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Nonprofit Leadership Initiative’s Best and Worst List

This year’s Leadership Institute graduating class, part of the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative. (scroll down to see who’s who). The nonprofit provides Fox Valley other nonprofits with opportunities for leadership development and learning to better achieve their missions.

By Annette Look, Program Manager, Nonprofit Leadership Initiative

Everyone loves best and worst lists, don’t they? It’s hard to resist clicking on a link to learn the best and worst cars of the year, dresses at the Oscars, or new ice cream flavors of 2019.

As the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative (NPLI) wrapped up its 2019-20 fiscal year, we created our own best and worst list.

BEST of 2019-20

1  Community Partnerships – NPLI is a program of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and we’re grateful for the infrastructure, camaraderie and leadership the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region provides. We also partnered with Microsoft, NPlace and InterSector this past year. Read our full report to the community and learn more about our collaborations in our 2019 -20 Community Report.

2  Committed Nonprofits – Nonprofit organizations made an incredible commitment to serving their constituents, donors and staff while navigating a global pandemic.

3  Nonprofit Investment – We are especially honored nonprofit leaders invested in their organization’s staff and capacity by participating in NPLI programming this year.

As of June 30, 2020, numbers include:

630 Leadership Forum participants
120 Board Effectiveness participants
144 Board Connect agencies
496 Nonprofit Next users
50 Leadership Institute graduates

2019-20 graduating class: (front row) Julie Filapek, Neighborhood Partners; Jonathan Pylypiv, VFW Post 2278; Nikki Hessel, Future Neenah; Christina Turner, Trout Museum of Art; (back row) Randy Tuma, Bubolz Nature Preserve; Erin Shulz, SOAR Fox Cities; Jen Parsons, Samaritan Counseling Center; Hope Schaefer, Girls on the Run; Jenny Anger, Thompson Center on Lourdes (while in the program); Elaine Krizenesky, Wild Ones (while in the program). Picture taken January 2019.

In May we welcomed 14 new students to the Leadership Institute, who will participate in the one-year program culminating in graduation in April 2021 when they’ll be awarded their Certificate of Nonprofit Management from NPLI and Fox Valley Technical College.

An additional four nonprofits joined 14 other organizations by investing in the Network for Good program. NPLI offers an initial year of partial-funding to help nonprofits take advantage of this program which combines technology, fundraising coaching and a local users group to help nonprofit leaders become better fundraisers. Hope Care Clinic participated in the program and shared their experience.

Shelby Miller

“Network for Good is a chance to raise your game as an organization. I would encourage any nonprofit to try the software and coaching. We’ve raised five times our prior year year-end campaign amount in our first year of using Network for Good.” —  Shelby Miller, executive director, Hope Care Clinic

4  Committed donors – NPLI’s founding donors, United Way Fox Cities, Thrivent, Community First Credit Union and the Bright Idea Fund of the Community Foundation, and others continue to provide financial support. We’re grateful to all of our supporters List of donors.

Annette Look

5  NPLI Staff Changes – As NPLI continues to increase program offerings, we knew it was time to expand our staff. Annette Look served as part-time program manager since January of 2019 and began full-time with NPLI on August 1.

With additional staff capacity, NPLI is preparing to roll-out a new board training program, Board Academy. The program will start virtually in January 2021. Dates and times coming soon.

A best list needs a corresponding worst list, right? We could only think of one thing – we miss seeing our nonprofit partners in person during COVID-19, but we’re so grateful to have a much longer Best list than Worst list.

The Community Foundation supports  NPLI with a grant from the Bright Idea Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, one among many community partners supporting NPLI. Click here to learn more.

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