their boards to get them on their way. Please Note: This is not a class on how to put together a fundraising plan or conduct a fundraising solicitation.
Board's Role in Fundraising
Do your board members see themselves as Fundraising Champions for their organization? Does the board know that their responsibility is to develop a plan to raise the money needed for the organization to meet its mission? This training is designed to help your board understand its role in providing leadership for developing and implementing the organization’s fundraising strategy. It covers fundraising from a board member’s perspective and how the board and staff can work together to meet fundraising goals. The training will include the basics of source funding, donor cultivation as a development tool, and how to create an effective Development Committee. Provide this training to your board to:
- Strengthen board members’ skills and confidence in fundraising using specific strategies
- Increase the ability of board members to open doors to potential donors
Making Fundraising Doable
This course provides an overview of fundraising fundamentals for those new to fundraising, or leaders who must fit it in with everything else. Topics include building a compelling message about your organization, qualifying donors and creating the right asking environment, and defining roles, expectations, skills, and tools to make fundraising work.
Creating a measurable, reflective 3- to 5-year strategic plan is a critical function of nonprofit organizations. The strategic plan is a process that connects the mission, vision, and values of an organization to focus on priorities, goals, and objectives. The board of directors has the legal responsibility to assure that the organization it governs has the resources necessary to implement operations; therefore every 501(c)3 should craft and implement an effective strategic plan. This workshop delivers a practical, step-by-step approach to strategic planning that covers how to gather and analyze data you need to make informed decisions; who to involve at what steps in the process; and how to construct the necessary components of a strategic plan. Further, this workshop will help participants identify how to integrate the plan at all levels of the organization. Participants will be able to identify ways in which the strategic plan impacts the following organizational functions:
- Better understanding of the organization
- Improved decision making
- More effective communication/increased teamwork
- Deeply engaged board members
- Strong momentum, focus, and a proactive approach
- Enhanced mission fulfillment/community impact
This three-hour course is co-led by a governance expert and an attorney well versed in nonprofit partnerships. The course provides an overview of the different kinds of partnerships that exist within the nonprofit sector and the role that partnerships play in collective impact. Practical advice on implementing partnerships will be outlined and participants will leave with strategies and tools to increase the partnership capacity of their organization. In this session participants will:
- Identify steps to implementing partnerships within a collective impact framework
- Understand the actions necessary to complete due diligence including outlining expectations and writing Memorandum of Understanding’s (MOUs) and contracts
Leverage your public policy influence by learning to set advocacy goals and objectives, understand the policy-making process and how to influence it, learning the basics of government budgets and fiscal policy, and legal issues for tax-exempt policy advocates.
Advocacy Leaders Program
Increase your capacity to influence public policy and become part of an active network of nonprofit advocacy leaders. You’ll take away an understanding of the legal rules and limitations for nonprofit advocacy and a clear process for setting goals, making decisions, and taking action.
The processes and factors involved in determining public policies will be explained (i.e. development and approval of budgets, the organization and operation of legislative bodies, relationships of state and local governments, and administrative/regulatory processes).
You’ll improve your ability to influence the policy process by building and using legislative relationships; framing effective language and messages; using traditional and ‘new’ media, developing and employing grassroots networks, traditional lobbying, and working in coalitions.
You will also learn about strategic advocacy efforts: assessing policy problems and solutions, identifying goals, reviewing case studies, developing strategies and campaigns, and the roles of advocacy leadership.
EVALUATION AND OUTCOMES
Understanding and Capturing the Difference Your Organization is Making
Nonprofits provide valuable programs and services in the community and it has a responsibility to assess the impact that your program is having. The first step to determining if you are making a difference is to understand and capture the difference that you are making! Work first hand with an experienced program development/evaluation consultant to determine the degree to which you are creating change in the community. In this course, participants will learn about the fundamentals of evaluation to broaden their view of organizational success and understand the impact of their mission. Bring your whole team together to create evaluation strategies that highlight your work. Help them to:
- Identify the necessary components of a logic model
- Develop a theory of change for your nonprofit
- Recognize the catalog of evaluation approaches to be used during program planning
- Develop evaluation plans which match their mission and program
STANDARDS FOR EXCELLENCE
Embracing Best Practices in Nonprofit Governance and Management
Nonprofit Professionals are passionate about their causes and adhering to high ethical standards. Donors want to have confidence that they are giving to organizations that operate with the highest standards of ethics, effectiveness, and accountability. Nonprofits and donors are partners in efforts to provide critical and quality of life enhancing community services. Nonprofit leaders are invited to hear from Maryland Nonprofits Standards for Excellence Institute Director and national expert, Amy Coates Madsen, as she introduces the best practices for nonprofit management and governance as outlined in Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector®. Learn how nonprofit organizations develop and embrace the policies and practices of well-managed and properly governed nonprofits, improve their operations, governance, and long-term sustainability. Hear firsthand how nonprofits struggling with real issues related to board governance, volunteer management, fiscal responsibility, employee management, and program evaluation have implemented the Standards for Excellence Code to strengthen their organizations and enhance program quality and delivery. Understand how to access and utilize the resources available through the Standards for Excellence Institute to bolster your organization.
Pass to Excellence
This course introduces the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector and how to apply them to become a high performing organization. This workshop covers best practices, policies and procedures, and how the board and staff can work together to meet the Standards.
Board Excellence: An Overview of Best Practices (For Representatives from Multiple Organizations)
This 2- to 3-hour interactive program was designed to highlight the most important aspects of board governance universal to all nonprofits including small and large, arts, and social services alike. We will discuss roles and responsibilities of individual board members and the board as a whole including legal and social accountability, principles for sound financial management, fundraising, and the role of the board as “employer.” Also addressed will be conflicts of interest, board conduct, board vs. staff role clarification and board development issues. To get the most out of this program, two board members and one senior level staff member are encouraged to participate. Staff members are discouraged from attending without a member of the board. All participants will receive the Board Excellence Handbook.