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Nonprofit Leadership Initiative

The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative is a partnership of Fox Valley-area nonprofits, funders, educational institutions and businesses dedicated to providing resources needed by effective nonprofit boards and executive leaders. It offers a wide range of leadership, management and technical skill-building programs, as well as peer learning circles, to the entire nonprofit sector in the Fox Valley.


Improve effectiveness and efficiency of our nonprofits.

Improve collaboration and connectivity among nonprofits.

Strengthen leadership skills, assuring more effective service.

Protect current investment in the service areas.


Click on titles for details

Leadership Institute

    The Leadership Institute offers educational modules on critical leadership, management, technical and governance topics and the opportunity to earn a Nonprofit Management Certificate. The Institute was planned and implemented by a committee of nonprofit executive directors, Fox Valley Technical College, consultants and others active in the nonprofit sector. It is a year-long series of seminars led by experts in their particular competencies and enhanced with peer-facilitated discussion group for new executive directors or those in the pipeline. The program blends online and in-person learning and focuses on leadership and skill-development topics.

Coursework includes: Personal Leadership, Board Orientation & Leadership, Finances & Financial Management, Fundraising & Resourcing the Mission, Operations, Human Resources, Marketing & Communications, Ethical & Legal Issues, Capstone & Graduation. Watch the video for current participants’ comments: Leadership Institute Video. Applications for the May 2017 through April 2018 session are no longer being accepted.

NonprofitNext Fox Valley

NonprofitNext is a robust online resource filled with relevant, high quality tools, templates, videos and resources that deliver to Fox Valley nonprofit leaders and their board volunteers immediate solutions to a wide range of operational and governance questions and needs.

The site is intended to become a nonprofit leader’s primary go-to site, a “toolbox” that you can turn to regularly when an operational need pops up or a question about a governance problem arises.

Access is free for nonprofits in the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region service area (Outagamie, Calumet, Waupaca, Shawano and northern Winnebago counties). Visit our site at NonprofitNext Fox Valley. You must register to have free access to downloads and resource links.

Board Pipeline

Board Pipeline events are free quarterly events to cultivate and prepare people for board, committee or task force service to local nonprofits.  Events are held at various locations around the Fox Valley and each event highlights nonprofits with a shared focus.

Events dates are located on the Community Foundation website and invitations are emailed prior to the event.

Upcoming Events:

To ensure you are on the email invitation list please email your request to [email protected].

April 27, 2017: Environment

Click here for more information and to register

Nonprofits to be in attendance include: Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust, Heckrodt Wetland Reserve, Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, Friends of the 1000 Islands Environmental Center, Friends of the Fox and Fox Cities Greenways. To be held at FVTC Pepsi Atrium and Culinary Theatre (Entrance #10), 5-7 p.m.

July 27, 2017: Food Programs

Nonprofits to be in attendance include: Feeding America, Loaves & Fishes Fox Valley, St. Joseph Food Pantry, Riverview Gardens, Salvation Army Feeding Programs and more. To be held at Riverview Gardens, 5-7 p.m.

November 2, 2017: Education

To be held at Valley New School for a light breakfast.

Executive Director Forum

Convenes executive directors in a professional network to discuss emerging issues, and to learn from each other. These events are free and are held quarterly on various dates from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Fox Valley Technical College, Bordini Center. Relevant topics include round tables with area experts in finance, fundraising, human resources, board development and more.

Invitations are sent to current Fox Valley Nonprofit Executive Directors.  If you are not currently receiving these invitation,  contact [email protected] be included on the email list.

Upcoming Forum Events:ADDED DATE: April 20, 2017: Conversations around technology

Register Here


3:30 – 3:45 p.m. – Welcome and Introductions

3:45 – 4:45 p.m. – Presentation

4:45 – 5:30 p.m. – Networking


Cloud Migration: What does it really mean to be on the “cloud”; Have you preformed an analysis of the pros and cons of cloud migration? Choosing a vendor. What to do after an unsuccessful migration.

Data Security: General controls, policies, types of threats, security plan and more.

IT Audit: Have you done one recently? Are you budgeting for your technology needs?

Grant Opportunities within the Community Foundation for technology.

IT Task Force is brewing. Experts in the field volunteering their time to help with IT needs.

May 18, 2017: Round table topics

      • Internal controls and segregation of duties.
      • Preparing for and reviewing your audit and the importance of selecting the right audit partner.
      • Reserves and the need to plan for them to provide agency sustainability.

August 17, 2017: Strategic Planning (Morning 1/2 workshop for EDs and board members)

      •  What needs to be in place to begin a Strategic Plan?
      • How to ensure you plan stays on track.
      • EDs-bring your board members!

ADDED DATE: September 21, 2017: Fundraising

      • Tips and tools for smaller to medium-sized nonprofits.
      • Importance of endowments and reserves.

Nov. 16, 2017: Board roles & responsibilities

    • The “real” roles and responsibilities of a board.
    • Compare board roles versus executive director and/or staff.
    • Expectations of board members in meeting the needs of the nonprofit.
    • Board recruitment and evaluation.

Board support

    The Board Support program will include resources, tools and training for those involved in board service. This committee is currently in its development stage.
    If you are a nonprofit board member and would like to receive invitations to our board training events, please register with NonprofitNext Fox Valley. It’s free to register.

Additional Information

Attend other training events in the Fox Valley that benefit Nonprofits:

  • Thursday, April 6th: The Simandl Law Group, S.C. will be presenting free a breakfast briefing that addresses the “basics” of HR law and HR administration. Find out More and Register Here
  • Thursday April 27th: Cultivating Your Career, a Leadership Mentoring luncheon sponsored by Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes. Click here for more information and to register. Tickets are $35.
  • Wednesday, May 17:  Enterprising NONPROFITS is an all day interactive conference allowing for-profit and nonprofit business leaders, development directors, and volunteer coordinators to collaborate and share best practices: Click here for more information and to register. Early bird tickets are $45.
  • Tuesday, June 20: Save the Date as NPLI hosts a morning workshop: “From Colliding to Collaboration: Personal Development for the Multi-Generational Workforce”

Thank you to our key partners

      The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative is supported financially by many local businesses, individuals and family funds. Our key partners include:

Community First Credit Union
Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region
Thrivent Financial Foundation
United Way Fox Cities

Other financial supporters include: SECURA Insurance Companies, Frank C. Shattuck Community Fund, Bergstrom Automotive, Godfrey  & Kahn, Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, Doug and Carla Salmon Foundation, Robert & Patricia Endries Foundation, Prosser Family Fund, Seifert Family Fund, Jewelers Mutual Charitable Giving Fund, Jon and Becky Stellmacher, The Boldt Company, Arthur and Mary Rhoades Charitable Foundation, Schmerein Family Fund, Peter and Joann Mariahazy, Michael and Stephanie Vrabec Family Fund, Bemis Company Foundation, Kimberly Clark Foundation, First Business Bank, BMO Harris Bank and anonymous donors.

In-kind donations have been received from Fox Valley Technical College as well as and many consultants and trainers.

Here to Help
Kim O’Brien, Executive Director
Nonprofit Leadership Initiative
[email protected]


*Nonprofit Leadership Initiative is not responsible for, nor does it endorse, any site to which materials provide links. The materials provided in our programs are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal or financial advice.